Tuesday, November 16, 2010
AMSTERDAM TO ROME VIA MUNICH
Well, the time has come for my final non-USA city, Rome. The coffee machine in the Amsterdam airport lounge had a button for expresso-chocolate. First time I've seen this. Excellent!
Unfortunately, the 35 minute connection time in Munich was 5 minutes too short, so I missed my flight to Rome. However, I was sent to the Senator Lounge, where I got a connection in a hour. In the meantime, I had a bowl of tomato soup, large pretzel, frankfurter, pickle, Lowenbrau beer and two ounces of one of my very favorite scotches, Highland Park. Nice stop, after all.
The next flight was on a strange Italian airline, but all went fine. The taxi to the St. Regis cost, gulp, about a hundred dollars. It was pouring, and, unfortunately, that is how it will be for the next few days. I wasn't particularly hungry, but when I checked in, I asked if any of their restaurants served spaghetti bolognese (SB). The answer was no, but they would be glad to make it for me.
I've been tasting SB all over the world, and just wanted to make my first meal in Italy this dish to compare with what I've been having all my life. So at 9PM I went to Vivendo, ordered a green salad and SB, with a Moretti beer. Guests at all the other tables were drinking wine, but I was thirsty. It was, probably, the best SB I've ever had. Oh, the meal cost around $75. But the chef's three course meal with wine was about $150.
Pearl and I were in Rome in the 80's. The St. Regis was not here yet, but it took over a hundred year old hotel about ten years ago. My room is about twice the size of any I've had on this trip, and came with a fruit bowl, full bottle of chianti and free internet.
The Dow Jones Industrials sunk 1.6%, -178 to 11,024, with world markets also all down. The Shanghai Composite significantly dropped again, minus 4%, on worries that the government would begin controlling prices to boost production. Gold crashed $22/toz to $1340, a 50+ point drop since the all-time high on November 11. Oil also dropped, 3% today on worries about the European debt crisis. See right for trend and price.