I hadn’t seen her for a whole month. The longest since the day we met. Oh yeah…I missed her, I admit it. Her thought was often on my mind. Over our last drink before her departure I was worried about her. She was full of anxiety and anticipation for the great adventure she was about to experience. A new country to discover, new people to acquaint herself with, more miles on her meter.. I kept asking her about trains, and timetables, and back up plans in a case of emergency… typical me... but she was already in “Elina’s zone”, optimistic, stress free, with her angels on her side.
Soon after her arrival in France, I followed her trail on the Internet. Her posts were short but full of sounds, French cuisine, wine, laughter and a new day every day. She couldn’t always “touch base”, but when she did, she sounded so happy and full of energy. One day camping on the Alps the next dancing on a square in Lyon. She could speak French and she was over the moon about that. I learnt the term “couch surfing”, heard a dozen new names coming out of her mouth and felt sure that she was having her time of her life, even when she was exhausted during grape picking.
We were welcomed by heavy rain and the smell of autumn, but nothing could stop us. The need to make each minute count and hunger led us to Campo dei Fiori where we tasted for the first time a real carbonara!! Then piazza Farnese, a stroll along the Tiber river, and the sight of the illuminated Saint Peter while devouring an Italian gelato, was all we needed to sleep tight and wait for the next morning to come...
When you return from a trip, you tend to forget all the things you've done while being there. You forget the names of the streets, the churches, the museums, the exhibits.. Not in Rome. In Rome each step is a destination and each destination is a piece of history and art. There is no possible way to see everything unless you walk, and in the 4 days we spent there, walking was all we did. From the medieval streets of Trastevere to the most famous piazza in Italy, piazza Navona, and from the Gianicolo hills to the Spanish steps and Fontana di Trevi (which unfortunately was closed due to maintenance). Their churces are museums, with every corner embroidered with statues and mosaics, paintings and sarcophagus We saw people crying for Pope John Paul II and stood with respect in front of their symbols of faith.
We were filled with awe. The day we spent at the Vatican will be the day to remember forever. This enormous landmark, made us realise how small and humble we are. The treasure behind its doors made up for the endless queue outside and the ascent to the 137 metres high Cupola was an experience that filled us with pride...and terror!!
|The 137 metres high Cupola|
|Inside Saint Peter|
One can say so many things about the sights of Rome. Photos don't do justice. Nothing can captivate the sound of their language accompanied by expressive gestures. No photo can entail the feeling when you stand in a church built in 300 B.C. No words can describe the sense you get when you find your self among treasures in Capella Sistina or when you first lay eyes on the Colosseum.
And then there is food....a whole chapter in our hearts!!! I knew that when you are a tourist everything tastes better but in Rome...they are better!! Not untill you taste a cup of cappucino and eat a whole pizza by yourself can you say that you have tasted Italian cuisine. I have nothing else to say....my kilos prove my words!
Back to her...After that trip, I am a little less worried about her. Because I know now that her true calling in this life is to be herself. And she is a Travellerlina. No matter what language you speak, no matter how old you are and from which country you come from...she will find a way to communicate with you and make you smile..! It may take a little too long to "get her back" whenever she returns...but oh well...that's life!