Today was one of those days that ended up amazingly but started off pretty monumentally badly. Given that Robbie was leaving tomorrow and Sparkles and I were leaving the day after we figured that we should figure out how weâ€™re packing our bikes for travel. Before we left my lady was kind enough to do a bunch of â€˜cycling in Romeâ€™ research for me which included the printing of about 100 Roman bike shops so I figured weâ€™d be golden! What I didnâ€™t count on is that out of all of those shops, maybe 4 of them were anywhere near downtown Rome and only 2 of them were anywhere near us. So, we mapped out the 2 closest ones and headed out in search of them only to discover that bike shops, like most other shops in Rome, tend to open and close whenever they want. 2 hours of walking around Rome in search of boxes and no dice.
So, we headed back to the hostel and I spent about an hour on the nerd trying to figure something out before we decided just to try calling the airline to see if they had any bike boxes available. They told us that they actually donâ€™t allow bike boxes, which is funny because we definitely boxed them to bring them with us, but weâ€™d have to use that saran wrap type stuff at the airport but not to worry because they are very careful with bicycles. We didnâ€™t really buy that but figured weâ€™d just have to take the chance so we picked up some bubble wrap just to be a little safer and called that case closed.
Realizing that we should have ridden around to the shops, we hopped on our bikes and headed down to the Colosseum. We missed the tour we wanted to take by a couple of minutes but figured itâ€™d be worth taking a poke around regardless.
Much to my surprise and delight both THE SUNDOG & Sitty Robbie made appearances.
Our admission to the Colosseum also gave us access to the Palatine Hill which is one of the most ancient parts of Rome. It was truly beautiful and I really wish that we could have spent more time there but weâ€™d already planned to head back to Africa to meet up with our friend Courtney for dinner.
Now, Sparkâ€™s sister is staying in Rome with her friend Lorenzo and we were lucky enough to be in town on the night when Lorenzo was throwing this big party in this old farm house (technically a castle) on the outskirts of the city. We didnâ€™t know much about it other than there was music, art and lots of booze. We had to take a couple of trains, a cab and walk just to get there but it was a lot of fun and well worth the trip.
Robbie: “Beth, did you come straight from Aerobics Class?”
Robbie’s new Facebook profile pic, I guarantee.
The real party started when it came time to leave and we realized that we had no idea how we were getting home. It was around 4am and we were in bit of an industrial district (think Royal Windsor Drive in relation to Toronto, both in terms of feeling and geography) and there were no phones to be found to call a cab, very few cars driving by and most of them were probably piloted by drunk party goers. Apparently this is the norm in the region so I would have been hesitant to hitch anyway; at this point, with Spark half sleeping on a milk crate beside a news stand, I decide that we are walking towards Rome and hopefully something amazing will happen along the way. About a kilometer or so down the road something did! A city bus drives by and we decided that no matter where it went, we were getting on it! We flagged down the driver and hopped on â€“ the driver didnâ€™t speak English but we spoke just enough Italian to find out that it finishes itâ€™s route approximately 2 minutes from our hostel. Sparkles woke up about 45m-1h later at Termini and his eyes lit up like a kid on xmas morning.
Our view of Spark:
Spark’s view of us: