We began our journey in anticipation, lazily dreaming about what the trip would bring. We boarded the plane after farewell phone calls and a message of a baby on its way (Sophia Tenzer, 5.16.08). We settled into our seats, and arrived in Rome with nary a second to spare. Speeding past travelers half awake, half asleep espresso reaching our nostrils but not our palate making our way through the maze that is Fiumicino airport from Terminal C to Terminal A--terminal shuttle then the walking sidewalks and a mad dash through the customs/security check. Flagged down by security for jumping an empty line, grazie to the Italian business commuter insulted by my brazen attempt to make a plane. They (security) hauled me over demanding to see my bottled goods, and upon pulling out a one-quart regulation sized bag of liquids he smiled and said, “Very good job signorina.” Ah, the bureaucracy of airport security.
The 20-minute delay in EWR provided us (Kristin, myself, and our new friend Rita who also missed the flight to Athens) the opportunity to explore and familiarize ourselves with Rome’s C Terminal for six (6) hours. [I wonder if we could have gone into the center of Rome, if only we were not so tired.] The next flight to Athens was scheduled for late afternoon!
We started off in a Siberia like section of the terminal where time seemed to stop armed with a voucher for lunch taking turns to stretch our legs and wait for the fast food trattoria to open (aperto). Three hours later stuffed from a feast that included lasagna, orecchiete with broccoli rabe and anchovies, panna cotta, cold antipasto, water and wine where the Tuscan bread was phenomenal we ventured closer to our assigned gate. This section of the Terminal felt like a subterranean city one where finding 3 seats together required poaching and stalking tactics. Once we did, it was hard to keep our eyes open for long despite the most uncomfortable seats in the world.