Getting grounded

piazza st peter Back in October, I made two promises. One to a great friend who recently moved to Rome – that I’d finally pull my finger out and visit her, and another to the rest of the Do team – that I’d sponsor them for the Grim mud run by ‘getting grounded’, taking the train instead of the plane. I’m glad to say I kept my word. I’ve just returned from the long awaited mini break, and before I get too stuck into clearing through the inbox bombardment that greets me on my return, I thought I’d take a moment to share the adventure. And to gloat a little. Four trains and three metro rides took me from London to Rome via Paris and back again, door to door, without a minute’s delay. Here are the highlights via my holiday snapshots… Views from the Eurostar to Paris. Apt. turbines from train I failed to get a picture of my couchette (I think my co-habitants might have found that a bit creepy), but here’s the view on waking up in Tuscany after a luxurious 12-hour sleep (unheard of in my life!). waking in tuscany I arrived in Rome on Saturday morning to find my friend Pavey had borrowed two fantastically vintage bikes for us. We explored the city on two wheels, narrowly dodging dangerous drivers and covering more ground than most tourists would manage in a week.  By the end of the weekend, after seeing endless pictures of their two-wheeled steeds posing around the city, we’d managed to inspire both the bike’s owners to get back on their bikes. Feel smug, again. bikes in Roma We drank like true Italians. Cafe y capaccino We ate like true Italians. Hermione vs the spaghetti We saw the sites Pantheon And walked for miles And after two and a half fun-filled, ram-packed days, I hopped back on the train and collapsed into my couchette ready for another epic sleep. I woke near Dijon and watched the sunrise as the tracks rolled away into the distance behind the train. train tracks I arrived in Paris with five hours to kill before my Eurostar, so walked down La Seine from Notre Dame to Trocadero where I caught up with a couple of old friends over ‘un steak oeuf à cheval’, overlooking the Eiffel Tower. Eiffel tower And then, just a couple of hours later, here I am – home. Almost. The first and only hiccup of the trip: I just discovered that I left my house keys somewhere between Paris and Rome. So I’m writing this from the comfort of our local café, hoping for my housemate to come home soon… almost home

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