Roma to Parma, with a short stop in "you've been pickpocked-ville" (is that a word?)
Rome Travel Blog› entry 8 of 18 › view all entries
Rome was the city we had the least amount of time for on the trip; that means that although we had only arrived at nearly noon the day before, we only had until 5:00 pm today before we had to be at the station to catch our train up to Parma.
The original plan had been to go see the Vatican; although we'd seen it from the outside the day before, we wanted to go check out the inside. Sadly, after the "Great night of Prosecco, wine, and tequila of 2006" that had been the night before, and going to bed at 4:30 in the morning, we were no longer in any shape to make this dream a reality. Instead, we slept in to about 9:00am, and then while Michelle continued to rest, I walked across the street to our little cafe to get us some much needed bottles of water, along with jars of orange juice and some small pastry.
It was decided that we'd first find the Trevi Fountain on foot, since Michelle especially wanted to take some pictures of it; then we would head over to the Parthenon so I could at long last see the inside of it; that had been my greatest interest in Rome.
We hit the metro, and again I was hit by the crush and the smell. Without question, the hardest challenge of the trip for me was navigating the Rome Metro. We arrived at our stop and began to wander a bit, looking for the fountain. After a nice bit of wandering some back streets, we found it and took our pictures. It would have been great if it was a bit less packed with other tourists, since it made it hard to get a good picture, but I wonder if it is ever free from the crush.
We then started heading towards the Pantheon. When we arrived, I was really excited to go see the inside. It was so impressive, so beautiful... I couldn't believe that I was IN a building that was built between 118 and 125 AD. The thought boggled my mind. I read once that when Michelangelo first saw the Pantheon, he proclaimed it of "angelic and not human design." I had to agree.
Then we made the trip back to the hotel to gather our bags for the trip to Parma. We hadn't eaten yet since the small snack that morning. We stopped at our little cafe on our way out of town, and each got a sandwich.
But things were, in fact, about to change.
First, we had to get back on the metro with our luggage. Suddenly, I didn't feel as well. My throat was scratchy and I felt so hot stuffed into the train. We reached Roma Termini, and managed to find our train. I had read the schedule wrong, and it would not leave until an hour later than I thought; so we had some time to spare. I felt especially bad about this because there was a yoga class that Michelle had wanted to take, and we thought there was not enough time; it turns out there would have been if I'd not made the mistake. I felt really bad about it. I said I would wait with all the bags by the train tracks, so that Michelle could walk around a bit.
I was a little more tense about this, because I had heard that the pick-pockets here were terrible; so I wanted to be really careful with our things. My voice was getting a bit raspy, and I didn't have much energy left.
Finally the train arrived, we found our seats, and settled in for the ride up to Parma; we should be arriving around 11:00 pm. The trip seemed to go smoothly, and I slept for a bit of it.
Upon our arrival in Parma, I told Michelle that I would pay for the taxi to get us to the hotel, as she had paid for a taxi ride we needed in Rome. I reached into my purse to pull out my wallet.
It was gone.
I tried to clear my head from the shock of it, and kept digging thru my bag; but it just wasn't there.
It only took me a minute to process the facts. It was gone. I had no passport or source of funds or ID. It happened because I was careless, and the pickpocket was not. So I now had a choice; let it affect me to the point that I forgot I had just arrived in Parma, Italy for New Years Eve, or accept it and move forward calmly.
Michelle was a godsend. While you never wish for things like this to happen, the next best thing is to be traveling with a friend or travel mate that is the perfect match for you; Michelle is that for me, I think we bring back the best of each other, and in times of stress, this is enhanced, not lessened.
So first things first; I called my mother back in Phoenix from my cell phone, right there and then from the abandoned, frozen train platform. She was upset, understandably, and was pushing for some information that I didn't have yet. I had to say a couple of times "I don't know mom, it JUST happened." She agreed to help me cancel the cards, and that we would touch base again soon.
We caught a taxi (thanks Michelle) to our hotel, where we were greeted warmly. Normally, they would take copies of our passports, and I no longer had one; they assured me it was fine and they would help me the next day make arrangements.
Our room was lovely, and I was exhausted.
I would think about the rest of this tomorrow.