ROME FALL 2021
It has a been a long two years since we have been able to travel back to Italy. We were not sure whether we should even make this trip and it really was a last minute decision on our part.
In October of 2019 - pre COVID - we did a bike trip in Croatia with a company called EuroAdventures. We thought it was a fantastic trip and decided to take the family on one with the same company that went to Slovenia and into Italy. We made arrangements to go in the fall of 2020. We bought plane tickets for Morgan, Brenan, Dana and her husband Matt and reserved spots for the bike trip. Obviously we could not go due to COVID and we changed the reservation to the spring of 2021. That trip was also canceled and postponed to the Fall of 2021. As the fall approached and the situation in parts of the US got really bad and Europe was doing no better we thought we would have to cancel again.
We talked to our friends in Italy and things had vastly improved. Slovenia was also doing better than most EU countries as far as vaccinations and positive testing. Dana and Matt in Florida were experiencing the Florida COVID scene - that is - according to the Governor of Florida - there is no COVID. Their building in Fort Lauderdale became a COVID ward as more and more people were testing positive and either going to the hospital or quarantining at home. The thought of going to the airport and getting on a plane from Florida where there were upwards of 14,000 new COVID cases a day was terrifying so they opted out.
We began to negotiate with EuroAdventures to see what would happen to our payment if we canceled. Since we were so close to the trip date we would lose our money – the company had already paid for the rooms, vans, bikes, guides, etc and we were the only ones canceling. Although it was a lot of money we decided our health was more important so that was not going to be an issue with our decision. Hynda and I, in anticipation of the trip, had gotten our third Pfizer shot on September 1st – two weeks before we were to leave. We decided to go. To get on the plane you not only needed to be vaccinated but had to have a negative COVID test in the last 48 hours.
Our trip included a stop in Rome for two days to pick up some of the clothes and bike stuff that we keep in Rome with friends. Next was an Alitalia flight to Trieste where we met Morgan and took an Uber to Ljubljana - the capital of Slovenia. (Alitalia went out of business soon after our flight.) Morgan had been mountain biking in the Dolomites of Italy for one week. Brenan met us in Ljubljana - he came from Croatia and Bosnia where he had been for a week. We had brought rapid COVID home tests with us and both of them tested negative - this was a prerequisite before they could join us.
We were picked up by the company and taken to Lake Bled for the start of the bike trip. The weather was perfect for the 6 days, the food and hotels were fantastic, the people very nice (7 others on the bike trip) and the two guides were great. From the end of the trip we went to Trieste to see a colleague of Hynda's who she had not seen in 30 years, drove to Lake Garda (Sirmione) for three days, drove to Venice for 3 days and then left for Rome. Brenan and Morgan went home from Venice. Through all of this we only ate outside, wore masks whenever we were with people and were generally very careful. People in Slovenia wore masks all the time except for the ones that wore them below their noses.