Thursday, November 17, 2011

Day 174 - Prague to Rome

The days in Prague got progressively colder each day we were in the city, and today was the coldest it got, reaching below zero in the morning, probably due to the stronger winds in the area. It was a good thing though, since I had way too much clothes to pack, so I wore 5 layers of clothing to save some space. We were taking Wizzair from Prague to Rome, and with discount airlines, you didn't want to mispack and risk having to pay some ridiculous charge for excess baggage.

The Prague airline was clean and organized compared to Rome's Da Vinci airport, which was danky and old, similar to LAX back at home. Check in and security checks were quick and painless. The flight was a little less than 2 hours, with clear skies and a smooth ride.

We arrived in Rome around 5pm and it was already dark. We took a shuttle bus to the city center at the Termini Station. It took over an hour since it was Friday and there was a ton of traffic, or maybe it's always like that in Rome? I read in my Lonely Planet that much of the pollution in the country is caused by the excess number of vehicles on the road. The traffic was chaotic too, since there weren't any lane divisions and cars just sort of tried to fit through any opening to get closer to their destination. Cars also just parked adjacent to a parked car with their emergency lights on, causing further gridlock on the streets at night.

We checked into our hotel, but I didn't anticipate that everything would be so expensive here. I knew it was going to be a lot more expensive than Prague or Asia, but I wasn't thinking it would be this extreme. The reception at the hotel told us we had to pay 50 extra Euro per night to switch from a single to a double room. That's like 3-4 days of my backpacker budget for food, attractions, and a place to stay! We ended up paying for one night, but I am going to look for a hostel tomorrow to save some cash.

We had our first meal here, which we decided would be pasta. Linh had a salmon pasta while I had one with bacon – mediocre. Hopefully I find some more decent places to eat and get some advice from couchsurfers! More and more food for the next couples weeks! Tomorrow, we will purchase Roma Passes and sightsee in the city.

First meal in Italy - Spaghetti with Bacon in Tomato Sauce

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