Made it to Rome – finally!
A bit of a rocky start, but not bad in the scope of things. Got to the airport and found out that the flight had been delayed by an hour and a half… and I was already a bit early, so that was not a lot of fun. Scheduled to leave at 10:25pm, wheels up was more like 12:30am. To kill some time I thought I’d grab a nice dinner at Swiss Chalet in Terminal 3… they were out of chicken!!! Swiss Chalet. Out. Of. Chicken. How does that happen?
The server suggested I try their burger. No offense – really – but I’m not going to Swiss Chalet for a burger.
I grabbed the tram or whatever and made my way over to Terminal 1 (after calling to confirm they too did not have a chicken shortage). Did have a nice dinner there, and was even pleasantly surprised to find out that they don’t jack up the prices just because they’re at the airport! More than I can say for a lot of places around there.
Anyway, did that, went back to T3, made it through security with no incidents, found my gate. Was very impressed with the improvements Pearson has made to that section – there’s probably about a thousand iPad’s kicking around for free use, very comfy chairs, you can use the iPad’s to order drinks and food… it was really nice. That being said, their wifi seemed to be having some issues, but hey – can’t have it all.
I sat beside the window and caught the plane coming in… they had to change the gate because of the timing, and obviously it took a while to unload/reload/security check etc, but it was kind of interesting to watch it all happen.
Finally got on board – originally when I booked I picked a seat with no one beside me. I was told “good luck” with that by the agent as the flight was pretty full. Sure enough, three people beside me… however, a few rows back, there were three empty rows! A quick “please please please” to the flight attendants won me one of those wonderful rows all to myself for the 8.5 hr flight – heaven.
I actually slept! Not extremely well, it was on and off for sure, but I slept. I was able to lie down across all three seats, woke up for dinner (pasta) and breakfast (yogurt and a cinnamon bun!), and really the time just flew by, no pun intended. Flight was a bit bumpy once or twice, but they didn’t even bug me about lying down / seat belts, so that was pretty super.
Arriving in Rome was perfectly pleasant, I was at the back of the plane so anticipated a delayed disembarking, but I guess because we were late we lost our gate soooooo they stuck us on the tarmac and brought up the stairs to the front and back of the plane – off two minutes later! Was wonderful! I actually prefer getting off on the tarmac anyway – well for that reason, but also just because it’s cool to walk right beside the plane!
So I was a happy camper.
Immigration got a bit held up, a few people got grilled a bit in the line I was in for some reason, not sure what was going on there, but it took a bit longer than I’d have liked (I was not in “super patience” mode anyway). When I got to the window he grunted and stamped my passport, so that was fine.
Baggage was fine, ready for me by the time I finally made it out. No customs issues. Exited and decided to follow the advice of the various ads and grab a bus this time instead of the Leonardo… saved about 10 euro I think (it was only 5 euro), and took about 40 mins, not too much longer than the train, and again, perfectly pleasant.
Made it to Termini, great to be back – exactly as I remembered it. It’s so neat to go back and just know your way around. I picked up a couple of SIM cards for my Dad and I (went with TIM), not too bad price wise. Found the hostel – a very easy 5 minute walk from Termini. Nice place, nothing too special. Room mates seem nice, was going to grab dinner with them but they all fell asleep and I wanted to explore.
So I explored. Just random walking, saw the Spanish Steps, the monument of the unknown soldier, a few of the piazzas, etc. Had my first Gelato of the trip (strawberry, stracciatella, and chocolate) which was suuuuuuuper yummy, and picked up some pizza slices near Termini on my way back. Lots of pictures, some nice ones as the sun was going down. Very pretty.
And now I’m back at the hostel! I even remembered to blog – so go me! Tomorrow morning at 7:45am my parents flight will arrive at the airport, they’re taking the Leonardo in so I’ll meet them at Termini and we’ll all head over to the hotel together. I’ll take my stuff from the hostel to the hotel in advance, already scouted out the location so I know where we’re going, and all will be good! We’ll see how tired they are and what they want to do. I think Wednesday will be the Vatican, and then Thursday we’re off to Elba!
So that’s my update for the moment! I think it’s just about bed time… so goodbye, talk to you later! Ciao!