Day R for Rome

Caught bus to urban train station, then switched at Valle Aurelia, changed at Termini and then got off at Colosseo. Had our imperial walking tour, saw the colesseum and the forum which was fantastic. Met up with rest of the group and caught metro to The Vatican. Was starting to get a teensy bit peckish. Got into Vatican with no queue, walked through the museum with sistine chapel at the end. I thought every room was the sistine chapel, the ceilings were amazing. On..and on it went. Getting very hungry by now. Finally we got to the chapel and I think we were all amazed out. Just didn’t have time to appreciate it all fully. Mecha had worded us up about a ‘group entrance’ into St Peters so you don’t have to line up to get in. We bunched together (7 makes a group surely!) and snuck past the guards who had busted a guy tagging onto a tour group. Even though we were all famished St Peters was worth it. Saw all the dead popes including Pope John Paul II. He has a much bigger space than the others and there was a girl kneeling down and praying at his tomb.

We left in search of food (after 3pm by now) and went right off the square and found a little place. The man and I were hanging out to try some decent pasta. The cranky fat Italian lady shouted at us ‘PIZZA! PASTA!’ so we all shouted back ‘PASTA!’ Poor Geoff is a vegie and didn’t know what he’d get. We tried to order dishes individally but ended up with two trays, one ravioli and one spag. Everything was covered in parmesan, but I was too hungry to care. The man was quite distressed about the small amount of food and large amount of bread. Free bread right!

We waited for the bill. They’d charged us what we’d asked for, individual plates just not what they’d given us. Then they’d also charged us €7 for BREAD they put on the table after we arrived. Geoff and I were of the opinion we would pay for what we thought was right and not give these Italian pirates anymore than we had to. However the rest of the party went for sucking it up and paying. Although Geoff ended up taking the rest of the loaf with him and we didn’t tip. Paying for the most expensive bread in the world that we didn’t ask for is enough of a tip!

We finally found an ATM that would give us cash (had tried 5 the day before which were all empty). Headed towards a metro station and got gelato on the way (yay for gelato!), figured out our trains, did all the switcheroos then hopped on the train for our campsite. Except the train didn’t stop until three stations past ours. In the middle of nowhere! There were haybales!

All we could do was laugh. What a day! Hopped back on a train going the opposite way and after a few nailbiting moments celebrated getting lost-ish and finding our way back. Dinner was alright and then we went and had a few quiet drinks. I hung out with the girls and straightened my hair for the group photo the next day. In the morning – warm cornflakes then off to Florence.

– Jen

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