Monday, March 16, 2009

Roman Holiday

Our Rome review:

The journey from Venice’s Santa Lucia Train Station to Rome’s Roma Termini was about 5.5 hours. Took Euro Star, and yes, it was impressive. Went on the 2nd class coach, and it was wayyyy better than KTM’s first class kat sini. It was a direct train with less than 5 stops. Stops were just for a short period – was only for 10 mins max. (Euro 90 per person)

Leaving Rome, we took the bus from the hotel to the train station. With the luggage that we each had, we certainly couldn’t afford to walk and drag our luggage along. The funny thing was, we were not aware of the bus system there and ended up did not pay a single cent for the journey from the hotel to the train station! Apparently, we had to use bus passes ala our Touch n Go cards and had to come onboard the bus via the front door (We entered through the door at the back-there were 3 doors, you see!). Only discovered that when we were already on the bus and after trying very hard to ask a passenger. The guy I approached had the friendliest face amongst the passengers but obviously knew only a few words of English. He had a hard time understanding me and vice-versa and when I finally understood him, we realised that we were nearing the train station already. Thinking that things might get complicated later, I quickly pulled hubby to get off the bus one stop before the train station. The bus driver didn’t yell or chase after us. Phewhh! Selamat di situ.

7 Kings Relais near Roma Termini station, 10 mins walk from the main train station. Consider taking the cab if you have big luggage though. The hotel is situated in a square with other hotels and residences. Once you enter the square, you’ll see a nice courtyard. Enter the door when you see the hotel signage hung outside one of the doors and take the lift to the 1st floor. If you’re not a solo traveler and each carry a big suitcase along, forget about going into the lift together. Yupp, it’s that small - it could only fit you and one big luggage. So, take turn to go up to the hotel. We were greeted by a friendly lady who told us that she’s been to Malaysia. The reception was a small nice place. I could see that the hotel was recently refurbished looking at the nice wallpapers and freshly coated walls. Checking in was smooth as we’ve prepaid via internet. (We booked via Rate per nite was only Euro 50. Cheap huh? Room is nice and clean. But it was winter and they have ceramic tiles for flooring, so it was quite cold. I was happy looking at how modern the room was but my happiness was short-lived the first nite when while I was trying to sleep, I could hear the oohs and the aahs of the people staying in the next room doing ‘it’!!! Can you imagine how thin the walls are!!! I felt so disgusted! Cepat2 I put on the handphone earphone and blasted whatever music stored in it! Cehh!!!

Do :
1) If you don’t have time just take one of the hop-on-hop-off buses. They were plenty and they go to almost similar stops. But after studying the routes, we took the trambus ( Simply because it stops at other sites too other than just the archeo spots. Stops include – Colloseum (wajib to go inside! You can take the tour @ Euro 12), Piazza Navona (nothing much, a big square with a few Christmas stalls at that time), Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain (wajib to go @ nite-beautiful!), Vatican City, Hard Rock Café etc
2) Rome is a metropolitan city, traffic jam boleh tahan juga (but of course can’t beat KL’s). Filled with big department stores especially along Via dei Condotti and Via del Corso. We didn’t shop much here. Only some Rome souvenirs plus Hard Rock Café’s stuff! HRC tshirts start at Euro 20++.

1) Fast food - Bosan kan?

Rome was nice. You may want to spend at least 3 days there to cover the must-go places there. As usual, people sana tak friendly tapi there’s no one lah yang I encountered yang treat us badly. Oh yeah, met many Malaysian students there. All in all, I give Rome 3/5. Next destination – Florence!

No comments: