End of London, Beginning of ROME!!

On the 2nd half of Day 3, (June 12) Zehra’s aunt and uncle took us to this really amazing old-fashioned tea cafe/restaurant called the “Maids of Honour” where you go for tea and pastries in the afternoon.  It was cold and rainy outside, but the tea shop was cozy and warm, and we had delicious cups of tea in nice little blue china tea-cups and a special kind of biscuit/pastry called a “Maid of Honour.”  These Maids of Honour are made with the same secret recipe used for King Henry VIII and his royal court!  They really were delicious but I don’t know how else to describe them! 

Day 4 – We woke up early and went to the airport outside of London to get on our flight to Rome.  We were expecting the airport and the plane to be a little sketchy because of the reputation of Ryanair (really low prices, but people have told me it’s an “adventure” flying with them).  Anyways, our experience was great and we didn’t have any problems at all.  We got to see the snow-capped Swiss Alps through the clouds and I got way too excited!  When we finally got to Rome (at 5) we were kind of nervous because neither of us speaks any Italian at all and we weren’t sure we’d be able to get to our hostel.  The first Italian we meet was very nice and spoke great English and helped us get bus passes to our hotel.  He even printed off a map to our hotel and basically did all the work for us!  We had no trouble finding our place and when we got there, a lady was waiting for us.  It turns our she owns the floor of an apartment building and is leasing the small apartments as rooms!!!  So, basically Zehra and I are staying in a  HUGE room with a double bed, big sofa, table, dresser, mirror, and big windows that look into a courtyard!  And we have access to the roof terrace ANYTIME we want to!!  We can see all of Rome from there, and there are flowers around the edges, and we’re pretty much living with other Italians in our building!!  We signed up for a hostel, but got this… go figure!

Anyways, the lady is extremely nice and I think me and Zehra and one other girl have the whole floor to ourselves.  We have a communal kitchen, which is fully stocked with croissants, cereal, nutella, yogurt, jam, milk, juice, tea and coffee whenever we want it.   We are very happy and shocked to be here!

Today (Day 5) Zehra and I woke up early and left by 8 so we could walk about 10 minutes to St. Peter’s and beat the infamous lines.  We went down into the crypt and saw all of the former popes, including John Paul II, which was pretty amazing for me.  Then, we went into St. Peter’s basilica and saw Michaelangelo’s “La Pieta” (one of my FAVORITE pieces of art ever), a ton of incredible statues and paintings, and St. Peter’s tomb, THE FIRST POPE!!  WOW!  There was adoration set up in a side chapel in the basilica, so I was able to go and pray for a little bit, and then as I was walking around a few minutes later, I saw that there were confessions going on, so after persuading the guard that I was Catholic, I got to go to confession to an Italian priest!!  I mean, he spoke English, but had an Italian accent and was really great. 

After St. Peter’s, Zehra and I went next door to the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel.  They were amazing!  Zehra and I had learned SO much about many, many of those paintings and statues from our Art History and European History classes, so we spent A LOT of time looking at everything.  We couldn’t believe that Raphael and Michaelangelo and so many other famous artists had been there and painted for hours!!   The detail was incredible, we loved it.  As we were leaving, I saw one of my friends from Auburn who was on UPC with me!  It was crazy, but after hearing so many stories about people randomly seeing people they know while they’re abroad, I figured I’d see someone I knew. 

From there, we went to the train station to reserve our train tickets for the rest of our trip (we’ve already bought a Eurail pass, but we just had to reserve our spots), and we had a little surprise.  The overnight train from Venice to Nice, which we had seen on the train’s website as being a running connection, had just been cancelled.  Not just for a night, but forever.  So, on June 20th when we had planned on sleeping on the 10 hour train-ride, we would NOW have to find a new place to stay.  We had a minor freak-out session, then we got some nutella-flavored gelato and figured we would just find another place to stay in Venice that night.  And it worked!  When we left the train station, we were right at the Coliseum!!  It is amazing!  We couldn’t believe we were right there in ancient Rome!  I took a lot of pictures, and I’ll upload them as soon as I can find some WiFi somewhere (hopefully in Florence).  We saw about tons and tons of Roman ruins, 4 different piazzas, the Trevi Fountain (yes, we threw in coins and made a wish) and the Spanish steps.  There were a lot of artists, musicians, and mopeds everywhere, and it was awesome!  We got back to the hostel/hotel/apartment at 8 p.m. just in time to see the sunset from our roof terrace.  I took plenty of pictures of that too!

WELL, hopefully I’ll be able to write sooner next time, but I don’t know when that will be!  I love you all!!!

p.s. – Being from Alabama and having a Southern accent has been a fun experience!  Everyone asks me about Forrest Gump and Sweet Home Alabama and they laugh at my accent, but it’s ok because I laugh at theirs too 😉

One Response to “End of London, Beginning of ROME!!”
  1. Guess Who says:

    Guau! Sounds like an amazing trip thus far (must be cause you haven’t been to France yet). I look forward to seeing the pictures. I hope the trip continues to be exciting and unpredictable. I just got my itinerary for the WYD trip. I leave at 4am 2 weeks after my birthday. It will take me a whole day and then some to get to Australia but on the return trip I arrive an hour earlier than when I left. It’s like time travel! Well, have fun and be safe. Peace.

    PS: The US Open (golf) was amazing this weekend. Rocco Mediate and Tiger Woods, ranked 158 and 1 respectively, ended up tied at the end of the regular tournament, which is 72 holes (18 holes per day for 4 days). So they had a play off of another 18 holes on Monday. Guess how that turned out. Another tie! So then it becomes sudden death. Hole #91 Tiger gets a par and Rocco needs to make a 20 foot putt. It’s rolling towards the hole, it has the right speed, and then it curves and rides the outside rim of the hole. Literally centimeters from going on to another hole. I’ll tell you what. For someone who has never watched golf in his life, it was pretty exciting. Also Georgia played Miami in the college baseball world series playoffs. Miami was leading 5 to 3 in the ninth. Their record when leading in the ninth inning was a perfect 180-0. Then through a series of amazing and bizarre plays and screwups Georgia wins it 7 to 5. Number 1 ranked Miami is now 180-1 when leading in the ninth inning thanks to UGA. It was a good weekend for sports. And my PS was longer than the rest of my post…wonderful. Well take care, hope to hear from you soon.

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