Chaos in Rome and Barcelona


Chaos in Rome and Barcelona

What I thought would be a straightforward trip back from Rome to Barcelona turned into nothing of the sort.

I arrived at Roma Termini station and got on a train for Fiumicino Airport. The train didn’t move, however, and eventually we passengers were told that we should get off and take a bus or a taxi because of “a problem on the line” which would take an indefinite time to fix.

I went to see if I could get a bus, but the queue was predictably enormous. Same story for taxis. After waiting over an hour I had all but given up hope of catching my flight when suddenly it was announced that the track problem was fixed and I got back on the train. It reached the airport in good time and I passed a very long queue of people waiting to travel in the opposite direction; trains into Roma Termini from Fiumicino had also been cancelled:

I still thought I would miss the flight, but I thought that once in the airport I could perhaps book another. Helped by the fact that I had already checked in online and only had hand luggage, however, I made it through security and to the gate just  in time to board.

So, all seemed well. I’ve travelled enough in Italy to have learnt how to cope with a fair amount of chaos.

I got back to Barcelona – which is somewhat cooler than Rome – just about on time and took the Aerobus as usual. Unfortunately, I had forgotten that today was the day that roads in the area around my flat were closed for a Formula 1 “Road Show”. The bus stopped at the edge of the sealed off area and passengers – many heavily laden with luggage – were left to make their way through the dense crowds. Whoever decided it was a good idea to block some of the busiest roads in Barcelona during the evening rush hour has a lot of questions to answer. The crush around Plaza de Catalunya was absurd and potentially dangerous, and not only for people like me who find such situations very difficult.

When I eventually got to my flat, I saw a protest against this stupid event had let to standoff in the street with some sinister-looking cops.

At home, and after a relaxing shower, I thought the day’s tribulations were over until I switched on my laptop and found it wouldn’t start:

Automatic Repair didn’t work so I logged a ticket with Maynooth IT Services. If they can’t fix it, it looks like I’ll be unable to work until I get a new machine…

…and blogging using my phone like this!

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