Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Leaving Italy

Monday morning dawned clear and cool, a good day for traveling. We had our usual breakfast at the corner cafe (cornetto and tea/coffee). The cafe is run by east Asians (I’m not sure which country) and they are very friendly. They also have good gelato. We turned in our room key and headed for the train station, about a 10-minute walk. Dan had scouted it out and found a side entrance with a ramp so he didn’t have to carry our large bag up the steps. Of course we were a bit early, as usual, but soon our platform was listed on the display and we were able to get on the train. It was a longer journey than before — Venice is north of Florence, which is north of Rome. We pulled into Rome about 1:30. Dan left me with the luggage and headed over to the luggage storage place where we had left our second large bag. We were happy that we weren’t hauling it around everywhere. We got tickets for the Leonardo Express train to the airport, and it was ready to board in just a few minutes (it runs about every half hour). There is a lot of room for luggage storage on the train, which makes sense. It is only about a half hour to the airport terminal. We got a quick sandwich and drink for lunch and called our B&B. After some discussion, we figured out where to meet the driver they were sending for us and we eventually met up and had a ride to the B&B. It is called Agrisesto and is in the countryside just 15 minutes from the airport (in fact, we can see the planes landing and taking off from our window). They have a popular restaurant that has very good food. It is nice to be in the quiet country and away from the big cities with masses of tourists. I’m glad we had decided to stay here two nights before our flight, giving us a day to just relax and repack. (A nice thing about retirement — time is not a problem.)

Our room is in the attic and is very spacious. We even have a couch to sit on, a step up from reading on the bed. The ceilings are slanted, though, so we must be careful not to walk into them. The people are lovely and friendly. The receptionist when we arrived was extremely helpful and pleasant. The one today doesn’t know as much English. The breakfast was nice. After seeing so many fruit tarts set out for breakfast in our different hotels, I finally had some. Corn flakes, yogurt, and fresh fruit were also available. Later in the morning we walked down the road to a neighborhood bar. We saw that they sell sandwiches and various drinks, so we decided to return there for a small lunch, which we did. Dinner last night in the Agrisesto restaurant was fine — we shared a pasta and a mixed grill (chicken, sausage, beef, and “sheep on a skewer”). We ordered a side of potatoes with cheese and pepper, expecting roasted potatoes. Instead, they were fried thin chips (or crisps), sprinkled with the cheese and pepper. Very tasty! 

We have really enjoyed our two weeks in Italy since our kids left (although it would have been fantastic if they could have stayed on with us…). Our hotels all worked out well and had comfortable beds. We saw lots of fantastic Renaissance art and old buildings. We got to know Venice a bit by walking around, not always in the touristy areas. We’ve had lots of delicious food everywhere. Dan has had local wines and I drank a lot of acqua frizzante (sparkling water). We didn’t buy souvenirs; we have more than enough stuff. Train travel was very easy and [mostly] enjoyable. We took two tours out of the cities we stayed in and enjoyed them both, one by bus and one by boat. 

Wednesday morning we will leave early for the airport and our flight to New Delhi. We’ll be there one day and then take the early train to Dehra Dun on Friday and go on to Mussoorie by taxi.

Thank you for following along with our travel adventures. Next up: life back in Mussoorie.

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