One more recovered picture of our 20 km hike through the French countryside...
I am now writing, after much stress, tribulations, and literal weeping, from our temporary apartment in Rome. Caught our flight to Pisa, and I think due to the slight cold I caught a day before, I was so plugged up I was not able to pop my ears with the altitude. To add to my beautiful, snotty, sick demeanor, let's add some whimpering, slight convulsing, and the whole hold your nose and blow method, once every 3 seconds. I was a mess. It was a mess.
We arrive in Pisa.
We make a booking for Hostel Pisa.
Coincidentally run into a Spanish guy we met in a couchsurfing apartment in Paris.
Lots of Occupy, anti-Capitalism and Fascism, Anarchy, etc graffiti.
Piazza dei Miracoli
This looks unreal to me.
A little tidbit of sound.
Internet Festival in Pisa?
This exhibit on...people.
Welcome to our home.
Somewhere in between here, after some more sweating, we found ourselves in Rome. I did not want to take a train, it was my goal (as it always is) to spend as little money as possible. I had read enough blogs and articles to make me think that hitchhiking would be an acceptable and doable task while in Italy. After numerous sources told us Pisa was not the place to attempt it, and after a bit of a confusing jaunt around the airport to actually track down a petrol station to give it a go, we (I, let it be known Derek never wanted to mess with that business in the first place) relented (after about a five minute conversation with a gas attendant) and we bought a ticket.
Absolutely beautiful train ride. Four hours from Pisa to Rome and most of it right on the coastline.
Upon reaching the city, things went from weird to weirder. I left my rechargeable batteries and the adapter plugged into the outlet in the hostel, a possibly hazardous scenario, I was convinced I was going to set the whole building ablaze. Out of fear and guilt I have yet to message them about it, as it's still a viable option to me that the establishment is laying in charred embers where it once stood, my roasted battery charger lying conspicuously in the center of the ashes...
When we got to Rome, we had nowhere to go, no couchsurfing hosts had gotten into contact with us, hostels were expensive, no map, McDonalds across the street from Termini station would only give wifi password to individuals with Italian phone numbers. Hot mess.
Me, being the silly gung-ho man that I am, somehow convince Derek that he's going to be happy sleeping on the street with me that night and we'll figure out the rest in the morning. Unlike our hitchhiking experiment, I did not want to let this one go..so just as it's hitting the time in the evening where the trams to our best candidate for legal sleeping, Tiber Campground, are ending, I decide to throw Derek a bone and we set off in a mad rush for this illusive campground.
We arrive, one metro, two bus rides, and a 20 minute walk later... 3:30 am.
Dorms are a euro more expensive than a spot for our tent. We book it.
Similar situation next night, only we wind up in a hostel right next to St. Peter's, but a miscalculation in our booking meant we were made to pay 40 euros vs the 20 we thought it was going to be. This, after a very grueling trek to find said hostel, had quite an effect.
It was an emotional moment.
So Italy has been a little challenging.
We made some a couple nice friends in this hostel that evening, but Derek and I were both a little resentful. I had to come to terms with the fact that money will be spent, and on the other hand, working with someone who has very different ideas of "accommodations" than your own can be a little frustrating at times.
But here we are, having these frustrating moments, in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
St. Peter's Square. Vatican City.
It was a little strange to be here for the second time in my life. To think back on the idea that I was fortunate enough, at such a young age, to already have visited one of the great foreign attractions of the world, like Vatican City. I am very, very fortunate.
St. Angelo's Castle
Ceiling of Sant'Andrea della Valle Basilica
Largo Argentina. Julius Caesar was killed here!
Also, there are lots, and lots, of cats here. Which I like.
I think the best thing about Rome is the feeling that you don't have to pay to go into a museum, that the city is the museum. You see these incredible ruins right in the middle of downtown, and you have to appreciate every step.
11 more days until I fly to Crete, perhaps Athens, then Turkey sometime before November 9th.