Hello From Italy

April 8, 2006

I am currently sitting in an internet outlet in Florence, Italy. Crazy!!!

My break started on Wednesday afternoon with a four hour train ride to Sandfjord, Norway where our airport was located. We then hopped a bus which took us to the airport. After finding out our flight was delayed an hour we had some time to get a little something to eat. Our flight left around 11:30 and we flew into Stansted, England. There two from our group broke off and the four of us took a taxi to our most splendid bed and breakfast. After a wonderful night's sleep and breakfast we made our way back to the airport and took a 1:00 flight to Rome.

Rome is where things got a little crazy. We needed to catch a bus into the city center so we needed to get those tickets. However, we needed cash so we headed to the ATM for many different reasons, I was the only one of us four that was able to get out money so I payed for all of our tickets and we were the last four that were allowed on the bus. We then had a half hour bus ride that took us to a main sub station. From there we had to buy tickets and get the most ridiculously packed sub I have ever been on. Keep in mind that the other girls were trying to get money from ATMs at every chance they could. We got off at our stop and walked the ten blocks to our hostel (a little harder than we thought). Unfortunatly, the hostel we booked has a silly way of directing everyone to main meeting place but then being sent elsewhere around the city, so when we thought our walking was done we were surprised with some more treking. We then were taken to our hostel which was actually another bed and breakfast that was being redone. What this meant for us was that we booked a twelve person mixed dorm and we got a four person private room right across from the Vatican. Let me tell you, that's a sight to see every morning. We finally got into our room around 7. By 8 we had figured out all the money silliness and were on our way to explore. That night we saw St. Peter's Basillica, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Castle St. Angelo, and Foutain Nervona. The city was so pretty at night. It was really hard to not cry at what I was getting to see.

The next morning we got up bright and early and went through the Vatican, St. Peter's Basillica, the Roman Forum, and the Colosseum. I was seeing so much history, it was overwhelming. Seeing places that Ceaser walked and standing in a building built in 70 is just insane.

While in Rome we had plenty of pasta and pizza while sitting in cafes watching life pass us by on the streets. We had our share of Gelato while walking the entire town. We didn't want to spend money on transportation so we have been walking everywhere. I think we burn off everything we eat.

This morning we left at 6:45 and walked back to the subway and took it back to the train station so that we could make our way to Florence. The trip had been too perfect thus far and here was where our first mistake happened. Our train was set to leave at 7:53 and at 7:35 we were asking someone to help us locate our platform and he showed us on our tickets that we were at the wrong train station!!!! Who even knew there were more than one? We needed to take yet another sub line four stops to another train station. What resulted was four crazy Americans running, frantically buying sub tickets, running some more, sweating on the sub, running some more, frantically asking directions, and finally running some more to the train that was 5 minutes late. We were all praying so much and it completely paid off. We got to our train and had a much needed rest on the two hour ride here. Once we got here we took a taxi to our hostel and after setting down our stuff attacked the city like we do so well.

After a quick lunch of pizza and gelato we headed to the Uffizi. We waited in line for a little over two hours and had a glorious time with our new friends James and Mark who are Americans studying in Barcelona for the semester. We stayed there for a little over three hours and then did some walking around and had yet anothe pasta dinner and gelato for dessert which brings me to now.

Tomorrow we have a couple more things to see before catching a train back to Rome and yes we know the right trains this time. We then get up early Monday morning and fly into Athens.

Traveling has become a part of me completely. Everyday is an amazing puzzle and I love getting to figure it out.

I want to share so much but I also wanted to give a quick (but long) update for my own sanity so I don't go on overload.

Love and miss you all!!!!

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