We made it to Rome! Hands down, probably one of the craziest trips we've had yet but it was a total blast! And it was the hottest weekend in 40 years! This trip was completely ridiculous and loaded with crazy stories...I SWEAR I don't make this stuff up!
We had one of our favorite friends, Cathy, come visit us in Germany and then we all traveled to Rome for a 4 day weekend. It was Cathy's first trip to Germany, and Rome was on her bucket list (as well as ours) to check off. So we used Airbnb (per the usge!) to book our stay in Rome. We then did our research on Trip Advisor to see what we could do and see while there. I mean, there is so much to do in Rome it's almost mind blowing and doing it on a 4 day doesn't really do it any justice. But I think we did a pretty good job!
So looking for our place to stay, Airbnb turned up the best options for us, and I knew walking into this weekend, it was gonna be a hot one. No joke, hottest weekend in 40 years in this part of Europe. So AC was a must! We got that with our own rooms and a great balcony! SOLD! We booked our flights through Easy Jet, with the extra leg room for Dick and I, so needed! One of the best moves we've made in awhile! The other impressive move, we all only brought carry-ons! High five! So we trained it down to Munich (we flew out of there to Rome) which was fun because it was another place Cathy could check off her list and her first train ride!
Ok, let's get to the hilarious stuff. Murphy's law was in full effect. We got to the airport in Rome (flew into FCO) and had already arranged a driver to pick us up via our Airbnb host. Our plane was delayed (which appears to be a regular thing with Easy Jet-heads up!) so our driver was not there right away. We found him and hopped in the van to get to our Airbnb location! The drive is about 30-40 min from the airport and we're staying in a neighborhood close to the colisseum, and I "assumed" this driver was good to go. I mean, the Airbnb host set it up, it's his location, why would we have to worry about being dropped off in the wrong location in Rome?? Weeeeelllll....that's exactly what happened! We got dropped off by a driver who spoke nothing BUT Italian and literally left us in some neighborhood 20 minutes from where we should have been! HA! I reached out to our host to let him know what was going on, found out the driver was new and was NOT coming back to get us! What the....at least it wasn't raining...and then it started to rain! I'm not kidding.
Our host ended up coming to get us in his itty bitty little car. We finally made it to our place and got to relax. We had an early morning due to the day trip to Capri we had booked! So as the three of us get up and are getting ready to get to our day trip bus by 7:30a, we find out that the water heater isn't working for the shower. Yup. That's right....hottest weekend in 40 years, we were stranded the night before and now all three of us want to shower and be ready for the day...no hot water. I mean, I'm not joking when I say, the water was frigid. You couldn't stand in it to shower at all. So we did the wash cloth bath and I tried my best with the new short hair. Made me miss my long hair to just throw it up in a bun, but oh well. Loving the Hippie Bands head bands I brought with me, saved my life! So we hustled down to the metro, which was right outside our door, and eventually got to the bus, just in time.
Getting to Capri was a 13 hour day trip! A 2 1/2-3 hour coach bus ride and then a huge water bus to taxi us over to the gorgeous island of Capri!! Seriously, if you get the chance to go to Capri, GO! We were told it costs upwards of 25k-35k per SQUARE METER for real estate there! Who has that kind of money!! Also, it's known for their lemons, lemonade, lemon soap and limoncello! Get it all! Great little shops and amazing views. Make sure to take the individual chair lifts up to Anacapri. It's 10 Euro per person and it takes 15 min each way to get you up to the best views of the island. Make sure to save enough time to come back down to shop too! One of the best things we did (because again, we were sweating our a$$es off) was to take a 18 Euro boat tour around the island. It was ah-mazing. The breeze, the sites, and we could sit and chill (literally.) Omg, the grotto's and the boats that are surrounding this island are too beautiful for words. Such a cool experience! We didn't do the Blue Grotto tour, mostly because it was a possibility of waiting 1/2 hour to 2 hours and we also didn't want to ride back on the bus, soaking wet. But I'd recommend doing it if you have the time, looks absolutely beautiful!
We bused it back to Rome and walked to a place that was recommended to us, we were exhausted but so stoked for legit pizza. And...it was closed. AHHHHH! So what did we do, found an Irish Pub and had pizza there! Lol! We finally got to relax, have a beer (maybe a shot or two) and eat some Italian 'za. Eventually we cabbed back to our Airbnb place to clean up and go out for a bit. We grabbed a beer at the little convenience store around the corner and walked toward this great street we saw earlier-totally looked like a blast and we were looking for a bit of fun after a long day! We actually got to the street we saw and didn't get lost (yay!) and as we kept walking the street, we come to find out we landed ourselves smack in the middle of the gay district in Rome, and blocks from the Colosseum! We had a blast, everyone was super cool and we all took over the street with drinks and good music!
The next day was Sunday, and we knew the Pope was giving a blessing at the Vatican, right out of one of the windows over looking the square. We definitely had plans to get to that blessing and of course get some souvenirs. Note to self....if you're looking to buy a rosary, you're too late. Cathy bought them all I'm pretty sure! (So much so she was given a gift from the lady at the store for how much she purchased!! Haha!!) So we got to watch the blessing (in scorching heat) and then came up with our plan for the day until we had our tour later that day. So we cabbed it to Campo di Fiori neighborhood to shop around, grab a drink and find our next adventure location--SEGWAY's!! We absolutely signed up for a Segway tour of Rome and it was hands down the best thing we decided to on our trip! It gave us a well needed breeze, our feet a rest and it's a phenomenal way to see the city! It's a little rocky at first, when you're getting your bearings on how to maneuver but once you get it, game on!! It was a total blast, and my feet needed the rest! We literally got to see all the major historic points in Rome that one should see and laughed our asses off the entire time! Another plus that I forgot to mention, the fountains in Rome are ICE cold and thank God for that! We were able dunk our hands/arms and bandanas in to cool off and even refill our water bottles. Huge help that day! #whew
So the Segway's were a blast and on our way back to the dropping them off we passed an awesome little bar called La Botticella in the Camp di Fiori neighborhood, owned by a guy named Giovanni! Awesome dude and he took great care of us, even sent us to a cute little place for dinner! Highly recommend stopping there if you're in that neighborhood, he even offers free phone charging for iPhone and Android! #solid
Door sign says "Club Montevecchio"--I like to party!
Vittorio Emmanuel Monument-The wedding cake building!
That concluded on Sunday night in Rome! We were set to leave Monday, in the afternoon so it was awesome to not have to rush home. Oh! I forgot to mention, so our host was so apologetic about our initial ride/drop off mishap that he said he'd get us a free ride back to the airport on our way home. Unfortunately for us, all the drivers were booked up. So he left us 50 Euro to grab a cab or take the train. I mean, that was really nice of him especially with the earlier situation. So we trained it in to FCO (which was really easy!) Honestly, train travel over here is so simple, it's really easy to use. Just make sure factor in enough time and you should be fine! Got to the airport in plenty of time, go through security, no prob! And then, we're delayed again, 2 hours. Eating, shopping and hanging out in the Rome airport wasn't terrible though. Once back to Munich, we were looking at a 4 hour train ride home due to the fact that there was something going on with the rail, and there wasn't an ICE train available. So we opted to rent a car once we got to the Munich Hauptbahnhof. It really only ended up saving us a half hour or so but the time in the car was so worth it!! HA! Consider us the Von Trapp's from now on and I think Dick and I found our next duet for our karaoke nights!
View from our balcony in Rome-a welcomed rain with that hot weather!
Let's not forget the random dude that harassed Cathy and I as we were waiting for Dick to pull up with the rental car outside the train station. What a creeper. He essentially wanted to get my number so he could "get to know me" and was looking to get married. We even tried pawning him off on some random, nice looking girl (sorry chica, was looking for an exit strategy!) He eventually took off, but we were total sitting ducks, 2 American girls with food and backpacks. Just be careful ladies, these guys are total weirdos. Cath and I were both ready to take him. LOL! And the personal space issue is still so there!! Why do Europeans not sense the personal space bubble, it's SO uncomfortable! Watching Cathy be tortured by this was thoroughly entertaining! But we made it home, safe and sound and totally exhausted! We even got Murph back from our friends that took him for us for the weekend! (Thank you Lorie and Adam!)
The last item on the agenda for Cathy's visit was a train trip up to Bamberg! Home of the smoked beer! I had to Wikipedia the info, because I wasn't 100% sure on how they brewed this type of beer so here ya go...
--Smoked beer (German: Rauchbier) is a type of beer with a distinctive smoke flavour imparted by using malted barley dried over an open flame. The Rauchbiers of Bamberg in Germany, Schlenkerla in particular, are the best-known of the smoked beers.--
We actually made our way up to Schlenkerla Brewery! It was such a cool beer to try! Smells like campfire and tastes like bacon! How can you be mad at that?! You can probably only need 1 beer and you're good but it's such a cool beer to try. We ended buying a large 6 pack to go and booked it back to the train after a few hours there. It was a quick visit but totally worth it! Mind you, Bamberg is adorable! Such a stereo typical German town that looks like it came right out of a storybook! There even is a kayakers course on the river that runs through the town! I will definitely go back to bring family and friends there. We do have a walking brewery tour through the whole town but like I said, we weren't on any time line or didn't have a care to have to DO anything that day. It was Cathy's last full day in Germany, so we wanted to take our time. Such a great trip and weekend! Couldn't have asked for better people to travel with the last 10 days!
You know when you haven't traveled with people and you wonder how it will go, well, it went amazingly well! Don't get me wrong, we had our moments (Richard....."here we go again!") But in the end, it was awesome!
Kayak course on the river Regnitz
Bacon in a glass anyone?
Whew. What next?! Well, we're in the works of figuring that out. I think we're leaning towards Croatia! But we have a huge list left to work through. PS-I think we're almost clear on what's going to happen with us staying or going. We're about 85% sure of what's going to happen and I think we're staying here for another 1 year to 1 1/2! We're both on board with that for sure!
I'm still working on figuring out what I'm going to do with myself while living over here! You'd think with "all" this time on my hands I'd have that figured out but stay tuned...I'm sure I'll have more info on that! Thanks for checking out the blog guys!! I've got some follow up stuff on some past travels to post yet too! I still have 3 days left to vote on becoming a German Ambassador!!
**Side note--we did purchase a 2 day metro pass which was fairly cheap! It allowed us to use the bus system as well as the metro train anywhere in the city! Highly recommend getting one! Also, don't forget to remind your fellow travelers that you need to KEEP your card with you as you go through the entrance! *wink, wink Cath*