Day Three :: Genoa to Rome

The plan was simple enough, we’d be taking a trip to Pisa, with plenty of time for my daughter to limp about, before arriving in Rome really late. Except, as is often the case, that was not what circumstances dictated.

We were five minutes from destination when it happened: a sickening crash and bang and off drove the coach driver, clearly with no intention of stopping. All those Bond movies have not been lost on my husband, who gave chase and successfully got the guy to stop. Needless to say, this has put a crimp in the rest of the stay. Right now Mr Alt is at an Italian Ford dealership working out whether it is possible to get the windscreen repaired at all. Joint wisdom, after checking the damage last night, is the poor van (which is less than three months old) will need not simply a complete new tailgate but probably rear bumper too.

However, we are here and safe, which is all that really matters.

This apartment is one of four in the building, converted from a farmhouse a decade ago, which has seen the rest of this Rome suburb effectively built around it. If I had to find an appreciable British equivalent, it is probably not unlike the eastern part of London that I cycled through a couple of weeks ago: the place itself owes a lot to Ikea in furnishing, but is all bare floors and wooden beams, which will be extensively photographed today. It’s also extremely hot with only one working AC unit at present, which should become two at some point today. To be honest, I’m not that fussed about the heat. This is an incredibly convivial location to write, and that’s what we’ll do today.

I am also hoping to have my first proper lunch since Sunday. If nothing else, I’m pretty confident stepping on the scales once returning to the UK there’s gonna be some weight lost…

Day Two :: Dijon to Genoa

This was not an auspicious start, all told.

Daughter has badly sprained her ankle, but we wanted to be sure it wasn’t broken in a country where at least one of us spoke the language, so a minor diversion was worth the couple of hours to accommodate. Then it was the same time again to hit Switzerland, where the kids got to understand that not all of Europe is the same financially (40 quid for 2 burgers, a quid to go to the bathroom) before we hacked it up the Alps. I’m not one normally to be staggered by road trips, but the pictures I have are frankly mesmerising. Gimme a day here to sort my shit out, and I’ll upload a bunch to Flickr.

Italy was as bonkers road-wise as everybody told us it would be, and we made it Genoa as the sun went down, to a hotel which was early 20th Century splendour incarnate (even down to a classic glass elevator in the middle of the staircase). I wish now I’d taken pictures, but Tuesday was utterly exhausting. In fact, the journey down was one of the most mentally taxing experiences for a while, added to the physical exhaustion of the Ride London 46, and by Tuesday night the plot had been summarily lost.

As it transpired, things were only going to get more stupid on Wednesday.