Italy – Rome to UK – London, 24 June 2004

What I thought would be a lazy day turned out to be a full day of excitement. Firstly, no thanks to my laziness, I managed to get a train ticket leaving the station at 11 34, when my last check-in time at the flight counter was 12 15! Whilst waiting for the train, I was agonizing over the various ways by which I could get to the airport on time! Thankfully, by God’s grace, I did not have to pay financially for my stupidity, as the airport shuttle was waiting, just as I left the train!

My next adventure involved trying to bump into Elly on the very crowded Oxford Street, as my phone battery went flat! (talk about bad timing!) As I was VERY late for our 4pm date, we missed each other, and in our brief phone conversation, she mentioned Marks & Spencer, so there I stood for an hour, hoping she would return. And though it was six before we finally met, I was so happy to catch up with her! To top off this crazy day, we saw a rainbow as I was sending her off! Amazing!


Italy – Rome, 23 June 2004

Initially, I intended to take the public transport around for the day, but eventually, money-sense prevailed over lazy bones, and so another long day is ahead for my tired legs.

Route for the day– Fori Imperiali, Colosseum, Spanish Steps. The early part of the day was personal exploration of the massive archaeological complex of Fori Imperiali. By accident, I found a shortcut to the colossal queues to the colosseum– buying tickets from the Palatine Hills!

Relative shopping– buying stuff for relatives– took up the rest of my day. First, I went to the Spanish Steps to get Ferragamo shoes for my auntie, only to find out that the collection has changed. However, I had better luck with my uncle’s Hard Rock Cafe bear, which I found with ease. AFter 3 days of intensive walking, that was when I bowed out and decided to head back to the hotel, ending my adventures in Rome.

Maybe a good meal tomorrow is my way of bidding goodbye to Rome.

Archaeologists at work at Fori Imperiali

Inside the Colesseum

Italy-Rome; Vatican City, 22 June 2004

Grand plans for the day– The Vatican City. It must be the walk, but it seems as if I ceased to get amazed by things. However, there is still some amusement to be had in sending out postcards from the Vatican, fulfilling my obligations to my friends.

After 4 hours of wandering around in the Vatican, I was almost desperate to get out of the place. The place is simply a maze! I must admit that the ceilings are beautiful, and it’s amazing to think how much effort must have gone into sculpturing the whole place!

After ‘escaping’ from the Vatican, I managed once again, in my brilliance to get lost. Strangely, wandering around managed to bring me to the Piazza Novana, a huge detour before I managed to find the Spanish steps. Finally, after a futile wander yesterday in the Fountain of Trevi, I managed to find the Ferragamo shop in front of the Spanish steps. There must be some Italian star in the Prada shop, as there were like a zillion people gathered outside. But with the impunity accorded to tourists, I was allowed to past, heh! (okay, it’s Brad Pitt. Someone saw Brad Pitt)

Dinners have been supermarket affairs for me, as they are the cheapest alternatives for me. Wallet damage? EUR1.45!

Vatican City

Dome of St. Peter’s Basilica

The Ornate Hallway of the Vatican

Very crowded Spanish steps

Italy-Rome, 21 June 2004

I just had one of the most amazing flights of my life in an ambivalent way– the flight not only left early, but it also arrived much earlier than the stated time!

On the plane, I suddenly realised that I had lost my reservation slip at Hostel Alessandro, and with it, the directions to the hostel. And hence, (with my 15kg pack) I could only hope that the journey to my hostel would be shorter than that in Vienna. But thank God, I managed to find it without much difficulty!

After some packing and reorganisation, I decided to start exploring Rome with the nice map I was given. (money saved again!) As the Colessuem was the nearest attraction, that was my first stop. After all my fantasies about the amazing emotions I might feel at sights as such, I realised that it was just another piece of architecture to me. However, Rome certainly appears different, compared to the rest of the cities I’ve been to, chiefly for the Fori Imperiali.

At 19 00, I decided to give up my Let’s Go Rome: The Student Travel Guide route and just head back to the hostel for free pizza, as I got lost. However, I return to be disappointed, as it turns out to be served in another hostel. But thankfully, the huge breakfast at Hotel Palais Portia was enough to last me through the day.

Nightfall, I met two Singaporean guys and we chatted a bit and watched a football game together.


The Size of the Roman Empire at its Strongest

And Caesar watches on …


Western Europe, 14 June 2004 – 11 July 2004


14 June 2004: London

15 June 2004: London – Prague (Plane)

16 June 2004: Prague

17 June 2004: Prague

18 June 2004: Prague – Vienna (Train)

19 June 2004: Vienna

20 June 2004: Vienna – Klagenfurt (Train)

21 June 2004: Klagenfurt – Rome (Plane)

22 June 2004: Rome

23 June 2004: Rome

24 June 2004: Rome – London (Plane)

25 June 2004: London – Paris (Overnight Bus)

26 June 2004: Paris

27 June 2004: Paris – Versailles – Paris

28 June 2004: Paris

29 June 2004: Frankfurt

30 June 2004: Frankfurt

01 July 2004: Frankfurt – Wurzburg – Augsburg (Train)

02 July 2004: Augsburg – Munich (Train)

03 July 2004: Munich – Fussen (Schwangau) – Munich (Train)

04 July 2004: Munic – Dachau – Munich (Train)

05 July 2004: Munich – Antwerp (Train)

06 July 2004: Antwerp – London (Overnight bus)

07 July 2004: London

08 July 2004: London

09 July 2004: London – Oxford – London

10 July 2004: London

11 July 2004: London