Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Rome Day 1 - Travel Log

Rome was beautiful. It was very historical. Almost every corner of the city had some ruins and relics of ancient Rome. We stayed in a 2 and a half star hotel right in the city centre. It was expensive by my standards but I am thankful that we chose it because Rome was stiffling hot. Without the air-conditioning which hostels do not have, we would have been sweating like pigs on a hot hot summers day.

Our flight to Rome was uneventful but we did have to run on the tarmac of the East Midlands Airport because we couldn't find the boarding gate and thus were very late to board the plane. It was my first time on Ryanair and I was unimpressed by the interior of the aircraft. It had bright yellow headboards and dark blue PVC seats. It reminded me of a taxi.

We arrived about 30 minutes early and waited to board our shuttle bus to Rome's Termini Station i.e. the central bus/train station something like London's King's Cross.

It took about 30 minutes to reach the city centre and about a 10 minute walk to the hotel. We checked in and went out to get something to eat. Eateries in Rome close at 2am. It was close 1am when we scouted around for food. I didn't eat anything because I wasn't feeling very well because of the flight and the bus ride. The rest ate pastries and pizzas. Food in Rome is much more expensive than the European cities that I have been to i.e Prague, Barcelona and Amsterdam.

There were 9 of us. So, to me, it was a little bit crowded. But nonetheless, I travelled with people I hardly know (they were all Vinz's friends) and had my share of fun. They cracked a lot of silly jokes and named our group as the "Chee group" because Vinz was the one did all the bookings.

DAY 1

We took a tour bus which takes passengers around the city and stops at major sights. We paid 16 Euros for that and luckily the ticket was valid for 24 hours because we only sat on the bus once on the 1st day to the Colosseum. On the map it was impossible to walk from one major sight to another but we did anyway on the first day because we still had the energy to.

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Streets of Rome from the bus window

There are no lines on the roads in Rome. Traffic comes from everywhere. We nearly got knocked down many times because we didn't know where the cars, scooters and buses were coming from.

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Capitoline Hill from the bus window

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Entrance to the Colosseum

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Me and Vinz at the entrance to the Colosseum

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Colosseum - some Roman stadium where the Gladiators used to fight it out

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The interior of the Colosseum

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Men dressed up as Roman soldiers

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Roman Forum

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Roman Forum

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The boys - Choy, Vinz, Jinn Yeong, York Wei, Joe and Phillip (L-R)

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Capitoline Hill - See the horse behind us. It's belly can fit 20 people.

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Capitoline Hill

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Next to the Capitoline Hill stands an old Church which is famous for weddings. The steps are so narrow and it is reputed to be meant for relatives of the bride and groom who they don't like but are obliged to invite.

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The girls - Winkie, Me and Clare

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Bernini's famous elephant supports the Egyptian obelisk in Piazza della Minerva

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The Pantheon - a completely circular church where Rapheal the famous artist was buried

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The dome in the Pantheon - the only source of light

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Inside the Pantheon

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The famous Spanish Steps. We never got to climb it because it was just too crowded and way too hot to.

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Spanish Steps with Vinz

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Sign pointing to the Trevi Fountain with York

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Trevi Fountain - Throw a coin in with your back facing the fountain and you will come back to Rome again

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Check out the crowd at the Trevi Fountain

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Trevi Fountain again

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Trevi Fountain illuminated

That was all we saw on the first day in Rome. We were dead tired by the time we finished eating dinner. It was truly a long walk from the Spanish Steps to our hotel. My legs nearly gave way so many times but I had Vinz with me so it wasn't so bad :)

Next up - Day 2

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