Ramblings-Rave & Rant


The beginnings

I always wanted to goto Europe. The feeling was more so ever since I returned from a short stint at US. Wanted to goto Europe, to see the sights, as much as trounce everything that came our way, as nothing is superior to India, culturally and spiritually. Had successfully done this at US, and wanted to do it again. So off we were on the Air France flight to Paris.

The immigration check was a cakewalk(as good as some of the cakes that we were going to have at a later date in Europa).This was a welcome start indeed. AF was on time, served us an all vegetarian sandwich as its first meal on board, handed us clean ear phones, and we were on our way. Paris Charles de Gualle on time. 8.30 am. We had had a delectable breakfast earlier, for the veggie me – super crisp biscuits with fried potatoes(weird combination, but it was nice), yummy yoghurt and some fruits too. The non veg meal was a disappointment, I guess. The tea was divine..and they called it the Indian tea 🙂

From Terminal C at CDG we had to get to Terminal F; and we had two hours before the Air Italia to Roma from there. The inter terminal bus was like any other that I had been on. On getting down at F, the number 22 terminal as indicated on our boarding pass was not to be found anywhere. Murphy overtakes everywhere; It led to a momentary panic, but we used our Queen’s English with generous doses of Spartan French, and figured our way. We passed a serpentine queue at the customs’ and reached the huge terminal well in time. Smells of fresh coffee vs Euros in rupees. We let it pass. The next 1 hour was spent getting our conversion math back to speed, over perfumes, clothes, accessories and other memorablia. We had earlier trashed a bottle of hair conditioner, and some body wash as it was against the flight specifications. Mood to be stingy set in even before we had started our trip. Another half hour delay inside the flight without air conditioning and annoyingly sweet perfumes made it seem more miserable.

Some more confusion over whether the served meal is vegetarian. The helpful staff courteously informed me that it is indeed vegetarian, but could contain some chicken too. How I wanted to stuff him with one of our Mughlai wonders, dripping with oil, and pasted with chilly paste atleast two inches thick while calling it chicken dipped in marmalade! Settled for a cake, which anyways fell in the gray area between veg non-veg food.

Reach Roma (Rome, of course, ‘a’ was not a typo).At the airport, gullible tourists could be taken for a ride. Indians are mentally tuned to expect this anyways. The servize (toilet) is messy. Developed country, huh!

We bought our 11 Euros ticket to the Termini, after so much deliberation on whether we were being cheated, that it seemed like Dark Ages repeated itself twice over, a 5 Euro calling card to India, and were soon chugging out of the Da Vinci Airport. The forty minute train ride was uneventful. Tiredness was doubling over us, the tension of being in a new land, whether everything else would proceed as planned…It was 32 hours since we left home. Need a place to lock myself up safely and then sleep like a baby.

We proceed in search of our first hotel. Lug our not so heavy luggage, wondering if the five minute walk instruction is as misleading as it could be in Delhi or accurate as it is in US. Not knowing the local language, we walk around a bit with the map in our hands. There we are, in just a little over 360 seconds, at WRH Suites Arthouse.

We had read the reviews before we booked the hotel, we had double checked, triple checked our bookings, enquired with some others about the place…but we were not prepared for what we saw. IT was a cute surprise. Clean beds, baths with glass doors, and an equally cute kitchen for the price we paid. Mr. G, who met us at the reception, was very helpful too. Once in, we freshened up, and went in search of our first tryst with history. Sleep lost out to unfettered curiosity about the place.

Filed under: Travel & Books - my pastimes, , , , , ,

February 2019
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