Saturday, September 10, 2011

Traveling to Italy

Our journey to Italy began early Monday morning, Sept. 5, when Sara picked us up to take us to the airport. We were so excited and thankful to be able to go on this once-in-a-lifetime trip to Italy to celebrate our 40th Anniversary!

Our air travel to Italy was filled with pleasure, adventure, and also a bit of hardship. We left Omaha at 8:55 am, flew to Denver, then on to Montreal. Our 3 1/2 hour wait in Montreal turned into a 7 1/2 hour wait. Two extra hours waiting in the airport while some mechanical work was done on the plane; then after boarding and starting to taxi out, it was announced that we were pulling back in for some more maintenance that needed to be done. So we waited two more hours on board until we finally took off at about 11:45 pm. After a bout of some very rough turbulence shortly after take-off (which was quite unnerving after just having had maintenance work done), we settled in for our 7-8 hour uneventful flight through the night.

While we had been waiting in Montreal, we also had heard the news that there was going to be a strike in Italy on Sept. 6, the day that we would arrive - all the public transportation workers would be on strike. Meaning that there would be no trains or buses running from the airport to the center of Rome, where we would be staying for night. Apparently this happens in Italy fairly consistently, but it was quite shocking for us to hear that one of those days would be the day that we would arrive.

We were seated next to a very friendly Italian mother and her 14 year-old daughter while we waited in the airport in Montreal. It was a great time talking with them, getting their input on what to see and do in Rome (which is where they live). They also wanted to exchange contact information, and we wondered if we would need their help when we arrived in Rome with no public transportation available.

Stepping off our Air Canada jet - in Rome!

But all worked out for us, as there were some private bus lines still running, and so we were able to make the one hour trip from the airport to where we would stay for one night before traveling on to Venice.

Photo taken from the bus, as we rode from the airport ...

The bus took us to the Roma Termini (the main train station), and from there we walked, with our luggage, for about 15 minutes to our lodging place. A very hot day, and we were quite exhausted from traveling for over 24 hours with very little sleep. But such an amazing feeling to be in Rome!

Our room at Independence Square Inn was a very welcome sight, and after going back out for a walk and some sandwiches at a nearby sidewalk cafe, we settled in for night. And even though we were in a strange city and experiencing jet lag, we slept for 11 hours straight!

The next morning (Sept. 7), we walked the 15 minute route back to Roma Termini, and boarded the eurail train for our 4-hour journey to Venice. The place we would meet up with our 21 year-old son, Lance, who is traveling in Europe for several months!

Little smart cars, easy to park on the narrow Rome streets ...

"I am your Best Friend, as well as your King. 
Walk hand in hand with Me through your life. 
Together we will face whatever each day brings: 
pleasures, hardships, adventures, disappointments."
(Jesus Calling)

I felt so blessed all through our two-day journey to Italy. Accompanied by my Best Friend and King, who we know will be with us through whatever each day will bring. And I also feel so blessed to experience this trip with my best friend here on this earth - the one I have walked with for 40 years now. A very fun time traveling here, even with the unnerving things - we love to travel, and love the international flavor all around us.

(And so much more to share! It was so fun to meet up with Lance at the train station in Venice! And we have enjoyed three days together in one of the most unique and enchanting cities in the world - Venice! More photos to come soon. We traveled from Venice to Florence today (Sept. 10), and have settled into our 2nd floor apartment. The area looks amazing - we are so excited to be here!)

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful exciting trip (except for the turbulance after maintenance problems.) Sounds like you are enjoying each moment.