Thursday, June 09, 2011

Rome to Barcelona - Rome

 Years ago, the travel writer, Paul Theroux, wrote a book called, 'the pillars of Hercules' where he documented his trips to all the countries that dot the Mediterranean sea starting in Gibraltar thought it was a wonderful idea and read the book many times. While I haven't done this same trip, I did travel from Rome to Barcelona by train a few years ago, visiting some of the more picturesque places that dot the Mediterranean sea. We started in Rome. There are so many incredible places in Rome that selecting pictures to showcase Rome is not easy. All of us have different memories of this wonderful city that I am sure if each of us were to select our favorites, we would come up with so many algorithms. Who can forget this wonderful staircase at the Vatican museum. This picture might appear in many travelers' portfolio.

 I would include the Porchetta lady and eating al fresco a porchetta sandwich in Campo di fiore. All the Japanese tourists were taking pictures of her, us included. We bought a few slices, then asked her for some panne, she pointed to the bakery across from the square, 'qua', she said. I bought 2 fresh rolls, they have just come out of the forno. How great was that? The world is this gigantic amusement park.
Of course, Central Termini, in Rome, the main train station. We've been in so many train stations, we love train stations. It was during this trip that we were accosted by Gypsies. Our train was late, so we spent quite some time on the platform waiting. That's when we caught the eye of this group of Gypsy women, four of them, one had a child. Finally when our train came, we boarded and they followed and closed in on us in our compartment. There was an exchange of words, I was taken aback and almost lost my guard because they spoke English and I don't remember Gypsies speaking English. They said that was their compartment not knowing that I'm a seasoned traveler and I made sure it was the compartment we booked. I asked to see their tickets, they, of course, had none. I didn't back down and they left. As they turned to leave, I realised these were Gypsies, so I said aloud, 'gipsies! The last woman turned around and said to me, 'we are not Gypsies.' But clearly they were Gypsies and we took care of them.
I work hard for what I have and I'm not going to fall over and be taken advantage of, whether in this country or anywhere in the world. I'm not going to go down without a fight. Even as I travel and am carefree, I am very cautious at the same time.

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