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Rome: The City of Hell

Rome. oh jeez. crazy weekend.

There i was, hanging out with my usual crowd of spanish friends on a typical friday night, up until about 1 am when i left for the airport to head to Rome. Now I'd first like to start off that trip had started off in the wrong direction straight from the beginning. First, i booked my ticket about a month or so ago, and i was supposed to be going with 2 girls from my program, but as of a week ago, they informed me that they had changed their plans and were going to Rome at the end of December. Great. Thanks for telling me this! so I was headed to Rome solo. Which i was okay with, i could see everything i'd want to and i'd get a lot of graham time, which is very importnat, and im very independent so that would be no big deal (especially since i spent my entire time in Paris alone....well, atleast during the days anyways...). So anyways, i left the Residencia at like 1 to take the metro to the airport because its free, and I was going to just sleep in the airport until my flight left.....my flight wasnt until 7 am but the metro stops running at 1:30am. I was gonna do that so i wouldnt have to pay 30 euro for a cab.....but of course, just my luck, i missed the connecting metro and i had to walk all the way back home. By this point, i had a few hours to sleep. and by a few, i mean one and a half. so i slept. i got up, and at this point, i was so negative about the whole trip. all my friends were stayin in madrid this weekend (my favorite place....id rather be here than anywhere else in the world...especially with my friends who were headed to Kapital which is a 7 floor discoteca!). i was not looking forward to Rome and i even considered cancelling my flight. And i know, mom, you wont like this either, but i didnt even have a hostel booked, so i may have had to have slept on a bench in rome (but hostels are everywhere and really easy to find).
So anyways, i regretfully caught a taxi. the driver was a real nice guy from colombia. we talked about life...in spanish of course. and then i paid him his 25 euros and i went inside the airport. I was just walking around looking for the check in booth that i needed when i ran into one girl from my classes. We started talking and it turned out that we had the exact same flights! And it also turned out, that she was traveling with 9 other girls, and one guy. Things were looking better. So i started talking to them all, and they were really nice, and then they invited me to tag along with them. And i did. and they had a hostel booked too! and when we got to the hostel, there was only one bed left, and i got it. Its strange how it seemed like someone (god? maybe? i dunno!) didnt want me to go, and then since i decided to go, everything worked out rather...perfectly. So we checked into the hostel and we went straight to the Vatican which was right up the street from us.

Now i need to interrupt this to add a side note that pertains to the title of this entry. A friend of mine that lives here in the Resi and is in my program, lauren, she has this theory about hell. and in hell, its not a terrible place where you swim laps in pools of fire. everything is just extremely inconvenient. everything. For example, there's always traffic, always the parking spots in the back, things are always on the top shelves, the drive-thru's are closed....you get the point. so back to my story.

The Vatican is the most obnoxiously inconvenient place in the world. Now, upon arrival at the Vatican, we somehow got on the topic of hell (great place to be discussing hell, eh?). and i said that hell would probably be inconvenient and everyone thought the theory was funny (just as i had thought when i first heard it). Long story short, the Vatican is confusing and is so obnoxiously set up that we ended up getting lost and having to around things about 304349238409281 times that weekend. and everytime we hit a dead end or got lost or had to walk around, we'd laugh becuase the Vatican had become a perfect example of Lauren's hell.

So we saw the Vatican. we even took a tour cuz we could get in immediatelly and see everything without standing in line for 3 hours. And our tour guide was hilarious. he was from cincinatti or something. but he was great. My opinion thus far was not so positive. the Vatican Sucks. The Sistine chapel is way overrated. I mean, yes Michelangelo painted it upside and what not, but it didnt do anything for me. nor did his wall mural in their either. to me, it was just another stupid huge church. and St. Peter's Basilica was Enormousssssssssssssssss but probably the most petrifying place i've ever been in. They have this huge shrine right in the middle where St. Peter is buried, the first pope, and people are freaks in there. anyways, i could care less about the Vatican. It was only somewhat impressive. Actually, to be honest, ROme is unimpressive. the only thing i got somewhat excited about was seeing Moussilini's private vacatoin spot that still had a nazi eagle crest on it. that was cool. the vatican, lame.

After that, we ate spaghetti dinner and got gelatto which was amazing and then we went down to the Spanish Steps which was a famous spot to hit in Rome. It was okay. nothing too exciting. just a bunch of steps. From there we went to the Trevi Fountain. Now that was pretty cool. it was this huge fountain with giant white marble statues of all kinds of stuff. It was full of people throwing coins in and eating gelatto. then we went home.

The next morning we went back to the Vatican to see the tombs underground (they closed it the night before so we missed it). We went in and saw all the tombs of the dead popes. when we got to pope john paul II, there was a special roped off area to the back of it so that people could stop and pray....and that was petrfying! people were balling, and kneeling and giving themselves up to this guy...religion scares me when it gets that serious.....dios mio!

Anyways, once we got out of Hell again, we decided to break the group up because some of the girls wanted to wait an hour to see the pope give sunday mass. and the rest of us wanted to see rome (i could care less about seeing the pope). So we went to the Colliseum. That was pretty cool to see, and I'm really glad we went there. Thats probably the most famous historical spot in the world. we took a tour through it, which was pretty short, but i hearrd a lot great stories aobut battles and stuff that went on there. it was really great. Then we got another tour of the Roman Forum, which is where we got to see Julius Cesears house, and his Grave, and Mousillini's getaway home and the Circus Maximus and a ton of classic roman ruins. oh, and of course more churches. churches, churches and churches! im sick of churches.

We went from there to what i call the Bone Church (i forget its real name). but what they have there is all the bones from all the past monks. i guess when the monks died, they skinned them and placed their bones all over the walls. it was so sick!!!!!! they stacked the bones in crazy shapes and made all these patterns out of their bones, and they had these really wicked skull shrines. it was horrorepic! then we left.

and we went to this other famous church that housed St. Peter's chains that bound him upside down on his cross and an unfinished tomb carved by michelangelo or rafael....i dont remember. either way, the chains were put up in this GIANT shrine right in the middle of the church, and it was completely dissappointing and unimpressive, and the statue, it was beautiful, but nothing i hadn't seen before. and of course it was super religious. and some guy yelled at me to take my hat off. oh well. im mr negative. so we left there and met back up with the other girls, because our tour guide of the Vatican had talked to one of his buddies the night before to meet us close to the colliseum for a cool walking tour of rome (wiht the Pantheon included, which is where rafael is buried), but he never showed (the girls were mad at him. i didnt really care.) so we walked to the pantheon ourselves. and then we had dinner, and it was wonderful. it was small, and expensive, and i was still starving afterwards, but it was fun.

overall, i didnt like Rome. It's too religious and boring (the night life sucks there....but then agian, the nightlife anywhere away from Madrid sucks...). I was fortunate to have been given the chance to go there, but i didnt like it. i probably wouldnt go back, or atleast make it a priority. The people i was with were great, i loved them all and they made the trip really fun and exciting. dont get me wrong, i had a great time, but at the same time, i almost wish i had been in madrid.

And i had a huge revelation while i was in Rome. I do NOT enjoy european history. I've been to tons of gorgeous castles, churches, palaces, etc. all over europe now, and yes they are extremely impressive, but the history lacks something. i didnt feel any emotions coming from any of these sites. I would have expected myself to get extremely excited when i saw the colisseum and the roman forum, especially someone who loves history as much as i do, but it didnt really do much for me. but when i think about events in american history, im in awe, and it makes me way more experienced. So atleast now i know which part of history i really want to study, and which part i dont have a connection to. The history here is strong and incredible, but seeing the places lacks something in me....a soul? a heartbeat? i dont know what it is, but somethings not there.

but anyways, i am back home, and safe in my favorite place, Madrid, and i survived a potentially catastrophic weekend that turned out for the best!

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
libbygirl2
Nov. 28th, 2008 02:53 pm (UTC)
Do you still plan to major in history now that you've had this revelation? I am glad you are safely back in Madrid where you now view as home. Hmmm.....
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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