Friday, July 13, 2007

Friday - Belfast to Rome

Today has been a long day. We started at 3:45am getting up for a 6:30 flight from Belfast to Rome. There were some spectacular views of the Alps from the plane.

After landing in Rome we were quickly embroiled in the chaos which would characterise our holiday. Finding the bus from the airport to the train station was relatively simple, and the journey was great. We were clearly going through non-tourist parts of Rome with lots of graffiti, and run down housing.
Arriving at the "Termini" station, our confusion continued. We knew we needed to find the Metro to near the hotel. We knew what line, and what station we wanted to get to. What we didn't know was how to buy a ticket. So after attempting to find out, I eventually tried one of the automated ticket machines in the lobby. I selected my route, and pressed go. The machine promptly gave me a message to the effect that I had to join one of the mad queues to talk to a real person ticket agent, and so we did. We queued for about 30-40 minutes before the nice man told us that tickets were available at the Metro, at newsagents and tobacconists - basically anywhere.

After we got the tickets and found the platform we boarded and were very impressed. Air-conditioned carriages, in great condition, swish and fast. We were pleased to see we were going in the right direction too!

We managed to find our hotel by asking for directions, and in the end we got to the street and spotted the small brass nameplate on the wall for our "hotel". The hotel turned out to be only four rooms, on the 4th floor of an apartment building. But it did the job nicely for us. It was also suitably close to the Vatican.

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