Big day in Siena. Train to Rome.

This is not a travelogue per se, but the unedited emails I sent home using a Blackberry to friends and family while I was away.

Sunday, November 5, 2006

I’m on the train to Rome so I thought I’d go ahead and write. I also had a chance to catch up on a few emails if you haven’t noticed.

Again I over slept. I woke up at 830. I hoped to get up early and make some changes to the days itinerary. Then I took a shower. I only mention this because it was one of the best showers ever. The water was hot and the pressure strong. My hair was bangin’ today. -joke for Christina.

I had a really good sleep too. The room had shutters then windows then more shutters then curtains. So it was pitch black even in the day. I had BBC World too. Which is one of my hotel requirements. I like it mostly for the music the play before and after commercials.

So I saw the saddam verdict live. You were probably sleeping.

I repacked. I’m officially using 2 bags now since I’ve done a little shopping. Mostly for Amelia.

I missed breakfast but that’s what the south beach bars are for. They are probably better than bread anyway.

I went first to san domenico.
I tried to buy a book but the shop was closed so I asked the priest on hand and he went through several closets making all kinds of noise. But he could not find the english version. Only italian, spanish, french, and german. He didn’t have a key to the shop. But he was very helpful. I think we will have mass here instead of the duomo. But not because he was nice.

Then I went to St. Catherine’s house. I went into the chapel just as Mass was beginning. So I stayed. The music was great just an organ and us doing the singing. Well not me so much but I tried. It was in Italian. The homily. Ugh. I’ve never heard a longer one. It was over half an hour. He breezed through the rest of Mass but he sure could preach. Everyone around me was falling asleep (they were mostly pretty old) but the priest was really into it. Kind of an old and long winded and white Fr. Augustine. The way he was speaking anyway.

Then I practiced walking. It was very very cold and drizzly. I went to the Duomo. It was closed for Mass. So I went to Mass again. The priest was giving the homily.
Not nearly as long as the last. Then I saw they were hearing confessions. So I went. He didn’t speak ANY english. But he wanted to hear me. So I used my tiny bit of italian and got through it. It was actually a really good confession. Since he is in the place of Christ in doesn’t really matter if the priest understood everything. But I’m sure he did. And I understood the penance. It was face to face. So that helped our understanding of each other. I liked him.

Then I went to communion. I don’t know the rule here. But I thought it would be okay. I went to a complete Mass at one church. No communion there. Then half a Mass at this church and received communion. I’ll ask a priest if that was okay.

Then I went into the sacristy to see about setting up our Mass. They don’t allow it. No private Masses. The church opens up like a museum after daily Mass and they do not allow anyone in for Mass after that. So that is why I think we are going to celebrate at San Domenico. The altar is right behind St. Catherine’s head too!

The I walked to Il Campo. The grandest square in Italy. I had lunch. Oddly enough at the same place I had dinner last night. Only this time I sat inside. Not freezing at a table on the square.

I continued my walk and went to San Francesco. The site of a Eucharistic miracle. Closed on Sundays. I really wanted to avoid being here on a Sunday but logistically it would have been too difficult.

Then walked to the bus station. And all over again. Bus-San Domenico-St. Catherine’s home-Duomo (this time I paid to get in so I could look around and hit the gift shop)-Il Campo-San Francesco-Bus.

At 3pm I realized I would not make my 4pm train. So I planned on taking one of the 4:00 hour trains. At 4 I decided to wait until 5. At 5, the guy selling tickets at the station told me I would wait until 6.

So I’m 2 hours late getting into Rome. Which, I just realized, is not good because I need a taxi and it’s not only Sunday, but Sunday night. That means they will be pricey. I could take a bus. We’ll see. But the doors of the convent close at 11. I get in at 9. I’m really hoping that restaurant near the NAC is open late. I’m hungry.

It’s 640 now. I have over two hours until I get to rome. And the train I’m on is incredibly slow. Not only does it stop every 10 minutes (it’s a regional) but it goes really slow. This is the best way to Rome a 3 hour train. I’m not complaining about the speed it kind of relaxing. And it’s more like a bus than a train. Only 2 cars. But they are open to each other. Maybe more like a subway. It’s warm too. Which is nice after today.

Okay. So I may write more later. I may just go to bed. Hopefully the place will have heat and it will be on! I’m sure no TV. But I do have a bathroom. It’s not as posh as the Florence hotel (this is a convent after all) but at least it’s not the Florence convent.

Thanks for reading.


Day 4 (part 2)

Sunday, November 5, 2006

Made it to Rome. 20 minutes late. My 2nd train was late arriving.

The train was really crowded too.

Arrived in Rome and I was planning to spend $20 for a taxi. When I saw the taxi line had over 100 people in it.

Instead I spent $1 and took the bus.

My convent was closer than I thought. I got to my room at 10. The curfew is 11. I still had not eaten.

I ran down to Sor’Eva. Ate a full meal, drank 2 and a half glasses of wine and a big bottle of water in 30 minutes and made it back to my room just before curfew.

I’m looking forward to being in one place for 3 nights. I’ve slept in 3 different hotels the last 3 nights.

Time for bed.


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