|Well here I am. My unplanned trip to Rome.
Left Bangkok yesterday at 0030hrs. Had an 11hr flight to Athens. Only just made the next flight (by 50 minutes) due to flight being delayed in Bangkok. Departed Athens this morning with Aegean Air (Greek Domestic Airline) and arrived in Rome around 10am.
I was lucky $$$ wise. The trip from Bangkok to Athens only cost be a $200 last minute alteration fee associated with my round the world ticket. My flat mate Andy managed to get me a cheap flight ($150) from Athens to Rome on-line. Thanks again Andy!!!!!
Am I tired? Bloody oath!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Unfortunately my unconfirmed booking on the Eurostar (high speed train) to Paris this evening has been cancelled. The local online train booking system has been overloaded and they are not able to confirm any bookings, only suggesting that you enquire at Rome's main train station (Termini).
Only problem is when I arrived there was a massive line of people stretching from inside the train terminal out onto the footpath and down alongside the station. Guess what they were all trying to get?????
Then I went to six local internet cafes in an effort to check transport and accommodation online, only to find massive lines of people as well all trying to get outta here or find accommodation.
So, for the moment I'm staying in Rome. I ended up ringing home and my good 'ol trusty flat mate (Andy) secured me some great accommodation via hotelbookers.com. I'm staying at a place called "Domus Elisa Bread and Breakfast". I have my own room with double bed, own bathroom, fridge, desk, and small balcony looking out onto the many laneways and old buildings. It's quite cool!!! Breakfast is also included, the caretaker on site (a really cool Italian woman named Maria who speaks broken english) makes us a cooked breakfast in the morning. All for around $80 AUD. She is very helpful with tourist info, providing me with a map and a list of "must sees". They also have free internet here - it's about time.
I'm about 20 minutes walk from the main train station (in case I have to leave at short notice) and only ten minutes away from the Colosseum and Arci Di Tito (old ruins district). I'm about to go for a walk down there now, then will probably have a little arvo nap as I am exhausted. About ten minutes in the other direction is a massive old cathedral 'Santa Maria Maggiore". It seriously is a cool, funky and clean spot. The Trevi Fountain and Paizza Novona are only about 30 minutes walk west of here. I will need to jump on the tube train if I plan on going to St Peter's Basillica.
There are a heap of young people from UK, Holland and other places staying here who are in the same situation as me. They are all very friendly and all seem to be making the most of it. There is talk of hitting a pub later this arvo which sounds great. We all need a drink or ten right now!!!
I unfortunately just cancelled all of my planned accommodation in Paris and Northern France. It's a real bugger, as apart from one place (Mont St Michel) I will be charged for a total of five unused night's accommodation. I am told however (fingers crossed) that these losses will be covered by my travel insurance. Kim (BOW) it looks as though I won't get you that photo of me in front of the Eifle Tower as promised but haven't given up.
I am still aiming to get to Paris, especially due to have scheduled flights out of there on Thursday to Berlin. I am fearing that this problem will roll-on and will continue to effect some of my scheduled legs around Europe.
Right now, I believe I'll be staying in Rome for at least two nights, but still trying to get to Paris and back on schedule as per my itinerary.
Will keep you all posted.
Until then, I am going to make the best of it. I'm in Rome!!!!!! When in Rome .......