Time to Chill

Trip Start May 10, 2010
Trip End Sep 17, 2010

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Where I stayed
Hotel Beautiful 2

Flag of Italy  , Lazio,
Sunday, June 13, 2010

Ah Roma, my first proper European stop. I had a week in Rome to recover and check out this once center of the world. The history here is amazing, making New Zealand history seem so petty. The most insignificant buildings have seen more than the oldest of NZ buildings.

My first few days in Rome I spent taking the tourist map and walking to all the main tourist sites. It was very hot in Rome with temperatures as high as 37 degrees, but this was a nice dry heat compared to that of South East Asia. To be perfectly honest, nothing amazing happened in Rome, just the ability to check out some sweet buildings and monuments. The Vatican City, with its Church and Museum, was very impressive, despite the fact I had to queue for 2 hours in the heat of the sun. There was one thing that I found quite funny, the Catholic church was having a mass with priests from all over the world. I was told 10,000 priests came to attend. They were everywhere, it was like a plague, but in a good way, I think.

On one of the days I headed out to the beach to have a break from the city. The beach was very different to what I am used to with about 90% of it being private and requiring payment to have access to it. Stupid I thought. Even with that, the beach was nothing special. Nothing on NZ beaches.

I found Rome to be more communist than Vietnam. For example, the government keeps track of everyone who uses the internet. For internet cafes you had to hand in your passport for them to record your details and pass them on to the government. This was all part of their 'anti terrorist law', just oppression if you ask me. Another time I went to visit some Brazilian guys in another hostel, we had to hand in our passports while we waited and we could only stay for 10 minutes. They said we were not allowed to stay cause if the police showed up and we were there they would get fined, so retarded. Besides that Rome was great!

On my last full day, I did my national duty and watched NZ vs Slovakia at the local Scottish Pub. Was so stoked on the draw! There I met three others from Wellington. It was so nice to talk normally with them and be understood. After the game I tried my luck at being a tour guide and showed them some of the sites of Rome.

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