We got up and had our last breakfast at Frances’ Lodge. 🙁
I ordered pancakes and received crepes! They were delicious! No surprise there!
We said our goodbyes to the other guests we had breakfast with and packed our things.
After settling our bill with Franco, he gave us two little cloth balls filled with home-grown lavender. He said it was a memento of our time spent with them at their lodge. It was so sweet and they smell marvelous! I keep it by my bed side table now so I can smell it while I sleep.
Frances said she would not say goodbye to us because she wanted to see us again. So she hugged and kissed each of our cheeks and said, “Till we meet again.”
We reluctantly left Frances’ Lodge and drove to Chiusi. I did a lot of research before we left for Italy on how to get from Siena to Rome. Driving to Rome was not an option. I decided to take the train since our hotel is a 5 minute walk to the train station. Chiusi was the closest town that offered a straight shot to Rome.
Again, getting to a city was easy, navigating in the city was another thing entirely. Chiusi is a very small town, but not one that is easy to navigate. We spent about an hour driving around this town to find the train station. You would think there would be signs or an obvious station. It took us forever to find it and almost just as long to find the Hertz office to drop off the car. Needless to say, we missed the train we intended to be on. Luckily, they had another one (the last one) later in the day.
The train ride was completely different than what I expected. It was tiny, crowded and old. There was only one walkway and that walkway was full of luggage and people. The people in the walkway were actually sitting on these little seats that were bolted into the floor. They actually sold tickets for these little aisle seats! I guess that is the norm but it was not what I expected.
We finally found our seats, after swimming through luggage and people. I felt bad for the people sitting in these seats because I kept accidently hitting them with my bag! I am so thankful that we had actual seats in a cabin and not those little seats in the aisle. The train ride lasted about 1.5 hours.
Here we are settled in our train cabin. They are terrible pictures of us because we were exhausted and stressed out to the max trying to get to this darn train! 😉
We arrived in Rome and jumped out of that cramped train with earnestness. Rome was so much hotter than expected. It was suppose to be about 72 and cloudy. It was more like 80, sunny and 96% humidity! We were soaked by the time we found our hotel. We didn’t pack for this kind of weather. We had long sleeves and boots! We were hot the entire time we were in Rome. But all the Romans were wearing scarfs, hats and puffy jackets!
When we arrived at our hotel the porter did not want us to take the stairs. He was insistent that we take the one and only elevator, which could hold one person comfortably. Randy could barely fit into the elevator with his pack on and the porter shoved me into the elevator with my pack on as well. We tried to tell him that we could take the stairs but he pushed us into the elevator. Now when I say pushed, I literally mean pushed. He had his hands on my pack and pushed me into that tiny elevator till he could close the door. I felt like those officers in the movie, “The Fifth Element”, when Bruce Willis squeezes the officers into his fridge. This scene here.
After falling out of the elevator we finally get to our room. We immediately freshen up and change clothes.
After resting we went out to find a place for dinner. We didn’t take that many pictures of this day. Travel days are not all that exciting. They are stressful and exhausting.
Again, navigating in a foreign country is strenuous. I am glad that we rented a car. It was worth it when exploring Tuscany and the train was a unique experience. But I think if we ever go to Europe again, it will probably be with a tour that gets you to all the places you need to go. All the fun of exploring without the stress of finding your places of interest.