I flew Delta straight to Amsterdam on the 10th (Tuesday) at 1:20 pm. Arrived on the 11th at 9:30 am. Finished reading my Fanny Flagg book, listened to music while I tried to sleep....unsuccessfully.....and watched a movie on the pop up screen attached to my seat. I sat next to a nice man who was born in the Netherlands of all things. He and his wife are now US citizens and he was on his way to Basel, Switzerland for a business conference. They fed us plenty of snacks and 2 meals, free wine even. I was surprised to see a canal next to the Amsterdam runway as we landed and the gentleman next to me explained that the airport was built in a very wet area so they need the canal to keep it from flooding.
After exiting the plane I had to find my way to the right gate to catch the flight to Rome. Quick and pleasant flight but was surprised once again when I discovered that when the flight crew came around offering something to drink, they asked if we wanted milk! I've never seen so any people asking for a cup of milk and have never seen it served as a regular thing.
When I checked my phone after we touched down, I saw that Sharon had sent a text saying she had left a phone message (which I never got) and I gathered she wanted me to take the train from the airport to Termini. She had planned on being at baggage claim but realized that the airport is so far from Rome proper that it would make more sense for me to catch a train and she could meet me at the Termini train station since we were going to catch another train to Le Spezia, Italy. After a bit of frustration because my texts didn't go through to her and her texts to me were no taking much sense to me, neither one of us was sure the other got our messages! I quickly got a train ticket and when I was halfway to Termini I was finally able to connect with her on my cell phone. All worked out fine and she was waiting for me when I got off the train. Phew.
Then the frenzy began because as we were trying to figure out whether to wait in a long line to buy our train tickets or try using one of the many machines on site and hope we would get it right, we were approached by several people who wanted to "help" us. We were leary. They all seemed to think we were not going to be able to figure it out without their help and when we asked if they were with the train company, of course they said "yes, yes!" It turned out they were all gypsies trying to get money from us for their "help." They were like leeches that we kept trying to brush off! They didn't get our money.
After a long train ride we arrived in Le Spezia at 8 pm, with no reservation! Lucky us, we found a wonderful one across and up a half a block from the train station. I decided to just plow through with no sleep and ignore that I lost a night's sleep. I was getting a bit rummy and having trouble thinking clearly BUT we decided to have "dinner" in the hotel's wine tasting room. Only €5.50 apiece for a glass of wine, nuts and enough horsdourves to take away any hunger. We finally got into bed at 10:15 pm and I was really ready for sleep.
We got up this morning, the 12th, and had the most wonderful complimentary breakfast I have ever seen! The Italian coffee was dark, rich and not bitter and the food was fabulous. That will be a photo below of the buffet. We get to do that again tomorrow morning. Don't worry, Dave, the room was on the top floor (5th) and was €89 per night with comfy twin beds and included breakfast. A super deal.
I will stop here and post more on today's happenings after I take a shower and get ready to call it a night.