When in Rome...
(I've always wanted to say that in real Rome)
Today was a travel day/find the hostel day/be lazy day. We were out of Florence by 11:15, I rode my last European train (not too sad about that one...), and we were in Rome by 3:30! I still can't believe I really am in this city. It's surreal to really be surrounded by so much culture, history, and beauty! I haven't even seen much yet, but the few things I have seen have made me question whether I still like Spain the best... (but not really. Spain is still the best)Anyways, let's pound out this day so I can get out of this uncomfortable plastic chair, give Cade his computer back, and let Casey get on facebook before he dies of lack of contact with the outside world!
When we got to Rome today it was "well.... let's pretend we know whats going on and find our hostel" time. After following this ritual 4 times, I thought we'd had it down pat! And we did... at first. I mean, the Fiesta Terrace Hostel was on Via Cairoli, and how many Via Cairolis can there be in Rome? We found the street on the map, found some food, and then it was off to play scavenger hunt, because Cairoli turned out to be a little bit further away than we'd imagined. It was hot, we were carrying all our bags, and after walking about an hour and stumbling upon about 5 or 6 amazing monuments we'd never seen before, we found 101 Via Cairoli... which would have been great if the number could have corresponded with a hostel, and not with an upscale women's clothing store.
We'd failed. We were really confused- I had the correct address, but the owners of the store knew nothing at all about any hostel there. Hmmm... we looked at the map again, and it turns out there was not one, but two Cairolis. We had the wrong one, and it turns out the right one was just a couple blocks away from where we'd started. Great! I just kind of laughed, but everyone else was pretty mad they'd walked all that way for nothing. Because we didn't exactly feel like trekking back, we found a bus stop and waited for a couple minutes until a very overcrowded bus came to take us back to the station. That was probably the most hilarious and disgusting ride of my life. We were packed like sardines into the little bus, it smelled like a high school boys locker room, and and it went waaaaaay too slowly. Initially we'd been complaining about the heat outside, but as we exited the bus, we accepted the hot wind with open arms. Sickest ride ever!
After our smallish problem, we found our hostel with little problem. This place is a dive, but it's fun nonetheless... and the owner likes me. While taking us on a little tour when we got here he insisted that he escort me around by the arm and it was hilarious. I love Italians!
The rest of tonight we spent just bumming around our side of the city, seeing as we were pretty pooped from our trek across all of Rome! We stumbled upon Italy's oldest gelateria, caught the slaughtering of Argentina vs. Mexico, and learned than special orders don't really work when you don't speak Italian. Our version of "half ham, all mushrooms, artichoke, and bell peppers" landed us with a pizza with a huge slab of ham on one side, a huge pepperoni on the other, a clump of artichoke smack dab in the middle, and half of it covered with mushrooms. At least we know it wasn't a tourist trap!
Well, better head to bed... we're going to the Vatican early tomorrow, so it's time to get my Catholic face on! Buona sera