eldar: (Default)
( Apr. 23rd, 2008 08:01 pm)
I never did a proper write-up. I started one, but it felt like is was going to go on forever.

Given a week and a half to absorb, reflect, and compress, I guess I can give it a go now!

Saturday: Pack, airport, fly, discover bag missing, dinner @ hotel.

Sunday: Mope at missing bag, then get acquainted with local infrastructure, that is, get a weekly travel pass (€16 for a week for all buses/trams/metro! yes London Transport is expensive...). Find the Trevi fountain (not for the first time that week!), discover also Tourist Hordes. Wander round Pantheon and other lesser bits. Get confused by buses and taxi back to hotel.

Monday: Capitoline, Forum, Palatine, Colosseum. Exhausting, and Kulcha Overload. But impressive nonetheless, though the Colosseum itself is, in my opinion, a little disappointing (and very difficult to find your way out of!). I bought clothes (shirts & socks) to replace those lost by BA. Not cheap.

Tuesday: Short-ish, visited a couple of churches (okay so Sta Maria Maggiore is more of a cathedral, but, whatever) before monging at the hotel. Our feet/brains/etc needed the break.

Wednesday: Up at the arse-crack of dawn to get ferried to the pick-up point for our tour of the Vatican, which ends up being a bit of a disappointing whistle-stop of a few of the bits and not quite long enough in the Sistine Chapel, which is something else, but just a bit too crowded. Basically the only benefit we got from the tour was skipping the extensive queues. St Peter's was off-limits because some bloke called "The Pope" was chatting to a couple (of thousand) people. We failed to find the Post Office.

Thursday: A quick wander round the Ghetto (Jewish quarter), then a train ride (all on our weekly ticket!!) out to Ostia Antica, formerly the port of Rome, now mostly ruined and still being excavated. Aliza ran round the amphitheatre, which is very well preserved and as far as I can tell is still used from time to time (they were advertising a jazz festival). Oh, and pretty much on the stroke of midnight, my luggage was finally returned to me - just in time to go home, and not in time to prevent me paying to buy some new shirts.

Friday: Back to St Peter's, to finally visit the basilica (difficult as Aliza had to be carried... so nearly not as much time as we'd have liked) and find the Post Office, where we duly purchased stamps and set post cards. Wandered back via the Spanish Steps, and more Tourist Hordes, and the beginning of Walter Veltroni's pre-election rally (he lost).

Saturday: General wandering round Tridente prior to heading back to the airport to fly back. Got back in good time. Discovered debit card blocked because it'd been used in a place where cards had been cloned before. Yay.
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eldar: (Default)
( Apr. 13th, 2008 06:42 pm)
Yeah, I've been in Rome the past week. My luggage only made it there for just over a day - thanks, British Airways. Frankly I thought I'd seen/heard/had enough warning of the types of enormous cock-ups to expect from Terminal 5, but this was a pretty good one: they put some early bags from the next flight onto our flight, at the expense of some of the bags that were supposed to be on our flight. It took them the best part of a week to get most of them to Rome, but not all of them, from what I gather of talking to other passengers on the same flight.

I've not started looking at compensation options. I'm pretty sure my travel insurance will only get me £75 for delayed bags (just got 'em late, nothing damaged/destroyed/missing...). Given I spent €250 on clothes (Rome ain't a cheap city to have no luggage in - especially when your girth is not that of yer typical Roman!) not to mention replacing other stuff that was there like nappies, bottle cleaning kit, the Blue Guide, etc. All in all I reckon I probably forked out €400 that I wouldn't have if I'd actually had my bags. As it was I was glad of having packed at least a change of clothes in my hand luggage (which I always do), so I was only wearing each pair of boxers on alternate days....

I guess a full write-up will come at some point. I've started uploading the numerous photographs that were taken, and tagging and describing and organising them. They're on flickr.
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