Rome on the Run
Last weekend we took a quick to Rome. Why Rome?....you ask. We were there so that my husband could run the Rome Marathon in preparation for the ultra marathon he will run in South Africa call the Comrades.
My husband planned the trip while I was in Canada so the details got a little mixed up at first. We invited our daughter to join us from the UK as we hadn’t seen her since Christmas. The day before we were to arrive in Rome, I phoned the hotel to advise them that we had our daughter with us and could they put an extra bed in the room. The clerk gave me the impression that he understood me so I was happy and raring to head out.
We arrived late into Rome and finally got to the hotel around 2330, and luckwould have it, the same clerk I had talked to on the phone was at the desk. He recognized our name and proceeded with the registration. He looked at our daughter and said “ she is not a baby”. We went through the conversation I had regarding her staying with us and he had totally gotten it wrong. His solution was to get a “different” room. Okay, I thought, a room with 2 double beds would be great. When he got the the credit card part, he inserted my husbands card and waited, pushed a few buttons and declared to the other 10 people in the line that our card was declined. I could see my husband starting to get agitated so I quickly offered mine which was good. Finishing off he handed me a folder with one key, so I asked him for one more key. His reply was I had 2 keys for the other room already. By this time Mark was furious but we headed off to our rooms.
First of all let me tell you we were staying at the Radisson Blu which is supposed to be a 5 star hotel. In any other city this would barely squeak out a 2 star rating. The rooms we tiny with a majority of it filled by a centre platform that had the bed on the south side, a sink on the east, a shower for a beanpole on the north and a clothes rack on the west. The floors were some sort of padded rubber material. Now came the trick of finding all the switches. In the centre of the platform was a post that had buttons on all sides. After much trial and error we figured out most everything except the bathroom light..... where could that switch be?????
I was exhausted so I just went in the dark and jumped into bed. How the #*%@# do I turn the window lighting off so I can sleep? I found a blackout blind switch but that didn’t work, oh well, I pulled the covers over my head and fell asleep.
Although we had been in Rome a couple of years ago, we had never seen the Sistine Chapel. I had been organized enough to prebook a tour which turned out to be great. Our tour guide Davide was funny and engaging telling sorted stories that made this mini history lesson enjoyable. By the end of the day we were tired and had achy feet so all we wanted was a good meal and bed.
Mark pulled out his iPad and Yelped the local area coming up with a recommendation of Il Tempio di Minerva. It was a short walk from the hotel so off we headed. The restaurant appeared to be family run, small and very busy. We were seated in the centre of the room, just where I like to sit to see the comings and goings as well as what people were ordering. The waiter was very friendly and spoke very good english. He could see we were having difficulty making up our minds so he suggested a few starters and a wine and said we could order later. Well we could have stopped after the antipasto which was bruschetta, prosciutto and melon, a plate of marinated veggies and some fresh baked focaccio. Mark was trying to carbo load so we all chose a pasta as the entree. I had the perfect penne arrabiata that was served with just the right amount of sauce that had the right amount of heat from the chilies. This place is a definite recommendation. They were super busy but they never tried to get us to hurry so they could turn over another cover.
The day of the race we were dressed and packed by 0630. After a quick breakfast, we walked to the start of the race that was on the grounds of the Colosseum. A Fantastic setting and a perfect day for a race. There were approx. 12,500 runners that day so with tourists, family and friends of the runners the place was packed. Tash and I hung out at a cafe near the Colosseum for an hour then wandered the streets finally ending up at the 39km mark. We didn’t have to wait too long before the first of the runners rounded the bend, Lukobe Kanda Luka from Kenya finished first with an outstanding time of 2:08.
We finally caught up with Mark and made a mad dash to the hotel ,showered and caught the train to the airport. It was great traveling to Brussels with Tash then parting ways as she headed to Leeds and we to Moscow. The gruelling part was that we had a delay in our flight and didn’t arrive home till 6am. Mark had just enough time to squeeze in a meeting and head back to the airport, flying off to Montreal. I headed to bed. A trip way too short but oh so much fun.
By the way, Mark finished 1794 over all in 3:32.
Rome on the Run
Wednesday, March 21, 2012