Everyone knows this proverb. But three years ago I found out how true it is! Italy was my first roadtrip and of course there was a lot going wrong but then, in Rome, we were on the climax of desaster (I can now laugh about it and can’t wait to tell you the story).
We reached Italy by a Swiss alpine pass, one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever done in my life (read more about it here). Five metres after setting our wheels on Italian ground the aircon of our car broke down. We didn’t really care about it, screamed „retro!“and winded the car windows down, not knowing that it would get worse. This roadtrip, in a Volkswagen T5 bus I called Ernst (we were going to Italy so we needed an Italian name and Ernst is short for Ernesto, oh and „ernst“ is German for „serious“ so what name could be better?!), was a long-cheriched dream of mine.
But in Rome Ernst became a true diva. When we arrived and tried to find an accomodation the worst case szenario came into force: After parking for a while and thinking about where to go next we started the car… drove one or two metres… and… there was a jerk and then nothing. I will never forget this moment when I turned to Marc, asked him „Can you fix it?“ and he looked straight and said nothing more than „No“. Well okay. Adventure time, ey?
We called the ADAC. Then we waited for two hours. Finally we got towed by an Italian who did not speak any English. Fun time! (I should’ve played more activity at home) We somehow managed to communicate, he towed the car to a garage ’nearby‘ (outside Rome, really I mean outside and behind town sign!) and was kind enough to pick us up too and drop us off at a hotel nearby he recommended us. We tried to start a conversation and Marc, after he found a sign in the car that said ‚vietato fumare‘, asked if this was his name – turned out it means ’no smoking‘ and we didn’t even try to talk again.
We had a good night sleep and, more importantly, a shower at the hotel to finally look like human beings again and then made some plans to survive Rome. In short, we looked for a new accomodation and found ‚Marians Guesthouse‘ (owned by, yes guess it, Marian), a really nice and cheap place owned by some super friendly Indians who tried everything to help us with the car and tried everything to make the mechanics understand we want our car repaired.
In the end, we spent a whole week in Rome till the car was repaired which wasn’t too bad – I knew worse places to be stuck in. We made our way to the garage several times during our stay in Rome (and the way to get there was an adventure in itself but thankfully I can now say that I know how to use busses in Rome) and eventually, after seven days of waiting the replacement part for the car got deliviered (from Germany- funny, isn’t it?).
And no matter how much we loved Rome we were more than excited to continue our roadtrip.
All this made me learn three important lessons:
First: Rome ist beautiful. I love this city more than any other city and will always have a ‚very special‘ relationship with the city (a good one though).
Second: Things never turn out the way you expect. But that’s nothing bad in the end.
Third: You’re always much braver and stronger than you’ve always thought and dammnit you can master absolutely everything!
So stay adventurous, master hard situations and laugh about them afterwards!