The best way to combat jet lag is melatonin pills. However, I don’t have any. I do however have jet lag, a lost bike, many touristy sights to see, and a yoga class to teach tonight.
(Here are 8 other totally do-able ways to kick jet lag‘s nastiness →)
Key phrase of the day: Una doppio espresso per favore.
The nice thing about the Eternal City is that it is, well, eternal. We were last here almost fifteen years ago, yet today we could still find the gelateria we have talked about ever since our last visit (150 flavours – take that Baskin Robbins).
The day began after an impressive nine hour sleep (should be enough to reset our clocks and kick jet lag to the curb, right?) with a phone call to Alitalia who assured me that my bike was with the courier and on its way to our hotel. Great news!
Now I’m worried about how many pieces it will be in when it arrives.
Always Look Up
Jane and I headed out into the city after a vegan breakfast (una doppio espresso per favore) at our hotel. Just past Termini I looked up and noticed what appeared to be a vast forest 50 feet above the city, atop equally vast rough hewn 50-foot stone walls.
We wandered up a narrow cobbled street into the forest, which turned out to be the gardens of Palazzo Brancaccio, an absolutely gorgeous property in the heart of Roma. We were invited into the Palazzo by one of the ground staff. We were the only tourists in this breathtaking, ornate palazzo. The Brancaccios must have been pretty powerful.
Travel tip: Look up. It’s amazing what you’ll see that everyone else misses.
After our self-guided tour of the Palazzo, we continued walking around Roma taking in the typical tourist sites including: Domus Aurea, Colosseo, Monumento a Vittoria Emmanuelle II, Parthenon, Trinità del Monti (Spanish Steps), and Fontana di Trevi. All of these were crawling with tourists, so we didn’t spend much time at any one.
There were thousands of tourists waiting to get into the Colloseo. We imagined this is what it would have been like just before one of the sporting events (read: watching Christians being eaten by lions) held there back in the day. The throngs of tourists made the big sights seem very Disneyland-ish, but without the Fast Pass.
We spent most of our day wandering the small streets of Roma where tourist coaches don’t go. Perfetto. We saw lots of real Romans wandering the streets going about their daily lives: smoking, buying bread, carrying toilets, riding Vespas, etc.
Not long after lunch, which included a glass of Peroni, jet lag hit me like a ton of bricks. I could barely go on, yet Jane wanted to see the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain before we went ‘home’.
(Jane’s note: They were on the way!)
Lost Bike Stays Lost
I barely remember these last two sites – good thing I’ve seen them before and they’ll be there if I want to see them again. I was like a zombie, essentially asleep, while Jane nudged me onward. I kept thinking: I have to get back, get my bike, and get some sleep because I teach yoga tonight.
When we finally got back to The Beehive there was still no bike.
I called Alitalia and was very politely informed that the bike had been with the courier, but his vehicle was too full to deliver the bike then. How many bags do they lose each day?!? They thought the courier might have it this afternoon. Would it be delivered today? They couldn’t tell me.
I was deeply disappointed, but it did mean that instead of putting my bike back together, I had time for a power nap – another essential for jet lag recovery.
An hour later I was almost refreshed, but still had to get ready for yoga class.
Una doppio espresso per favore.
This evening I taught a 90-minute yoga class at Spazio Vitale, a local yoga studio, run by the gracious Laura Casini. Since Italy is currently in the midst of a failed election and has no real leader, I chose a class theme to help the students remember that inside each of them is their true leader – consciousness/god/light/truth. We worked on poses to help them be more comfortable in their selves and to help master their posture, both internal and external.
It was great to be teaching again and the realization that I don’t know when my next class will be hit me hard.
Only a piece of really good news could lift the no-teaching-for-a-while blues.
When we got back to the hotel, we found my bike waiting.
I unwrapped it and checked for any major damage. I didn’t see any. Tomorrow I’ll get the pedals back on, make some minor adjustments, and we should be good to ride.
Ciao ciao to all of you. And hopefully ciao ciao to jet lag. ♥
Hi, I’m Stephen, full-time travelling yoga teacher & founder of Adventure Yoga. I’ve taught yoga in 25 countries and have had adventures in 50! At My Five Acres, we inspire you to live your most adventurous life and help you to travel more and more mindfully.