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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

End of day one. Day two begins.

I'm resisting the temptation to just sit here and cry about the whole Rome thing for two reasons. First, we actually did do more than limp up and down Via Filippo Turati looking for food. Second, we went and saw some stuff worth seeing, and we want people to know what a great place Rome really is despite Radisson's every effort to sabotage our visit. If it had been our first visit to Rome, we'd never go back. Luckily it was our fifth and fourth visit, so we knew better. The hotel is not all of Rome. As I said, there's a happyish sort of ending. Eventually.

So we returned to our room and went to bed. The air conditioning stayed on all night. We managed to sleep fairly well.

In the morning, however, we really had to bathe. We had looked at the horrible bathtub/shower enclosure and tried getting into it still dressed just to see how. It had no handrails and the bottom was actually soft. You had the impression you really could plunge through the floor into the room below. The controls (? see below) were baffling. Again, they were completely counter-intuitive, and there was no such thing as a diagram. The glass door opened at an angle, creating only a very narrow opening, and the tub was slippery. We agreed only one of us would be naked at any given time in case we had to call an ambulance.


I went first. I put everything inside the enclosure that I would need, sat down straddling the tub, and laboriously swung and raised my other leg over the side with Joyce right there in case I should over-balance. Then, with her to balance me, I stood up, and turned the water on to the settings we had experimented with. There was no towel rack, so Joyce had to stand outside holding the towel until I was done. With the door open again, she gave me the towel so I could dry my face and hands, and then she helped me to sit down and swing back out the way I had gotten in. Then she said, "I'm not washing. I'm scared to death of this thing."

We compromised. I was completely dressed and ready to go for help before helping her to get into the enclosure, and like her, I stood by outside with the towel. The trick was never to move your feet once standing in bathing poition.

So that took an hour, no fooling. But we started early enough so we were way early for our Villa Borghese Museum tour and had a chance to sit in the cafeteria and eat a sort of breakfast while waiting. It was one of those places where, if you didn't pay for a seat, you ate standing up. We paid to sit, and there was a monitor to make sure no standees sat. The whole area outside the sitting room was jam-packed with standing, sweating tourists waiting to go on a tour. It was worth the price to sit down and be able to talk and write and eat. I'm sure the Italians think we're stupid to pay to sit to eat; they don't. But we're tourists, so there!

I don't remember the rules about photography inside, but we had already agreed to buy the book online when we got home, so we didn't take any pictures. There was a bookshop, of course, but outrageously priced and of course, then you have to carry it. So we will see that book again at Christmas. In the interim, here's a link to the museum itself:

http://www.galleriaborghese.it/borghese/en/edefault.htm

It's a very worthwhile tour with a guide who knows her or his stuff, which we had. Lacking a photo, however, here are our tickets.









Sorry this is blurry, but these are the bathtub controls, such as they were. Water came from three places: a slit in the side of the tub, a spigot on a swivel, and directly overhead, where the mold was growing. Note how all the ceramic veneer has been chpped away around the controls. The shower itself wasn't bad, but the sheer terror of getting in and out was just unbelieveable. What sort of loon would design such a thing, we have no clue. But at least it was consistent with the rest of the totally inadequate, inconvenient and poorly-designed establishment.

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