Gra Nomad Wanderings

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

FAREWELL BEAUTIFUL ITALY

I apologise... we have only visited Florence and Rome on this trip.

WHAT A COUNTRY ITALY IS!

I was watching the traffic on a busy street in Rome from a 2nd floor apartment window. Watching traffic in Rome is like reading a good book or a suspense movie: excitement, suspense, intrigue, danger, fear, wonder, success etc. The drivers here are (generally) exceptionally skilled. They are able to manouvre their cars into spaces that don't seem to exist to the average Australian. They always stay on the tail of the vehicle in front (unless they're overtaking him), even clogging up intersections with traffic as lights change. Horns blast! Congestion reigns! Then the traffic finally flows once again. What on earth possesses a person to ride a motor scooter, a motor bike or a bicycle in this traffic is beyond me. I'm the sort of bloke who used to enjoy driving in Sydney traffic (30 years ago.) Now, if my daughter Deb is around I am only too happy to allow her to take the wheel.

We have been fortunate in finding SERVAS hosts in Florence (Anna) and Rome (Flavio, Antonella, Claudia & Wendy). Having people to stay with really makes you appreciate the place so much more. Florence is about half a million and Rome four and a half million - same as Sydney. Thank you so much Servas hosts - you've been great!
Surprisingly we've managed trains and boats and planes and buses (I lied about planes) quite well. Our hosts were a big help here.
The sights included: Florence markets, Michelangelo's David, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Piazza Venicia, the Roman Forum, Arch of Constantine, immense Duomo Basilica, the unforgettable Colloseum, St Peter's Square and Basilica, the Vatican museum, the many bridges, not to mention countless columns and obelisks. Bars and restaurants abound all over the place. The Sistine Chapel (in the Vatican Museum) was worth the trip to Italy alone!

Next - Beijing (tomorrow, Tuesday 28 Nov)
Then - Hong Kong (Monday 4 December)
Finally - Sydney (Thursday 7 December). This will be the end of our 10 month trip.

Look out Coult in Beijing, here we come!

2 Comments:

At 9:38 AM, Anonymous Treedoc said...

Italy certainly is an exciting adventure. I hope you did better than us with the buses in Florence. Soon learnt to buy a ticket at a tobacconist rather than assuming you could pay on the bus. The bus inspectors (Maffia) wanted about $50 per person as a fine, and there were 5 of us. Enjoy the remainder of your holiday. See you soon. Brian & Sharon. PS Are there any Servas hosts in China?

 
At 1:34 PM, Blogger Keasty said...

Stayed with last Servas host in Rome. Got a mate who has arranged accomm in a cheap place in Beijing and might be youth hostel in Hong Kong after that. Most HKG Servas hosts are DAY HOSTS... and I don't have the Host List for either country.
Yep, our host in Rome told us that we buy at the tobacconist.... handy knowledge eh? In Florence we walked everywhere!

 

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