I’ve been in the Navy now for almost 12 years. Throughout my time in, I’ve been around the world. Literally. I’ve been to many very interesting and beautiful places around the world. Portugal, Brazil, Peru, Croatia, Curacao, Spain, Hong Kong, Cuba, and many, many others. One of the most interesting places I’ve ever visited was Rome, Italy. The history, the architecture, the food, it’s all incredible.
The Perfect Plan…
We actually pulled in to the port of Naples, and a group of us decided we were going to get up early in the morning, head to the train station and take the train to Rome for the day, because we all had to be back to the ship before midnight. The plan started off perfectly, there were six of us, we all woke up on time, got ready, and were off the ship by 7 am. We rushed to the train station and got in line for our tickets. We got to the booth, and this is when our planning started to fail us. No one in the group spoke a lick of Italian. As we were waiting in line, we were looking at all the video monitors, trying to figure out when the next train left. We bought our tickets, and we looked at them…we had approximately 4 minutes to get on the train. Panic set in. We couldn’t read the ticket, we didn’t know which train it was, and there were no less than 20 terminals. A homeless man in the terminal must have sensed our panic and he held out his hand for a ticket. Having no choice but to trust him, someone handed him their ticket. He looked at it momentarily, his eyebrows raised slightly, and he motioned for us to follow him as he took off at a sprint. We all raced after him, got to the train and started filing in. As the 2nd or 3rd person started up the steps into the train, it began to pull away. One by one, we all got on the train….almost. The doors shut before the last person could get on. Oh, no!! taxi to woking
…Completely Falls Apart!
We all sat down and looked at the train schedule as we began talking about our next course of action. We couldn’t leave a man behind, that’s just not the way we operate. The next stop was a good thirty minutes away. None of us had cell phones, so no way to contact Rook. (That was the guy who got left behind.) So, we came up with another “foolproof” plan. When we got to the next stop, two people would get off the train and head back to Naples to get Rook, the other three of us would continue on to Rome, and we would all meet up at the terminal. Perfect! Not quite…
I was in the group of three that continued on to Rome. We got there without incident and hung out in the terminal, expecting to be there for an hour and a half or so. We walked around the terminal, which is twice the size of the Naples terminal, just looking around, admiring the beautiful Italian women and getting antsy to get out into the city. Two hours pass and after much discussion of what to do, we decide to head out on our own. There were some people that spoke English there, and they told us the best way to get anywhere was to take either the subway or a taxi. Not us, we wanted to take it all in, so we made the decision to walk it. In retrospect, I’m not sure we made ANY good decisions that day, except for the decision to go to Rome. Ha! So, we walk for a good hour, trying to find the Coliseum. We saw some pretty neat architecture, saw some aqueducts, and continued to press on. By the time we FINALLY found the Coliseum, it was getting near 5 pm. We had wasted darn near the ENTIRE day just trying to get there. We were all so disappointed. We stopped and ate some delicious food in the shadow of the Coliseum. After we finished eating, we walked around the Coliseum and the surrounding area, but it was getting dark and time was running short. We needed to get back already. Being in one of the most history rich cities in the entire world, and we got to spend maybe two hours there. What a huge let down. So, we headed back.