When In Rome...

Trip Start Feb 21, 2006
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34
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Trip End Jul 20, 2006


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Flag of Italy  ,
Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Hey..

Sorry its a bit long..well it is Rome...if you want the most interesting stuff read the last couple of Paragraphs..

On leaving Prague I had my flight to Rome with my random European airline which was the cheapest I could find....the entire Czech female body building team were on my plane. I wasn't to sure if they were girls at first..I had to look really hard..their features were more masculine then mine and they had bigger biceps..must have been all those drugs they take...if they faced up against 12 guys...im pretty sure the guys would run..they looked mean...

Upon picking up my bags from the terminal, I said G'day to another backpacker..as you always do..turned out we were both catch the train to Rome. Jamie (a girl) was from the states, she was in a sorority, like that of legally blond..although she assures me it is much different..but hers is the most secretive female sorority in America. Unknowns to both of us we was end up traveling together through Rome, Florence, Pisa, finally the Chinque Terra. Becoming friends in the process, its amazing how after spending 8 days with someone you feel like you have know them your whole life. Arriving in Rome we arrange to meet at the train station the next day and went to our various hostels.

Turns out my place Camping Roma is about 50 minutes out of Rome, one pain in the arse with my 26 Kg pack..I have no idea whats in there..think I am carrying invisible bricks..

I was up early the next day attempting to get to Rome..you need a bus then the metro from where I was staying..and guess what the bus only runs once every 30 minutes...there are 2000 people staying at the campsite and the bus can fit about 50 people...you can imagine what happens..after missing the first bus..its was on..you could see it in every ones eyes..every man to himself...there were about 200 people waiting for the next bus...I made it on but it wasn't pretty...felt sorry for a couple to Canadians I was chatting to who where trying to make their train..but people with packs stood no chance...It was like this every morning and every night when trying to return to the campsite...after a while I became used to it but I felt sorry for all the newbies..who I warned every time I met some...only to see the sad faces outside the bus when it left...they learned quick! To top it all off there was a 4 young kids who worked the bus pickpocketing the tourists..they almost had a NZder on my first bus ride, on another one they actually pick pocketed a local..they had the nerve to run next to the bus with his wallet after he shouted insults at them in Italian..remember these guys for later..

The next three days I did an immense amount of sightseeing around Rome, the culture and history is immense here..I am sure you could spend weeks and not see it all. I managed to see
Vatican City, walked through St Peter's Square and Bernini's Piazza di San Pietro and up to the top of St Peter's Basilica, and through the church.. designed my Michelangelo...Huge and extravagant..Trevi Fountain..where I had possible the best Ice Cream ever..it was a tie with Trampoline in the end (Melbourites only), the Imperial Forum, Colosseum, and arch of Constantine, Jamie and I were so exhausted at this point that we took a siesta and slept on Palatine hill (Nest to the Colosseum) for 2 hours then walked to the Parthenon, Coffee in a cute little hidden bar..thanks to the LP..and dinner at the best Pizza place in Rome again thanks LP.. We turned up at 7:30 and walked strait onto a table..thinking this place cant be too popular..the cue was 100m long when we left..we were lucky with our timing, went to the Piazza di Spagna and the Spanish Steps after that, and then walked through the Roman Forum and to the Colosseum at night...that was only one day....

Next day qued up early to go to the Vatican museums...the line was huge like nothing I have ever seen before there would have been at least 5000 people..it was also Sunday so it was free..hence the extra long ques. It was incredible, my favorite part was the Sistine chapel, by far the most incredible amount of things..but by the end I almost felt like the Vatican was saying look how good we are..the audio guide was great..learn lots of interesting details. I also went to the Catacombs just outside the city, its amazing how all over Rome there are the Old Roman Pagan religious buildings, which were covered over and built with Christian Churches only to be covered over and replaces with catholic Church's..strange how that happens especially considering the different beliefs of Pagans and Catholics. Then on a walking tour from Yellow Hostel around the roman forum and the oldest parts of Rome..it was great..one of the best tours I have been on..If anybody is coming to Rome stay at yellow Hostel. They do great tours including a awesome pub crawl..

Now for some of the most interesting 4 hours of my trip...

I was broke, I had 5 euro cents to my name...at it was 9 at night..time for the ATM..as always when you really need something it can never be found...after walking about 20 minutes into a dodgy part of town I found one..I should have really took note that I was in the dodgy part of town and thought that through...but attempting to take money out it wouldn't give me any..."insufficient funds"...I felt like I wanted to hit my brother over the head with a pillow (I'm not the mean older brother stereo type), actually maybe something heavier...trying a few more times with no luck and it was early in the morning back in Aus so no money for me..as I tuned around I was surrounded by 4 guys, young Italians..Uh Oh..I quickly pulled out my wallet showed them how I had no money and gesticulated in a fashion showing how I couldn't get any out..and prepared myself to bolt..they guys stated arguing and I thought they were going to beat me up...as they finished arguing a couple of them yelled something at me in Italian and they all walked off...now I was thanking my bro for not checking my account..which help me from not getting mugged..after that experience I was a bit shaken...but on my way back to the bus stop I found another ATM which game me 100 euro as a cash advance...thankfully I didn't think of that before...to celebrate my superior intellect..food was in order..had the best kebab ever...food always tastes better when you still have every part of you in the right place...anyway I am rambling...

I turned up to the bus stop at 11:45 just in time for the last bus..it was a squeeze...and guess who the 4 guys were who surrounded me...read the earlier bit if you missed it...they picked me as their target..but my wallet was in my zipped up pocked and I want in a good mood..as soon as I felt one of the guys put his hand in my pocked I hit him as hard as I could in the bottom of his ribs with my elbow, as they always did they hopped off the bus just before it left (This was their modus operandi) . It was a stupid decision on reflection..one of the guys may of had a knife or something but at the time that thought didn't enter my head..At this point I am so ready for a shower and bed...I couldn't have been more wrong...

Arriving back at my room at 12:30, I walked in to discover that none of my stuff was there...I mean none...ever my toiletries where gone...I thought you gotta be kidding..I looked under my bed and found my dirty washing a my sleeping bags...this had to be some sort of sick joke or a robber who didn't want my dirty washing...I guess it was Karma coming back to get me...Speaking to some security guys who had no idea...I called it a night and hopped it was the cleaning ladies that had taken it...Up early the next morning..I discover that they had stuffed up and put me in Bungalow 148 instead of 184..they had decided they had no idea who it was so had taken all my stuff...thanks for the warning...I was just relieved to get my stuff back...but there were items missing..they had taken my Soap, and some toiletries..including some stuff Ami had given me for my birthday..these were in a bag and they had to take them out...strange things...but I had a catch a train and was over arguing for some repayment...they were so unhelpfully..but I had my stuff and was off to Florence...What a last few hours.....I was glad to leave Rome after that...

Mal
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Comments

alice022
alice022 on

you really, really, really suck
hey chris,
just thought you should know that you really, really, really suck. I'm trying to study for my stats exam (and after four years im still not quite sure of the difference between ratio and interval data... bad sign) and you're swanning about the globe like a booze-guided missile ... not happy about it, quite frankly... maybe we can swap places and i can go to rome and be elegant and drink espresso and you can go do my exams in the fabulous surrounds of the royal exhibition buildings... let me know what you think!
luv alice oxox
ps you suck

apbate
apbate on

Glad your safe!
Wow - you really get yourself into trouble when I am not around.

Whilst you have been getting yourself into trouble I have been soaking up the sun in a magnificent Sicilian coastal town (the Italians are so friendly outside the main cities!)

The relo's have been stuffing me - the first thing I had to learn was 'no more food, im ok!'

Alas, I am upset you lost the present but nevermind its a material and perishable item - atleast ur ok!

You really do need someone like me to mother you dont you?

Love Ami

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