Rome Travel Blog› entry 11 of 14 › view all entries
We were in Rome for exactly one week, so this blog could potentially be a hundred chapters long. I'll have to sum it up, since I'm getting a bit behind!
When we arrived in Rome, we went straight to the campground where we would be staying for just one night before moving to an apartment that Vanessa's family friend set up for us. At the campground we met up with Mat, an Aussie guy that we had met in London who was travelling alone and wanted to see Rome with us. The campground was as good as the one in Venice, with a pool, bar, and (thank god) airconditioned trailers. The temperature was somewhere around the mid-30s in Rome, so nights could be very uncomfortable. That night at the campground there was what they called a Mafia Party at the bar. Basically they handed out gangster hats and had a poster of the godfather on the wall. It was good fun though, and we met some Canadian girls who we hung out with and danced with all night!
Day 2 was a big of a moving-around day. In the morning, V's family friend came to pick us up and bring us to his apartment on the other side of the city. The place was pretty nice, but we soon discovered...no air conditioning! Uh oh. We dropped our stuff off and made our way into the Center by bus and metro (we were very proud to figure it out all by ourselves!). We got there mid-day, so we had to brave the heat in our sightseeing. We decided just to walk around today, see what we really want to put more time into in the rest of our days in Rome. We saw the Spanish Steps (unfortunately, they were working on the church above, so it was covered in scaffolding), which was basically just a big staircase with the scaffolding. We saw the Pantheon, which was a very amazing building. Apparently, though it was built around the year 800, the technology of the huge dome is a huge feat even by today's standards. They are still researching into the method and meaning behind that amazing building. We also saw a lot of old ruins, including the Colosseum. We didn't go in though, we decided to save it for another day. Instead, we headed back to our side of town and went on a mission to find dinner...and a kiddie pool to put on the deck of the apartment! Success! We found the pool, grabbed some groceries (with a little bit of trouble...the locals either give very bad directions, or else think its funny to mislead innocent tourists), had pizza at a nearby restaurant, then headed home to fill up the pool. It fit perfectly on the deck, and eventually was filled with cold water and ready for another hot day! We played cards for a bit, then headed to bed. Unfortunately, because the airconditioning wasn't working, none of us slept at all. My sheets were completely wet from sweat (eeew), and the open windows let in a bunch of mosquitos. Miserable.
Day 3 in Rome, we decided to do a Big Bus tour to get a quick look at Rome and have a better idea where everything is. We hopped on the bus fairly early, and did a full loop of the city on the open upper deck. The breeze was fantastic! The city was amazing, such an interesting mix of old ruins, impressive Roman architecture, and modern buildings. Most amazing to me were the ruins, many up to 2000 years old, where you can see just an outline of what it used to look like. It is so incredible, to be able to imagine how people lived and what their lives must have been like.The Trevi fountain was also an amazing sight, the most famous fountain in the world (it even has an exact replica, though smaller, in Vegas). That afternoon we headed home to escape the heat by drinking beer in our kiddie pool. That night, Vanessa had the genius idea of dressing like ninjas (all in black) and taking our waterguns to the bar we had spotted down the street. Adding in an accent, we became...Mexican Watergun Ninjas! Oh, it was a good night! The bar was pretty neat, with a dance floor inside and lots of tables and a bar outside. It was Hawaiian night (and ninja night), so the staff was all dressed in grass skirts. We were definitely the highlight of the night in that bar (or the lowlight, depending who you talk to). The staff loved us, as we made more of the people in the bar interact and act ridiculous. We spent the first part of the night sitting at a table, drinking wine and squirting anything that walked by. The second half was spent doing ridiculous line dances to techno songs (everyone in the bar knew the moves...so odd), sending love notes to other tables (we recruited an english-speaking interpreter from another table), and avoiding the scary bouncer who apparently had a phobia of water. The staff got their revenge on us, though. They came up to play a "game", blindfolding us at the table. In our tipsy state, we're thinking, "yay, a game!". We then had an entire litre bottle of water dumped over our heads. I have the most hilarious picture, of the water hitting me first and me screaming, while Vanessa next to me is still sipping her wine, the water about 1 second from hitting her head. Classic.
Day 4 was Sunday, and we wanted to go to the Vatican to be blessed by the pope (every sunday at 12 he comes out on his balcony and blesses the crowd). We dragged our butts out of bed and took the bus down to the metro to find...it's broken. They can't explain why (our theory is that someone probably jumped, there were a lot of police involved), but with their limited english they tell us to take bus #1A. By this time, we only had 30 minutes to get to the Vatican, so we knew we'd miss the pope for sure. Crappy. So we waited for this bus for at least 45 minutes, in the sun and 35 degree heat at the bus station (remember, this was the day after watergun ninja night...feeling a wee bit hungover). The bus finally arrives, and it quickly fills to overflowing with people. It's hot, there's no air conditioning, and the bus is so full that we literally could not squeeze one more person in. We had to leave people at the station. I have people pushed up on all sides of me, and it was a loooong ride. About 45 minutes to an hour long. Miserable. By the time we got into town, and had missed the pope, none of us were in the mood for sightseeing. We made a group decision to head back to the campground from the first night, back to the airconditioning and pool! We grabbed a bus back to the metro (finally working again), and went home to pack. Once we made it back to the campground, we rented a larger room, that had 2 bedrooms with a full kitchen, table, and patio. Still so cheap, love campgrounds! We went shopping and bought supplies for dinner and breakfast, Ness made guacamole too (sooo good), and we put some beers in a bucket and headed to the pool. Sooo much better!