When travelling you just have to accept that not everything will go right, but you have to also think not everything could go wrong, and if it does you must be the unluckiest person on earth.
When you need to get away to break the chains of the same daily routine, sleeping, eating, cooking cleaning, repeat until you are a zombie, then expect there to be hiccups.
I did not expect the hiccup to come so early, I normally get nervous and weak when I travel especially when you have to rely on public transport in Italy, sat on the train in Nettuno, thinking of all the things you forgot to do and forgot to pack, the loud speak booms there is a technical inconvenience down the line and sorry for the inconvenience.
Let me inform you that this little mishap happens every other day, if it is not one thing it is another, this line is mainly on a single track, I assume the problem on Friday was a broken down train, but the other day it was a level crossing failure and another something else, reading the blog of the “trenitalia” they are saying punctuality and comfort has never been better, I presume the data was from the train services in the north of Italy and not the regional services here in Lazio, and definitely not the service in Calabria.
Well as my stomach starting to churn and burn, my thoughts started to think of how long we could be late before it gets dangerous, we had to catch another train in Rome and we did not want to miss that connection.
Well things did not get too bad I think we left the station twenty minutes late and arrived in Rome just ten minutes late, what might be a thirty minute trip in England takes over an hour in Italy. So feeling a little better and a little less stressed having arrived in the capital we now had to find the other train, the station at this time of the day was jam-packed with a healthy mix of different races of people and different backgrounds, if we had time to observe it would be fun to watch the different scenes played out in different languages, like the father is mad at something and his wife does not help him relax.
The other train just happened to be in the furthest, poorest part of the station so we had to basically walk around the huge complex that is Termini railway station, huffing and puffing like the steam trains that use to be a part of this arena, the train was a museum relic from god knows what era, the type of train which had windows that you can open and by the time the train set off, on time, most of the seats were occupied by tired workers or lost tourists. The train journey went without upset except when a bottle of water fell from the ceiling onto some sleeping journeyman who awoke startled and swearing.
We arrived in Orvieto on time and went straight to the hotel to check in and freshen up, the hotel is basic but that is what we wanted.
The hotel is far from the centre of Orvieto which sits on top of some volcanic rock at about 250 metres above sea level, to reach the summit you take the mountain lift to the top, they run every ten minutes during the day until 20.30. Normally when you arrive at the summit a bus waits for you to take you to the cathedral. We decided to walk through the centre which takes ten to fifteen minutes, by the time we stood under the central tower it was already way past seven in the evening and the shoppers had already vanished. Most shops started closing at seven-thirty and we were basically alone in this ancient city, the window blew cold and the almost full moon was mesmerising, we went to have a quick look at the cathedral under the strong moonlight but we could only resist a few minutes due to the wind and we took cover in a local bar.
We ordered two glasses of wine and the snacks were delightful and free, obviously travelling is thirsty work so I ordered another glass to help me on my way.
With the help of the barman he advised on which restaurants to eat at and so we choose “La Pergola” with its traditional mountain cuisine.
I ordered “fettuccine al sugo d’anatra” (duck sauce) and for her a dense farro soup, I ordered a second course abbacchio a scottadito (lamb) we also shared a desert, all washed down with red wine. After eating all that we could my thoughts were that this was a pleasant restaurant with good food and well-mannered staff and I would recommend this lovely place to everyone.
To return back down to the hotel we had the option of the minibus which leaves the cathedral at 23.00 and 23.40 or a taxi, everyone knows what the taxis are like so we opted for the bus hoping it was on time because the square in front of the cathedral was wickedly cold at that hour. Fortunately the bus arrived on time and we back in the hotel without any bother at all.
Finally after working half a shift, travelling on some of the worst services in Italy and walking around the cold alleys of Orvieto I could finally sleep.