Last Day of the Tour and First Day Back in England
15.10.2012 23 °C
I'm writing this in Kate's living room as we did not have WiFi in the hotel that we stayed in last night. On Sunday, we had to have our suitcases outside our doors at 7:30AM. I set the alarm for 6:00AM but turned off the computer after I had read my story before bed. As a result we had to scramble to get packed when we woke up at 7:00AM. Well, we got it done but in the rush, I misplaced my reading glasses and they were nowhere to be found when we got to our room in the hotel in Rome. I have fired off an email to the hotel hoping that the chamber maid was able to find them. Our day went well. We left at 8:30AM and went to Assisi, the birthplace of St. Francis. They have some beautiful churches there and an ancient village built on the hillside. One of the churches is build on top of the burial place of St.Francis. During the earthquake that they had there a few years ago, 4 people died as pieces of the church ceiling fell on them. That has all been repaired now. I was able to find more figurines for the Play Room. Those touristy shops are the best for figurines! I must confess that I have had my fill of churches for the moment. Our tour director, Heidi, did warn us at the beginning of the tour, that there were going to "be a lot of bloody churches" on the agenda. Most of the beautiful medieval art is in the churches and the architecture is amazing. After Assisi, we were on our way to Rome. We had a Farewell Dinner at one of the famous hotel restaurants on the Via Veneto and were treated to the typical, for the tour, 5 course meal. We were then driven to our hotel near the airport. It was a real shock to be back in modern architecture! The hotel was one of the Sheraton group and had a very sleek, bare bones look and feel to it; none of the warmth and old world charm of our hotel in Montecatini.
This morning we were up at 5:00AM to catch the shuttle to the airport. Then we had a 4 hour wait for our flight. It didn't seem tedious because we had to wait so long in line-ups to get our baggage inspected and go through passport inspection. We did take some time out to sit quietly and read from 7:00 to 8:00 AM because we were too early for check-in at the airline. Instead of trying to convert our Euros to Pounds we used the last bit of money to buy some Italian wine at the Duty Free. We aren't wine experts and hope that they will taste OK when we have them with dinner tonight. The flight was uneventful and Kate met us at Gatwyk and drove us to Beckenham. We had a wonderful time in Italy. I would highly recommend the tour company, Trafalgar, as they took such good care of us. Very organized, punctual, and caring. Our tour director, Heidi, was like a mother hen with her chicks. We have a list of all the email addresses of the people on the tour. I hope some of them will come and visit us on Gabriola in the coming years.