July 12, 2013 – Interlaken to Roma
Yesterday we left Interlaken early because we knew we had a 10-hour drive to Rome ahead of us. However, before we could leave Switzerland, we had to drive 35 miles through one of Switzerland’s highest passes, the Susten Pass. The 35 miles took us 90 minutes and also took us above the tree line to 7000 feet!!! The drive took us through waterfalls too numerous to count, snow capped mountains, luscious green mountain pastures and s-curves and hairpin curves that would have challenged the most experienced mountain drivers. Rita did a great job on roads without guardrails with sheer drop-offs thousands of feet to the valley floor below just a few feet from the edge of the road. Did I mention the road was a two-lane road??? Every turn in the road was a “WOW! Look at that. Did you see that? Unbelievable!!! Stop the car, I have to take a picture of that”!!!!! Please see our photos of our drive. Of course, Rita did not look at a lot of these or she would have driven off the edge.
We arrived in Rome in the early evening. Finding the hotel was a challenge for “Betsy” our GPS gal so I had to guide us in by map, intuition, luck, and of course Rita’s driving skills again. She had to drive down one-lane alleys all to find out that we were on the wrong “lane” and then had to back up the equivalent of three city blocks to get out. All while dodging cyclists, pedestrians and Vespa’s galore! Rita learned a lot about Rome drivers in the first 45 minutes here. They disregard lanes, use their horns a lot, yell at you and shake their heads. We are so glad we have a French plate on our car so know one knows we are from the USA.
Rome hotels are expensive even by European standards and Rome hotels are notoriously small. It took me 5 hours on my iPad to find us a room. It is 12 by 12 and barely enough room for us to walk around the bed. The bath, well, it is probably 4 by 5 at the most. I am not complaining, because the air-conditioning works great, although it does not go below 19, it has hot water, lots of water pressure and a great location for walking the city.
Last night we had some good pasta and organic baby chicken that was fabulous at a restaurant near our hotel. Then we walked to see the Spanish Steps, the Pantheon, Piazza Navona and the Trevi Fountain. See our photos. Of course, we had to sample the gelato at each tourist sight and it did not disappoint our taste buds. Not sure we will be able to eat ice cream again after sampling Rome’s gelato!!!!
Today should be personal maintenance day, laundry, cut our nails, get haircuts; we are a bit shaggy after 6 weeks of traveling. But, with so many things to see in Rome, we may have to put off personal maintenance awhile longer!!! What do they say??? Mañana!
We love you and miss you. Thanks for your emails and following us. Norm & Rita
The Colisseum looks quite impressive. Pictures are really awesome. Love the one of Norm and the snow caps behind him. Sorry you aren’t having any fun or seeing anything worthwhile!
When in Rome………..
YES!!! Put off the maintenance! I am so jelly of you today!!! As I sit here in my office, I can’t help but remember the awe of the Pantheon! And, oh yes – ROMAN GELATO!! I had a terrificly refreshing lime one that I still think about to this day – it was white with a lime green jelly concoction on top. I’d love to know where you are staying. We stayed at the Grand Hotel Palatino about 3 blocks from the Colosseum. It was small and the rooms were only somewhat updated…but the air conditioning worked, there was a bar downstairs, and, really, we were ony there to sleep anyway. The windows opened up onto Via Cavour in the evenings – which was GREAT! We even stumbled upon the Gay Pride parade right down Via Cavour on one of the days we were there – what fun the gay Romans are! We were there June 23 – 26, so you might have just missed it! But don’t miss the view from the top of St. Peters (Rita, there is an elevator!)…it is spectacular when the church bells start ringing all around the city! Don’t hesitate to buy the $5 parasols being sold by the street vendors…they cool down the temp about 10-15 degrees and we used them throughout Italy…loved having them in swampy Venice! Have fun! I miss you guys!