[Day 1: Rome | Day 2: Rome to Sabaudia | Day 3: Sabaudia (thursday) | Day 4: Sabaudia (friday) | Day 5: Sabaudia (Saturday) | Day 6: Sabaudia to Home (Sunday)]
Finish work at 9:30, reluctantly leaving the mystery of lack of RF on u28-crs for later. Home, back, bed just before midnight. "Your alarm is set for three hours from now", gee thanks. Up, 2:50; cycle to Queens', it is a lovely still night. Chris and Keith are already there, Will and Simon L turn up and we all drive off to Stanstead, meeting up with Brian in the car park waiting for the bus to the terminal. Nothing untoward, we have time for some pre-flight food and drink in Starbucks, board and off. I do the puzzles in the Torygraph that Simon got because TG+water bottle was cheaper than just water; its a mad world we live in folks. A glorious view of the Alps as we flew over, snowy rocky peaks sticking out of a sea of cloud, all the inglorious lower ground and works of man covered up.
Land, meet Dan who has just seen the mysterious and enigmatic Rose off. Debate into-Rome options (bus to nearby train station then train in is cheap, but bus won't leave for 30 mins) 7-person taxi in is only E11 each, so go for that. And so to our hotel, with the odd ruin passing by as we get there. The Hotel Nord Nuova would be terribly convenient for the railway, which is why we picked it; still, we needed some way to choose. Outside it is somewhat unprepossessing - the area is unfashionable at best - but inside is fine and my room is good. Instead of going to the cafe round the corner that the hotel recommended - well they would, wouldn't they - we go off into town for lunch, following Dan's lead because he is El Capitano and because he's been here for the weekend. We meet Keith in a nearby park - most of us are at the hotel, Keith is at a nearby Airbnb, which turns out to be a very nice apartment let by an elderly Italienne who speaks no English. And so to the Cavaliero Blanco, or something quite similar meaning White Horse probably, which is perhaps more of a tea room than a restaurant its not quite clear, and anyway it is only quarter to 12. But instead of ordering their nice cakes we order lunch, perhaps if we spoke the lingo we would have more flexibility, as it is we mostly grunt. But, it works.
After lunch, everyone else went off for a tour of the City led by Dan, but I am special so went on a run instead, after perhaps slightly contradictorially spending 3 hours in a doze to make up for the early start. I had no map, so kinda memorised the route from my laptop and took my phone into which I'd impressed the route. Getting down to the Tiber worked OK, though I was uneasily aware that getting back would not be trivial and I'd veered off to the right a bit; running along the Tiber was lovely, it is very quiet and calm because it is cut about 30 feet down; I ran as far as the island, a bit past, then back and then the phone came into its own because the cached map and GPS location was enough to guide me. However, I got too cocky, took a wrong turn, got turned around in my head, and...well, look at the trace for details; it adds up to 14 km of spaghetti.
Back, shower, who is where? The boyz are by the Pantheon and I almost join them but it is late; and Chris who is slightly sick is having a pizza next door so I join him. The quattro formaggio is very good, but I always forget how heavy such a thing is, and so fail to finish it. Later, join the boyz for a quick drink before turning in for the night.
The hats belong to Dan, of course, but also to Simon L, because they have poor taste.