Italy, 2002 – Florence to Rome
The weather yesterday was incredibly nice – a little overcast, but that’s all. The weather reports called for rain, but it never surfaced, so I spent the day walking around Florence again and checked out the Boboli Gardens. The views from the Gardens were incredible, and the overcast skies really helped the views. I think if it was too sunny, the glare would be tough to see through.
To save some money, Dawn & I decided that leaving our lavish hotel accommodations for a hostel would be in our best interest. It was mainly her idea, but I rolled with it, since it was half of what we were paying in the hotel. Since this is my first trip to Europe, I was a little nervous about staying in a hostel. I wasn’t so worried about the bed bugs (okay, maybe I was), but mainly about leaving my bags in a shared room. We had a curfew, and an early train ride this morning, so it didn’t affect me too much.
As it turned out, the hostel wasn’t terrible. There was an Italian guy on the lower bunk that smelled, and another guy that looked like he hadn’t cut his hair since 1984. The worst guy was this snorer though. I don’t think I slept more than 30 minutes at a time, before this guy would ramp up his snoring and then turn over. He may have even cracked a pane of glass throughout the night. When I woke up, I had a VERY fast shower and was ready super early. I think I just wanted to get out of there and be on my way. Ha!
Since we got to the train station so early, we had quite a long wait in the Termini. While snacking on a croissant, I began to feel the excitement build – I would be en route to Rome in the next hour!
The train ride from Florence to Rome was incredible, and very quiet. We actually got seats on this leg of the journey, so that was helpful as I was able to catch up on some the sleep I missed out on last night. We got to see so much more of the country side. not to mention the constant flow of mountains and valleys, with the sun shining brightly through the white clouds. Another strong day for pictures. (it should be noted that this was my first digital camera, and stored a whopping 300 pictures on a 32mb SD card – haha!)
As the train got closer to Rome, I finally got the picture of just how big the city really is. You never really think of a city being as large as it is, until you’re swallowed up inside it. This city so far, is much like Toronto. Big billboards, high commercialism, lots of traffic, crazy people. I guess it’s just like any city, come to think of it.
I’ve been in Rome for about 2 hours now, and haven’t done much of anything. I checked in to my sleeping quarters, another hostel, but a nicer one for sure. Only 4 beds per room, and no bunk beds. I went shopping, picked up a few things, mostly essentials (in my rush in the bathroom today, I left my shampoo & soap), then treated myself to lunch.
Tonight, I plan on getting some drinks, and staggering around the city, finding the various historical monuments along the way. everything always seems different at night / when you’ve been drinking, and I’d like to experience the city like that first, before I start my journey tomorrow morning. The next three nights should be very enjoyable.