June 8, Monday, in route to Rome. We couldn't figure out how to get off of the road taking us to Rome in order to visit a hill village so we did the only thing we could do, took an off-ramp to Tarquinia where it seemed that visitors were welcome. It's one of those towns that built up around the ancient ruins; the mixture of Etruscan and post war was a bit unsettling. We settled for the ancient village and scouted for parking. A square where two of the photos above were shot, left and bottom, offered spaces. We braved a dark entrance into a restaurant and realized that we were the only English speaking people in the place. Where were the throngs of tourists that the guidebook cautioned, "the partly walled village is overrun with fellow visitors."
Info about Tarquinia is here:
Lunch was excellent! We ordered, by pointing to our choices, two different pasta dishes. Little did I know that one of the more humorous adventures was about to take place all because I was in need of a bathroom. It would help if signs are written in English, but then we don't help visitors to our country, and it would also be a good thing to not leave a key in the doorknob.
I turned it. I washed up and tried to tidy my hair and I guess that I'd spent a little too long in the bathroom; suddenly there was knocking on the door. I turned the key, it didn't unlock and then it hit me. I was locked in! The two waitresses on the other side of the door tried to get me to
understand them, language barrier at its best. At least they knew I was locked in and it wasn't until one of them shoved a napkin under the door that I realized that they needed the key. Ah! I dropped the key and after some fumbling with the lock I was free. The three of us burst out laughing, language barrier gone, and hugged! Roger missed the excitement but he was aware that something was amiss but had no idea that I was in the midst of it.
Photos directly above: left top, crumbling section of a ruin. Right top, my feet parked in a marked parking space. Middle left, clothes drying down a side street. Right middle, same clothes drying photographed in a safety mirror for blind corners. Bottom left. sign on a shop. And the last one, decorative paving in the square.
The village is mostly grey stone and not colorful which could be why I worked harder to get interesting photos. I think that some of the images that I got in Tarquinia will afford themselves to other mediums, fabric, paper, etc. When we returned to the car we were puzzled by interest in the fountain. People would stop their cars, dump out water from their plastic bottles and fill them with water from the fountain, the same fountain that was in the post a few days ago with the pigeons perching on it and in the left photo above. Others would slurp directly from the flowing water, and a few shop keepers filled watering cans for their plants. Miracle water? Nope, not taking a chance even if it is the cure!
Quote: "Too often travel, instead of broadening the mind, merely lengthens the conversations." -- Elizabeth Drew