May 21, 2011 – First Evening in Rome
ITALY, I’m here! Traveling all day has left me so very tired, though. My first flight was to Heathrow, in London, with one of my best friends Tamika. First of all, I just want to say how great it is to be able to be on this trip with someone I’ve known since I was five. It’s a UMD study abroad class, but I told her about it since non-umd students were also allowed to apply. I really did not think I was going to be able to go on this trip, since the cost was so high, thus I missed the application date. But when Tamika told me she sent her application in, I rushed to get mine done and sent in as well. Thankfully….here we are in ROME 2 months later!!
Anyway, 7 and a half hours or so after taking off we landed in London for a 5 hour layover. Spending 5 hours in an airport is not something I looked forward to, but we passed the time by doing a little shopping, and a lot of window shopping in all the airport shops, sitting down to eat, and lightly napping. Tamika and I wanted so bad to get a quick peek of the city for maybe just an hour, but there wasn’t quite enough time to actually leave the airport, explore, and come back in time. International customs take too long for that. Finally, we set off for another 4 hours and then touched down in Roma!
We met up with most of the remainder of the class, went through customs, and then proceeded to try and find our way to a train, since our hotel was about a 45 minute ride away from the airport. Our professor emailed directions with what to do, but our whole group was as confused as ever at the huge chaotic train station. We didn’t know where to go, how to purchase train tickets, which train to take, or especially how to read the foreign signs. We were truly a bunch of lost Americans. Fortunately, though, one of the girls was pretty good at speaking Italian, was able to ask some questions, and lead us in the right direction.
Once we departed our train, we had to walk several blocks to our hotel. Not so pleasant. I kinda packed my life (no exaggeration), so lugging all my bags in the humid early summer air took a lot out of me! But we have finally arrived, extremely excited to be in Italia. Ahhh, we made it! Tomorrow I’ll be well rested and pumped up to go see everything, but right now I just want to sleep!