After thoughts

Final photos posted - still readjusting to being home. I am happy that we went ahead with the trip in spite of the known (and always lurking unknown) obstacles that we encountered.  As long as COVID is still a public health concern, travel outside of the US will be more complex and risky. Of course the kind of places that we want to travel to are desperate for the tourists to come back, so we were welcomed everywhere we went. But being on a large, luxurious cruise ship built to host 980 passengers with only 480 on board posed a real challenge for the staff. The captain said that the ratio of crew to passenger was 1:1. Other than constantly cleaning this and that, it seemed that many were really looking for something to do. We received so many ‘good days and thank yous,’ I really wanted to sit them down and hear their stories of life while the cruise ships were idle. During the cruise portion of the trip, I learned a great deal about the tumultuous history of Malta and of the Balkans. A

Late Lunch in Rome

Our Tour Guides Favorite Restaurant  A Parting Shot

Anne's Rome Photos

At the Coliseum  Vatican Museum Out and About

Thursday - Rome to Home

The taxi driver who took me to meet Isaia on Tuesday spoke serviceable english and asked if we were going to need a ride to the airport. He seemed like the kind of guy you could trust, so we agreed that he would meet us at the hotel Thursday morning at 7 AM. We checked out, and he was there! The first leg of our return trip was a stop in Frankfort (flying Lufthansa). We had 1 hour and 10 minutes between flights.  The Frankfort airport is enormous and laid out like a long freight train (most airports seem configured like octopi, with smaller octopi branching off from larger ones), and for reasons that have no doubt to do with traffic and spacing, our plane was parked near the caboose, and we were bussed to the main terminal. The plane was late in arriving. The bus was late in arriving. The bus ride was at least 10 minutes, so our flight was already boarding when we were directed by signs through long areas of duty free shopping to the Z gates (we arrived at an A gate). And of course, as

Wednesday in Rome

After reading more information about what US Customs was going to require for proof of a negative COVID test, I was concerned that the document that we had been given by the pharmacy where we had the rapid test on Tuesday was not sufficient. So we went back and asked for clarification. They said the document we had was sufficient, but they emailed each of us a more official looking version of the test results. We celebrated with a light lunch (pizza) at a nearby restaurant. Anne found a nearby street that was known to have many stores selling good Italian leather goods. She was able to find some excellent gifts for family. I rested and read. Anne enjoyed another bath (great bath tub), and then we set out for drinks at the Up Sunset Bar where we had watched the sun set on Monday night. We arrived to find it closed due to the threat of a thunder storm. Indeed the sky was full of dark clouds and a light rain started falling. So we headed back toward the hotel hoping to find a place with a

Tuesday in Rome

This day did not go so well. It did start out ok - at 9 AM we got our rapid COVID tests required for reentry to the US ($50), and the results were negative. We got  GREEN PASSes! I'll keep it short. Isaia picked Anne up at 11 AM while I hung back in the hotel room. We planned to meet at 1:30 and go to lunch. I took a cab to the designated meeting place and waited... Eventually Isaia arrived and told me that he was having trouble communicating with Anne who was waiting for him outside a museum where he had left her to tour on her own. He asked me to see if I could connect with her. I tried, but the texts and phone calls were not going through. We waited. Eventually, after 45 minutes, I got a message from Anne - she had walked back to the hotel. So Isaia drove to the hotel and picked Anne up - she had waited outside the museum for him for an hour and was understandably annoyed. He had run into traffic problems. At our request he drove us to a restaurant that he recommended so we coul

Monday’s Photos - Vatican Museum and Rooftop Sunset Bar

Model of Vatican City Vatican Museum  Sunset Bar