Published: October 24th 2011October 21st 2011
Roma to Perugia
Our second day in Rome was a bit different than expected. We woke up to a thunderstorm, so we decided to wait it out and head into the city after it stopped. Fortunately the sun was shining by noon, so we got on the bus and headed to the subway station. Once we got there, we noticed there were a lot of people standing around. We soon realized that the subway was closed. I had read that Italians sometimes go on strike and all transportation shuts down, so I assumed that's what was happening. We found out later that the rain had flooded the subway so it wouldn't be open for the rest of the day. I found a bus map and attempted to figure out which busses to take to get to city center, but gave up quickly after realizing we would need to switch busses at least 7 times. We are still learning the area, so there was no chance we would be able to figure out where to get on and off.
We found a taxi station (taxis don't pick up from anywhere except designated places) and tried to get a taxi into town. But that was, of course, to no avail. Since the subway was closed, the roads were in gridlock all day and taxis wouldn't take anyone inside the city. After hearing this and getting pretty frustrated, I said to Lindsay, "fuck it. Let's just get drunk." There were two guys standing near us that overheard me, and they were apparently as frustrated as we were, and commented that it sounded like a brilliant idea. We chatted with them for a bit and decided to do just that.
Our two new friends (Eddie and Gavin from London) started off on our journey to find a proper bar. This was more difficult than we had planned. But why would it be easy, right?! Regardless, the night was spent enjoying some pretty decent lager, and great company. I like to pretend that we took a day trip to London and met the locals there. :)
Eddie and Gavin were super entertaining. We apparently lost track of time and forgot to have dinner, so as you would imagine, we quickly turned the little bar into a dance club.
We laughed and danced with the locals, and had long conversations that mostly consisted of hand gestures. We made friends with a family that were apparently pretty entertained with us. The little girl was like the paparazzi with Lindsay's camera. I didn't take one photo of the night, but Lindsay's camera was full of photos. Mostly of the random family. Ha!
I traded bracelets with a woman as a friendly gesture, and I think she thought I wanted to be best friends for life. She gave me her phone number and asked Eddie and I if we would stay at her house that evening. Aaaaaawkward.... I politely declined.
As frustrating as the day began, it was a great memory I will cherish of Rome. Meeting new friends and enjoying the night with local Romans was an unexpected, yet exciting night. I couldn't have planned anything better.
This morning we woke up and checked out of our hotel. The subway was thankfully up and running, so we made it into town just fine. We had enough time to walk around Rome for a bit, and visit the Trevi Fountain. We missed the fountain on our first day, and it was the one thing I couldn't miss. It was worth the wait.
Rome is a magical place. It's full of love, history, architecture, and energy. It's easy to see people get wrapped up in seeing all of the museums, buildings, and so on, but my favorite part was the people. Little old men walking down the street carrying a bunch of flowers. Ladies shaking the dirt out of their rugs from the window of their beautiful historic building they call home. Little kids enjoying gelato (and pretty much everyone else, myself included). The cobblestone streets. Marble steps in the subway. Everything made me smile. The feeling I have from Rome will never escape me.