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Published: September 23rd 2012
I had hoped to leave work early thursday, but of course that didn't happen. I was rushing around up until 4:00 and my computer picked that moment to freeze as I was preparing to print and send my report. I couldn't stop the tears (and the laughter) from flowing. But I sent, said goodbye in record time and was outtie.
I got home with the maids cleaning and when they left, I could not for the life of me find my camera. THE camera! I figured Jamie had moved it for safekeeping when she let the maids in, but she wasn't answering her texts or phone and I was packing. So, I kind of continued into freak out mode. haha! The poor maids came back and said I could look through their stuff - I didn't; I just wanted to know if they'd put somewhere during cleaning. Fortunately, Jamie called back an hour later and said she DID hide it in my backpack, so PHEW!!! Then she came home and drove me to the airport. In Dubai, you go through a security checkpoint before you check in, then check in and go through another security point. Then you are mostly
done. When they start the boarding process, you get your passport checked again and are sent into a room to await the actual boarding. Complicated but not too bad. I did feel bad because an Indian family was standing in front of me getting their passports checked and were being asked lots of questions. But when I went through it was a glance and "Enjoy your trip."
The hour flight to Doha was nice, but I was still waiting to see what the "Worlds best Airline" had to offer. Fortunately, they did give me a warm chicken shwarma wrap thing, which was great because I didn't have dinner. We landed in Doha and it was kind of shocking. No one told me about the airport there, but I'm telling you! Doha is a huge hub for international travel but their current airport is too small to accomdate the traffic. I've heard this, but no one says what it means. It means that ALL planes are loaded and unloaded via stairs far from the terminals. You get off the plane and onto a bus like sheep and herded to the terminals. Sometimes you arrive at "Arrivals" first where people with
It's still up for debate, though the flight to Rome was very nice
the blue tickets get off. The people with the yellow tickets continue to the Terminal for Transfers / Departures. Then you go through security all over again. Inside are a million chairs and almost enough people to fill them. Very little food places to entertain yourself during your layover. I sat an read my book for a few hours and people watched.
Finally it was time to board to Rome and there was the man of my dreams.... Stupid Alexis. We need to work on this shy bit. I was behind him in line, and on the bus and prayed that he would sit near me on the plane. No such luck. i wish that I would get the courage to make a move - he seemed just as shy as me as I caught him staring at me a few times. What coulda been I guess. We also unloaded via stairs and a bus at Rome but he was stuck on the bus behind me. I saw him again as I waited in line for passport control - he was walking to the EU citizens line and I caught his eye again, and then again at baggage claim
(even though I just had my backpack carryon). Oh well. The guy at customs just waved me through and I was on my way.
It was 7 am and it took me about 15 minutes from the time I got off the plane to transport. I was supposed to take the train to the station near our hotel, but a guy came up to me and said it was not running for 40 more minutes, so he said he had a shuttle and for 1 euro more it would take me to the same place. Sure, why not. So I got to experience real italian driving and see some of the sites.
Unforunately, it was a very rainy day. I am pretty sure that everytime I've ever landed in Europe it has been during a thunderstorm. A cold, rainy thunderstorm. So, when I was let off at the station, in my dress and backpack, I headed toward the direction of the hotel. My shoes were quickly sloshing out some kind of foam - ew. It was only about a 15 minute walk, but it was Rome and I was wearing sandals, so I took my time. I stopped
Rome Arrival Terminal
Not much to write home about with the airport
and took photos of the Santa Maria Maggiore, which is the largest church devoted to the virgin Mary in Rome. It was pretty, with a large plaza, but a lot of homeless were hanging out so I continued on. I finally found my hotel, put my stuff down and went to get a cappuccino nearby while I waited on Gwosh. We stayed at a nice place, very near the Colloseum, called Hotel Grifo. The receptionist was very nice and helpful. It was just a great first place to stay.
I was going to combine this all into our first day in Rome, but it was going to be very long, so this is a start. Wait for the next installation.
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