Friday, 17 April 2009

our roman holiday...with backpacks.

Rome, Italy (March 26-28): I suggest that if you are traveling to a foreign land try not to arrive late at night. When we got to the airport in Rome we had no idea how to get to he city. We ended up walking to the train station and sat there for a while figuring out what to do. Amazingly, God just sends this kind old man to notice us struggling at the ticket booth and asks if we need two tickets to the city center. We said of course then he helped us get another one and he showed us how to verify the tickets and everything. That was great but once we got to the station, these taxi drivers informed us we were not let off where we thought we would be let off, so they drove us to Ciao Bella Hostel.  It was a sticky situation because two drivers hopped in the car and usually there is only one driver, but when we got to the area where our hostel was they kind of just shoved us out and said 35 euro…WHAT? 35 euro for seriously 5 minutes in a taxi, wow we felt dumb, but we only had 30 so they dealt with that. They left and we were then stranded in Rome Italy…only to notice the hostel was in disguise (had no huge sign but a little piece of paper next to its door bell). By this time we were exhausted and in no mood to sleep in a 12 room hostel, which is what we signed up for. When we rang the door bell it was like an angel answered, she was the nicest host ever and miraculously had no room for us but found a place next door where we would get our own 3 bedroom and bathroom. We got into the room sat on the beds and ate cold fried chicken and veggies and breathed! The first and only full day we had in Rome was filled with adventure. For breakfast we had gelato sitting next to the Fountain of Triton. For lunch we had panini’s next to the Pantheon.  We walked for a total of six ours that day and saw so many things that we all have only seen pictures of. It was amazing. I think the best part of ending up at the Coliseum for a tour and by the end of it we were so tired and silent…we ditched the tour, climbed up on some rock and sat three best friends on a sunny day with the Coliseum surrounding us. We got to the point where we just wanted to sit and have coffee in the sun and after walking forever we realized that might not happen. Instead we ate gelato and Kelly climbed a tree and got the most disgusting orange I have ever seen; it just splattered on the ground when she threw it. Yuk. By this time we were in need of a nap so after 45 minutes of getting lost trying to find our hostel on Quatro Fontane, a street we were starting to familiarize ourselves with, we were able to sleep quite awhile.  We had a lovely dinner of pizza and gnocchi by a restaurant near the Triton Fountain.  The fountain was starting to become everyone’s favorite place. I think for one it was the calming water, the massive size and it was the place where we knew where we were. OF course after dinner we walked to a little cafĂ© to have a bottle of wine. It was a great time being with friends and laughing about our crazy days of traveling in God’s hands.  We had no plans, no way of knowing where to go or what to do but God continued to show up and take us everywhere.  Getting ourselves to the airport to go back to Glasgow however was definitely a challenge to us all physically and mentally. We walked one way then thought it was the wrong way, a mile later it starts to rain and we realize we were going the right way from the start. All three of us had our massive backpacks on and then our little but deceivingly heavy carry on bags. Finally though we reached the train station and were able to be guided in all the right directions by several different people.  Throughout the trip we have learned to let our pride go and just ask people for help…its amazing how much that helps J After a flight to Prestwick Airport (40 min from Glasgow), no more buses or trains going to Glasgow, no taxis available, thinking we were going to spend the night in the airport, I walked up to this lady not really knowing what I was going to say but in the end she was running with us to catch the last bus to Glasgow that left in one minute calling us lassies.  The journey did not end at the bus station…there was a huge line of people for taxis so we started walking. My phone also was not going through to the taxi services I knew…we kept walking. We tried waving taxis down, they kept driving and we kept walking. It was about 2 am and it’s about a half hour walk to my flat. The door of 50C Hillhead never looked so beautiful. Hike the 3 stories and laid our bags on my floor and fell asleep. The next day we went to the movie Duplicity and no kidding there is a scene in the movie that shows the main couple eating at the exact seats we were eating breakfast the morning before in Rome. So that made us pretty satisfied with the trip! On the 30th Kelly and Sarah flew home and a couple days later I was going on a surprise trip, only known to Mark! 

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