Saturday, June 6, 2009


We're here. To make things easier on me (although more boring for many of you), I'm going to copy and paste the e-mail I just sent to people about arriving. Sorry to the people who received the e-mail that will have nothing new to read in this post...until after the e-mail.

To everyone,

We arrived in Rome a little earlier than scheduled. The flight was about eight hours. After several different requests to get our seats moved next to each other were denied, it turned out that the seat next to me was empty all along, so Johnny moved to it. We talked it up with the flight attendants and ended up getting a celebratory cocktail and two extra dinners, each. The flight had a TV on demand screen in each seat, so we watched some TV and movies while we tried napping. Johnny slept like a baby, I might have gotten a solid 30-45 minutes in. Probably the most uncomfortable plane I've ever been on. But it was very chilly, so that was good for me.

The trek from the plane to baggage claim and then to the train was a bit long, especially while carrying all our luggage. But after some confusion, we found the correct train and hopped on for a 25 minute ride to Stazione Trastevere. Then we found a cab and were ripped off for the first time when he charged us double for a short ride to Testaccio, the neighborhood where we are staying in Rome. Lesson learned: don't look so American.

We found Paule's apartment after some trial and error. She's on the fifth floor of her building with an open air rooftop patio. We sat out there and chatted a bit, discussed plans. Now, we are getting ready to head into Rome--with Paule guiding us--to get lunch (it's about 11:30am here) and then do some sight seeing in the Coliseum area.

More thoughts on the trip...

My first real view of the Italian country side was from the window of our A330 jet. I was in the middle section, so an aisle and two seats separated me from the window. I could only see land when we were turning. What glimpses I could manage offered me a wide expanse of farmland and forest. I did enjoy a pretty nice view of the coastline as we made our final descent - I could see waves crashing on the sandy shores of whatever beaches we flew in over (with a little more research I could probably figure this out).

My first impression of the airport and the train station was not extremely good. Everything was pretty rundown and dirty, and there is graffiti everywhere. The train ride provided some nice open vistas and some historic buildings, but I didn't know what I was looking at so I couldn't really tell you much more than that everything here looks very old.

The Stazione Trastavere was no different, nor is Testaccio. I imagine I won't see much of anything newly built the entire time I am here.

So far, we have not experienced much of a language barrier. I did have to restate the street we were heading to for the cabbie several times, but I attribute that to my poor pronunciation more than his Italian proficiency.

And we're off to see Rome! Ciao.

1 comment:

Melissa said...

I hope by now you've seen some of the beauty Rome/ Italy has to offer!!! Can't wait to hear more about your adventures