Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Pasta Parties, Broken Beds, and Explosions.

We have at this point safely arrived in Naples. Yesterday we spent the night in Rome. 

For those who aren't aware we had a flight to Frankfurt, Germany and from there transferred to a flight to Rome, Italy. Our flight to Frankfurt was pretty normal. There wasn't anything unusual about it except that I ate way too much before the flight so that was a little unfortunate. There was also a group of other travellers who basically acted like teens for most of the flight. It was cute/funny, and frustrating at the same time seeing as they should know better but they were clearly just having fun. By older I mean 60+. 

We were in Frankfurt for a few hours which went by relatively quickly. My dad may have grabbed a giant pretzel in New York with me in August but Cory got a giant pretzel in Germany and it looked glorious. On the way back I may grab one (I was still feeling off from my meal in Ottawa). There was a little bakery in the airport where they were making the preztels among other goodies, it smelled and looked delicious! They also gave us a 2 euro coin to use at one of the other gift shops. We didn't spend them because it was pretty expensive for most things in that airport but everything there looked super classy. One of the main plaza things in the airport was covered in those little white christmas lights but it didn't look Christmas-y. It looked up-scale and nice. 

We arrived in Rome in the early afternoon. There was a bit of haggling to actually get into Rome. I wanted to take the Express train but the lady at the desk selling the tickets insisted that we used the airport transfer bus instead. We ended up doing that which I'm glad because it gave Cory a better sense of the place. The "bus" was really a mini-van and the other passengers were a young couple from South Africa. They seemed quite nice but we weren't too talkative throughout the drive. I think everyone was more focused on the sights. I also decided that I would never drive a vehicle in Rome. Ever. It's just insane. I never really noticed to what extent until this trip. My other one it looked crazy but since I was never actually in a vehicle that way I never got the full experience. It's similar to China in the sense that the rules of the road seem to be non-existant.

We were at the hostel and settling in by about 3 pm which really isn't that bad. Once we settled in it was food time. There's this lovely little bakery/cafe/restaurant thingy across the street from the hostel that I fell in love with last time (great food, excellent deserts) so we went there. Cory ordered a lasagna and I had some tortellini. They were both delicious. My first time I ordered tortellini there it came with a rose sauce, yesterday it was alfredo and there were peas added in. We also had a milkshake thing to go with it. T'was good.

After lunch we explored. We took the subway to Circo Massimo and walked along what was once the circo massimo to get to the bocca della verita (mouth of truth). Those who have read my blog on previous trips might already know the legend involving this. It's said that if you put your hand in its mouth and tell a lie the stone face will come to life and eat your hand off! This is my third time in Rome and I finally managed to get there when it was still open! My first trip I couldn't even find it, the second one by the time I found it, it was closed. I was so thrilled to see that it was open. Cory took my picture in front of it but he didn't want one of him. Afterwards we went into the church that's attached to it. It was a really nice place. For a euro we were allowed into the crypt which was a little disappointing once we went down but it was still neat. Cory found a whole in the wall where he was able to sit his entire arm into it and there was still space. I wonder where it would lead to? 

Once we left the church across the street was the Temple of Vesta and some other temple that was under restoration last time I was here. I don't know what it was but it was really nice. We couldn't go into either place so we carried on and walked along the other side of the Circo Massimo and next to the Palatine. It was only 5 something in the afternoon but it was getting really dark. It felt like it should have been 7 or 8 at night. We walked alongside the Palatine and found our way (mostly from my memory, there was a little map checking to see if I remember correctly) to the Arch of Constantine and the Colosseum. It was a little after 6 when we arrived and it was so gorgeous! Part of the arch and the colosseum are being restored right now which is disappointing but understandable. If they don't do this these monuments won't last. 

We took the subway back to the hostel from the Colosseum and went upstairs for a bit. In the lobby the guy who worked there announced that in the cafe downstairs there was a pasta party in the cafe downstairs. You buy a drink and get free pasta! By drink he didn't mean alcohol, just any drink. It could be as low as 3 euros. We were getting hungry so it only made sense for us to go. Admittedly we thought it was 3 euro pasta, we discovered afterwards that it's you buy a dink to get free pasta. That was still a great deal. Cory had a delicious beer (even I liked the taste, it was Perroni) it had an aftertaste that reminded me of bread. Cory called it "Liquid Bread" before I tried it. I ordered what they called a Florida. It was orange juice and grenadine. Delicious. The pasta was clearly homemade since the noodles were different sizes. It had some pieces of meat, I think sausage, maybe ground beef. Sounded like the guy said sausage but it looked like beef. Anyway, there was that and some red sauce and it was better tasting than lunch. It was some of the best pasta ever. 

After dinner we showered and got ready for bed. Cory was on the top bunk and I got the bottom bunk. I had some difficulty with my bed earlier in the day since one of the boards under my mattress kept falling out every time I sat on it. When I went to lie down four boards fell so I jumped out of bed before more damage was done. Cory was kind enough to jump out of bed and help me fix the boards. I then grabbed the mattress and slept on the floor. It wasn't worth trying to fix again. I also didn't feel like going down to the lobby to complain because really, it's a hostel. It happens. Before bed (as we were getting ready) we met our roommates. They were all Brazilian and seemed very nice. They were all travelling alone but two of them were both going to Paris so they decided to travel together. Those two spoke pretty good English and the third lady spoke some Italian, English, and Spanish but it was pretty poor. We were able to communicate well enough by repeating words slowly and using synonyms in Italian, English, Spanish, and Portuguese. It was really fun.

Cory didn't hear it but at some point in the middle of the night there was a really loud noise. I'm not sure if it was an explosion or just really, really loud thunder. The younger girl heard it too but nobody else seemed to have heard it. Cory heard loud rumbling/banging noises coming from outside but not the thunder/explosion thing. The younger girl thought it was an explosion nearby. I haven't figured out what it was and I doubt I will but the city seemed intact and there hasn't been any breaking news stories. I'm going to say that it was just really, really loud thunder. Since there was some thunder in the distance a little later. 

On Tuesday morning we were up and out of bed by 8 to grab breakfast. For 2.50 euros (paid at the hostel) you got a cappuccino, a juice, and a croissant. We did that, it was pretty tasty. We couldn't quite identify the juice though... after breakfast we left for Naples. 

The walk to the train station from our hostel takes maybe 5 minutes. We bought tickets for the 9:40 train to Naples. We opted for the 2 hour train rather than the express 1 hour train since we'll see a little more of the countryside. The express one takes a slightly different route. We had some extra time to spare since our train was leaving a little later now. We went downstairs to the Conad drugstore and got some water. I grabbed some cookies for a snack. We explored some kid toy store at the train station which was pretty awesome. There was a build your own clock, some tablets, really cute baby toys, among many other things. When we got out of the store we went back upstairs to the platforms and boarded our train. 

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