What To Do, Where To Go After Rome

Friday, 4 November 2011 – Part IV of V

Anti Luzzi Cafe, Rome, GoogleMaps

Anti Luzzi Cafe, Rome, GoogleMaps

Ok, I am trying to relax and savor my vino blanco, but the brain is back at it… Ugh!  Not looking forward to days straight of traveling again.  I tried to build in some time to ramble between Rome and Nicole’s and then between Nicole’s and my return to Northampton.  I had visions of working my way up the Italian coast, checking out the Leaning Tower of Pisa, La Spezia, and Cinque Terre, but the weather has already fouled those plans with all the rain and floods and mudslides.  Without that, I’m not really sure where to head from Rome.

After Nicole’s, I am still debating about whether to return to Paris to see the Sorbonne and Montmartre (I would come into a different station but would still have to make my way to Gare du Nord to head back to England, and I dread the very thought) or to bypass all that and try to squeeze in the trip to Den Haag (The Hague) that was high on my list of things to do on this trip.  Like Stonehenge, achieving this goal would take an inordinate amount of travel and time for a short visit just to lay my eyes on something.  It is not an easy decision to make.  I could probably squeeze in an overnight in The Netherlands, but Amsterdam is further yet and it’s a toss-up whether a room is more exorbitant in Den Haag (The Hague) or Amsterdam.

As much as I want to stand in the shadows of the halls of international justice, introduced to me at the ripe old age of 11 or 12 in a postcard from my former grade-school librarian (Mrs. Tabor) when she retired to the Netherlands, and as much as I expressed this desire for months before my trip to anyone who would listen (and who would generally reply that they’ve “never heard THAT before”), it might have to wait – a(nother) means to justify the next journey.  (Wow!  My new favorite quote I just made up:  “Justice justifies the journey…” at least if the journey is to The Hague.)  Or maybe instead I should see if I can change my Eurostar reservation and head back to Mum Po’s early, so I can spend a day in Oxford.  There’s still time to decide on that…

The longer I’m on the road, the more and more sleep I seem to need.  I’m beginning to wonder if I’m completely wearing myself out…one vote for returning to Northampton early, I guess.

And I’m not sure about the rental car in the south of France.  I really (REALLY) would love to traverse the Provence countryside after years of dreaming of lavender fields, sunflowers, and stone cottages.  And I wouldn’t mind having the flexibility to cruise through Cannes, Monte Carlo, and St. Tropez, just to say I’ve been there.  Yet, I just don’t know about driving (and getting gas and parking and who knows what else) in a foreign land (with foreign street markings and signage) on top of everything else.  If I don’t do it, it won’t be a huge loss financially at least; the cost of the Ride/Drive pass was very close to the Ride-only pass I would have purchased otherwise.  (Yes, this is how my mind rambles.)  Anyway, I think I’m finally getting to the part of my trip where I feel more like relaxing a bit than pushing myself every minute, now that I’ve seen more than a handful of things on the reams that I call my wish list.  Time will tell — on the car and on the plan.

I guess I should make a hotel reservation in Genoa when I get back to the room.  I wonder if the G-8 Summit of world leaders in Cannes is the reason why all the rooms near the Nice station are booked.  Would people be sticking around still?  It sounded like it was going to be crazy in both cities, from what I read during my journey.  Who knew there would be so much going on during this trip in the ‘off season’??  Every place has been much more busy (crowded) than I expected.  Ah well, it just adds to the adventure 😕 …

In some ways, I’m really kind of ready to go home (maybe it’s just the exhaustion talking and maybe still partly the feeling of isolation, even though I’ve at least had several conversations in English here).  Yet, I just can’t even imagine going back to my shitty (sorry, Mom) routine after all this!  It seems a world away (instead of only an ocean…), yet in ten more days I’ll be back in the States.

Chris says the nights are colder in Vegas than they were in England – hard to believe!  Struck it lucky on this trip so far!  Even today, I carried my umbrella all over but never had to open it.  Rain was predicted, and it went from blue skies to very cloudy in the short time it took to prep for the day.  By the time I got to the terrace at the top of the Castel, the sun was breaking through, and the rest of the day was nicer than I expected.  Still, better safe than sorry — wouldn’t want to be wandering Vatican City and Rome looking (and feeling) like a wet mop (instead of just a ‘damp’ one ;-)).

Sounds like my weather luck may have run out though.  With so much of the Italian coast already rocked by the results of heavy rains, another week of rain is predicted everywhere along the Mediterranean.  It’s already plenty ugly from what I’ve seen on the news, and it could get ever uglier.  So sad, the devastation.  Makes the inconvenience of having to change plans (and miss out on those usually beautiful areas) pale in comparison.  Maybe, just maybe, the forecasts will be horribly wrong, and we’ll all make it through alright.  Fingers crossed!

Hotel Neighborhood from Colosseum, Rome

Hotel Neighborhood from Colosseum, Rome

With a car reserved in Nice and my extremely affordable reservations in Positano on the Amalfi Coast (where the forecast is sunny and mild) already cancelled, I really hope I miss the heavy rains.  I originally planned to head south from Rome for a day or two but realized the schedule was just too grueling (not to mention risky)–given everything else on the slate–and reworked it all before I left the States.  Amalfi – another destination for the future!

Oh my, I am really going to miss Rome, but at least I have one more Hotel Romance breakfast to look forward to before I leave 😉  (Note to Self: Be sure to get up on time!)

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