Sunday, 14 October 2007

This is the night train...

Crossing the border... (And yes in case you're wondering the poem is by W:H: Auden and not by Betjeman.
So late on Wednesday evening I got on board the night train to Rome and awoke the next morning after a not too broken night's sleep at Roma Termini which made me think of a strange crime novel linking the Vatican and the ecumenical centre in Geneva.
Giorgio met me at the station which was reallz kind of him, he then put me in a taxi having given the taxi driver extensive instructions about how to reach their house. The driver gave every sign of understanding completely while Giorgio was speaking and then as soon as we set off he handed me the map and started speaking to me in Italian. Hmm ... a little local difficulty with transport has been a minior subplot to this stay in Rome. Just trying to buy a ticket was a challenge - today at last I bought three and then walked all the way back because there were no buses! It's not that I have not sense of direction just that I can't quite read maps ... and it really wasn't my fault that there was a demo by neo fascists in the centre of Rome yesterday closing down the transport.
So tonight I shall take the night train back acorss the border to Geneva - sometimes called the Protestant Rome. I don't quite see it myself but I suppose Calvin's idea of civil and religious government could perhaps be equated with Papal authority in the eternal city.
Anyway the best bit about the night train was waking up to sunrise over the Tuscan countryside and lying on my bed drinking coffee while watching the countryside go by.