Well, we had quite the day today. We left our flat in Sorrento a little before 9:00 and headed to the train station. Upon arrival we were informed that there was a strike and the first train out would be after 1:00. Since our train from Naples to Rome theoretically left at 11:50 this was obviously a problem. We placed a call to Luigi and he recommended the ferry as our best option so off to the harbor we headed. Thankfully we had gotten moving pretty early and managed to make the 9:45 ferry, the last out before noon. Yay! Made it to Naples. But wait, the strike is also affecting the buses to the train station. Of course we were only informed of this after buying our tickets by the same helpful person at the information station who had sent us over to buy them in the first place. How about a taxi? Sure no problem, except suddenly our taxi driver is turning around telling us there is no way to the train station because the road is closed. Seriously? You can’t even get us close? Guess not. It’s a good thing I pack light since he dropped us off 3 km away. Oh, and we found out why the road was closed. All the unions that were striking, everything from sanitation to student workers, were having what looked to be an excellent time having a parade down the middle of it. Thankfully the train station was a pretty straight shot and we managed to find it without getting lost and gloriously the Eurostar was running. Despite the odds we even made it with time to spare. The train pulled out and everything was going smashingly until about ten minutes before we were supposed to arrive at Roma Termini and the train stopped. There was an announcement in Italian and it started going back the way we came. Huh? Complete bafflement on our part our part for a good 40 minutes right until they told us to hit the curb at an entirely different train station than the one scheduled. Now what? Oh, just head downstairs and the Metro will take you to Roma Termini. At least it would if they weren’t on strike. The bright note in all of this is that the unions have some sort of agreement that when they are striking they do the morning and evening rush. We sat for a little over an hour and the trains started back up at precisely 3:00. A trip that should have taken about three hours took about seven and we’re just going to skip the tally on additional costs. We are still in a state of amazement that we actually made it to Rome today. The inn is lovely and so is the little bit of the city we’ve managed to see. Very easy to navigate so far and the location is great. It shouldn’t even require any buses or trains!
The strikers seemed to be more into having a parade than a strike, so Tim decided to show them how it’s done with his souvenir CGIL bandanna that we found left behind in the street. He may be letting some of his frustration show from earlier today, but you be the judge.