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Up my nose

August 30, 2008

« As if it were an afterthought         I gotsta get outa this place »

Agordo in the Dolomite Mountains to Roma, Italia (Rome, Italy)

dscn3778Well, I did indeed go to sleep to the sound of that water and I woke up to it this morning as well.  I slept great here at the Rivamonte Agordino Imperina Hostel.  Have you ever gone to a place where you just really felt comfortable?  This was one of those places for me.  The sights of the mountains up stream and down stream, the smell of the outdoors and all the new wood in the building, the sound of the water and the crickets, the coziness and coolness of being within the three foot thick stone walls, and no skeeters.

I’d like to stay longer but, I’ve put it off long enough, I stayed as far north as I could as long as I could, but I finally nutted up and decided last night to take the plunge and head south into the oven.  Roma.  I packed up and said goodbye to the proprietor, I forgot to get his name, but he was a very sweet man.  I headed to Belluno to catch the Autostrade, but missed something and wound up taking the scenic route but I got back on track eventually.  Remember, you can get to anywhere from anywhere here.

dscn3797Most of the drive south was fairly unspectacular, although I was surprised at how green central Italy is.  I really imagined it as being very dry and dessert like; it’s not lush like northern France and Germany mind you but it’s by no means like Mexico.  My expectation regarding the temperature proved to be spot on though; 39º C.

It was a seven hour drive plus the 90 minutes spent driving all over Rome trying to find my hostel.  I got the grand tour, both sides of the railroad tracks.  I passed the US embassy with armed and ready marines standing post outside, I drove through the slums and the more affluent parts of town.  I saw almost everything except the old town and Vatican City, the two things that would have helped me get my bearings.

I don’t have any pictures of my drive in Rome due to the erratic behavior of the local drivers.  Even I have my limits I guess, I just couldn’t manage it.  Rick says he rode with a cabbie here in Rome and he asked him about the drivers and red lights.  He said “… when red light, if no cars, red light stupido.  Police say red light stupido also…”.  Yeah, red lights seemed to be a guideline and few streets had lane markings but I’ve dealt with that before.

The names of the streets were marked OK, but direction signs were few and far between. I wasn’t having much luck finding my hostel and I was about to give up and stop at the first hotel I saw, but then all of a sudden I was heading out of town.  Oh crap.  No wait, maybe this is a good thing.  I kept going for a while and then turned around hoping that attacking this from a different angle, literally, might help.  Indeed it did.  As soon as I hit the Rome city limits, I started seeing signs for the Stadio Olimpico (the hostel is in the old Olympic village).  I followed the signs and after pulling over once to orient the map, and myself, based on the position of the sun, I pulled right into the Roma – Foro Italico – AF Pesina Youth Hostel parking lot.

I found my bed, dumped my bags and walked down to the restaurant to have some dinner.  I tried the lasagna; it was certainly better than in Venice, but still not great.  I just finished and opened up my little PC here at the dinner table and started writing.  A bug just flew up my nose, jeez I hate it when that happens.  I met Lexis from Edmonton; she’s over here for one week.  Holy cow, a day and half each way which leaves her 4 – 5 days to sight see and she still has to adjust to the time.  Sounds miserable to me.  Oh well.

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