Sunday, January 16, 2011


In Belgium, for the Christmas holidays, we have two weeks of vacation! Its pretty awesome if i do say so myself. Exams for me finished the 18th while the rest of the students had exams until the 22nd. As an exchange student with AFS, i was only obligated to take four exams: Histoire, Morale, Espagnol, and Geographie.

So essentially i was on vacation from the 18th to the 10th of January. Therefore i took advantage of all this vacation to go to Rome, Italie for five days with 3 other exchange students (2 girls from Honduras and one of Ecuador).
We left on a frigteningly early flight at 6am the 2nd of January. We flew on Ryanair which is the cheapest option in Europe. I slept through a good portion of it but was awake enough to see our descension into Rome. We got into Rome Ciampino airport and found the bus that was supposed to take us into town. Upon arriving near the center of Rome, we were pleased to discover that our hostel was literally a two minute walk from the bus, train, and metro station. Not so great however was walking up to the fifth floor with all our luggage and no elevator, just stairs.

That day we walked around Rome and ate our first Italian Pizza which was just as good as you could imagine. We saw a bunch of ruins and sites (of which i dont remember the names). LOTs of walking. We finished the day with our first Gelato which was possibly better than i imagined.

The next day we woke up bright and early to eat a quick breakfast and head over to la Piazza di San Pietro or the place of saint peter. Its probably one of my favorite places in Rome. Its just so surrounding and impressive. We went inside a got to walk around the church quite a bit as well. It was all very cool stuff. Next we walked around the corner to get into the hour and a half line to get into the Vatican. Lemme tell ya, security is tight. First theres the wall that surrounds everything. Then upon entering, you basically have to go through airport security. That place has so much artwork that you spend the entire time staring at the ceiling or detailed artwork and at teh end of the day, your head, neck, and eyes hurt. The Sixteenth Chapel however made it all worth it. It was an enormous room with incredibly high ceilings just completely filled with people and people from the bible and just craziness everywhere. It was mind blowing to say the least.

The next day, We left to spend the day in Florence. Navigating the train station alone was a nightmare seeing as how not only is there a platform 1, but a platfrom one A, B, C, D, and E. We needed to be on 1E which was like a five minute walk away from the the main building. We also had to put the ticket (which was blank) into this little yellow machine to mark the day, time and station. Luckily it all worked and we settled in for the 4 hour train ride. Fortunatley i slept a few hours before we arrived in the station. However once we arrived we were faced with the new problem of what to do and where to go. We walked to look for a map but nobody wanted to pay for one so that didnt get very far. We actually just started watching what direction it appeared people were walking and then we followed them until we found someone to ask. There was someone there with a camara and we asked him if he spoke english which luckily he did. The man and his family told us the sites to see and even showed us a map on his ipad. Thankfully we were able to find everything relativley easy.

We visited a bunch of really cool sites with places that i dont exactly remember. This is the first place we visted. We didnt go inside but the outside was pretty cool. After that we followed the signs to la Piazza de la Signora and to of course, the imitation statue of David. La Piazza has statues (sculptures) everywhere. It was kinda crazy because it looks super unorganized but really its just a lot of art in one location.

At some point in this crazy day, we ate at a not super expensive, smallish italian resturant. We had our first taste of italian pasta and mine was delish! We had some minor issues (which involved me being yelled at in italian by a crazy old lady) when we went to pay but it all worked out in the end. The day ended with Gelato and just walking around the stores and whatnot.
We finally found the right train and had a very eventful trainride back to Rome. A couple hours of singing, a couple hours of get the picture.
Next day, the colleseum and the forum and the casa di augusto. It was unimaginable. Really. Seeing it in person was really cool especially because as your approaching, it just keeps growing until your standing next to it and its just enorme. Very cool. At the moment we didnt want to pay for a guide but now that i think about it, it probably would have been worth it.
Thats essentially most of the excitiment that i can think of at the moment. Ill post more pictures in another post as its just too dificult to place when theres text.

No comments:

Post a Comment