Europe 1998 - 1

Back to base



Off to Tulla.  Anne with newly-overhauled wheelchair, brand new solid tyres rushed in from China.  Three suitcases, three carryons.  Australian dollar continuing to plummet against everything except rouble.  Plane an hour late, then 11-hour trip unsleeping through night.  Alitalia slipping: food poor, grog stingy, coffee Nescafe.


Thailand stopover.  Drink ratafia and eat foie gras to the sound of sackbuts with Chris's sister Octavia, husband Christophe, and new baby Ondine, who is plus cute.

Wander up alley past Babylon club: "Sodom gate closed, please use Gomorrah gate."  I know about sodomites, but what did they do in Gomorrah?


Off to airport 5.00 AM.  On the way to the airport Rose recalculates her watch and realises that she is running an hour later than she thought and that we are running an hour late for our flight. Is Alitalia running an hour late this time?  No, dead on time.  We arrive at airport door 5 minutes before takeoff and are whisked through the system in jigtime (luckily nobody spoke enough English to follow our excuses, or lack of same) and thrown on to the plane. 

Another eleven-hour flight. 

Into city by the most unwheelchairaccessible train conceivable, incredible discomfort and inconvenience due entirely to Chris's attempt to save a few dollars, an attempt in any case blown by taxidriver overcharging to the hotel from the station.  Dump cases, walk out to Bernini's Piazza in front of St. Peters (covered with scaffolding and screens, like practically everything in Rome.  Also all shops shut due to August).  Walk home around Vatican City, reducing Rose to paralytic tiredness and misery. During dinner she keeps going to sleep in mid-chew.

Next: Rome

Anne McDonald Centre. 538 Dandenong Road, Caulfield 3162 Victoria, Australia Ph: 03 9509 6324, Fax: 03 9509 6321
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