Thursday, April 25, 2013

Chapter Three: I will not call this chapter "When in Rome."

Chapter Three: I will not call this chapter "When in Rome."

Hello once again audience!  When we last left off, I was hiking, tutoring, tasting cheeses, and thoroughly enjoying night time jogs.  My neighborhood is safe, low traffic, and is far from downtown and typical ruffians.

This is the same view that I shared with you in the first chapter, but at night.  I remember when I first saw this place I made a mental note to come back at sunset and night time.  This is a view pointing South (if my intuition doesn't deceive me).

So I'd like to tell you about my trip to Rome, however, I will not say the words "When in Rome."  If you've been reading through the other student's blogs and thumbed through their pictures and albums, you've probably heard the phrase.  You don't need to hear it from me.  This is the occasion that I will not do as the tourists do.

Always know where your towel is...
Thanks again to the WKU Sisterhood for helping College students like myself make studying abroad a reality.  Standing in front of the great Colosseum of Rome, I present to you the customary red towel.

And now to tell you how I got there...

3:55 A.M. was when my day began.  I grabbed some granola bars and a banana and slung on my backpack to wait for called taxi on the sidewalk.  I wasn't alone when I stood out there.  Further down the street, a wild boar trotted across the street.  My Host-father told me on my first day that it is typical for wild boar to come from the hills and roam the neighborhood at night.  Especially since I live closer to the hills.  I wasn't close enough to take a picture.  I didn't want to get closer to it because I might have frightened it and then it would have ran off into some traffic.  Or maybe it would have done the same to me.  Either way, I let old Pumba go on his merry way.

There was a taxi ride, I met up with my two traveling pals Rachel Bowen and Nichole Dwyer at the airport.  There was a brief wait at the airport gate, and we were flying to Italy.  I fell asleep before the plane even left the ground and proceeded to doze on and off for the rest of the flight.

I stayed at Papa Germanos.  It was a nice Hostel with friendly receptionists.  Given it's ten minute walk from the metro/train/bus station, and it's great price, I couldn't have found a better place. 

In Italy, there aren't crossing lights for many crosswalks, so you have just walk.  Cars won't stop until you are in front of them.  It's slightly intimidating.

East of the Vatican museum we had lunch at a cafe/restaurant. I had a salami pizza with pieces of salami the size of cup coasters.  It was spicy, juicy, and everything that I had hoped for.  I also had the best cup of espresso I've ever tasted there.  I couldn't tell where the foam ended and the coffee began.  As a former barista, these are the kind of things that I look for.  I hypothesize that the rich flavor comes from the use of whole milk and the ratio of coffee to water used in espresso shots.  You see, the drink was in a cup just the size of my fist, which is a typical size for coffee drinks in Europe.  American coffee shops prepare espresso differently because people typically order 16, 24, or 32 oz. lattes.

I was told that Rome is a very photogenic place.  I agree with that statement.  Let me show you why I agree with that statement:

The Vatican Museum

For a three hour tour, you can't look at the ground, ceiling, or walls without witnessing intricate and inspiring works of art.  Michelangelo and other artists contributed for years to make the Vatican museum a stunning and  unforgettable place.  I'll let the pictures say the rest...

The Colosseum
 This is not where Russel Crowe ran dust through his fingers.  That was a movie set.  The Colosseum concluded a tour that we had around historic ruins of Rome, where we learned a lot about the famous Julius Ceasar and the other emperors who came and went.

In the end, Italy was a rush, but it was a comfort to return to Barcelona.  The air is fresher, the traffic is safer, and at least in Barcelona I can fumble my Spanish phrases and use English to communicate. 

Otros: Old Bridge is the name of a gelatto shop near the Vatican museum.  They happen to sell the best gelatto in the universe.

Next time on the blog: dragons, science lessons, roses, and harbors.

Until next time...

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