December 21st, 2006 – by: Kathryn
Charles, Samantha and Jesse
As a way to start getting into the habit of writing travel blogs I decided to go back and fill in here what I remember of my first trip to Europe. Once I get my photos scanned I may even go back and write one for my trip to Beijing in Aug of 2001.
I had never been to Europe before and after talking it over with Charles, we decided a winter trip would be ideal. We invited two friends of ours to go with us; Jesse who had never been to Europe before, and Samantha, a seasoned traveler. Planning was a lot of fun as we decided to rent apartments off of Vacation Rental By Owner or www.vrbo.com. We figured it would be cheaper than a hotel and also have things like a washer and a kitchen. The only exceptions were Venice, where our very short stay and location preference seemed to lead best to a hotel room.
Rome by sunset
For the snowboarding in Austria
only Charles and I went. We tried a trip with Contiki, a cheap tour operator of Europe
aimed at 18-35 yr olds.
Our flight to Rome had a layover in Paris which is why my passport only has a French stamp in it. It flirts with my Chinese visa and someday they will finally settle down, tie the knot, and start spawning others until the holidays are filled with grand baby stamps and visas. At least until it expires and I have to get a new one!
We arrived late on Thursday with enough time to get to our apartment, meet with the lady who was to take our money and give us our keys and get some sleep.
The River Tevere (Tiber)
The apartment was found through Rental in Rome
, who requested that they be paid in full upon arrival rather than by electronic transfer before we left. I wasn’t all that comfortable holding that many physical Euros on my person but it was the first place we were staying so it wasn’t so bad. Also the apartment wasn’t too expensive and it was pretty nice.
The area we picked was considered the Piazza Navona area which I felt was centrally located well enough. The place itself was on the 3rd floor and overlooked Corso Vittorio Emanuele which was a busy street. It probably could have been quieter but we were never kept up by any street noise as it was set back from the street with a small square / courtyard in between. It looks like since my stay they have added a door man (see review) and maybe raised the price a bit.
Trees and ruins
The kitchen was really very nice and the two bathrooms, one with a shower and one with a full tub, were quite handy with four people. It took us a day or two to figure out the heat but that winter Europe was having record warmth so only us Southern Californians
were any cold. Later in the trip we were talking to some British girls and they were floored that we had to buy our first heavy coats for this trip.
One thing worth mentioning is the trees. When having lunch at some point I remarked that the trees were interestingly shaped.. they reminded me of those trees you see in pictures of Africa with giraffes eating the leaves because the trees are real tall and only have shrubbery at the top. After saying this Charles pointed out they could be the very same kind of tree as Africa really wasnt all that far away! Crazy hunh!!?
Rome Hotels & Accommodations review
Great apartment rental in the heart of Rome
We rented this apartment during Christmas of 2006. It was a very comfortable fit for four people as it had two bedrooms and two bathrooms. The furnish… read entire review