Sunday, November 9, 2008

When in Rome!

PICTURES (in order top to bottom):
1. Scotty and Evan playing Uno on the train to Rome
2. So happy I got to see Mary!
3. Colosseum!
4. Rome overview
5. Spaghetti!
6. Maserati!
7. Me in front of the Mussolini building
8. Police blockade
9. Vatican
10. Inside the Basilica
11. Patheon
12. Spanish steps
13. Sistine Chapel ceiling
To see all of my pictures on PhotoBucket go to:
On the left you will see a list of the different Albums. Just click on the one you want and the pictures will come up. I separated them by city to make them easier to view.

Bonjourno! So last week we had a vacation week. I’m not really sure why but, hey, I’m not complaining! Scott, Karen, and I planned an Italy trip including Rome, Florence, and Milan. On Thursday the 23rd we boarded an overnight train to Rome with our other friends, Alex from Canada and Evan from Colorado. I’ve come to find that I cannot sleep on overnight trains, even though we had beds. Some guy in the room next to us was snoring so loud I thought the walls were going to crack. Also we stopped for at least an hour in the middle of the night and I heard people knocking on the door next to us saying, “Policia! Policia!” I’m not sure what that was all about. All I know is it made us really late and angry. My friend from high school, Mary, is studying abroad in Rome so she was there to meet us at the train station! Unfortunately, she was leaving for Switzerland that day following an exam so I did not have much time to spend with her. First, we checked into our hotel. It was quite frustrating because the Italian guy behind the desk did not understand our situation at all and was attempting to charge us extra money. After yelling at him for a while, I just gave up and we left for lunch.

I was so excited for my first Italian meal! I could eat pasta everyday for the rest of my life, so Italy seems the place for me! I believe I had pizza one time and the rest was spaghetti with tomato sauce. After lunch I had to say goodbye to Mary as the rest of us headed off to the Colosseum. As soon as we got off the metro stop and walked outside, it was RIGHT there in front of us. The Colosseum is, by far, one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. The pure size of it is baffling, not to mention how ridiculously old it is! After buying a knock-off Prada bag, I got in the entrance line. The inside was just as incredible as the outside and I got a little camera-happy so you can check out the pictures. Outside there is a huge arc surrounded by really interesting trees! I liked them a lot for some reason. There are also palm trees in Rome which was cool. The weather was great, sunny and quite hot. We then climbed about a billion steps to the top of something and got a great view of all of Rome, especially its ruins.

By this time it was pretty late so we went back to shower and walked around Rome some more. We found this gorgeous building that we believe had something to do with Mussolini and made a point to come back the next day. We also got some ice cream and made a mess sitting on the side of the street eating it. In Italy if you sit at the tables in a restaurant or shop you have to pay a sitting fee, so we resorted to the sidewalk!

Saturday we went to a famous fountain and went in the Mussolini museum which ended up being quite boring except for the beautiful view at the top of it. (OMG I saw the most gorgeous Maserati on a street when I was getting us lost! I took pictures, it was beautiful!) Next we went and saw a movie about the history of Rome. It was in those theatres with the moving chairs and special effects like water, fog, etc. It was pretty interesting and fun. After that we walked around saw a huge protest. There were police all over lining up in blockade formation. I was somewhat nervous as we had no idea what was going on. We quickly left that area to go get ready for the night. We attended a Pub Crawl that turned out to be a great time. We got free T-shirts and you can never go wrong with that! We met a bunch of other Americans and even Australians! Towards the end of the night Karen and I got separated from the group because they got on a different bus so we just made our way back to the hostel and went to bed.

Sunday morning, Alex, Karen, and I did the responsible thing and made our way to the Vatican. I was really hoping to see the Pope but, unfortunately, that didn’t happen. While waiting in line to go in the Basilica we met two American guys dressed as priests. I don’t know if they were trying to sell something or flirt with girls but I’m thinking dressing up as priests at the VATICAN isn’t really the right angle to take. We also saw the Swiss guards on the way in. Personally I think they look ridiculous in their little clown outfits. They really need a fashion update. Like all the other churches we have been in, the Basilica was massive and gorgeous. The architecture around the altar was amazing!

Next we headed to the Pantheon and stopped to see some interesting sights along the way. While the girls were out and about the boys, Scotty and Evan had rented mopeds and were driving all around Rome. When we got back that night they had an interesting story waiting for us. Apparently Scotty was riding on a road with tram tracks and when he went to turn, his wheel got stuck, he went flying over the handlebars, and crashed. The cost of a damaged bike is 900 euros so Scotty said all he thought when he was flying through the air was, “NO! 900 EUROS! My parents are going to kill me!” Thankfully, the bike was not that marked up, and Scotty luckily got away without any payment. Also, he was miraculously not hurt except for a scratched up knee. He should be so happy he didn’t have to go to the hospital because I would have slapped him for making me so worried and stressed out!

On Monday we headed back to the Vatican museum to see the Sistine Chapel which had been closed the day before. We were quite unaware that you have to pass through over 40 rooms until you actually get to the chapel. Not to mention that every room had a sign that said “Chapella Sistina” with an arrow so we kept thinking it was the next room! We only had an hour until we had to catch our train so we straight up booked it through the whole museum until we finally reached the Chapel. It was well worth it, though, the ceiling was unbelievable and we got some illegal pictures! Once we left we just about ran back to our hostel so we wouldn’t miss our train to Florence.

On a more general note, I think I should have studied Italian instead of French. The language is almost comical, because it is just English with an “i” or “a” or “o” at the end of every word! As I currently look at my Pringles can from Italy, for example, the word for ingredients is “ingredienti”, nutritional information is “informazioni nutrizionali”, and carbohydrates is “carboidrati”. I mean, come on, can’t they get a little more creative??? Oh well, when in doubt in Rome, just go up to someone and say “I’ma losta, cana you helpa me?” and you should be good! HAHA! Ciao!

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