Dec. 3rd was a travelling day to Rome. It was also my 25th birthday.
We woke up in Marseille, France at the family house, got ready with our bags and left to the airport to catch our first plane back to the London hub.
We arrived in London right before lunch time and decided to have lunch at the airport. We patiently awaited for our next flight to take us to Rome, quickly coming to realization that our vacation was coming to an end. Rome would be our last destination.
We arrived in Rome fairly late in the evening, and had a bit of a harder time getting to our hotel. The language barrier was a bit problematic, but most agents and customer service at the train stations managed to speak english and guide us in the right direction. However, we hadn't done any research on how to arrive to the hotel, and I became overwhelmed lugging around my heavy briefcase and not knowing which bus to take. I got the ingenious idea to call the hotel to tell them where I was at (about 7km away) and ask how to get there. The manager told us to take one more metro ride and arrive to the stop where there would be a shuttle bus waiting for us. I was so relieved and Sebastian very happy.
We arrived at the hotel and quickly unpacked our stuff and got into bed. Sebastian had been very hungry and got frustrated when the supermarket right across the street closed as soon as we got there. I told him to eat some of the sausage we had brought back with us from Marseille, and the sandwiches we had been given onboard our flight.
The next day, we woke up to have breakfast downstairs and catch our first glimpse of the weather- gray, dull and hazy. We took the shuttle to the metro station and made our way into central Rome, unfortunately in some rain. We slowly strolled around going from one landmark to the next.
We also found Rome to be a lot dirtier and ruder than the other 3 cities we'd visited. It seemed that as further south we headed, the harder it got. I think it has a lot to do with not being able to respond in Italian, even though I can understand a majority of it (I also speak french and spanish fluently)
As we came back to our hotel to pack up our bags, I finally let out a sigh of relief. The trip had come to an end- and a very good one at that. In preparation for our early 8am flight the next day, Sebastian opted for reassurance and commodity to arrive on time at the airport and decided to pay for a shuttle to come pick us up- at the tune of 65€. It hurt me a bit because it was the equivalent to what we'd spent on two nights at the hotel, but it was going to take us too long to do it by bus, metro and train.
That night, as we sat in bed watching the last bit of TV and talking, I remembered how excited I'd been at the beginning of the trip and thinking that maybe 12 days wouldn't be enough. I told Sebastian that after 11 days, I was ready to come home as I was beginning to feel a little homesick, and moreover tired of lugging our luggage from hotel to hotel, unpacking and packing every 3 nights, and hopping on 6 flights and 1 major train ride- plus countless other subways, trains,metros, trams and cars.
We had concluded our trip to Europe- "planes, trains, and automobiles." It was over, but time to come home. Before leaving our hotel room though, the guests next door decided to grace us with a going away gift: Loud laughter and sex at 2:30am, when we had to wake up at 5am.
Sebastian was pissed and made a shitload of noise at 5:00 am when we began getting ready to leave. I just laughed along.
There's a few lessons that that I've learned on this trip-
1) "Free wi-fi" does not mean free wi-fi
2) Pack light
3) Getting lost in Paris is Priceless. There's always an interesting sight to see around each corner.
4) Learn to ask for "tap water" in the different languages. It's free.
5) Carry coins to use the restrooms in Paris and Marseille shopping malls, public restrooms.
6) Wear comfortable shoes.
7) Read the destinations on subways and metros before hopping on.
8) Try a new dish each time
9) Carry cash to leave tips.
10) Pray you don't get a room next to an Italian Couple.
We now return to our regular programing.