I've always brag how unfair and prejudice airasia is with their customers. That was before I took ryanair, quoted as the best low fare airlines.
It is. But by best low fare airlines, i mean the best low fare, strictest and unfriendly.
Well, our first flight to Rome was a disaster and one we would remember until years to come.
Mana taknya, by the time we were about to board on the airplane, one of the ryanair worker took a look at our boarding pass, and with a tone of bitterness, she said "Sorry guys you can't pass as your boarding pass is not stamped," Oh shit. That means we've forgotten to check in- (we got pass all the security and departure gates, so we thought that our boarding pass was going to be stamped at the counter just before we board the airplane). Damn. So in panic i've asked "Is there any chance that we could check in and board the flight?"
"Oh yes you could. You have to go back all the way to the visa check counter, in which I don't think you guys have enough time"
Right. Thank you Captain Obvious. Our flight was 6am. And at that moment, it was 5.30am.
Yes. We are fucked.
In my mind- all I know is that our Italy trip is ruined. That's like £200 wasted. Friends, i'm sorry. I screwed up. It's my fault- blame it all on me. How could i've forgot to check in is one of the worst mistakes i've done in my life. I'm stupid. How could this happen?
Everything was supposed to be as planned. Rome. Florence. And finally Milan. Checking in means that we had to atleast fly back all the way from the airport lounge, to the security gates, jump the baggage clearance area and running our breath out to the airport hall all the way to the check in counter. That'll take atleast 30mins back and forth. And that'll be 6am. Goodbye Italy. We can't make it. It's too far. Fuck this.
There were so many things running through my mind during that time. Yes I was mindfucked. Totally panicked; with no sense of direction. How the hell could this happen is beyond me. I can only hope for a miracle. A delay perhaps?
Nah. Would not happen. Not at all.
Without hesitation I grabbed all my bags, and ran all the way to the check in counter. We collided with people. It was like the amazing race. By the time we reached the security area, we explained our situation and the security guard politely gave our way through and to the visa check counter. With a goodluck being said by the visa check counter guy, we ran all the way back again. Now it's 5.45. I don't think we could make it as we have to queue up with the rest of the people to check their baggages again.
We took our chances and queued up at the vip queueing section and thank god they let us through. With minutes to spare, we ran a marathon back to the boarding gates, slipping up and huffed our breath until the very last minute.
We made it.
We reached Rome after a 3 hour flight from Manchester. We had to ditch our sleeping bags and a couple of food since we could only bring one bag in the cabin. In airasia i always bring 3 bag along with me. My backpack, camera bag and some shopping bags. Had no issues.
Bought a bus ticket from ryanair to go to Rome city centre with just 4 euro's and by the time we reached Rome, everyone was buzzing. It was hot, unlike UK, in which it was breezy and cold.
I was quite surprised that there were a lot of bangla's selling stuffs here in Rome. Most of them came from Malaysia as their first destination and as we caught up at the Colosseum chilling, a bangla came and said,
"Hey, kamu Malaysian? Cakap Melayu laaa!"
Took our sweater off and the first thing we had to do was to search for our hostel. We got a free map from the airport but the map wasn't that clear enough so we asked the local people on how to get our way to Via Calatafimi, and the local people pleasantly told us the directions. The hostel which we stayed in Rome was Two Ducks Hostel. Weird name huh? It was situated in the heart of the city and it was alright. Our hostel in Florence was much better and cheaper, but yeah, Rome is very expensive for accommodations.
To our surprise, we had to pay tourist tax as we paid for our accommodation fees. Hmm. It's 2 euro's per person and if you're staying in a hotel then you have to pay 10 euro's a person! Whoops! (On our way to our rooms, we had the opportunity to ride on a very old school lift like in the movies!)
Anyways, after putting all our luggages, we had lunch and our first tourist stop was at a fountain infront of Basilica church (massive building..totally love the big organ). In Rome, the best way to enjoy the city is by taking a tour bus and we took the 110 bus for 18 euros for 2 days. It's unlimited and we could hop on and hope off anywhere we like, so it was quite a good bargain and the trip was totally fun and relaxing.
Be aware of pickpocket though when you're travelling in Rome, especially in Roma Termini as a friend of mine was pickpocketted when he was waiting for his train. Luckily enough he didn't put any money in his wallet and found his wallet just not too far off from the place he was waiting.
Italy is famous for it's gelato icecream (in every city in Italy, we tried all kinds of gelato, and the best place to eat gelato was at Rome! Fantastic prices, and cheap too!) and right after we finished our bus tour we took a walk around the city and enjoyed some delightfully delicious gelato icecreams for 3.50 euros each. There were a lot of flavours and my favourite was Ferrero Rocher and Orange Chocolate. Yums!
Rome's nightlife is spectacular. The lights are everywhere and totally beautiful- especially the Colosseum and the Spanish Steps. To enter the Colosseum we had to pay 12 euro's and the ticket enables us to enter 3 places, in which if im not mistaken, the other 2 places are the Rome archaeological site (forgotten the names) but we only went to the Colosseum as we were totally tired after much walking. There were a lot of people offering us a tour guide which let us cut the queue for the ticket straight away. That could cost you atleast 25 euro's and seriously, it's not worth it. Waiting in the queue only takes approximately 15-30minutes at most.
The Colosseum is breathtaking- it's big and I was impressed by the level of detail built by the Romans for the Colosseum. Sad that there were bits of pieces breaking down, but still it was truly eye catching.
The Vatican City, initially we thought it would be as big as we saw it in the movies, but it's actually quite small. There's a museum located near the Vatican church but we had to queue and pay to get in. With limited budget and utter laziness. We call it off.
From aerial view, Vatican city is very, very beautiful- love the arc shape around the cathedral. There were a lot of water fountains here in Rome too, which you could drink, from the invention of the aquaduct.
Our final destination in Rome was the Spanish steps, situated at a popular shopping Piazza's in Rome, Piazza Dei Monti.
The Spanish steps is very popular for tourists to hang out during the evening and nights to enjoy a drink with other tourists/friends. There were a lot of artists too, drawing sketches of people and I must say I was totally awed by the details drawn. Other than that, there were a lot of couples kissing at the Spanish steps as we sit back and enjoyed our view of the sunset in Rome.
While we were hanging out, there were some artists offered us to draw us in a group. The price was fairly good for a very outstanding artist, if I could recall it was somewhere around 30 euros and we were baffled by the fact that if we were drawn, who would take the drawing back home then? With ryanair one bag per cabin policy, i don't think the drawing could pass the security checks..haha.
A short visit to Hard Rock Cafe finalized our night in Rome as I bought a shirt for my dad. Good thing that I could pay using my debit card..as I was running short of cash!
There were a lot of other destinations that we went in Rome, but the three main top attractions that you guys should visit, (if you're going to Rome that is)- the Colosseum, Vatican City and the Spanish steps.
Rome was amazing. We had 2 fun days in Rome and love every bits of it. I'll totally go to Rome again if given the chance- it's that mesmerizing.
In Part 2 i'll blog about our trip to Florence and Milan. Stay tuned!!
P:S// Italy is a country full of scooters. Scooters everywhere. In contrast with Amsterdam, where it was bicycles, in all corners!!! (Harga minyak kat Italy mahal..lebih kurang RM15 seliter...woo)
Bile lagi nak blaja bawak moto ni..warghhhhh!!!!