Gypsy's Travels

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Departure and Arrival

Photo op at the airport on arrival.
My main flight criteria were to avoid the airports in New York and  Washington D.C. and to avoid long layovers. I found an American Airline flight that left at 11:15 a.m. and arrived in Rome about 9:30 a.m. the next day. Perfect! A 3 hour layover in Chicago and then straight through to Rome. Couldn't be better.

Almost every guide stresses using the train [11 Euros one way] to get from the airport to the Termini, where metro and buses can be accessed. We opted for a through bus [4 Euros one way if you buy a round trip ticket], but you do have to put your own luggage in the hold of the bus.

First you have to look high for the sign
Next task was to find lodging. Working on the Internet and using a map of Rome, I looked for a 2-3 star accommodation in a safe area and in my price range. This takes a lot of reading the reviews, reading between the lines of the reviews, and a lot of faith. Americans don't give the smaller places very good reviews because they judge the places by American standards. I think the place should be clean, comfortable, and safe. I know it won't be in the same league as our motels unless I go to a facility that caters to Americans. Why go to Europe to live like an American?

The Hotel Katty (pronounced Kaytee) was listed as being anywhere from "a few steps" to only a 10 minute walk from the Termini, depending on which review you believed. It seemed a long way when we walked the first time. I chalk that up to 14 hours on an airplane but it did feel good to stretch our legs. The hotel was near restaurants, a laundromat, and a couple of grocery stores which made us pretty self sufficient. I wish I had asked the location of the grocery when we arrived because the second one we found was larger and offered a lot more choices.

David in the minuscule lift
Hotel Katty was rather difficult to find and I am sure the elderly man who answered the doorbell we rang and shrugged his shoulders at our questions, was tired of being bothered by touristas. We finally found it tucked away in a corner. The hotel consisted of 18 rooms on the third floor of the building but we were blessed with an elevator. True to European style, it was a tiny elevator. We squeezed our two suitcases, two backpacks, and 2 weary bodies into the minuscule "lift" then figured out the proper workings to make it go - close the cage door, close the 2 wooden doors, and push the proper button for the labored trip to the 3rd floor. David always opted to walk after that.
The room was small so the twin beds had to be pushed together during the day so we could walk past them. A window with shutters overlooked the narrow street and we were serenaded each night by music from a bar or restaurant down the way. The noise did not bother us or keep us awake. We viewed it as colorful ambiance of the area.

 Arriving so early during the day, we had to fight the urge to nap, but we won. The secret of adjusting to the time change quickly is to stay awake the first day of your arrival. Feeling revived after a quick shower, we headed off to see what we could see for the rest of the afternoon and planned for an early night of much needed sleep.

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