Wednesday, March 05, 2008

In Rome, no minor miracle


Driving in Rome is a job for a gladiator. The place is a warren of one-way streets and general traffic insanity, and I knew that navigating my motorized rollerskate back to the rental car garage near the Termini train station was going to be agonizing.

So I did the smart thing: I Mapquested the route, sending the directions to my handheld and downloading it on my laptop as a back-up. But the directions didn’t send to the blackberry, the download wouldn’t open, and I was left to my own shaky skills to wind my way through the city.

After driving for a week in Italy, I’ve learned that signs to the “Centro’’ sometimes disappear just when you need them most. Other times, they direct you to the “Centro’’ via Acapulco, and in fact I did pass a huge mariachi band in Rome on my way to the station. (Go figure.)

Luckily, I have a decent sense of direction, and I headed down the one street I remembered from the outgoing route. It landed me in a tight lane, and I was sure I was lost. The Google maps GPS feature on my handheld indicated that I was indeed within a few hundred meters of the station (hooray!) -- but I couldn’t see it.

I rounded a corner, and suddenly, just on my left, was the street that runs next to my hotel. And – heavens be blessed – there was actually an open parking space! I wiggled into it – thank you Daddy for those parallel parking lessons – and bene! I was able to dash around the corner and drop off my luggage (a darn sight better than having to drag it through the rain!)

Then it was back to the car. Now I knew where I was, and though it took some backtracking through the one-way maze, I actually found my way back to the parking garage unscathed. This definitely rates as a miracle – and a welcome one at that.

1 comment:

Kacy said...

Driving abroad is certainly not for me - I have problems with the roads I have been driving on for years, I ask my self are those problems "other drivers"