March 12, 2008

Vacation or Adventure Race?

The plan for the day was to hop on a train and head south to visit Naples and then jump over to the island of Capri... That was the plan but things turned into another adventure race of exploration...

Last night we met Dan and Dan from Colorado and talked about all sorts of stuff. One Dan works as a National Park Ranger and has been doing some nice runs through the country. He has done some Ironmans too and was a wealth of information for us. We started talking about the bus to the city and he was telling us about how the train station was two miles down the road (we have been paying for the hotel shuttle every day) and the train was only a couple of buckaroo's. . . SO, with our new found friends advice we decided to get on the train early the next day and head out.

After a quick BFast and loading up our packs with extra clothes, wetsuits, all kinds of crap that we didnt need to carry we were off to the train station. "Now was that a left then a right?" Well, we made it down to the train tracks and took a wrong right leading us.... Our adventure race was on! We could see the train riding by but no station to be found. We walked with all of our crap, over and under bushes, keeping the wild dogs in sight, looking at the map and pushing each other just a little more to see what was beyond the corner.

The hardest decision to make in an adventure race is realizing that you may need to turn around after all that effort in the wrong direction. Finally, we decided to turn around and head back in the other direction. Wouldnt you know that we soon found the train station which was where we should have gone left instead of our wrong right! HA Figures, we like to do it the hard way, because once we went the other direction the train station was only about half a mile up from our original turn. . . AND the direction we were heading had the next station at the airport a mere ~25Kilometers away.

(Don't worry Mom & Dad we were so safe the entire time)

This was our first experience on the Euro trains and it was a good one. We arrived into the heart of Roma but decided that at this time (and the time we lost) that we would just hang out another day in Rome without making the long trip down south. We walked and walked and walked. I think my pack was 50+ pounds and I was really feeling it. The pizza and espresso at every other corner was a big help to get through it ; - O

We ended up finding a killer Euro sports club that had all kinds of stuff including a really nice indoor pool so we signed up for a day to swim. Even with all of the crap we packed Monique left here swim suit in London so after a new suit, one day membership and a few hundred dollars later we were swimming with the Italians... This a perfect introduction to the Italian culture up close. Too much detail on this one to go into now but such a good experience of "another world". I will leave it at that ;-)

After a nice Italian meatball soup splash we were off to see more of the city and we got in a lot of unique places. I am still amazed at the scale of the "art" here... Here is a picture of an old church from outside.

It did not look that big but once inside it opened up to a HUGE warehouse sized areas filled with separate rooms, vaulted ceilings and statues all around. Check out Monique next to the organ!

We were navigating and working as such a team and even had our own language starting for directions... "left at foo-man-choo and turn down Via Galopagos to the castle of pappa pizza". I bet we through off some other tourists. We finished our day walking through the park and city stopping to enjoy some gelato and espresso along the way as we shopped. Another beautiful day of discovery within the city walls. Tomorrow we are off to Tuscany for our stay in Siena!

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