The three of us had our flight to Rome booked for 8:55 am this morning. We got up bright and early, and got ourselves a cab to the bus station, from where we planned to catch a bus to Dubrovnik Airport. The cab driver, however, offered us a fare straight to the airport that was only 2 euros more expensive than the bus tickets to take us the whole distance, and we decided that 2 euros split 3 ways was worth the headache and extra time that the bus would take us. We were at the airport with plenty of time to spare, and had all our things packed up nice and compact yet again for our early flight. The ride to the airport was breathtakingly scenic, as well. We spent our last kuna on a couple bottles of water and some coffee, and then geared up for Rome.
No sooner were we in the air then it seemed that we were coming back down again, and by 10 am we found ourselves in a whole different country. Buying train tickets took a little while, but we were able to figure out the cheapest passes to get ourselves for the duration of our stay, and then just had to wait a half hour for our train before shuttling off to Rome to find our flat.
Our apartment this time was a little removed from the centre of Rome, but our host, Daniele, met us right at our metro station and walked us to our flat, where we got to meet his huge, friendly dog and get ourselves acclimated. We found a free walking tour starting right around the Spanish steps for 4:00 pm in the afternoon and by 3:00 pm were back on the metro headed into the heart of the city. Unfortunately for us as tourists, but fortunately for preservation, both the fountain at the bottom of the Spanish steps, as well as the building at the top are currently being renovated. We snagged a couple of pictures and then headed over to the oldest McDonald’s in Europe for a perfectly tactfully unhealthy post-plane and pre-tour snack.
Free walking tours are really quite hit and miss. The guides work off of tips, and so usually you get someone who is passionate about the material and also has a personality that keeps you intrigued. But every so often someone is lacking the formula that makes them appealing to you. This happened to us this afternoon. We tried to listen to our guide, but she just wasn’t selling the story to us even one bit. After half an hour it was clear to us that none of us were getting anything out of this tour, and we found a convenient spot in a crowd next to a street artist to ditch our group. We bought ourselves a map and walked over from the Colosseum over to the Circo Massimo to do a little of our own sightseeing and to salvage the day. On the way, Deanna and Nastassia decided to try some fresh coconut from a fruit stand, as the cascading water displays looked extremely appetizing on a hot day like today. Both of us happened to come to the consensus that fresh coconut tastes more like nut than we had imagined it would.
At the Circo Massimo, Nastassia and Jan decided to relive a taste of Roman glory by having their own foot race. Not until we all got back to the flat tonight did we realize that we must have left our map somewhere on the ground near there, because it’s gone strangely missing from every other place we could have possibly left it. But aside from that, the Circo Massimo was a fabulous place to pick up the energy after a boring tour.
After the foot race we all sat and talked, and tried to plan the activities for the next day or two. While we sat on the hillside and thought over all the history that is contained in every crevice and crack of Rome, we watched a couple have some splendid wedding photos taken of them right across the field from us. As the sun set and the mosquitos came out, we decided this was the perfect moment to call it an early night and to head back to the apartment.
Although our location in Rome is a little unlucky due to the fact that it is a little outside the centre, we are perfectly content with the fact that there is a grocery store almost directly downstairs. We didn’t feel like cooking, but also didn’t feel like going anywhere, so a lazy meal was in order. We filled up on some breadsticks and cream cheese, and had fruits and cookies for dessert. Sounds quite meager but we were more than content with it. Now we’re going to bed a bit earlier in order to gain strength for the coming days and also to make up for some of the sleep we lost last night.