Have I ever mentioned that on our last trip to Ethiopia we spent a whirlwind 40 hours in Rome? When flying Ethiopian Air, there is a refueling stop in Rome early in the morning. On our first trip to Ethiopia, we were sleeping when all at once we descended into Rome. Russ woke me just in time to see the rural landscape before we landed. The plane didn’t pull up to terminal, rather the airline refueled and replenished the food out on the tarmac. There was even a brief frenzy of cleaning. We were supposed to sit quietly in our seats, but Russ and I couldn’t stand it so we snuck to the back where fresh air was pouring through the open doors.
Russ traveled to Ethiopia two months later to get Dimples and once again, he landed in Rome, but was stuck on the plane.
When we began planning our trip to get Honeybee, Russ said, “I’ve been to Rome four times and never gotten off the plane. This time we need to do it.”
We thought it might be expensive, but our travel agent with Susan Parr Travel checked all of our options and found that it was only $50 more per ticket. We decided to go for it. Russ booked our hotel online and we got tickets to the Borghese Museum, but we were so swamped with preparing to leave for Ethiopia, that we had no time to think about Rome. We intended to buy a guidebook, but never got around to it. I did make a phone call to a young woman from my church who had lived in Italy and she recommended a few “must see” places as well as the best gelato shop in Rome. In the end we decided that we would take in all we could in our short visit…and figure out what we had seen later.
On a Saturday morning at 8:00 AM, we landed in Rome and took the train into the city. We walked to our hotel and then spent the day sightseeing. We slept one night, saw more sites on Sunday, and then were back at the airport again. It was crazy, and fun, and we are so glad we did it. I’ll admit that I felt a little guilty not getting to Honeybee as quickly as possible, but once I realized that if we had flown Ethiopian Air the entire way (as we had in the past) we would have arrived at the same time, my guilt was assuaged.
One of my favorite moments was photographing this couple as they were being photographed for their wedding. If you look to the right of the photo, you will see their photographer and assistant. They were actually up on a high balcony and quite a distance away, but I had a nice, long lens on my camera.
And yes, the Trevi Fountain is just as beautiful as it appears in the movies.
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