Tuesday, July 20, 2010

For reals though

While the title of my last blog entry was when in Rome, it didn't actually come into full play until my last few days in the city. Living the hostel lifestyle, Nicola and I met all new people and headed off to visit the Colosseum and ruins together. This is great advice btw for all people attempting to go to the Colosseum at some point in their future: head to the ruins first. Not only is it cheaper (you can get the two tickets for ruins and Colosseum together for 2 euros less) but the line is much smaller and you'll walk right in. Another tidbit advice: if you're going to the vatican go in the afternoon and not in the morning: in the morning it's th busiest and in the afternoon we just walked right in. So back to the story: we went around and visited the amazing ruins. Turns out the ruins were not made from age but mostly by people stealing stuff from the older buildings. Not sure if I said this before but the Colosseum is in this state because they took the marble off of it to build the Vatican. This is the same case for the ruins which were nearly all stripped of marble. Anyways another thing I love about Rome is how hilly it is. What I mean by this is that you can see a lot of the city from various places it's not like Barca where you need to climb up to a park to get a view. You can honestly get a view from so many places it's ridiculous. And even at the lowest points you can see the higher points like the Capatolini hill war memorial.

So that was fun and incredibly hot. Thank God for the free fountains everywhere. I honestly have never sweat as much in my whole life as I have in Rome. I suppose it's good for my skin (saunas right?) but it really does do a number on your energy. I have also never drank as much water in such a short time and one positive is that because you sweat so much you don't need to pee at all. It all leaks out of your skin. Pleasant huh?

Our hostel for some reason kicked us out everyday from 11-4 to clean, but when we got back it wasn't any cleaner. What this meant was that everyday you needed to spend 11-4 in the city which was basically how we always planned our days. So after the ruins we went to hit up a famous restaurant that was supposedly amazing but it was closed :( So we went to a Kosher Italian place and I finally learned what Kosher was. For those that don't know there are a lot of rules, but practicing Jewish people cannot mix dairy with meat and cannot have pork and every meat has to be blessed by a Rabi. The food was delicious, and for the record all Italian food is as good as they hype it...especially if you like pasta.

That night was the pub crawl that ended in a pool party. Now, Saturday night was very disappointing. After having a blast on Friday a group of us decided to try again on Sat but there weren't nearly as cool of people and the people that were there for the most part were not really friendly. So it was definitely a debate whether or not we would actually go on Sunday. But...me and another hostel mate decided that "When in Rome" we might as well give it a go (and when do you EVER get a chance to go to a pool party really) so we did and it was sooo worth it. Rome is just during the day as night and the pool was absolutely amazing. Not only that but crazily enough Krysti (a friend from UCSB) was at the same crawl!! I ended up making friends with some Spanish people which meant more practice for me which I loved and the night was definitely one for the memory books. We ended up staying out all night and coming back on the first metro train still wearing bathing suits and towels. Needless to say we were given some funny looks, but not as many as you might expect. Most locals probably understand how crazy their city can be at times.

So, after seeing nearly everything the cities sites had to offer, Monday was a relaxing day (a much needed one at that)...but again the "When in Rome" mentality came into play. We walked around for awhile and saw some sites we hadn't seen and then went to a nice park (where we saw the sunset the first night). At this park were Segways. Nicola had long been saying he wanted to try them out, and after some convincing I eventually gave in and decided to do it with him as well. There was about an hour left before our hostel opened so we honestly had nothing else to do, and the park was quite big. Getting Segways, however, proved harder than expected. We went up the man but he said they were all booked and that he'd have to call his boss. Before he could another group (an old woman and a little girl) came up and swooped in front of us, using the girls tears to cut essentially. Not cool. So they got on and were practicing around. The girl was having a bit of trouble not leaning back but that was nothing to what happened to the old woman. As she was about to leave she basically couldn't turn and the wheels hit one of those low pillars that prevent cars from driving and she fell on her back and got scraped up pretty bad. It was quite sad, but Nicola and I got to use their Segways after this incident and that was nice.

Segways take a while to get used to to say the least. When you start to go fast the weight shifts and the handlebar gets closer to your body, making it harder for you to push forward. Turning is done by pushing left or right, and leaning also has an effect. They were pretty fun for half an hour and we got to see most of the park. Not only that but we looked pretty cool haha I'm sure you've all seen those people on Segways doing tourist tours.

That night we went back to the fountain and got Gelato (of which I've failed to mention thus far). Gelato in Italy is everything you could hope for and more. I've found green apple and pineapple are my favorite mix but there are just so many delicious options and Nicola and I get at least one per day. What's cool about going to these locations is it's really easy to meet people, for example we met a group from Puerto Rico at the fountain. Some of Nicola's friends were in town too and so a group of us went and just had Gelato and enjoyed the amazing location. Can't ask for much more.

As fun as the cities I've visited have been, I can't look forward to anything more than Lecce and the beach. Lecce is a large Italian tourist destination, but it will be a nice contrast from the intense amount of walking and sight-seeing I've been doing over the last few months. I do have London coming up, but these 5 days will be clutch in helping me recover AND get my summer tan on. Here's to becoming a new race.

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