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Thursday 4 March 2004

Rome, little public garden — gravel walks, benches — in front of S. Carlo ai Catinari, 6:35 P.M.; feet ache.

Got to the station this morning with gosh 3 minutes to spare; and almost all my clothes washed yesterday hung to dry in the evening were dry this morning; not my socks — yet my much thicker sweater, go figure.

Got so absorbed in the first part of what turned out to be an 8pp letter to James on the train that I went right thru PSG and wound up at the terminus Perugia S. Anna: just the time to jump to the other train going right back out, and on to Terni. Finished my letter as we got to Terni; nothing to miss there, but only a slight wait for the next leg. I'd bought a slightly more expensive InterCity ticket from Orte to Rome; the 3rd train of the day took me to Orte (a service now sometimes provided by the FCU, this is news since my last stay), to find there that that more expensive IC, well, was running late and in fact I'd get to Rome faster on the regular Ancona-Rome run: no they couldn't refund the 2E70 difference — I bought the regular ticket and now have a spare IC‑type.

On the train to Rome wrote briefer and of course very different letter to Ann McGarrell, about house mostly; got to Rome at 11:36, it was 12C, and I've in fact carried a sweater too much, now in the same plastic bag with my freshly dry pajamas: some things don't fit in that camera bag.

No particular program, although various things in mind. First was to find the Beehive; I'd forgot the street and didn't bring the address, but that was no harm actually since in the course of the 15 minutes before I found them (in the via Marghera, straight shot out the exit at Termini) I got a good feel for the area NW of the station — I remember the owner being a bit upset on SlowTrav about gosh what a bad area, as well she should have been since it's only the v. Giolitti and SE of Termini that's awful — but it has even improved beyond what it was last time I was up there, and the neighborhood is in fact quite nice, clean, pleasant, safe-feeling.

Young man at desk — Mario, looking and speaking Italian, turned out to be the co-owner, Linda's husband.​a I yammered SlowTrav and Thayer website at him, he toured me thru the place: spotless, pleasant, and very nice garden in front. 8‑bunk dormitory​b (to my surprise, unisex — and ever the puritan even disturbed me a bit) spartan but perfectly adequate, of course. Tried to reserve for the night of May 3 but their reservation system Web-based and either the Net or their own server was having problems, niente da fare: I'll stop by again.

Off to my little photo shop at the foot of the Campidoglio, meandering via Quirinal and even overshooting the Piazza Venezia, although I found the Madonna dell' Archetto again — Shop had no lens cap, no battery, no recharger (like an idiot I forgot to bring my second spare battery and #2 is already on low; and a recharger might be useful since I don't have an adapter for my own). Young woman sent me to a TIM store on the v. Vittorio Emanuele just before S. Andrea della Valle, who in turn to De Bernardis, digital camera specialist a bit further on, on the other side of the street; and they in turn were closed. The adjacent pharmacy — an opportunity to buy potassium-magnesium supplements (integratori), 20 doses at 11E45; also to check on quinine, young pharmacist said no, that probably doesn't need a prescrizione: had chloroquinine, but I believe I need methylquinine, and the former not usually prescribed for cramps, whereas he seemed to know (though not quite enough) about quinine for athletes — I'll check with James, and if I develop cramps, will go back to same helpful pharmacist; who also told me his neighbor would open at 3:30.

Having written that, I walked back to my dinner appointment.
The sun had set; this is the Tiber and St. Peter's from the Ponte Sisto:

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Later Notes:

a Mario was a nice guy alright, but he was definitely not husband and co-owner Steve, whom I didn't meet; I have no idea how I could have garbled this so bad!

b The diary entry makes it sound like that's all there is. The Beehive, in fact, is mostly private rooms (I saw one, quite decent, window onto garden) but this trip I was very much on a budget and was mostly concerned with my own accommodations later in the spring. Fortunately for that budget, though, I never had to stay overnight in Rome and therefore never stayed at the Beehive.

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