Sunday, April 26

Rome trip

Rome day 1 - Torn pants, weddings and a protest.

The start of the first day of our trip was insane. We took off for the airport just a bit too late and when we got in the middle of nowhere and there were ne io signs for the airport or the town where the airport was I started to get nervous. I was already prepared to go back home and being pissed off because I paid 100 euros for the plane ticket (no refund). Luckily my father knew where to go and we caught the plane. But another minute and we would stay "empty handed".
The flight was ok, the hostel was near, no problem there. So when my nerves relaxed from the morning fuss me and Erik just left our baggage in the hostel and went out.

We were ready to relax and enjoy the beautiful Rome but the second I stepped out the door I torn my pants on a piece of wire. Whatever.
Colosseum was our first destination, but we got surprised on our way there. There was obviously some protest going on. People, mostly students were protesting for free education, armed with communistic and anti fascistic flags.

We continued our walk to the colosseum and found out that some culture week is going on in Rome so we could get to some of the monuments without paying an entrance fee. Good for us, these fees can pile up quckly, we will go to a nice lunch instead of paying the fees :)

Colosseum itself was big and beautiful. And crowded with tourists. And weddings! Looks like that is a popular spot for taking wedding photos and videos because brides and grooms were all over it.

After losing our way once or twice we found the right one and continued our exploration passing the foro Romano, Pantheon and finished at fontana di Trevi. It was totally crowded. If there had been no stairs I would not have seen it at all. :)

It was beautiful, though, but I was a bit tired. After all I woke up at 4am and enormous crowds were already annoying me. We started our way back to the hostel, passing the Circo Massimo and about a thousand of others monuments I was too tired to notice. :)

Rome IS exhausting. When I came back to the hostel I just collapsed to my bed at about 7pm and slept till the morning came.

My first day in Rome was a mixture of everything. I was amazed by all the beautiful things and at the same time disappointed by the dirtiness, beggars and poverty.

Rome day 2 - THE waiting.

We were really lucky we came to Rome right on the last weekend in the month, when Vatican museums are free of entry fee too. :) 24 euros saved yesterday, 28 euros saved today.. I think we are good at saving money. :)

So.. this was the good side of Musei Vaticani, the bad one was the neverending waiting line. Or better .. never never NEVERending waiting line, the longest one I have ever seen! It stretched out for a kilometer and a half, or something like that.

I think we were waiting for about 2 hours before we got in, but it was worth it. The museums are filled with everything you can possibly imagine, statues, manuscripts, paintings, tapiseries, everything. There are several theme rooms, like the room of animals, the room of maps and the Egyptian room ... Our guidebook said you need at least four days to see it all. Well, we finished in two and a half hours, tired of walking and crowds. The only disappointment in Musei Vaticani was the Biblioteca everyone were talking about. I have been expecting it impatiently because I have heard that it is full of books and manuscript by famous writers like Dante but later I found out that I haven't even noticed it. Maybe that is because a "pile" of bookshelves was all there was. No books in Vatican library, people! After this long and exhausting tour we went outside to see the San Pietro square and the basilica. CrowdedCrowdedCrowded. But beautiful :)

This part of the city was more pleasing for our eyes, although there were gipsies selling stuff and forcing you to by roses for your girl. :) We continued our way by the Tevere river, passing all those beautiful buildigs. We were heading for the piazza l'Espagna and the famous Spanish stairs, where couples sit and artists show off. Some famous people use to live there too, if I remember correctly. Tired of everything we sat down too and rested for a moment, while writing postcards to our friends.

The stairs are really beautiful in that time of the year. Everything is blooming so they're full of colour. It is also funny to watch people there, small children all messed up by their chocolate ice cream and hyperactive Japanese tourists taking photos.

The day was coming to an end so we headed to the nearest metro station and back to the hostel. People are rushing in at the moment so we're looking forward to hanging out with them. :)

See you soon!
Rome day 3 - Walkabout.
We took our time in the morning, sleeping in. Considering that we have seen all the major things to see in rome we figured we are in no rush today. The plan was to find the market Campo de Fiori, Roman spas and anything else we find interesting on our way. We decided not to take the metro but to go on foot. What a stupid decision that was. :) Rome sure has something to offer on every step of your way but sometimes it is better to be selective.
However, at first we went to museum of risorgimento, whatever that is. Unfortunately I don't have much knowledge about Italian history so I didn't get much out of that visit. Garibaldi's spades and swords were interesting to see, though. :)

We continued our way to the campi de fiori, a small but loud market filled with all the italian yummies like porcini and other mushrooms, parmigiano, lots and lots of colorful vegetables and of course a lot of shiny useles things like fake Ray Ban sunglasses and plastic jewelry. :) I became I real tourist today because I bought myself a T-shirt with stolen words on it ;)

Then we decided to visit the old Roman spa so we walked and walked and walked for an hour and a half or so and when we arrived there the spas closed their door to the tourist. "It sucks", said some older lady who was only for a few minutes late too. We totally agreed on that. :)
We were a bit tired of walking so we sat down a bit and relaxed.

This side of the city looks much better than the one we passed the first day. Although it looked better we felt the same burning feeling in our throats - looks like the loads of traffic pollute the air so badly it actually hurts.

No need for smoking in Rome, it's already outthere. :)

We finished our day early because the weather started to get bad. All of the sudden the wind started to blow and it was raining pretty badly. So we decided to go to a nice dinner to a lovely Italian restaurant (Bruschetta with artichoke spreading, mmmmmm!!) And an ice cream after that. The most delicious one I have ever had. It was chocolate with orange!! Yummie... Lately I am crazy about jaffa taste, I make everything jaffa and this ice cream certainly blew me away :D. After this short walk to the restaurant and back the rain really started to pour so we just went up and hang out with other people in the hostel. I found some coursebook for Italian language and tried to learn something (well I have to commend myself a little bit, today I bought 5 stamps for Europe and one for America all by myself! My vocabulary was good enough to do that :)) ) And Erik was hanging out with the hostel manager who is a very funny guy too ;)

Rome day 4 - Chill out & metro day.
We came to a conclusion that we saw all the important things so we decided to take it easy today. Erik went to a small & typical Italian shop nearby to buy us some breakfast and then we went out. It was still raining so we decided to buy a daily metro ticket and see everything interesting that's near metro stops.

Our first stop was piazza de Poppolo or something like that :) We went to see villa Borghese for the beginning and that was a nice change from all the rush of the previous day. We took a long walk through the parks and by the lake, the greenery was calming us down. We just took it easy. Fortunately there were no crowds too, because people obviously gave up because of the bad weather.

After this long relaxing walk we headed a bit outside of Rome. Catacombs looked like a nice solution for the rainy day. It took us a bus ride and when we arrived there we were suprised by multilingual guides - also in Slovenian! We went to the catacombs ov st. Calixtus with a group of Slovene tourists. I liked catacombs quite a lot because they represented the birth of Christianity, when this religion was still working for the well being of every individual, apart of what it stands for nowadays. ;)
After visiting the catacombs we took the bus back to the city and bump into a group of the most typical tourist you can get, all wearing the same colour scarf not to get lost. We got so annoyed by them and by the crowds on the bus so we were very happy to get off it.

Our next visit was quite creepy. We went to see Friars Minor Capuchin cemetery that is decorated with mostly human bones. Creepy.

Greetings from Rome :P

We went back to the hostel to warm and dry ourselves up a bit and in the evening we took the metro to the Vatican city, castel sant' Angelo and piazza di Spagna again, to get some night photos with all the lights. I let my camera at home because I'm not very good at night photography. Erik did all the job and I entertained myself with a yummy nutella and coconut ice cream. The scoop that the girl gave me was enormous ;)

I just love ice cream ...

Rome day 5 - ICE CREAAAM!!!!

Today's the day of our departure. We're in no rush so we got up late, had our breakfast, packed our stuff and went out for a walk. I really got excited about that ice cream I have been already talking about so I said I HAVE to go back to get another portion of that delicious thing. The morning was all about the ice cream ;)

After calming my hunger for yummies down we continued our way to the Santa Maria maggiore church and through the Vittorio Emanuele park. The day was sunny so we sat down a bit and enjoyed it.

Our little Rome trip came to an end quickly and left us mixed feelings about it. We were amazed by the beauty and richness of Rome's monuments and history and on the other hand disappointed by the crowds, dirtiness of the big city which, because all of that, sometimes even lost its beautiful soul.

The ice cream was great, though ;)