The train ride was pretty uneventful. I fell asleep. Again. Cory read. We did however make sandwiches on this ride with some chicken we picked up and the salami. Some other tourists were looking at us like we were crazy but those sandwiches turned out to be pretty darn tasty. We had also bought these meringue things that we kept seeing everywhere. We would have been better off without them. They did not taste good at all. That was disappointing. But they did form a cave so that was kind of neat. And mine made my tongue turn green so that's always fun.
Once we arrived in Rome we ventured towards a laundry place that I had gone to last year but they were closed. Instead we went to the hostel, settled in, and then found another laundry place that the hostel recommended. We left our clothes behind to be cleaned and went off in search of dinner. My cousin, Cheryl, had recommended this restaurant so Cory and I went to try it out. It was a little far and out of the way from where we were staying but it was relatively easy to reach. We showed up at 6.30 but they didn't open until 7.30. That was a little disappointing but we figured okay, we'll go kill some time. So we did. We found this little dollar store place and I found my Napoletane cards to play Scorpa! so that was fun. We managed to kill almost 30 minutes there as we pretty much stared at everything in the store. It was a neat store. Now, when we returned the restaurant was open. We weren't sure what we wanted, luckily, the waiter spoke English and explained what everything was on the menu and asked if we wanted an appetizer. He listed what there was and we had no clue what we wanted so he gave us a sampling of everything. We each had our own plate for that and it was delicious. There was some bruschetta, mozzarella balls, and some other things that I don't remember the name but it was good. I ordered some ravioli and I can't remember what Cory ate but it was delicious. It was some kind of meat and salad. He said that the food was possibility some of the best food he's had in his life. When we asked for our bills the waiter (and I think owner) asked if we wanted desert we said no thank-you because we had to rush to get our laundry (the place closed at 10pm and it was already past 8.30) so he gave us a sampling of something that was simply divine. It was some kind of mousse-y custard. It was light and fluffy and not overly sweet. It was just perfect. Absolutely perfect. As we ate the waiter also chatted with us and asked where we were from, what we planned on doing. He grabbed a map and gave us a small, simply itinerary of things to do while in Rome. He then let us keep the map. It was an amazingly good detailed map. All the street names were listed. It has been very, very useful. After dinner we picked up our laundry and basically went to bed shortly after.
On Tuesday morning we woke up bright and early to be able to head out by 8 am so we could make it to the Vatican before 9 am. There was a little line but it didn't take long. We were able to go through the Vatican museum and see the Sistine Chapel by 11am. I feel the need to mention at this point that it is very, very cold in Rome right now. Obviously not as cold as back home but it's still very cold.
Anyway, so after we saw the Vatican we went to this little restaurant for lunch because they had a great price for their menu. We went there in part to try and escape from the cold but that failed miserably since the doors to the place was open the entire time. When we left it almost felt warmer outside because it was so cold inside. That gave me a new perspective to what life might have been like in the past when it was a little more difficult to warm up buildings.
Once we left the restaurant we saw St. Peter's Basilica from the outside. We didn't want to pay 14 euros each to go inside so we made our way to Sant'Angelo's Castle, which was turned into a national museum. We glanced at it from the outside before making our way towards the Pantheon. We did go inside there for a few minutes before we made our way to the Piazza Di Popolo. We were semi-harassed by those guys giving flowers ( I believe I wrote about that on my last trip) and made our way through the plaza to get to the metro station.
We decided to do the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain tomorrow since our meeting point for one of the tours is at the Trevi fountain and instead took the metro to Piramide to see the random pyramid. It's under repair (as most things seem to be right now) but Cory was able to see the restored top) and the random gate from a castle or fortified wall. We then carried on and went to San Paolo's Basilica. This was the one that glowed when the sun set. We were able to go inside and it was absolutely gorgeous.
After leaving San Paolo we made our way back to Termini where we did some more grocery shopping. We picked up some more star cookies (they seem to make everything out of this here, cereal, candy bars, cake bars, etc), some more bread, some croissants for breakfast, fruits (strange little red berries, grapes, and bananas), some juice, yogurt, and I found fig jelly. I picked up two containers to bring that home. I love fig jelly and it's so difficult to find. Unless I'm just not looking hard enough. Either way, fig jelly. I'm so excited. Once we accomplished our grocery shopping we went back to the hostel to play some Scorpa and to try and warm up. That worked mildly well.
After a while of trying to warm up in the hostel we decided to go out for dinner. We went to some shawarma/donair place since it smelled sooo good. I ordered a large one and really wished I ordered a medium and Cory got a medium. He was nice enough to finish it mine since it was way too big and really spicy. Even he noticed the spice to it. It was quite tasty. After we ate the owner came out with some clementines and offered us one. It was less random than the guy at the ticket booth at the Castle in Naples who offered us a slice of the orange he was eating. Unlike in Naples we accepted the orange this time and it was sooo good. It was just what my mouth needed after eating that spicy food. We were going to attempt the Spanish steps after dinner but since it was too cold we came running back to the hostel instead to try to warm up. That also mildly worked. I'm still frozen but that's life in a hostel. I'm not sure how Cory thought it was too warm to sleep with the blanket when I'm debating on asking for a second blanket to use tonight for when I sleep. I won't because it did eventually warm up last night. I just need to stop being a wimp.
Tomorrow should be good. We have our tour of the Coloseum planned and the Catacombs of Rome.