Saturday, May 17, 2008

When in Rome....

We left Florence this morning and headed towards Rome. I'm surprised that this part of Italy is still so mountainous. For some reason I was expecting it to be flat. (If there are a bunch of typos in this blog it's because I'm using a weird European keyboard and the keys are all switched around!)

So we were about 10 miles from our hotel (hostel actually is what we booked online) and we're driving down this country road out in the middle of no where kind. We kept seeing all these random women on the side of the road and I just assumed that they were waiting for a bus. Mark made a joke that no, they weren't waiting for a bus, the were waiting for "tricks" (meaning they were prostitutes). We started looking at them a little closer and sure enough, they were prostitutes. We even saw a few cars pulled over. HAHA!!! They must have been doing it in the bushes or something bc we were really out in the middle of nowhere.

We weren't sure where the hostel was because the exact address didn't pull up on the GPS, so when we thought we were close we decided to pull into this area that said it was a campsite and ask. Turns out, that was Tiber Village "Hostel", which is pretty much a campground. We LOVE it here though. It was $50 per night, which is the cheapest so far, besides Madrid when we stayed with friends. It has the whole campground atmosphere and we really like that. We have a little cabin with private bathroom that's probably 20X10 with no TV or air conditioning or anything like that, but it works for us. We did all of our laundry first thing and sat by the pool while we waited for it. It was very relaxing. They have 6-8 clotheslines by the washers (dryers are very uncommon over here) so we ended up hanging most of our clothes on the lines. I wish I had a clothesline at home. I'd use it all the time.

After we got our clothes put away we took the (free) bus from here to the metro station to go down to Rome. The metro system here seems to be MUCH older than the one in Paris or Madrid, but then again, everything here is much older that both those places. The metro cost 1Euro, so that was nice that it was cheaper than Paris. We got off the metro station and headed first towards the Spanish steps. I'm still not sure what the significance of them are, but they were kinda neat to see. There were TONS of people around there especially, but Rome seems to be much busier than any other place we've been so far in general. There are lots of ritzy stores around like Tiffany & Co, Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel, etc. There are lots of nice cars around too so we have fun looking at them.

After the Spanish steps we made our way over to Trevi Fountain, which was neat. It's a lot like the one in Las Vegas, but much bigger and it's built right onto a building. Again, I don't know the significance of it, but it was neat to see. After the fountain we went to the Pantheon, which was amazing. It's pretty big and it just looks so old. I can't believe its still standing. We went inside and it's pretty ornately decorated. I love the antique or maybe ancient feeling of it. Oh, and right off the metro system was this huge oblique thing that was made for King Ramsey the second, I think, (he's an egyptian king) and it's 3200 years old! CRAZY! We ate in Rome, and while it was good, we decided it was way overpriced. They don't serve normal water here. You have to buy a big bottle of water for the table, which tonight was 4euros. I got a rigatoni, which I think I make a better version of, and Mark got chicken, which was just one small grill chicken breast and nothing else for 9euro. It's pretty expensive and we decided Olive Garden is just as good and much cheaper! Maybe we just haven't gone to the right places yet.

On our way back to the metro we walked by this building and we weren't sure what it was, but a little door was open and people were going in so we decided to check it out. Turns out it was a Catholic church and there was a service going on and there were a bunch of nuns in there attending the service. It was pretty neat to see.

Now we're back at the camp. I'm in the bar typing this. We're going to try to go to bed early (its a little loud so I'm not sure how well we'll sleep) and we want to get up early and go to the Vatican tomorrow. I think it'll be better if we get there early with the amount of people that are here. We both are absolutely loving Rome!

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