Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Ostia Antica at last!
I finally made it out to Ostia Antica and wow was it ever amazing! It's similar to Pompeii only slightly smaller and more empty. Osita Antica is the ancient port city of Rome. The Tiber river used to flow past it but it was abandoned when the river gradually changed course. I spent a good chunk of the afternoon exploring the ruins,which wasreally exciting. My feet and legs were almost black they had gotten so dirty. What I really enjoyed (and also terrified me, dam my love for museums and preservation) was that we could actually walk around in the ruins. Only afew buildings were blocked off but for the most part you could actually walk in them. Climb up the same stairs, itwas really neat. I made a video or two of me going through some of the ruins for the first time, pointing the camera where I was looking as I was exploring. Geeky? Yes, extremely. Do I care? No. It was fun. I wanted to narrorate but I wasn't sure if it recorded sound or not, so I didn't. So if it does record sound all you'll hear is my breathing. Lol. Maybe I'll keep them to myself... Anyway, I explored the ruins for a few hours but didn't get a chance to see everything which is a shame. I'd need either the entire day or better yet 2 days to fully see and appreciate them. I got back to the hostal at around 9 pm and decided to head to my bunk to start packing. I met most of my new roommates then. There were2 guys from Spain, 2 girls from Australia,a guy from France, another from Japan, and another from Denmark, and another from the US. I stayed up with the guy from the US (his name was Dane and he's from SanFrancisco - sidenote, what is up with me meeting guys from there?) Anyway, Dane and the 2 australian girls and I ended up chatting until almost 1 am. We all basically sat in our bunks and talked while we all got ready for bed. I can't remember the girl's names but they were from Melbourne and will be going to Positano tomorrow. Perhaps I'll run into them there? Then in the morning I grabbed breakfast with Dane at the bar downstairs. He was also checking out that morning and the girls had one more night. It's a shame we all didn't meet up sooner.I'd have loved to have spent more time with them. I did find out at breakfast that Dane's studying to be a doctor. So that's pretty neat. Anyways, after breakfast I made my way back upstairs and checked out of the hostel. Luckily the train station was a 2 minute walk away and I was able to catch the train for 10:40am to get to Naples. I got onto a slower train and arrived at around 1 pm (7am local time in Ottawa). And found my hostel with relative ease. Getting into it wasanother story. It's like fort knox. Buuut there's a working elevator, the shower has steady warm water (though it does make some reallyfunny noises - ghosts anyone?) And the bunks are really comfortable! Plus the mattresses aren't covered in plastic so that should make a diference to sleep at night. I think this dorm is girls only. There's 8 beds and5 bunks are occupied by girls. Plus the room is bright neon pink. Breakfast is included with the price of the room so that's fun and there'seven a private bathroom in each dorm! Exciting times. Is it sad that I'm overjoyed by a private bathroom that I still have to share with 7 people instead of 30? My plans in Naples involves going to Positano on Thursday, Herculaneum on Friday and Ihave a 10am train to catch on Saturday.I need to be in Civitavecchia for at least 7pm to catch my ferry though I want to arrive by 4ish. Naples itself looks like there's a bunch of neat things to see including the duomo, santa chiara, castel nuovo, underground naples (I don't know what's up with me and underground cities lately - must be. A phase), there's the castel dell'ovo, castel sant elmo, the palazzo reale. 3 castles and a palace! Oh my! This afternoon/evening won't be enough time I fear to enjoy Naples. Which has a totally different feel to it than the last time I was here. Must be because I ventered into the old city rather than stay around the train station. I was also given instructions on how to reach the port to go to Positano (though I was told the train or bus is easier) let's go by boat for the view! So far I've managed to ride a plane, a train, a subway, a tram, a car, a ski lift/train thingy, and I'll be doing a ferry tomorrow and a bus next week. I've used almost all types of transportation available in the span of a week. Crazy. I should also forewarn that the hostel here only has wifiso this post is being written via my phone. My thumbs are officially getting sore. Since I'm using my phone it should be easier to connect to the internet but it's more difficult to type long posts so if they're shorter for the next few days I'm sorry! Now then, my stomach is telling me it's getting late in the day (it's probably close to 4pm, hopefully not yet 5pm. And the lady at the hostwas nice enough to mark down some local pizzeria's. There's apparently one shop that's famous across Italy and is worth tryin. It looks like it's a hike away (like 7 blocks, 14 blocks? How big are the blocks here? It doesn't matter. It's near the duomo and Naples underground. There's a tour at 6pm in the underground. I'd like to get on it if possible. I can see castles in the evenings when I get back from my daytrips.