Good-morning wanderlusters! I barely got any sleep last night...must be because I am so excited for uni to start again today! Please know that was completely sarcastic, haha. So, I decided to get up early, make some egg, onion, cheese, tomato and seasoned concoction of a breakfast with a big cup of green tea and some Swedish House Mafia to get me going. I don't want to jinx it but it looks like it might actually be a nice, sunny day here in Prague! I'm kind of tired of being a vampire in my dark cave of a apartment, you know? Bring on the sun! My last morning in Rome was so beautiful, I got to drive by the Colosseum with the sun rising behind it and see the St. Peter's Basilica since we didn't make it out there on Sunday afternoon. The Pantheon and Vatican will have to be for next time!
Now is the perfect time to write about my week long trip to Rome, Italy. In one word, it was superfantasbulousmazing. I took the airline Wizzair from Prague to Rome in the morning. I'll just be honest and say I was not at all impressed with this airline. Granted, I should have read some more reviews before I bought the cheapest ticket I saw, the ticket I bought back in October was about $60 (USD) but if I were to buy a ticket after October, the price would have gone up to about $180-$200 (USD) and I would have absolutely not paid that price now that I know the airline. First, they changed my flight randomly about 5 times; they changed the dates and times, forcing me to stay longer. Yes, I'm glad in the end but what if someone was on a time-crunch or had work or school and could not stay that long? An airline should not be just allowed to do, trapping their customers or forcing them to pay a ridiculous fee for cancelling the booking. Wizzair seemed pretty reliable and desperate with their additional fees. Next, they suggested being at the airport anywhere from 3-4 hours early because sometimes they decide to leave earlier than printed on the ticket. I get being there about 2 hours early so you can comfortably do the check-in, go through security, find your gate and etc, but since when is it normal that an airline who has already changed your booking up to 5 times can change the time on the day, without any notice, leave earlier than printed?! My flight, thankfully, left as printed on the ticket but from reviews I read, there were some pretty pissed off customers. Another thing, to take any bag larger than a standard tote bag or backpack, you had to pay 10 euros, it doesn't sound much at the time but when you calculate that into your week in Rome and then 10 euros for the trip back, it quickly adds up. So I had to pack lightly in a backpack, and it seems like a majority of the passengers were forced to do the same. If you are hungry or thirsty on Wizzair, be prepared to whip out your wallets because even water is NOT free. I got some dirt tasting coffee with one sugar, they seemed to be angry that I wanted more than one packet of sugar, for 2.50 euros. I'm sorry but some of the delicious pizza and gelato I got in Rome was 2.50 or less! Insanity. The flight itself was fine on the way there. On the way back was a different story. I get squirmish on the plane if there is turbulence or if it feels weird taking off, which happened on the way back almost inducing a very premature heart attack. We took off and for about 15 minutes it actually felt like the plane might just fall out of the sky and crash, the pilot was turning and doing all sort of readjusting, almost like it was only his 2nd or 3rd time driving a plane. People were being loud and obnoxious, it resembled an American frat party with the guys hooting and hollering and just being overall disrespectful to everyone else and especially the cabin crew. Yes, it's their fault but it tends to oversee the quality of the airline. When still in Rome, the plane was late causing customers to be angry and rant in Italian or Czech and one of the check-in employees started to get attitudes with a calm woman who simply asked a question, this causing everyone in line (about 100 people) to stare with jaws dropped. All in all, if you have any other options than Wizzair, take them. If Wizzair was not the worst airline I have ever flown, it was most definitely a runner-up.
Other than the airline, Rome was full of sun and semi-warm weather, great food and great company. I slept on a small IKEA couch for the week at my friends house so I was so happy to come home to a nice, big, blanket and pillow filled bed but it was all an experience. I experienced some great nightlife, delicious food, those "crazy Italian men", Vespas whisping past you, all the extravagant and ancient buildings and architecture and just a week in the life of an average Italian. Pretty cool stuff, pretty cool stuff. Definitely an experience I will love to share with others in the future. I had an almost scary incident with a taxi when I first arrived though...it all started outside in the rain and clothes that were all too thin for cold rain. My friend was going to come to the Termini Station to pick me up and so I waited and waited and waited then decided enough was enough and I would go inside to get some WiFi and see what was happening with her. Turned on my phone...welp at the future phone bill...and she tol me to take a taxi and she would pay for it..fair enough. So, I power-walk outside to the taxi line waiting behind a massive family, all of them frantically speaking Italian and throwing their hands up in the air. First taxi guy says he has no idea where my destination is and speeds off, then a man, who was standing with the other taxi drivers waiting for their next victim, and he told me "come with me, special price 30 euros". SWEET! I accepted and we begin to walk away...away from the other taxis in the taxi line that is. Hmm, strange...? I got this weird feeling in my stomach as we inched farther and farther away from the taxi line and began to think, "where on Earth is this Italian taking me?!" We are walking and he keeps looking back and giving me a stereotypical creepy smile. RED ALERT, RED ALERT, I thought in my head. So, finally, we get to this back alley-type of parking lot...where is station wagon is parked and there is no meter in his car, aka it is a fake taxi. Immediately, I thought of that crazy movie Taken and thought "well this is about to be Taken 3, no way am I doing that!" Before even getting close to the passenger door I told him I wanted normal taxi and he insisted on "good price, good price", told him "no, sorry" with a trying to remain calm but internally freaking out smile plastered on my face and with that he crumpled up the paper with the address on it, threw it at me and I quickly walked away and back to the taxi line. I ended up paying 60 euros for a taxi, which is RIDICULOUS but my friend paid me back so it was okay. Pretty much the most "exciting" thing to happen other than exploring, eating good food and you know, everything I wrote above.
Rome is definitely one of my new favorite cities and I will be returning in the very near future. I recommend it and suggest you spend about 4-8 days there to get the full effect of an "Italian lifestyle".
Travel on wanderlusters!
P.S. I find out about Australia either today or tomorrow...SO EXCITED! Fingers crossed x2!
P.S.S. If you want to follow my travels and daily adventures on Instagram, my account is: shelleahlenka