Here it is as promised, my blog about my trip to the beautiful Rome.
Rome - 13th - 18th June 2013
(We pre-booked our bus tickets, I strongly advise to do that, as if you leave it to the day, one not only is it more expensive (€6) one way so it will make it €12 return, but if you book online you will pay €8 instead. This is cheapest way to get to central Rome, as train tickets on the Leonardo Express is like €14. Grant it the train probably would be easier, as the bus was a lot of faff with rude people but if you don't mind being shoved and not guaranteed a seat with your friends or family and you want a cheap option then a shuttle bus to the city centre is your option. There are loads of other bus companies that will take you to the centre. We chose Terravision because it was the first one I saw and I am pretty sure it is a British run company.
Anyway we decided to walk to the hotel as it was about a 10 minute walk, man alive was it hot! Like 30 degrees. We all sweat like a pig. We felt disgusting. After checking in, we changed clothes and had a slight wash and headed out for dinner, by now we were absolutely marving. Insanely hungry. So we ordered sausage and broccoli pizza, clams and mussels spaghetti and finally seasoned potatoes on the side.( the best restaurant of our entire trip.) For the three of us we felt ever so full. It cost us a hefty €34.50. It's very expensive especially for our first night.
Anyway here are some of my pictures from inside of the Colosseum. The view, was just breathtaking.
Outfit of the day. I think it was the coolest day of my entire visit. Definitely my favourite outfit. I just love my bargain top and H&M maxi skirt...H&M is like my favourite shop!
Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Pantheon, Piazza Navona
Here are some of the photos taken by the Trevi Fountain.Yeah we went for a flower theme that day, let's just say we got a lot of stares and a lot of people come up to us.
So after being lame tourist we headed towards the Spanish Steps, this was the one place I was looking forward too. It was definitely a sight to see. Also it might not look like there are loads of steps but man alive there is. Being physically unfit,I found it tough, also it is ever so difficult to climb stairs in a maxi skirt. Not the best choice of outfit when climbing a bunch of stairs. It was worse coming down, probably because of my phobia of heights. Though I am proud that I managed to climb the steps, not that it was as high as the one in Hong Kong...(I was seven and got half way turned around to look at the view and was absolutely petrified! I burst into a flood of tears and refused to carry on) so yes my fear of heights isn't as bad...but I am still pretty scared. I couldn't go up to the terrace of the hotel because of my phobia.
Since we walked all the way to the Pantheon we decided to go to the Piazza Navona. It was very pretty, but by that point we all were pretty tired from all the walking. We walked from our hotel which was on Via Nazionale to the Trevi Fountain, to The Spanish Steps, to the Pantheon and then to the Piazza Navona. It was quite a walk especially in the Italian sunshine. After the Piazza Navona we decided that we needed a well earned rest and gelato.
So around 8ish we decided we were hungry and headed for a restaurant called Holiday. It was a pretty decent restaurant. It was down Depretis a side road down Via Nazionale.
Finally we decided to end the day in a late night feast of gelato and our favourite gelato store.
Ok So I am not religious, but you can't go to Rome and not go to the smallest state ever right? We decided (quite stupidly) to go to the Vatican on a Sunday. Which of course there was a mass. Yeah bad idea. We caught the Metro to the Vatican, since we weren't one hundred percent sure how to far it was to walk, since it was across the river. Ok I didn't take a picture of the Metro, cos I was absolutely paranoid that I would get mugged. I thought the London Underground was bad, the Roman ones are dark and dingy and it was like I stepped into a horror movie, though once on the train it was a hell lot nicer than London underground trains.
St Peter's Square was filled with hundreds and hundreds of people with the pope being out and stuff. We didn't even realise till we got there. Once we left the square we thought hey lets go and see the Vatican Museum. Another sound advice, do your research. The museum was closed. So instead we decided to wait until one (when the mass finished). We headed over to McDonald's and had cake and coffee. The cake really wasn't all that, if you want cake go to a cake shop and not a fast food chain.
So after lunch we headed back to St Peter's Square, less people but still very busy and insanely hot.
We wondered around till we found the queue for the St Peter's Basilica, now this queue was insane and admitted we did jump the queue, yes in dresses and skirts we climbed over a couple of fences...rather elegantly may I add. Now this is what made me ever so angry, for half the time that we queued we spent it out in the scorching sun. (you have to queue to go through security.) Basically there was no organised queuing system. I should have learnt at the airport. This was ten times worse, people shoving. I made sure I clung onto my cousin and sister and stood my ground not to let anyone push past me. I wasn't having any of that. Being short and weak it wasn't easy, but when someone shoved me I shoved them right back, hell to the no do you shove me, especially when I am looking out for my sister. So yes once we got through security I spent a lot of the time cursing in Chinese. (Oh the benefits of being bilingual, though not sure whether I can call myself bilingual, since my Chinese is just well appalling. Though I did speak perfect Hakka (also Chinese) on the phone to my mum's friend.) Anyway, I was sooooooo angry that I didn't take much pictures and walked through St Peter's Basilica very quickly, so quickly that I lost my cousin and sister and waited outside for them instead. So yes after losing my temper and looking round St Peter's we headed back on the Metro back towards the hotel, we did make a detour and went to get gelato.
Day Four of Gelato Part 2 - Oreo & Green Apple, White Chocolate & Green Apple and finally Green Apple and Pistachio. As you can tell we really like the Green Apple flavour!
( Fourth Full Day In Rome - Monday 17th June 2013)
Final outfit in beautiful Rome. It was just as hot as the first full day! Maybe even hotter!
This day was our last day In beautiful Rome and it was also my birthday. I thought yes bonus I am in a foreign country there won't be any surprises. I was so wrong. You know me I absolutely hate surprises. Especially ones that can embarrass me. Like my birthday. I am not a birthday person, so I do dread it when it is my birthday, just in case I get a nasty surprise. I can't say I hate all surprises. I mean I liked the surprise of when I got to go and see Les Miserables in the West End. I also like the idea of being surprised by a bouquet of flowers or say a proposal, but please do not do it to me on my birthday. I hate it. Sooo much. Anyway, my sister's wifi (On her phone) didn't work all holiday so she said she was going downstairs to steal wifi from another hotel, a legit enough excuse, and I bloody fell for it. So while she went down my cousin sort of distracted me. I was wondering why my cousin was a bit reluctant to go down to breakfast. So after a phone call from the hotel my cousin and I trailed down to the breakfast room, I entered last and noticed another guest holding a camera which looked like my sister's and then the singing started, I saw my sister holiday a giant fruit cake (courtesy of the hotel). I was indeed surprised and turn around to run for it. Of course I came back, and blew out the candles, I was in so much shock that I didn't even make a wish...though I have long ago given up on birthday wishes. I cried...like I did two year ago when I turned 20. It wasn't even happy tears. Tears of genuine shock, I really wasn't amused. I am definitely spending my next birthday alone lol.
So yes after breakfast, we decided to do our souvenir shopping. I picked up presents for my girls and we all decided to be lame and get 'I heart Roma' tees.
So you are all probably wondering what hotel we stayed in. Well it was called Hotel Esposizione and please don't ask me to pronounce it as I do not have a clue. It is situated on Via Nazionale opposite the Palazzo Delle Esposizioni ( A museum right at our doorstep, so we left it to last...turns out it isn't opened on Mondays). Via Nazionale has a whole street filled with hotels. Our one was a three star hotel, and it really wasn't bad. The room was big, it was kept clean. Though if you stay in this hotel or any other hotel in Rome, there probably will be more than one hotel in a building. In our building there was two other hotels. So it shared one lift, this lift...is the smallest lift I have ever been in. So if you are claustrophobic then er...take the stairs. We barely all squeezed in with our three suitcases, hand luggage and ourselves! Apart from the small lift I would recommend staying at the hotel. The hotel is on the third floor while our room was on the fifth. I advise you to take the lift, I took the stairs from the bottom and I almost died...seriously...it was so steep. I could barely breathe. I am so unfit, seriously need to go jogging. As for breakfast it was the same thing everyday, and it really wasn't all that though we made sure we ate as much as possible since we it was included in our price. Though the food wasn't all that, the cappuccino there was the best I have ever tasted. One day I had two cups because it was so good and it kept me up! So be warned! Italian coffee is very strong!!
Here is the boarding pass we picked up from the Terravision Office in Termini Station. You have to have a boarding pass in order to board the bus. You will also need your ticket. Yet again like at the airport people shoved, though it was better organised. Some girl pushed past my cousin even though the man was counting that we were all together and then my sister dropped her suitcase when she tried to get her own one out. That's karma for you. Shouldn't push past people.
Anyway, going through security was another fun episode, there is always one and normally that one is me...yes in this case I set off the alarm thing three times. the first time I totally forgot that my phone was in my pocket, and then I second time I had to take my shoes off...and it still went off! So I ended up having to hold my hands up like a criminal who got caught by the police! It is always me! I have no luck at all!
I know this is a really really long blog, I have a lot to say and a lot of photos to share. I hope this blog helps convince some of you to go to The Eternal City. It is definitely beautiful. I am not like others my age, I like to see the sights. I am a real city girl, and Rome...wow...just wow. I did toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain so I do hope to return to Rome again, perhaps when it is less hot! lol
Some people say that Rome is a romantic city, and I have to agree. It is beautiful, so full of history, I am a girl who loves history and walking around the city, I was in love. I saw lots of couples in Rome and I couldn't help but go 'awww' It's cute seeing couples taking photos in such a historical city. Definitely will return to Rome and perhaps one day I will have someone special to share it with.