We didn’t have much time on Wednesday before our flight, but we managed to sneak in some more fine Italian coffee and a visit to the Basilica of St Maria Maggiore (the Theotokos), which was/is the patriarchal basilica of Antioch.
But first, the coffee (top photo). There’s a whole different coffee culture in
“Ah, 3 minutes.”
(Incidentally, we thought this is something that would catch on in American culture – I’m surprised we haven’t seen it yet.)
Next, as we headed toward the train station, we passed the church in the second photo. I saw the name, but now I forget it. I remember it is a church from about the 5th century, which they then renovated during the Renaissance with a new façade (which you can see clearly in the photo).
Finally, we popped in to St Maria Maggiore, to see one more thing before we headed off. What can I say? It was another enormous, historic church (see bottom two photos). Built over a pagan
After a short visit, we continued to the train station, where we caught the train to the airport (about 30-40 minutes away).
The train was slow, and we hit several delays in trying to find the right counter at the airport. By the time we got there, it was 35 minutes until boarding. Fortunately, there were no lines anywhere – for tickets or security.
We arrived at the ticket desk, and the woman from the Italian airline told us that there was a random rule (not sure whose) that prohibited passengers from checking in after 40 minutes before boarding. Since it was 35 minutes, we were out of luck and would miss our flight.
We asked: “Well, have our seats been sold?”
“Oh no, there are 20 empty seats on the flight.”
“Um, well, is there some way we could get on anyway, seeing as we can easily make it to the gate in plenty of time?”
“Oh, this is a big problem. Big problem.”
So began about 20-25 minutes of phone calls, head scratching, mini-conferences, etc. while we stood there waiting. Finally, they solved the problem of their own system, but now it was much later. So the woman led us, running, through the airport, got a favor to let us go through the security for airport personnel, and pointed us at our gate, saying “Run, run!”
We arrived, out of breath, only to find that they had just announced that they would begin boarding.
So that’s it for the
Pelagia went to