It feels like it’s been a very long day since I left the plane this morning in Rome. Partly it was due to my inability to follow signage (in the case of trying to find my train platform at the airport) and partly to being in the middle of one of the craziest travel events many I’ve talked to have dealt with.
Once again, the volcano in Iceland has made its influence known. I didn’t stop to think of the ripple effect that would occur once flights within Europe were mostly grounded. I quickly realized it when I made my way toward the ticket counter at the Roma Termini train station. The line seemed to go on forever. I made my way to the back of the line and hoped that what I’d heard of the Italian approach to a line wasn’t going to play out in this case. Thankfully it didn’t; everyone proved to be very aware of those trying to skip in front and they weren’t going to stand for it. Can you blame us? When you’ve waited in line for over 4 hours for a ticket that might not exist when you get to the counter you tend to not like the idea of someone bypassing the system.
But it wasn’t so bad. I met some great folks next to me in line from Britain. It was nice to have folks to chat with to pass the time. To be honest, you could gauge how long we’d been in the “queue” by what we found entertaining. 🙂
After about 4 1/2 hours they suggested I try another ticket counter while they held my place. I’m grateful they insisted. I found a set of self-service kiosks with relatively short lines and was able to get a ticket for the 6pm train to Genova.
Considering what they (and many other Europeans) were having to go through – with trains, cars, and busses filling up – I was very fortunate to get out of Rome the same day I arrived.
So here I am, safe and sound in my little hotel room in Genova and anxiously awaiting the arrival of the rest of our group & the rest of this adventure.