Monday, March 29, 2010


hello my darling followers,

Although I still have about 3000000 million billion photos from Barcelona and the second half of Matt's visit I'm currently in Rome with some down time so I thought I'd blog about my visit here while it's still fresh in my mind.

Unfortunately Flickr the site I put my last photos on does not let me upload more than 100 per month (for free) so i'm searching for another site right now!

However, let me tell you about my trip to Rome:

Day 1: Good Friday, fly from Madrid to Rome
so I have 2 train stations in my town that can take me to the metro that takes me to the airport. The first, is very small and close to where I live (about a 10 minute walk) however the train only runs from there every hour. The second is in the center of town and the train departs there every 10 minutes but you have to take a bus to get to the center of town. My original plan was to take the close train at 6:49 am so I would leave my apartment at 6:35. However when I woke up around 5:30 I decided I didn't want to walk alone to the train station ... it's safe and all but it's a long straight path thru a long dark field and I knew my imagination would get the better of me if I did that. So, I looked up the bus schedule, saw that one arrived at 6:40 and decided to hop on that and go to the center of town.

Well, I was at the bus station around 6:35 and waited for the bus. 6:40 rolled around, still no bus. started to get nervous. 6:41: realized it was good friday and the start of school vacation: what does this mean? different bus schedule!!!! aka no busses before 7:30 AM!!! ahh!!! so i had to run, in my worn out talbot's flats I've had for 3 years ... so cute but the sole is literally flopping off of them ... with my suitcase across a field ... and by the time i strapped my suitcase onto my back had only 6 minutes to get there ... and the next train wasn't for an hour!

so, through the field I ran, passing old men out for morning walks staring at me as though I were crazy, lost my shoe, didn't have time to put it back on, ran with one shoe on, the other in my hand, and a suitcase on my back like a backpack and magically made the train ... with a full minute to spare!

whew, the worst was over! ... or so I thought.

check in at the Ryan Air counter was no problem but when I got to the gate ... a full 45 minutes before the flight took off, everyone was already in line! so, not understanding why, I still jumped in line with them ... then ... the plane was late getting in by 45 minutes. ugh, after standing in line for 1.5 hours in my broken shoes I handed the woman at the counter my ticket and she tried to tell my my suitcase was not carryon acceptable. I explained to her that the man at the check in counter told me it was but she made me shove it into this little "if your bag fits in here it can come on the plane" box ... and it, being a soft duffle, almost fit but needed a little push. she told me it wouldn't do and I'd have to pay 35 euro ... about 50 us dollars to check it. I told her that if her airline allowed me to have a personal item and a carryon this wouldn't be a problem but my purse had to be inside my carry-on so that's why there's so much stuff in my suitcase. she did not care. Naturally, I looked at the young, male, flight attendant next to her, explained that i'd be more than happy to rearrange a few things, put on an extra shirt, or anything to get my bag on board. then I smiled. He let me pass right on thru :)

the flight was fine ... the seats didn't recline and the drinks and food were for a price but I survived. Then Abby, my friend who I was meeting in Rome, had class that day so she gave me directions to get to her place. Only problem was, she gave me the wrong bus number.

She told me to get out of the airport ... take the bus that cost 4.50 ... to Termini the main train station in Rome... check. (though a bus line or name would have been more helpful, but that's abby's direction style ... love you ab!) haha.

then unfortunately her friend gave her wrong info regarding bus numbers. in spain I never feel like a fish out of water b/c i speak spanish, but in Italy I really was uncomfortable not knowing how to buy a bus ticket or anything and being by myself, but i survived, bought a bus ticket and got on what I thought was the right bus. Abby told me to "get off when you see a hospital on an island ... they don't announce bus stops or anything" well, I couldn't see an island nor a hospital and by the grace of god a young girl on the bus spoke both spanish and english! she told me i should get off at the next stop and get on the 280 ... or 281 (she couldn't remember) bus and that will bring me to the hospital. I had walking directions from abby via the hospital. However, the 280 bus pulled up and he told me he did not go to the hospital. confused, and without a map I debated going to a souvenir shop to buy a map or to just hail a cab ... i decided cab. I told the cabby the name of the piazza in which abby's class is located and he plugged it into his gps ... only 2 Km away ... sweet deal!

so he dropped me off as close as he could get me b/c the street was closed for construction. he told me how to walk there but as a second opinion i decided to ask the police man standing on the corner ... he said I was going in the wrong direction ... pointed me a different way. anyways, eventually, about 3 hours later i found abby ... and then ... realized ... i left my cell phone in the cab! oh well ...

abby had class until about 5 so at 5 we went to the grocery store to buy dinner supplies, walked around her neck of rome, she took me to a place with a great view, we made dinner, hung out with her ... 16, yep 16 roommates and went to bed early.

next day, up at 6am for a full day field trip. we went to 3 italian villas and gardens outside of rome with abby's class. It was pretty cool ... one was called monster park and all the architecture was enormous stone creatures, another was the Pope's summer palace, and the other I honestly forget, but we had a picnic lunch there and it was quite cool. That night my friend from my sorority who is studying in Italy as well, met up with us for a traditional italian dinner. Then we went out with Abby's friends to celebrate her birthday.

so, i really loved the trip we took that day ... but i DID NOT DID NOT DID NOT DID NOT like the italian men at the bar we went to.

i know in spain i sometimes get a lot of attention for being tall and blonde, since everyone is short with dark hair ... and at first i found that unsettling, however I got used to it and realized it was more friendly than creepy. Also, in my small town everyone is just SO nice to me. at the butcher he says "yes boston what can I get you" and the cheese guy calls me "pretty blonde" and that's okay ... but the italian men are NOT OKAY.

in spain, they stare. in italy ... the act like vultures. literally a man would come up and ask if he could have a picture with me, i'd say no ... he wouldn't take no for an answer. I'd walk away, he and his 5 friends would follow. they'd circle me. they'd try to tell me to drink from their drink (like, hello, am i stupid or something? i know i have blonde hair but i am far too intelligent to fall for any of your little tricks). I would literally have to push my way out of their little circles, but each time id make sure to step hard on one of their feet just to show them that I wasn't just playing hard to get. Luckily after the first few times it happened abby's friends would catch on and would stand all around me so that italian men couldn't come near me. sometimes I think I should dye my hair brown.

Today abby had homework so my friend Liz and I did a walking tour of rome. We stood outside the Vatican for Palm Sunday service which was really quite a spectacle, although we couldn't get inside to see the service we were able to people watch the tens of thousands in the crowd and it was really something special. We didn't go inside any of the buildings since I've already booked a trip to Italy (wheel of fortune) in August I don't want to spoil the fun of that trip. Then Liz and I went out for some pizza, did some shopping, spent too much money, and hopped on a 2 hour train ride back to her little town called Viterbo ... which is a walled in ... fortified city .. it's quite cool. Tomorrow she and I are going to tour her city and then tomorrow night I head back to rome, spend the night with abby until about 3 am... get up for my flight back to Madrid to meet my lovely sister Elizabeth and give her a tour of madrid ... if I can stay awake!

touring is so much fun, but so exhausting!!

here are the pics: okay well the internet in my friend's village is too slow to upload pics, so i'll post those on a new blog later!

also if anyone hears of any photo contests, I have a few I'm proud of (of the 900 i've taken over the past 3 months ... and I'd like to enter them into contests, so let me know if you hear of anything!)

No comments:

Post a Comment