Dorothy meant to say….
…There’s no place like ROME.
In the Travel Section of the bookstores across America you will find umpteen travel essays, I suppose written much the same reason as this one is written. Once a trip is finished, what more can you do than to relive the experience through pictures as well as a travel log of some sort? People write of their experiences, and I of mine. Thus I begin to tell of the trip taken in the month of March, ’97 to Italy, having obtained a very cheap fare-war ticket, and having a desperate need to get away. Solitude. As an excuse, I called my brother up, who was also planning a trip, alone to Europe, and suggested that we rendezvous in some designated place in Europe. We finally agreed that that would work, but that neither of us would be obligated to showing up, in case our itinerary got so jumbled that we just couldn’t make it. I could perhaps entitle this ‘How NOT to Travel in Europe, as you will soon find out that I indeed do not have my act together.
I settled on a day pack and one rolling carry-on to take. I try to travel light, washing clothes along the way rather than a suit of clothes for each day. I believe Rick Steves makes the point that for all the people you will see, no one in Europe will notice that you have been wearing the same shirt every other day! Hey… I am not over there to make a fashion statement anyway… and the less I bring the less I have to lug around. So light I go.
So with no guarantee or assurance I would meet my brother, I took off for my destination, Milan. My brother’s destination was Zurich, and then to Prague, after which if it worked out, we would meet in Florence on the Ponte Vecchio (The Old Bridge) at a specific time on a specific day.
After driving to where I meet the shuttle bus, I fork over the $44.00 round trip fare that will take me to Los Angeles International where I would catch my early Monday morning flight. I get there in plenty of time. LA to JFK for a brief layover before I board the international flight to Milan. I arrive in Milan on a Tuesday morning, rush to the money changer and buy a few dollars worth of Lira in order to buy a bus ticket to the downtown train station. My plan was to stash my suitcase and go on a whirlwind tour of the historical section of Milan, then catch the train to Rome. Yet as we wended our way through the city, I began to change my mind. For one thing, got to figuring that by the time I toured Milan and rode the four hours to Rome