New hostel, Fabric.
So yesterday wasn't too good. I spend three hours on the laptop in the morning trying to organise my next destination, Napoli. Major headache getting transport etc. Was advised to avoid Napoli station, for like people grabbing your bag and the usual pickpockets. So eventually I was going to go to a little place in Sorrento
(Pompeii is right in the middle of Sorrento and Naples). But I read a review that this place was horrible to stay so I cancelled that and am now in the Fabric Hostel, which I'll talk about later.
So yesterday after all that online hassle, I headed off into the sunshine, was so warm and lovley! Got the metro to the Colosseum, which you can't miss, it's right infront of the station! I wasn't going to go inside to save money, but see it from the outside.
These mirrors are everywhere! I have them at home!
There were guys dressed as gladiators all around. One was asking if I wanted to get a photo. I kept saying "how much?" but he didn't answer. Two girls infron of me got theirs and once they were done, he took my camera from my hand and pushed me towards these other gladiators, who put a helmet on me and a sword in my hand and the first guy took pictures. I overheard him charge the other two girls 10 euros so I thought ugh at least it'll be a fiver. But he said ten! I had like 5 in change and nothing else so I put that in his hand and he looked at me and started shouting in Italian and wouldn't give me my camera back, it was scary! Eventually he gave me my camera and stomped off, probably to tell other guys to sneak up on me and steal my camera or something....so that put me in a bad mood and I felt uneasy.
Then as I was climbing a hill to get a better picture of the colosseum, I accidently blew dust onto some old guy who shouted at me. I felt horrible, but it was a really nice day so I just sat in the sun outside the station before going home to get a McDonalds, which is the same in every language! Then went back to the hostel and got online to bitch.
Two lovley Canadians checked in last night, Rob and Sarah. Sarah lent me her ipod charger, what a life saver! And I gave Rob my little Rome
book mum gave me from her honeymoon here, it's been a great help, with maps, directions and a list of the tube stops. We swapped facebooks over breakfast this morning so that's good! Also added Jill from the pub crawl.
Rob even said "well if you're ever in Canada you've definatley got a place to stay!" which was nice!
So I sat at the bar for a few hours after I checked out to wait on my train. Started looking at jobs in Malta or Croatia. Sarah is so jealous and is thinking about coming out for a week or so which would be great!
Train stations in Rome are strange things. I do have to say that I didn't see one dodgey looking character the whole time I was in Rome which was nice. I felt safe there and comfortable with my surroundings and knew where I was going. There's often people sitting in the corner with a cup, like beggars or homeless, but with some disturbing deformity. Like near the Vatican I saw a guy just lying on the street, looking dirty, kinda shaking, with huge boils on his head, just holding his cup out.
Then there was a man with no arms....they're heartbreaking to look at and make me uncomfortable. Also I have to note that I've seen a couple of people with face masks on, like the kind surgeons wear. Now my first thought is "they've got swine flu or something" but their companions usually don't have a mask on....unless these people are so paranoid they wear a mask to stop getting it? Who knows, I have to google that one.
So today started fine, found my train and my seat on a eurostar and made the 2 hour journey from Rome to Napoli. Journey was nice, clean, and air conditioned! Then I got to Napoli station and yes, it looked dodgey and unclean, but no one hassled me and it was quite quiet. It also looked like it was unfinished....covers over things etc. Found my way to the tube I had to get and asked someone if I was at the right stop for Portici via Liberta.
My neighbour is a Twilight fan!!
She didn't understand but some guy came over and in English helped me and told me I was at the right place and it was his train. Then I noticed him reading my notes underneath, how to get to the Fabric hostel and I got paranoid. Then I swear some guy beside me was making subtle signals to someone, he kept checking his watch and winking at someone. I got scared when he moved closer to me so I started talking to an American couple, safety in English accents. But they got on their train and the first guy tried to talk to me more about where I was going so I just marched straight back upstairs, feeling unsafe as hell and my bag was killing me and I was starving and tired. I asked an English speaking tourist information man how much a taxi would be and he just said no, too expensive, and told me to go back downstairs but told me another train than the first guy was going to try and get me on.
Arrived, at long last!
So this was due in ten minutes so I hung around for a bit before going down, and the guy was gone, but the creepy signals guy was still there, looking at me. But I got on my train and he was gone by my stop. It was quite a walk down to the Piazza San Ciro, but I found the big church I was meant to and asked a policeman for my street and some old local pointed me in the right direction, down a scary looking back street but I saw my hostel right away and got checked in and settled in. It's very quiet, only saw one girl in the bathroom. Free computer access unless it's busy, which it isn't. So I'm gonna finish this then eat coz I'm starving then make plans for tomorrow. The hostels welcome booklet says this is a very safe place to walk around in and has directions to common places. Like the Herculeum, which I've heard is better than Pompeii
as it's buildings are still intact, is about a ten minute walk away. So I'll look into it but I'd like to go to Pompeii. It's only 5 euros to get in on a student price. (Student just means Europeans under 25 so I'm ok).
My headache's gone now I'm settled. This place is nice the girl at the desk speaks good English....and it'll do, I only wanted a place to keep my bag while I saw Pompeii, so I'm satisfied. Not quite the first impressions I got from the Yellow, but it's bigger. There's this big common area with huge beanbags to watch tv or read or whatever and a dvd collection which I may check out later. The room has two floors, which you'll see in the pictures. Had to go upstairs within the room to my level. But there's only two other beds there so It should be ok, looks like two girls. (And one has New Moon and Eclipse sitting out. Can't say no to a Twilight fan!) Speaking of Vampires, I downloaded a free podcast....well audio book of this vampire thing, to listen to travelling or in bed. First two chapters were good but the rest didn't download proplerly, as I only found out on the train and didn't have a wifi connection to correct it.
So just a little update to let you all know I'm alright and made it to Napoli, and somewhere to show my colosseum photos!