Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Snow Day

Our mission today is to be at Rome airport to meet my nephew Ian's 16:25 flight arrival.

Before we even left our apartment in Amalfi, we noticed that it was snowing in Rome and various webcams showed white dusting.  We didn't get alarmed.  We had chosen to catch the 8am rather than 9am Amalfi-Salerno bus because of the precariousness of  the two-lane coastal road.   Half way through the ride, rain turned into snow, but we were relieved to arrive in Salerno on time around 9:15, only to find our 3-hour Salerno-Rome Intercity had been delayed.  When our train eventually pulled out around 11am, only ~30 minutes late, we congratulated ourselves for our good fortune, not knowing that was the whole extent of our luck.

Our train pulled into Naples around 12pm and sat in Naples for 2 hours, we then followed the crowd onto a faster (Frecce) train, sat for another hour.  At 3pm our train finally departed, headed to Roma Tiburtina, rather than Roma Termini.  A normally 70-minute turned into 180 minutes.  When we finally got off the train, some of the older passengers were shaking their heads with dismay, embarrassed at the ineptness of Trenitalia.  There we were, thinking the Naples-Rome train is cursed for us.  The last time we rode this route planes were crashing into buildings (Sept 11, 2001).  This time only Rome is getting its first snow in 26 years....

The easiest way from Roma Tiburtina to Fiumicino Airport is normally the commuter train, except due to the "critical weather conditions," they were not stopping in Tiburtina; so we take the Metro to Ostiense to catch up with the train.  Finally at 19:30, we got to Ian.  Amazingly his Heathrow-Rome flight was only 30 minutes late.  The poor young man had been patiently waiting for two hours.  John had insisted that we come to Rome earlier, so we would not be in this situation....  

At this point, we had enough of  public transport.  The three of us hopped in a taxi to our apartment in Rione Monti. 

Sun-Ling walks in front of Salerno Station.
Salerno, Italy

Waiting for our train on a very cold binario (platform) in Salerno.
Salerno, Italy

View from the train - somewhere between Naples and Rome.
On the train from Salerno to Rome, Italy

Eventually, as we neared Rome the skies cleared and the sun came out.
On the train from Salerno to Rome, Italy


WQZ said...

I was thinking about you since I saw reports of snow in Rome. I thought how smart the Meckley’s were in Amalfi. Didn’t know you headed right into it. Makes your travel more memorable! Stay warm and safe.

Kathy said...

Brrr! Sounds like you were lucky the trains were running at all. Imagine it is like NC - snow is unexpected, so a crisis. Stay warm.

john said...

@kathy and @WQZ - There was one point, when we blindly rushed off the train with the crowd to change to another train, that I almost panicked, but our fellow Italian travelers were kind and friendly, so panic was not an option. I did not think that we would have such a memorable travel day so early in the trip; ;-) or at all.

Thanks for the encouraging words; we are most warm and cozy in our apartment, not so warm when walking around town; in fact, "freezing my ass off" was an apt description yesterday afternoon. ;-)