December 3, 2012

Roma Highlights

From the time our plane bounced along the runway like a drunken jellybean and prompted a 100 odd Italians to start cursing the Ryanair pilot, I knew I would like this place.

I'd booked this impromptu birthday trip to Rome a few days before, intent on distracting myself from the fact that I was falling head first into a quarter century crisis {More on this later}

It's amazing what a girl can fit into her suitcase when packing for a Ryanair flight by the way; I was so proud of myself for fitting a pair of heels, my SLR, my regular point & shoot camera, make-up, teeny tiny liquids, make-up & 5 outfits into my beat up old Longchamp Pliage :) Oh, plus a bottle of vodka and a tin of stroopwafels at the departure gate, because I stupidly forgot that the 'one-bag-as-hand luggage rule' also included any duty-free items! 

Cue lots of wine, good food, great company and a new city to discover. I was set, not realizing I'd get all of this and more in 4 days.

I went to visit Marvin, an American on exchange in Rome, who I met at the One Young World conference last month. He lived in a building with a gazillion other exchange students so the weekend was non-stop chaos, a flurry of food, alcohol, partying and political debate.
I was hungover for the majority of the time but this didn't stop me from dragging my ass to the Vatican on the Saturday in a bid to save my soul before turning 25. I somehow managed to convince Marvin that this was a great idea, seeing as he hadn't been to the Vatican as yet. He flirted with some Spanish nuns as we queued and they gave us tickets to the service. We didn't realise that we'd be bumping into Benny The Pope at said service. Suddenly my hangover took a turn for the worse but we were determined to see what all the fuss was about. As I sat there with the hungover shakes, a group of nuns from The Philipines also started shaking and crying next to me, overcome by his Holiness. I'll make sure not to vilify him as I'm aware that a bunch of Catholics are reading this but it honestly puts the facade of celebrity in a whole new light; The Pope glided past us with a blank look on his face, giving a similar wave to that of The Queen as hundreds of people around him wept.  It was a pretty surreal experience to say the least. 

Fast forward two days, after hours of walking around, snapping photos, getting lost, eating way too much food and regretting that extra glass of yummy vino, I was on my way back to The Dam, wishing I didn't have to leave. 
I know I only just saw the tip of the Italian iceberg and I can't wait to discover more of this country. Until next time Roma :)

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