Posted by Posted by Webmaster on January 17, 2006 at 16:45:40:
I well remember the trip to Rome in Easter í69 (I'm certain it was '69 that I went, but maybe wrong!), arranged via Hourmont Travel. Outbound they had only booked a flight to Milan (on BEA HS Trident I recall) and I think it was a train trip down to Rome with only a few booked seats. They had misbooked the rooms and we ended up in two hotels.
Day trips I recall as being great. I walked to the Colosseum one night with one or two others when dark. One of us decided to have a pee across the road from it ,up a mound and behind some bushes, only for some lamps to come on and illuminate the proceedings Ė state of panic ensued!
I got friendly chat wise (or so I thought) with a girl called Maria, age 18 (?) Ė daughter of the butcher to the then Italian president Ė Fr Abbott overheard some of what she was saying in Italian, which he understood and I didnít, apparently some proposition of sexual activity Ė whatever that was, and I was thus banned from the Coffee bar that she and I had frequented when not tripping. Needless to say I then got p*****d on lots of Birra Peroni and think I then got framed for putting my head through the glass in a hotel door. I had to go with Fr Abbott to apologise to the owner. I recall that I found Maria very attractive and that she lived on the Via Giovanni Branca, possibly No 18, and that Iíve often wondered what she would look like now.
The journey back was slightly better planned and I think we all had seats for the journey. Can anyone remember the boiled eggs and sandwiches that were ejected as the train travelled at speed through a small station? Out of the window they went, then bounced off the ground and splattered some poor Italian railway official. We agreed that it was probably just as well the train didnít stop.
I've loads of other memories of this trip, my first abroad, but probably too many or tedious for here! Somewhere Iíve got some rather poor b&w photos, Iíll have to dig them out.
David Ransome (please correct me if my recollections are incorrect!)
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