Week 1 - Rome
We departed Toronto on the 15th on the 11 p.m. flight that was scheduled to last 9 hours. I love the overnight flights because I don't have any problem sleeping on planes (I'm pretty small so the lack of legroom doesn't really effect me). The first hour and a half was frustrating because I was SO tired and wanted to sleep so badly and they kept the lights on and wouldn't STOP with the announcements in English, French AND Italian. Finally they turned off the lights, turned on the movie and I went to sleep until about half an hour before we landed.
Immigration and Customs was ridiculously easy - if not a little frustrating for the all of the pushing and cutting in line - we located our shuttle driver, and commenced the harrowing drive into Rome to our hotel. We found a great place to stay on Expedia called the Residence Villa Tassoni. This is a permanent residence with various apartments that they let out for week or longer stays. It was a 10 minute walk to the Vatican, had a kitchenette and balcony, but was not located in the super touristy part of Rome.
Over the course of the next four days we walked many kilometres and I had a limone gelato every. single. day. Some of the highlights were The Coliseum, The Trevi Fountain, Parthenon, The Vatican, and The Vatican Museum. We didn't do any formal tours (though were approached ALOT by people selling tours), preferring to take things at our own pace.
One thing I will say about Rome is that four days is ALOT. It's really busy, and expensive and the constant noise/motion/people can become pretty draining. I had been before but Paul, Dave, and Kathy hadn't so it was important that they went and experienced it. Would I go again? Meh. I don't know.
As far as training went I had arranged with Coach Mary that I would sort of wing it and upload any Garmin data when I got home. Certainly week two would be filled with alot (ALOT!) of cycling so I wasn't too worried about it. I did manage to run twice while in Rome. The second day we were there Paul, Dave, and I (Kathy has a knee injury and can't run) went out for a 30-45 minute run. All downhill for the first half and all uphill for the last half. I felt great and managed a pretty reasonable pace throughout the run. On the Thursday we went out for an hour and a half and that was an awesome run! We found ourselves in front of the Vatican at 6:30 a.m. and there wasn't a soul in sight. We ran to the River and along the path and I did a ladder workout. Running on the cobblestone streets is pretty challenging and my calves and knees were really feeling it by the end but it was an awesome workout!
Some pics -
Day 1 Gelato Outside of The Coliseum
Gelato - Day 2 :-)
Dinners on the balcony
The Vatican - with NOONE around!
Paul and Dave running along the River
On Saturday we said, "Arrivederci Roma!" and boarded the train for the three hour ride to the Tuscan countryside. Stayed tuned for Part II and more pics!