Friday, 15 February 2013

Tourist & Rome

10 Euro ticket from Naples to Rome

I was starting to enjoy solo travel by now, taking my time stopping whenever I feel like it, detours, exploring without a plan and just plain doing nothing. After the journey I had in Greece I was confident in just winging it. All brief research I did with my Smartphone showed pricy tickets from Naples to Rome. I took my chances and walked up the ticket counter at the train station and ask for the cheapest ticket they could sell me. It was 10euro, local train only. Well more stops and slow train never hurts when you have so much time traveling but just be careful not to board the wrong train with the cheapest ticket. You don’t want to be fined or kick off in the middle of nowhere. Train ride to Rome was splendid and I was there in four hours with plenty of daylight to spare.

Strike Out

First thing I saw when I reach Rome while hunting for my hostel was the demonstration / protest / strikes that were going on in the city. Now how many did I saw so far now? There was Athens, Igoumenitsa, and Rome. You could really feel the weight of the Euro debt crisis. Back when I was planning my trip all I thought from watching the news was HELL IT’S A DISCOUNT TRAVEL TIME. This was not the last of it and so far non- had impacted my travel plans ….. So far ….

Tourist City Rome

Of all the places I had been there were always locals you could ask for help. They may be reluctant or they may even reject helping you but there are always locals. Rome was a tourist city to me. You can tell everyone here is a tourist. Just look at the maps.

Everyone and I mean everyone was holding the tourist map in their hands everywhere in the city. I decided to pocket mine and guess what I am a local now. People started strolling up to me and asking me for directions. Did I look Italian? Nope, but not holding a map in your hand and ogling your eyes out at every building implies that you are local.

Sheesh ….

“Sure I know the way to the Vatican. Just let me take out my TRUSTY TOURIST MAP and guide you Tourist folks on your way. Look you are here and ……… ” , amused by the shear shocked on the tourist faces.

Ever heard of the invisible girl when she wears a wedding band? Yep I could turn invisible too just by flicking out my tourist map.

There are so many things to see in Rome and its no wonder why it’s such a touristy city. I mean you have other great city but this one take the cake for tourist inbound. Its full with history for one and then there is the pilgrimage of the Vatican, the monuments, and just the shear dynamics makes Rome a must go place. I was a bit concern on how much this city was going to cost me. I knew a few days wasn’t going to cut it yet I was worried if it would dig a big hole into my shallow pocket and there was still nearly 5 more months of travel left. I had to be careful here

Da Vinci Code Tourist

I wonder how many people decided to come to Rome after seeing that Da Vinci Code movie!! You could hear all the tour guides around telling people where the relevance of the book or movie is to the real world and which part of it is real and which part of it is fabricated. I didn’t join any tour groups by the way other than audio guides from the museums. You just can’t get away from tourist in Rome and I guess they couldn’t kick me for just being there. Hence I heard the usual documentary for free without paying the fee whenever I needed.

The movie however did its job Rome. It opened the flood gates and those who were not interested in arts were suddenly experts. Wrong experts but still proud ones until they get the eyeballing look from the tour guides.

For some reason my mind decided to chase down this fictional story so much that I could not tell which one was real and which was not. I mean I was going to be a tourist anyway so why not put some fantasy of finding hidden treasure in it to spice up the adventure.

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