Rome Part 2 & the Illusive 118 Bus

Day 3 in Rome was one of those inevitable frustrating days you have while travelling. We had decided to make the trek out to the Appian Way to visit the San Sebastian Catacombs. As instructed by numerous websites and our map, we hopped on a bus then walked for about 10 minutes to get to where the illusive 118 bus was supposed to pick us up to take us to our destination. Note the word illusive.

Getting to where we thought the bus should be, we found the stop heading in the wrong direction. But could we find the stop we needed? No. We searched and searched. Walked one way for 5 minutes, walked back in the other direction for 10. Walked around some more, asked for help from bus drivers, locals, tourists and even purchased a bus map. We tried about 5 different bus stops in an area to no avail. The map was telling us we were in the right spot. The map was wrong. All the maps were wrong. As were the locals and the bus driver. The 118 had moved its route. *Sigh*. We could have picked it up back where we got off the first bus.

Tired, hungry, hot and cranky we threw in the towel. We’d been searching for over an hour and walked quite a few Kms. So we decided to head back to another site we wanted to visit closer to home. On the way we stopped and shared a pizza for lunch. We later learned this was a mistake, as we got to the next stop only to find it had just closed at 12:00 and was not opening again until 3:00. We threw in the towel again and went back to the apartment to put up our weary feet and have a nap.

Later that day we thought we try something a little slower in pace and walked up to the Borghese Gardens with a book. We figured a couple of hours reading under a tree might be a nice idea and I’d wanted to check out the gardens.

The walk there was brutal. With the mercury rising and my ankle swollen with the heat (a legacy issue from when I had blood clots back in 2012) and copious amounts of stairs, by the time we got to the gardens we were once again tired, hot and cranky (at least this time we weren’t hungry). The gardens were also not as nice as expected. They were quite dry and the dust from the paths was pretty unpleasant. That said, we did find out shady spot and chilled out for a bit.

That evening we went to a restaurant Fanny had recommended – Etabli. It was beautifully decorated, the staff were lovely and the food we delicious. They also had a jazz band playing. We shared a delicious bottle of local wine and wound down after what felt like the worlds longest and most uneventful (despite our best efforts) travel day I’ve had in a long time.

Before we left, Margaret (Tim’s Mum) sent us a farewell text. I thought of it a few times that day.

“Have a wonderful, exciting and memorable adventure! Stay healthy! Remember the journey (even tedious flights or missed buses) is part of the total experience.”