Walking to the train station, standing in line, buying the tickets and walking home took me 4 hours. I also found out how much a taxi from the Pantheon to the station should cost and got cash from an atm for the boat trip and first days in Spain- that plus laundry, cooking and cleaning the kitchen completed the day. Ltmgamer, det55 and I ate at the restaurant across the lane from our apartment door for lunch. The same restaurant we awkwardly stood by when we were waiting for the key. Ltmgamer decided he wanted to eat there before we left. Lunch was followed by gelato at our favorite spot below our apartment. For dinner we moved our little table in front of the window so we could eat with a view of the Pantheon like the expensive restaurants downstairs.
Det55 and I decided we’d try again to be first in the Pantheon. Not only were we the first ones in but I helped open the doors! Our last visit to the Pantheon was followed by cooking breakfast, laundry, packing and cleaning up the apartment. The airbnb host didn’t get the message I sent via Paul re the key so her friend showed up about 10a to get it. That threw me off a bit since I had decided we’d leave around 1:30p. Without a key it meant someone had to wait down at the outer door and someone else needed to be in the apartment otherwise we’d be locked out. Luckily there are 4 of us so it wasn’t too much of a problem. We finished off our last few hours with some authentic Italian cappuccino from a little shop around the corner and one last double scoop of gelato.
The kids are really good at packing. They were packed and in the hallway with all their luggage, waiting for me when it was time to go. We bid "arrivederci" to our gelato seller and the Pantheon and set off for the train station in a taxi.
When I bought the train tickets Monday the ticket agent told me there are trains to the port town leaving every 30 min, they leave from platform 29 and the trip takes an hour. At the station we found there was a train leaving in a few min from track 25. I asked someone to verify and they told me track 26. There appears to be only 1 train an hour not 2. We didn’t make the first train but made the one an hour later. It arrived earlier than we expected and the trip was well over an hour. There also were not any announcements or anyway to know what stop was coming up next.
The train was very crowded with people in the aisles and sitting on the steps of the double decker train. I wasn’t sure how we would get our luggage and all of us through the crowd, down the steps and off the train in time. I asked a woman sitting near me about the upcoming stop and she told me the one I wanted was the very last one. That was helpful as I could relax knowing many people would likely get off there as well and we probably would have time to get off along with our luggage.
In the train station I got vague, incomplete info about where to go next. There wasn’t any sort of shuttle to the dock for our boat line. We caught a bus that took us part of the way but then had to keep asking people where to go. We ended up walking with our luggage in a place that didn’t really look like people were supposed to be walking there dragging suitcases. We eventually found the right building and checked in for our night ferry to Barcelona. Italy definitely isn’t Switzerland when it comes to travel efficiency!
Our boat is rather large. Two of the 3 kids were nervous about spending the night and the next day on the boat. The rough seas overnight didn’t help although our cabin is cozy. I read them stories before bed. At one point I looked out the window in the night and kind of wished I hadn't. I could see white caps and water splashing water spraying the window. It was weird to be laying in the dark and feel the big boat pitch and roll. It would hover for a second and then hit hard sometimes. I was kind of regretting getting a cabin with a window as the window was creaking through the night. I kept wondering how it was doing that because it was bolted all around the window. Doesn't seem like it should be able to creak like that. The kids amazingly seemed to sleep through most of it. At least when I would peer over the bunk after a particularly rocky stretch they seemed to be asleep. Of course they said later when they would look up at me I appeared to be asleep!
We woke up and read some more and talked and looked out the window a bit. Eventually we got up and dressed and went to breakfast. The kids played in the playroom for a long time and I worked on blog posts. We had lunch and later an early dinner then got our bags ready.
We have about 5 more hours before we reach the port. The rolling boat has made 3 of the 4 of us feel a little quesy/ headachey but otherwise we are doing okay. I bought a little internet time and was able to instant message Paul to let him know we are on the boat and to please let the Barcellona airbnb host know we will be at least 2 hours late to port.
We’ve been on the road for 2 months now. We’ll be in Barcelona for 4 weeks. Paul and his mom arrive in 3 weeks! Hard to believe we are in the last 2 stages of the trip. After Barcelona there’s only 2 weeks remaining.
I had planned to take a taxi to the apartment after landing in Barcelona but there were no taxis to be found outside the landing dock. I went in and asked the person at a counter that I think was there for the boat staff if they could call a taxi. I should say that I don't know any Spanish- zip, zero, nada. Luckily the person behind the glass window understood english a little. After a quick taxi ride we were at our apartment. Yippee! The apartment owner didn't get Paul's message until we were overdue a couple hours. She couldn't stay and wait longer but her friend let us in to the apartment and gave us the key. Luckily I got Paul's message about contacting her friend right before I ran out of internet time on the boat. Once again, all is well that ends well.
Next - Barcelona!