Yes, it’s been a year since my trip…I realise this….but I’ve already spoken about my lack of blogging in the last year here. After much consideration I decided to complete my posts on my trip regardless of the time-lapse. They are lovely to look back on and with so many awesome memories they are definitely worth putting up. So I’ll steadily be posting the last few days of my holiday last year.
So….Day 7…the day I meet up with my tour group from TopDeck Tours. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. Here I was all on my own in a strange country where very few people understood me waiting to join a group of people I didn’t know from a bar of soap. The group was only scheduled to arrive at 2pm as I was joining up with an already existing group who had been traveling for a week already, so I went for a bit of a walk about in the morning to explore my immediate surroundings.
Rome is AMAZING! It is the strangest mix of absolutely ancient history and modern buildings all rolled into one. There is so much to see and the locals LOVE the foreigners…it’s the strangest thing…they just want to chat to you and find out all about you. I wasn’t brave enough to explore the public transport system yet at this point, but I headed back to the hotel lobby to meet up with my group. They were slightly late, but when they walked in I was engulfed in a group of loud, all over the world awesomeness. The group consisted of people from Australia, Canada, America, China, Italy, Japan, Korea (north and south), Nieu-Zeeland and Romania, and of course when I joined South Africa. I was immediately included and regarded as a friend and some of them I still consider friends:) The tour guide, Micelle, is actually originally from Rome, so we were in for a treat.
Shortly after their arrival we set off on a walking tour of all the major areas of Rome. Micelle showed us how the public transport system works and gave us a map of the city with all the major touristy things marked and he made sure to indicate to us where our hotel was situated. The walking tour basically teaches you all about the city and its history without going into all the major touristy places….so we went to the Colosseum but we didn’t go in etc. There would be plenty of that the next day when we were free to roam Rome. It was during this walkabout that we ate ALL the gelato in Rome…truly, nobody makes it like the real Italians.
We ended off the day in a quaint little restaurant where we had a choice of all kinds of awesome Italian dishes and wine and where I scored a LOT of free wine due to the fact that I was South African. I thought Micelle had been joking when he said I will probably find that people in general would be drawn to me because of where I come from..he was not wrong. I even got a tour of the wine cellar:) After dinner we went out for a couple of drinks and then headed back to our hotel…super tired and excited for all the exploring we would do the next day.