Rome, On Our Own
Topdeck Day 9
Day is a little bit of an exaggeration, more like "Topdeck Morning 9". Even though we weren't getting on the bus that morning those of us who were finishing the tour that day still had to get up and be packed in time for breakfast and check out. This was especially hard because we had probably gotten like two hours of sleep the night before. Throwing a ski jacket and boots over my PJs I joined the group for our last breakfast (in my defence I was wearing Peter Alexander's DAY and night range of PJs). The goodbyes weren't as emotional as we had anticipated because, well, we kind of missed them! At breakfast we said proper good byes to those we were closest to but were all under the impression that official good byes would be done at the bus. Lizzy, Jordan, and a few others who had also finished the tour had rebooked to stay at the same accommodation (Becky and I had already booked a serviced apartment a few towns over a couple of months prior). They decided to go check in before going to the bus, so we joined them. We then realised we weren't sure where the bus was parked so waited near the front entrance of the place....and waited. After awhile we realised we were probably waiting at the wrong place and the bus wasn't coming past this way. So that was a slight let down but at least we had gotten to say good bye to some people. But that did mark the end of our Topdeck tour. It was totally amazing and I would highly recommend it to anyone that loves doing things in groups. I know some people are turned off by the idea of travelling with a group, particularly with a group of tourists but I think it added to the fun of it- discovering and exploring all these new things and sharing it with people who were also doing it all for the first time and having the same reactions. Plus, now I have couches to crash on all over Australia and New Zealand.
Day 9 was pretty depressing. Suddenly it all seemed quieter and it was sad that we couldn't just pop next door or across the road and see the others. It was kinda like we had been dumped by our amazing partner who was onto bigger and better things, having fun while we got left behind. It probably didn't help that we were totally exhausted (I actually have no idea where the rest of the group found the energy to continue for 20 or so days!). The day was a little pathetic and pretty much consisted of lazing around, a maccas run (this may sound totally uncultured but sometimes you just need a Maccas hit, and we were a little over Italian [never thought the day would come]) and dinner at the bar (while observing the new Topdeck group that had arrived). Becky and I did briefly leave the hostel to check into our apartment a few towns over, however we returned soon after to Lizzy and Jordan's and ended up staying the night there.
|Maccas salad, Italian style.|
The next morning we woke up from the best sleep we had had in awhile and were determined not to waste the day. We had breakfast at McDonalds, except in Italy they don't actually have a breakfast menu so it was really like lunch. The thing about McDonalds in Italy is that it is extremely slow service, there is nothing fast about this fast food chain here. We would literally be the only ones in the line and they would take forever to serve us and then we would each wait like 10-15mins for our meals. We joked they were trying to punish us for eating such junk in such a foodie city. After breakfast we said a sad goodbye to Jordan who was flying out that afternoon before heading back to our hotel with Lizzy. Finally showered and changed out of my PJs and into a proper a outfit before hitting Rome. Since we had already seen all the major tourist sites with Topdeck we just kind of explored at a slower pace. Some of the Topdeck people had told us they went to this gelato place which was supposed to have the best gelato in Italy so we went and checked it out. The place is called San Crispino and is identifiable from the other gelati places because all the different flavours are kept in big silver covered tubs. The place has a few flavours that we hadn't seen in other gelati stores. The gelati was yummy but the three of us couldn't really taste a significant difference from the other gelato we had in Italy. What really appealed to us was the man that served us, he was an Indian man and impressed us with his vast language abilities. We heard him speak perfect French with some customers and then perfect English with us. He told us while working there he just picked up these languages and spoke several including Japanese, Italian and his native Indian language. Becky and I actually returned there a few days after just to visit him but the line was out the door so we gave up (that was a Saturday, our first time was on a weekday and there was no line so best to go then).
The next day we went to Naples but will go into more detail about that in my next travel post. Our other days in Rome pretty much consisted of shopping, exploring and eating delicious foods.