When in Rome...
Trip Start Mar 04, 2008
36Trip End Oct 06, 2008
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We made it, at last. 'Twas a long haul from Vancouver, filled with exitement, sadness, and frustration, but here we are and all is well. We almost commenced the land journey from Frankfurt (not by choice) due to a strike at the airport causing cancellations, lineups and delays.
Italian customs is more of a social club for men than any kind of security clearance. Arriving passengers have the option of choosing the 'passage verde' (green lane) or the 'passage rosso' (red lane). The green lane is essentially an obstacle free path to the outside - just a automatic sliding door separates you from freedom. The red lane is a gauntlet of x-ray machines, turnstiles and militia with semi-automatic weapons. Needless to say, everybody chooses the green lane. EVERYBODY. This is just fine with the customs boys, as it frees them up to sip espresso and chat about the ups and downs of the Italian economy since amalgamating with the EU. Makes me wish I had smuggled an even greater supply of beef jerky in with my bike box.
Ultimately the bikes arrived safe and sound, and we set up our beds on the upper floor of the airport. A far cry from the cute seaside bungalow with in-room doccia caldo, but it was a bed nonetheless. Sated by complimentary wine and pasta we soon fell asleep.
A couple of hours later we arrived at camp and booked our bungalow. It was everything we had hoped for, plus about 8 feral cats. We are staying for 2 nights to give us a chance to see Rome by bike. Unfortunately, the rain has yet to let up. We are damp and cold (outside the bungalow), but happy and excited to be here.
Our ride into Rome today was nothing short of exhilarating. Roman drivers have a sixth sense when it comes to traffic. They are actually quite courteous to cyclists. Not that they slow down, in fact they speed up to get by you, but they give you an exceptionally wide berth as they have no qualms with entering the oncoming traffic lane. When there was a shoulder, we shared it with scooters and motorcyclists avoiding the current traffic jam. When traffic gets thick, lane markings become more of a suggestion than a rule. This type of activity would spell certain death for a cyclist in BC, but we both felt safe here. Everybody is paying attention (you have to to survive) and everyone is a competent driver. The experience can be summed up as a symphony of chaos - efficient, even beautiful, but absolute pandemonium.
A questa ora, e tutto. Arreviderci. A piu tardi.
Ainaz + Robin
Where I stayed
Campeggio di Castelfusano