Sunday, December 11, 2011

Day 195 - Another American Comes to Rome

My friend EJ arrived today from the US to travel for a short time with me in Rome and Barcelona! It's always great to see a familiar face, after this lengthy trip around the world. It would be a birthday weekend celebration for us since my birthday was tomorrow and his, the day afterwards.

I spend the majority of the day prior to his arrival running some errands and getting situated at our hotel, which was just a stones throw away from some of the ruins of the city, including the Roman Forum and Piazza Venezia. It was probably the perfect location for someone coming to Rome for the first time!

I picked EJ up at the airport to make sure he got here safely. He was concerned with the safety of the city, after hearing of purse snatching and other dangers lurking around. I guess I feel the same way when I come to a new city, but you have to just learn to be a smart tourist (or in a sense, not a tourist at all). It was funny because I joked around with him about forgetting that I had to pick him up at the airport. At the metro on our way to our hotel, I took out my camera to take a picture of the trains, and he told me to put it away until he got his luggage safely in a hotel room. Big Camera = Tourist = Easily Scammed, but I think I've gotten used to traveling everywhere holding my camera, despite what others have told me about stolen cameras and whatnot... Maybe I should be more careful...who knows?

We headed for dinner at a Chinese restaurant nearby. The place was packed, but I think we were the only two Asians there, except for all the workers of course. I got a chance to use some of my Chingrish to order the food and ask for the bill.

We headed to the Colosseum nearing midnight to celebrate my birthday and to also get him his first dose of Rome! It was actually the first time I saw any of the ruins at night, and I must say, it was so much better to visit at this time of night because everything is lit up and there weren't any other tourists crowding and suffocating the area! We had the whole place to ourselves and it just seemed more special to be in that environment without the distractions of street vendors or gladiators trying to get you to pose in a photo with them. Might as well celebrate the clock striking midnight, as I turn 26 at one of the most recognizable places in Rome!

Metro - Termini Station

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