The amazing race

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[Still in the Sara Hotel coffee shop.]

Laura and I slept in Thursday and set off for the airport without benefit of breakfast. We were second in line at the Alitalia counter when it opened, and we got booked in prime seats all the way through to Cairo. For both flights, we were in the first row of the economy cabin, left of the aisle. Instead of three across, that row on that side had two seats with a baby-sized seat in between. We had plenty of elbow room between us.

Colosseum, Rome This, for Laura, was the real beginning of the vacation. We landed in Rome at about 3:45 in the afternoon. Our flight for Cairo would leave at 10:15 pm. That gave us six and a half hours to play with. At Laura's suggestion, we spent it on a Roman excursion. It was probably ill-advised, but we managed to pull it off.

Once we found the airport train station, we learned that the Leonardo Express would take us from Fiumicino Airport to Termini Station in Rome in thirty minutes. We bought tickets for both directions. We made it into Rome at about 5:10 pm. We explained to a young man at a tourist information kiosk that we wanted to know what we could see nearby at still be back to catch the 6:52 train to the airport. He pulled out a map and quickly sketched out a route for us.

Inside the dome of the Pantheon So, with only a little initial fumbling inside the station, we took the Metro's Linea B from Termini to Colossi Station, where we got out and gaped at the Colosseum. (This is what Laura, who has been to Rome before, most wanted me to see.) With stinging eyes, we continued past the Roman Forum to the Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II. From there were zigzagged along back alleys to the Pantheon, to Trevi Fountain, and to the Spanish Steps. After climbing the steps, we descended into Spagna Station and took the Metro's Linea A back to Termini Station. We made our train back to the airport with ten minutes to spare. It was our Amazing Race, and we won.

I wanted to thank the man from the kiosk, but we didn't see him again.

After making it through passport control, we had a dinner of wine, meat, cheese, and salad at a lovely little wine shop in the terminal, then boarded our flight for Cairo. We landed there at almost 3:00 am local time, completely bushed.

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This page contains a single entry by William Shunn published on May 26, 2008 5:26 PM.

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