Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Touring Rome in 3 days - Day 1

This was the sunset we got to see on our first night in this amazing city. That is St. Peter's Basilica in the background. We loved Rome because there are so many ancient and historical things to see, yet it is a modern city with thousands of people experiencing it every day! I loved how they allow you to walk right through ruins to really experience and they also let you and go inside the Pantheon and Colosseum!

Tired travelers on our first night in Europe!
So here is how our trip started......
We woke up at 3:00 am and flew from Seattle to Minneapolis, Minneapolis to Chicago and finally Chicago to Rome. In total it was about 12 hours of flying time, but it took us a total of 24 hours to get to Rome when you count the time change. The first part of the flight, we were actually pretty tired and felt like we could sleep, but we tried to wait until later. Big mistake because we never fell asleep later! I watched Under the Tuscan Sun and Another Best Year with Russel Crow. Both fun winery themed movies.
Around 7:00 am, Rome time, they served us breakfast. We realized that we forgot to research how to get from the airport to downtown Rome which is about half an hour away. A fellow passenger said that you can take the train for $14 euros per person. But when we got through security (which is so easy!) we didn't know how to find the train or how to ask so we found a taxi. 
We used backpacks for our luggage. Everything I needed for 3 weeks was in that backpack!

Here is Garrett trying to get our barrings.
We got to Rome around 10 am and took a taxi from the airport to our bed and breakfast. Talk about culture shock! We tried our best to communicate with the driver and he took us right to where we were staying. The drive from Leonardo da Vinci airport was quite interesting. We drove through a lot of apartments covered in graffiti and they were pretty ugly. But then we got to drive by the Colosseum and so many other cool sights that I am sure we just looked in awe to our driver. The downtown area was so beautiful and was exactly what I pictured it would look like. 
Here I am in our first hotel room. Pretty tiny!
The woman who checked us into our bed and breakfast said we could leave our bags there, but we had to come back after 2 pm because the rooms weren't cleaned yet!! AHH! All we wanted to do was to crash, but we had to go find something to do for 4 hours until we could come back to our room.
She had recommended that we purchase a TIM data card for our phone so that we could get internet on our phone while we were there. This ended up being a lifesaver and so convenient to help us navigate the roads and find hotels and restaurants. 
We went and ate lunch and we were so exhausted that we tried to go back early in hopes our room was cleaned. It wasn't, but we had the key to our room, so we both fell asleep sitting upright on the couch! It was so uncomfortable, but at this point we could sleep anywhere. The cleaning lady came in and found us sleeping there! She must have thought we were crazy. 
After she left we slept for about 2 hours and then got back up so we could go explore and get adjusted to the time change. We set our alarms so we would wake up, but it was so hard. We could have slept for hours!
The first place we walked to was the Trevi fountain. The setting and sculptures were so beautiful. You can just sit and gaze at it for hours. I got a pistachio/cafe gelato to enjoy while we watched the fountain.

Throwing my coin into the fountain.
The story goes that if you throw a coin over your shoulder it will ensure that you will return to Rome someday.
This was a cool door knocker we saw on our way to the fountain. 
 From the Trevi we walked over to the Spanish Steps.

The steps were so dramatic at night.

We found a quaint little place to grab some dinner. We tried a 2011 Barolo bottle of wine, ordered roman artichokes (so good!), house made fettuccine with artichokes and fresh parmesan cheese, bolognese pasta, steak with rosemary, and veal chop. Way too much food, but we wanted to try it all! We met a nice girl who ended up being from Mercer Island, WA! Such a small world. 

After dinner we headed back to our hotel and tried to sleep. It was now day time for us and our bodies were NOT used to sleeping at that time. We went to sleep excited that we still had 20 more days of vacation!

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