It's Tuesday and it's ROMA !!
We arrived early in a sleep deprived haze and could not decide which had priority: shower; ringing Stuart; food; a luggage locker; accommodation; a phone card; tourist information or caffeine.
I had spent the night getting hostel addresses off the net and knew there was one just across the road from the station. We buzzed the apartment and the guy told us to come up. The BOSS left me in the lobby with all the bags and she hoofed it up 6 flights of stairs. She reappeared 10 minutes later to say she couldn't find it and had to rebuzz the guy. After going back up 5 flights of stairs, she reappeared once more saying the rooms were awful and dirty. Back to the station with all our bags - not forgetting we now have the panniers and helmets as well - a luggage locker or a trolley becomes our new number one priority.
Once trolley finding had been achieved, caffeine moved up in the ranks. The BOSS ordered 2 Lattes - and was given 2 glasses of hot milk. I then had to go back and order 2 Espressos to go in the Lattes.
Thinking slightly more clearly, accommodation and a shower were now essential. As we were leaving the tourist office, armed with lists of pages of B&B phone numbers and wondering where to get a phone card, Roberto, a hotel hawker approached us offering to solve all our problems. The guide books warn you about these guys but I stipulated exactly what I wanted, at what price and he actually delivered. Roberto helped us carry our bags to the Cambridge Hotel a few blocks from Termini Station and for 35 euros pp we got a nice, clean room on the third floor with a shower in the room, free wireless internet and soft beds!! (The Greeks like their beds rock hard).
There is a local street market right next door and I stocked up on supplies of fruit and juice and ham foccacias. A friend once told me that the first word of Italian I should learn is Gracias but invariably when said by an Aussie, it comes out as grassyarse. I did my shopping like a local and tried my best not to giggle every time I said thankyou.
Later - after sleep: We wandered around our area not quite sure what we were looking at as we didn't have our guidebook or map. We stopped at a typical looking Italian restaurant and ordered spaghetti carbornara. Knowing the serving sizes were huge we ordered one meal and two plates. The waiter looked at me funny then went to fetch a dried up plate of chewy spaghetti. The Greek spaghetti had been much better. It was very disappointing for our first Italian meal, although the cappuccino was quite good.