Today was primarily occupied with taking the train from Florence to Rome. The Eurostar can do it in 1.5 hours, but our slow little local train with a bicycle compartment took almost 4 hours.
Once we got to the terminus in Rome, we had a little bit of an adventure finding a place to stay. Both the public and the private tourist information bureaus were closed, it being a Sunday evening. However, there were quite a few people wandering around with official looking “tourist information” badges that were quite happy to sell you tours or hotel rooms.
One advantage of travelling by bicycle: it must make you look poorer. A couple near to me who asked for an 80 Euro hotel room was told that was “difficult”, but the first thing we were offered before we said anything at all was a 65 Euro bed and breakfast with bike storage. That sounded as good or better than anything we could find ourselves in a reasonable time frame, so we took them up on their offer to walk us over and show us the room.
When we got there, we found out that we couldn’t store the bicycles inside, but that we’d be able to store them in bicycle parking facilities beside the train station. Bethany sounded very hesitant, so that got our price down to 50 Euros. We accepted, but we should have waited to see these bicycle parking facilities first!
We unloaded our bicyles and then followed the agent down to the storage facility place. It looked suspiciously like a car storage facility, not bicycle storage, and we were told that it was “full”. He tried several others, but they all only accepted cars, not bicycles.
But he wasn’t ready to give up. He tracked down the key to the courtyard, and we locked our bicycles in there. I’m not sure why we couldn’t do that in the first place. Now hopefully we won’t have trouble tracking them down Wednesday morning when we need our bikes before flying home.
Hopefully we can see Rome tomorrow, but our first priority is tracking down boxes for our bikes and our luggage.