March 13, 2008

Off to Siena

This morning we made our way through the city again, saw a few more old buildings, a hundred or so mopeds and had some eats at a few new spots before we picked up our rental car. The day was warmer than normal and just beautiful.

Now, we were warned about the driving in Europe and even more about the directions.... I got that nice new GPS but never even thought about using it. You see the car was just part of the experience and we wanted to "feel" the life of the Euros by driving along with them. An experience it was...

Getting out of Rome was not a stretch. We already had a feel for it and we were well into rolling green hills all around us in just a short time. Once out of the city, however, things got pretty slim. English? Como say what?? Dude, these people dont speak Engrish around here!!

I know I have been thinking about adventure racing with all this getting lost but we were about to encounter that rare place of desperation that you only get when your resources are tapped. Siena was only about a two or three hour drive but we soon were driving in the dark, looking through our three new maps we purchased on the way, trying to make sign language or something with the locals and praying for a sign... We were running on a few all out days of travel, walking in sleep deprived states and loaded up with Cheese. We were falling deeper and deeper in love ;-)

To make a loooonnnngggg story short. We stopped at our last closed gas station (yes, they close after dark and we were on empty) only to consider sleeping in the car. . . We had reached our end and did not know where else to look, where the Siena city center was (our bread and breakfast was just outside of town) and even where we were on ANY of our maps. _ l o s t _ We had already tried to enlist the help of three people only to have them point out totally different places on the maps so when I guy pulled up I didn’t even want to ask but muttered out “you know where via scrappenalla is?” He said, Oh Via Scacciapensieri… Its right behind you! Take this right turn out of the gas station and follow the road up. WHAT!!! This guy speaks English and the place is right behind us? W H A T ? ?

I remember telling Monique. “Don’t get excited, the last three guys had us off the map” No way…was all I was thinking but if it was that close we had the gas make it so what the heck. We drove up the street and in less than 2min we were at Via Scacciapensieri. IN SHOCK. Thank you LORD!! I honestly had NO idea where we were and am still drop jaw dumbfounded that it was right behind us…. We were only trying to get some gas at that point.

Stoked more than I can express to be at our place and the icing on the cake to find that it was killer and overlooking the city in the distance we were pumped up. I jumped behind the bar to mix up some espresso and Monique got the music started. We survived and had arrived! Time to party!!

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