Saturday, February 19, 2011

Rome: Part I


The flight from Athens was great.
I spent the entire time looking out my window at the beauty of Greece.
I watched as I flew over snow-capped mountains, Patras/the Rio-Antirio bridge & Kerkyra.
I had hoped to spot Zakynthos, but it was too far off in the distance.

The very day I arrived in Rome I was instantly impressed.

On the drive to the hotel, the shuttle took us passed the Colloseum.
I stared with my eyes and mouth wide open.

I had always pictured the Colloseum to be like the Parthenon-propped up separate from the modern day city and illuminated on a hilltop all its own.
This is not the case.
The Colloseum, along with every other wonder of Rome, is right smack in the city.
Surrounded by streets, businesses and people.
It is a daily sight for Italians.
How amazing.
They live and walk everyday in the same places, among the same structures that ancient Romans did thousands of years ago.

When we reached the hotel, I waited in the lobby and met some fellow tour members.
When the room was ready, I got settled and took a nap.
A few hours later, I met my room mate; a sweet and adventurous girl from Canada named Mandi who left home to backpack throughout Europe for 3 months.
Together, we headed down to the group orientation and I met her friend from home and travel buddy, Barry.
Following orientation, we had some beers in Barry's room and then went to the hotel restaurant for dinner.

We spent the remainder of the night at a local bar "Carrots" for drinks.
"Happy Hour" is from 8-12 so we were served yummy appetizers with our drinks.
We got to know some of our fellow travelers (Chad & Brent: 2 brothers from British Columbia, Callum: from Scotland) and also met some locals Donatella, a young waitress who sat and chatted with us when her shift was over and Claudio, an aspiring model/actor.

They were very friendly and we all had a good time together.

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