We are in Rome! After 15 months of obsession over every minute detail we are here! The good news so far is we’re here, all our clothes and other worldly goods made it without taking a detour, and the apartment we rented is great! The bad news is between the two of us we got about 2.5 hours of sleep on the way over, and since my sleep wasn’t long enough to register on the clock Jim gets credit for all 2.5 hours and I earned a big fat zero!😝 Sadly, it was expected, and honestly wouldn’t have been any different in business or first class…I just don’t sleep on planes.
We were pretty happy with Lufthansa Premium Economy. Our seats were roomy and comfortable, the food was decent – not 1972 TWA good, but perfectly edible, and the service was friendly and attentive. We would choose it again, especially since we bought our tickets early and they were only marginally more expensive than United Economy Plus for a much better experience.
We thought changing planes in Frankfurt was an interesting experience. The A380 requires a special gate, because the two decks board by their own jetway. The A380 gates are always at the end of a terminal. That means our flight came in to Germany and then we had to walk to Austria to catch our flight to Rome.😮 Our trek across the continent involved a fairly quick immigration line and an “interesting” trip through security. Even though we seemingly never left the secure area of the airport, everyone coming off an intercontinental flight onto a “local” flight has to clear security. The experience reminded me very much of going through immigration in Russia…they are in charge, they are not your friend, and if they take a dislike to you you will probably miss your flight. Fortunately we did not run afoul of the lovely lady who was manning our line, but she was greatly offended by the guy in front of us who we let go ahead because his flight was boarding. Apparently that irked her, because he got patted down, wanded, probed, and the agents completely unpacked his carry-ons! I stood quietly by and practiced saying “yes ma’am” because at that point in the journey the thought of getting groped didn’t excite me!
Our flight from Frankfurt to Rome was interesting in that I was expecting German efficiency in the boarding process, but instead the process was, “Economy, you can line up and board.” We were looking forward to catching a quick nap, but our seats were moved to an exit row with fixed armrests, and it’s hard to fall asleep when your seat only fits part of your body! Still, we were on time, the weather is beautiful, and most importantly our suitcases made it!
After we checked into our apartment we found the local grocery store for a few essentials (coffee!☕️) and walked over to Piazza Navona to meet our tour.
We usually try to do something to keep us going on our first night in Europe. We took a Walks of Italy Welcome to Rome tour, which covered some of the main tourist sights in a short two hour walking tour. Our guide was great, but everything was very crowded with locals since Tuesday is a holiday and many people are taking a four day weekend. I really started dragging at the Pantheon, but fortunately that ancient architectural miracle was followed by the ancient tradition of eating gelato, and the sugar rush revived me temporarily.
We were both asleep by about 9:00 Rome time, or 2 in the afternoon at home. That means that I started writing this at 3 a.m. Tuesday, but when I have jet lag I’ll take sleep when I can get it! On tap for today is the Vatican, the Colosseum, and dinner with new friends…I can’t wait!