Saturday, 2 March 2019

Hilton Garden Inn (Rome, Italy)

Looked outside when I got up and it was sunny. Surprise! The weather forecast keeps changing and was expecting a cloudy morning. I wasn’t worried. I generally do what I’ve planned to do regardless of the weather.

Almost had a disaster this morning at breakfast. Thought someone had taken the last of the scrambled eggs. Thankfully, there was one more helping for me. I miss having hash browns, but one slice of whole wheat bread works as well. (Kind of.)

My back was really sore this morning. Almost difficult to walk and concerned that walking along the Appian Way might not be a good idea. I had faith that my back, once I moved around, would loosen up and all would be good again. My plan was to take a bus to the Appian Way, then will walk along it and return to the hotel somewhat early so I can do laundry.

Nice bus ride out to the Appian Way park. Took a video that I posted on Instagram as I was riding the bus. I think because of the uneven pavement, the buses sound like they’re falling apart. Not a smooth ride, but they seem to get where they’re supposed to go. I’m sure my internal organs will appreciate it when I leave Rome so they can settle back to their original positions.

My back was still aching a little when I got off the bus. I still had a 15 minute walk to the entrance of the park. I guess I should have done more homework the night before. Just before I turned into the park, I came across a huge gate in the city wall (Aurelian Walls) that I was walking along to the park. Very well preserved considering how old it is. I found out later that that gate was built by Emperor Aurelian in the second half of the 3rd century A.D.

It wasn’t well-marked as to where to go if you wanted to walk along the Appian Way. After asking several people I happened upon a bike shop that furnished me with a map and gave me instructions where to find the sections of the ancient road that are still in place. The nearest intact portion of the road was about 2.5 km away, but my back was feeling better and decided to make the walk. (Was tempted to rent one of their bikes.)

Really nice walk, though mostly up a gentle slope, but I managed. After about 30 minutes my back felt good as new. One of the pleasures (thinking positive) of getting old is that you don’t know what causes the aches and pains, but you know if you wait, they usually go away on their own.

Along the way there were a number of ruins, which makes sense since this road was well-traveled in ancient times. A couple of churches and tombs were shown on the map that I received from the bike shop, but I just kept walking.

Eventually I came upon the very ancient part of the road. Almost impossible to walk on, since the road is made from large rocks. I wonder how it was to travel this road in ancient times. Perhaps they put in clay between the rocks to smooth out the surface? I saw a few cars drive one the road and they took it very slow.

Well, mission accomplished! Time to find a bus that will take me back into the city. If I had more time, and another fine day like today, I’d like to return to continue the walk. We’ll see.

There was (thankfully) a bus stop close by and my Google maps said it would lead to a Metro station where I could take the underground to the main station. This turned out to be more of a challenge than I thought. First, finding the correct entrance to the Metro station (depending on which direction you wish to travel) and then when I got to the central station, where to catch the bus back to the hotel. It took longer than I expected but was back at the hotel by 5:30.

I stopped by my usual place to order a couple slices of pizza along the way back to the hotel and had them for my lunch/dinner. I was going to eat at one of the cafe restaurants up on the old road, but I really wasn’t that hungry a couple of hours ago. But I was now. I was going to save a slice for when I woke from my nap, but I ate both. I can go down to the hotel restaurant and order a bowl of soup if I get hungry later.

Guess I wasn’t tired, and tried to nap, but I was wide awake, so no nap this evening. This gave me more time to write my blog update and post pictures to Instagram. I haven’t decided what to do tomorrow in the way of exploring Rome. Depends on the weather I guess. I definitely need to do some wash. Also, will explore lodging options for Barbara and I when we visit Palermo, Sicily later this month.

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