Saturday, 3 August 2013

WHEN IN ROME

Hello Everyone!

So, at the end of June, I was very lucky to have experienced one of, maybe even the most, historic and ancient cities in the world. On a Monday morning at 4:00 am, a group of 50 students, including myself, set off from my school along with 5 teachers and traveled down to Leeds-Bradford Airport were we checked-in, went through security and boarded the plane. This plane flew us all the way to Italy and to be even more precise, the capital city. Yes ladies and gentleman, I spent 5 days in Rome, one of the most historical and beautiful places I've ever visited and it's safe to say, I would do anything to be there right now.

The plane journey consisted of my friend, Sarah and I watching the Lizzie McGuire movie for the entire flight. Yeah, that's right. I downloaded it on my iPod just so we could watch it on the plane. If you haven't seen it I would highly recommend you watch it. It will make you sing the same song over and over again for ages. Hey now, hey now, this is what dreams are made of! Moving on... We stayed in a nunnery overlooking St Peters Square. The nuns who looked after us were absolutely adorable and although their English wasn't the best, they made us feel so welcomed and comfortable. After we dropped our suitcases off, changed our clothes and freshened up, we set off on our excursions (in 30 degree heat may I add). The good thing about Rome is that you can basically walk anywhere without any form of transport. Although, I have to say the traffic in Rome is one of the most craziest lot I've seen! Let me take you through each day and what we did:

Day 1:
After travelling, freshening up and getting a shock by the mad traffic, we took a tour around the city, walking round Rome, visiting a few churches and basically getting a good feel of the city. We visited the Pantheon, an ancient temple in Rome, and then walked through the Piazza Navona which was a city square filled with market stalls and street acts. We visited this quite often at night. After waking up early and travelling you could tell everyone was shattered and begging for food so after a lot, and I repeat a lot, of questioning and requests we made our way to the first restaurant of the week where we had our nighttime meal. After this we had some ice cream, which I can safely say is the best ice cream I've ever tasted and it was so good that we went there after nearly every meal. As we made our way back to where we were staying, we made a few stops at the Roman Forums and the Vatican which was absolutely beautiful at night and it was just weird to think, when looking at the Roman Forum, that they were once used and now they're just complete ruins. As soon as we got back to our rooms, I think most of us went straight to sleep. It was a ridiculously tiring day.



Day 2:
On this day we went into the Vatican museum. The queue was huge and we did have to wait a long time of street sellers begging us to buy they're stock and tour guides telling us that we could 'skip the line' and get in quicker (which by the way, probably wouldn't have happened). So, we waited over an hour to get in and it was interesting to look around the museum and the grounds. If I'm honest, there's nothing much to say about it except from the part where we went into the Sistine Chapel. This was the pope's very own place of worship and was where each new pope was selected. No photos or videos were allowed in here, which was very well established by the security guards, as it would spoil the art work. The Sistine Chapel contains art all around the walls and ceilings which was created by Michael Angelo. I do have to say that the paintings were pretty spectacular, especially since they were painted by only one person.



Day 3:
On day 3 of our visit we took a trip to the Roman Forums again and the Colosseum. I was really looking forward to this day because the Colosseum is something I've wanted to go to for ages now. However, before we went there we made a spontaneous stop off at St Peter's Square because the Pope was carrying out a blessing! This was a once in a lifetime opportunity and although I'm not religious myself, I found it pretty fantastic. He even came out into the crowd and were so close it was ridiculous! Anyway, on this day we were actually due a thunderstorm, which did happen but in a way, was a good thing as it cleared the air slightly. We went into the Roman Forums and had a walk round however, by this day, wherever there was a possible seat near you would always find one of the group sitting on it. Our feet were aching from all the walking! After the Roman Forum we made our way over to the Colosseum (excited face!) and were given free time to walk round and enjoy this spectacular site. We also visited a few churches that day (I think) which were also amazing, one in particular which was a church I can't remember the name of but the ceiling was amazing and for a few of us we did find it hard to figure out as it was an illusional piece of art. Honestly, I wish I could've taken a picture of our faces when we were trying to work it out, was priceless!



Day 4:
So, day 4 was our last day in Rome before we travelled home on the Friday but it was probably my favourite day of the week. We went into St Peter's Basillica which was the Pope's holy place. This was pretty spectacular. The detail of the building was just amazing and there was so much to see. With my camera at the ready, I took an insane amount of photos in here because it was soooo grand! However, just as we were leaving a few of us got told off by the security guard for not covering our knees (booo) but at least it was at the end of our visit and not the beginning! After this, we again went to a few churches and as it came to the nighttime we had our last meal as a group in our teacher's favourite restaurant, and what a good choice he made. The pizza was divine and the staff were so lovely. I do like Italian people. After our 'Last Supper' we made our way to the Trevi Fountain which was the site that I was most looking forward to visit on this trip. It was so amazing and was one of those places that just took your breath away. Of course, we all made a wish by throwing a coin into the fountain and then treat ourselves to some ice cream.



Day 5:
Unfortunately this was our last day and after packing our cases and saying our goodbyes to the nuns we were picked up by coach and taken to the airport. We hardly had any free time at the airport because of the huge queues so we soon stepped onto the plane and found our seats. I don't know about you but I always love travelling to a place but not so much coming back because once I start travelling, I just want to get home. The people who I sat next to on the plane were so lovely and I thought I'd made a friend for the flight haha! We arrived at Birmingham airport and you always know when you're in England when you see those grey skies eh!? Makes a bit of a change from 30 degree heat I do admit. We travelled home to Newcastle where we went through a coach journey of sleeping, eating and interrogating people to find out about their lives...casual.

My 5 days in Rome were pretty amazing and I would definitely go back. I had such a good time with such good people and I would highly recommend anyone who goes to Rome or is thinking about going to visit these places because they are a once in a lifetime opportunity. The only bad thing I have to say about it was that I had a cold shower every night, but hey, that's not really important is it?

I apologise if this post is quite long and not what you fancy reading but I thought I'd to a bit of a different post to the usual beauty and fashion ones. I do like sharing some of my life experiences with you as I feel like it kind of gives you more of an insight to my own day to day life and what I think of it.

So yeah, I hope you're all well and having a great Summer. The weather isn't too bad at the moment so that's good! I'm impressed England ;-)

Charlotte xxx