Sunday, November 3, 2013

Roman Holiday- getting there

Ever since I checked Paris off my bucket list in 2005, Rome has been at the top of my travel checklist. As soon as Jenna signed up for her study abroad last spring, I was determined to make it to Italy to see her, along with some of the places I've been dreaming about for years.

Conveniently, my job in France involves 2 week breaks interspersed throughout the year, which makes it easy to go on awesome vacations. Also conveniently, my good friend and former roommate, Olimpia, is doing the same internship as me in a different city in France, so we got to travel together!

She lives about 4 hours south of me in Grenoble, so her city was on the way to Italy. I took the train there the day before we left for Rome together. The best part of that trip was when the train I was on stopped for like an hour because another train on the same line was having brake problems and couldn't stop, so the other trains had to get out of the way. So comforting.

But thankfully, I made it to Grenoble and my train had brakes so that was cool. I didn't see much of Grenoble because I got there in late afternoon and it was pouring rain. I did see some giant mountains, though!

Here's one of Olimpia's favorite places to hang out in Grenoble:

We left nice and early to catch our train the next day. We went from Grenoble-Chambéry, Chambéry-Milan, and Milan-Rome. The first two trains went through the Alps. I didn't even want to read my book or sleep because the scenery was so beautiful.

The Milan-Rome train was exciting because we didn't have our tickets printed out. Apparently I bought them through a company where you have to print them out yourself, and can't get them printed at the train station (I tried to ask why in France...the lady literally just told me I was stupid and to go away). Problem: we don't have printers. We tried very hard in both Strasbourg and Grenoble, but apparently those cities don't have printers either. Or at least not ones where you can print from the internet. So I took a screen shot of the confirmation email on my phone and called it good.

Actually, I was really stressed about it. I basically felt like we were living the train scene in Anastasia.

*Vladimir finding out that he has the wrong tickets*

But I guess my little screen shot was good enough for the ticket man and it all worked out.

After about 12 hours of traveling, we made it to Rome at 7:00 p.m. Then we spent about an hour trying to figure out how to get on the correct line of the subway. It's harder than it sounds. Then we took the subway and made it to where we were supposed to be. We rented an apartment for the week, and we were supposed to call the people that own the place when we got to the subway stop.

Problem: I turn on my phone, and it won't work. See, I just assumed it would work. I didn't buy any kind of international plan in France, but when I turned on the roaming, it sent me a text asking if I wanted to buy the international plan and I replied 'yes' and then I could use my phone. I thought it would be that easy. I also assumed that because Olimpia has a French phone, it would work and I wouldn't even have to turn on my phone. I also assumed that we would be able to find the apartment, and we could just knock on the door and they would let us in.

So. many. assumptions, all of them wrong...

We made it to Piazza Re di Roma at 8:00 p.m. After trying to use our phones, we wandered around and tried to just find the apartment. Super unsuccessful. Then we tried to use a pay phone a couple of times. Oops. Too bad it wouldn't work.  Also unsuccessful.

Then we crossed the street and wandered some more and found the apartment! Hallelujah! Of course, no one answered the door. I didn't know what else to do, so I called Jenna on the internet app I have and gave her the people's phone number. She didn't have any minutes left on her phone, so her friend called the apartment owners for us AND IT WORKED.

Luca's little vespa pulling up in front of Apartment 1A was a miraculous site by this point. So after using the internet (which will probably turn out to be really expensive...), and a random BYU study abroad girl helping us, we made it into the apartment at 10:00 p.m. So that was 12 hours on a train+1 hour wandering around the metro+2 hours frantically trying to get into the apartment.

This was the first vacation that either of us planned ourselves. Can you tell? haha. But we made it, and the next days in Rome turned out to be a little more fun than this one.

I'm so glad we found you, 1A.

Stay tuned for posts about Rome that are much more exciting than this one, and include beautiful pictures of a beautiful city!

1 comment:

  1. haha. You forgot to mention the incredible e-mail telephones :)