A Travellerspoint blog

Italy Day 1

overcast 10 °C

Our flight from Dubai to Rome was on an A380. What a difference to our other plane. So much more leg room and space to move around. We were 2 of the 4 middle seats again but I was lucky enough to have no-one next to me! I made the most of this and I think I slept for 4 out of 6 hours. I was so out of it by this point that I don't really remember what the food was.

We arrived in Rome and made our way through immigration (a man sitting at a desk on the phone who stamped our passports) and customs (walk straight out if you have nothing to declare). We decided to stop for a couple of minutes to re-pack some items as our next stop was Termini station. We have been told that this is not the best part of town so we wanted to be sure our valuables were safe.

We headed to the train station and paid the 14Euro each to get to termini. We remembered to validate our train tickets and settled in for the 30 minute train journey. It was an interesting first look at Italy. Not really what I had expected. We went past a lot of very run down looking unit blocks, many of which had little vegetable gardens and washing hanging out of the windows.

When we arrived at Termini we had a plan. We had used google maps street view to check out where we needed to walk and had decided that I would walk first and Ed would follow behind. We hoped that this would ward off any unwelcome pick-pockets. I wasn't aware at the time but Ed said that as soon as I turned the corner out of the station there was a very dodgy looking guy who looked at me and moved his cigarette to the hand furthest away from me. Ed was walking very closely behind me at this stage and said that he just put his hand on my backpack and the guy moved away. I must have looked like an easy target until he realised I was not alone. He wouldn't have gotten much anyway because I had nothing important on me at the time. I don't know why they would target someone like me when as I looked around I saw lots of tourists with passports and wallets hanging out all over the place!

Anyway we made it through the area outside of Termini safely and walked the 20 minutes or so to our hotel. We are staying at Hotel Principessa Isabella. We are in what seems to be a good side of town and it is a great hotel. Our room is comfortable and clean and we are within good walking distance of most things.

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After dropping our things in the room and a quick shower we decided to head out to explore. We went out thinking that it would be quite quiet as it is Sunday night. Boy were we wrong! We headed towards the Spanish Steps and there were cars and people everywhere! It was an interesting introduction to Italian drivers and they way they park. If you are ever in Rome, don't think that the zebra crossing means the cars will stop for you......It doesn't! We came to the top of the Spanish steps and looked over to see a absolute mass of people. I got hounded a little by men trying to hand me flowers (which if I took them would have then charged us a fortune for them) but managed to walk away from them pretty quickly. As the area was so busy we decided to get out of there fairly quickly and head back another time.

We then walked from the Spanish Steps to the Trevi Fountain. Again this area was packed but didn't feel as unsafe as the Spanish Steps. There were a lot more police around so even though there were some dodgy looking people around I wan't worried here at all. After a few quick photos we found a little Gelato place that Ed had heard of during his research. It is called San Crispino. Yum! Our first Italian Gelato was a hit! :)

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We found a little restaurant on our way home where we had Pizza (Margarita for me and Gorgonzola for Ed) before heading back to the hotel to sleep.

Posted by AndreaSchache 04:54 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

At Dubai Airport

We set off for the airport at 6pm on Saturday afternoon. We managed to keep our luggage amount right down with my bag weighing 7kg and Ed's just over 15kg. Considering we are going to the cold of a European winter I think that is pretty good!

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We arrived at the airport to find it deserted. It took us all of 10mins to drop off our bags, go through security and passport check and claim back the GST from the laptop that we bought. We checked out the screens that tell you which flights are departing. We discovered that mostly everyone that was in the airport must have been for our flight as there were no others on the boards for quite some time.
We decided to walk up and down the terminal a bit as we would be sitting still for so long. Turned out that our flight was leaving from the gate right at the end of the terminal anyway so this worked out well.

Once boarding began we realised that we must have been booked into the wrong seats as we walked past all of the spacious seats with leg room and found our seats were some of the small, cramped ones in economy class (wishful thinking that they would be anywhere else). We settled into our seats and tried to get comfortable for the up and coming 14.5 hours.

Ed had an isle seat but I was next to a very large woman. Now when I say very large I don't mean fat but just a really big lady. Very tall and broad. This resulted in me not getting any arm rest and missing out on some of the seat space as well. Good job I'm only little!

Our first meal was good - some sort of thai curry with rice. Ed polished off his as well as my entree and dessert so they must have been good too. The entertainment system on emirates is really good. I watched 'Ruby Sparkes' while eating and trying to get to sleep. Finally after much trying I managed to get to sleep only to be woken by a baby screaming/crying. Turns out the front row of our area of the plane (2 rows in front of us) had 2 babies and a toddler. These little kids proceded to scream and cry for long periods at a time while we were all trying to sleep. Even with earplugs in I was woken by the racket. Please remind me to never, ever travel with little kids. Anyway, I managed to get about 5/6 hours of very broken sleep. Ed slept quite well and only woke up for the last 2 hours of the flight.
Breakfast was not too bad. Eggs with has browns, baked beans etc etc.

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We are now sitting in Dubai airport at 6am (local time) after travelling 12206km. This place is HUGE! We had a fair walk from the gate that our plane came in to where we depart from so we did some exploring on the way. Duty free prices are crazy here. We have considered trying to buy our duty free here instead of Brisbane on the way home but we only have about 2 hours between flights on the way home. Considering the distance you need to cover between gates I'm doubting we will have time.

Posted by AndreaSchache 04:53 Archived in United Arab Emirates Comments (1)

Preparations

I've taken the idea from Tony Mac to write a blog while we head around Europe for our honeymoon. Hopefully I keep on top of it while we are away to record most of what we do. The plan is to use this as part of our memories as well as keep people informed on what we are doing.

This is a long awaited trip for Ed and I. We haven't been on a 'proper' holiday since I met up with Ed in New Zealand at the end of his cycling tour. Over the past 6 years we have spent a lot of our holiday time back and forth between Charleville and Brisbane and renovating our house so apart from a week long trip down south to visit Ed's family we haven't really had a holiday. So.....we are finally going on a real holiday!

Ed has done a huge amount of work preparing for this trip. He has been researching, reading and spending a lot of time booking hotels and trains etc. I'm so glad I have such an organised husband!

So to start us off...this is what we have planned:
Fly to Rome. Then go Cinque Terre and Venice before moving on to Vienna. From there we move to Prague and Pilzen. Then we go to Munich, Paris and Brugge before heading to the UK to see my family. All of this is going to take us about 5 and a half weeks.

So sit back, relax and enjoy us freezing our butts off!!!!

Posted by AndreaSchache 00:24 Archived in Australia Comments (3)

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