When I last left off on my journey across the Atlantic, I had just spent my final days in Spain touring the great city of Barcelona. Although it was sad to say goodbye to the beautiful and exotic culture of Spain, I was looking forward to our next venture to Italy, as the Ancient Roman civilization was one of my favorites to learn about. I couldn’t wait to walk along the cobblestone streets and witness the foundations of their great society.
After we had collected our luggage and boarded the bus, we inched our way through the city, catching our last glimpse of the bustling evening traffic and packed outdoor cafes and bistros, en route to the ports of Barcelona to board our boat. The ship would be transporting us to Italy, where we would then take a bus to our hotel in Rome. The sixth day of our trip was spent mostly on the ship, as it was a 12 hour boat ride from Spain, so there wasn’t much excitement during our trek across the sea.
While on the ship, I must have slept a good nine or ten hours, as the past few days had been filled with late nights, early mornings, and miles of walking. Our accommodations were tight, four people in a room barely bigger than a normal sized bedroom, a bathroom that was squeezed into the left corner, and two bunk beds. There was no window, or any natural light, so with the door closed and the lights out, we were engulfed in complete darkness. It may sound cramped and uncomfortable, but we were extremely tired, and after claiming bunks and getting our bearings, we realized it wasn’t as bad as it looked. After getting some sleep and eating, my friends and I decided to explore the ship.
The ship had about eight levels if I remember correctly, some for residents, some for restaurants, and other necessities. Our investigation led us to discover an arcade, where we played tons of racing games, air hockey, and even Guitar Hero 3, my personal favorite. And before we wasted all our money, one of us suggested we go to the upper deck to check out the view. It was breathtaking. The sea seemed to stretch for miles along the horizon, and was only interrupted by the sudden appearance of some small island, which led us to try to guess where we were. I could have stood there for hours, drinking it all in, but my growling stomach had other ideas. After some lunch and a couple games of cards, we were informed that our destination was in sight. I excitedly collected my things and hurried to the window to catch my first glimpse of Italy. I couldn’t wait to get off the ship.
We docked and after a quick head count, we filed into our new bus and made our way to the next hotel. After an hour of driving, we reached the hotel just as the sun had set. I had decided to nap during the ride, as we were passing nothing of interest except the occasional gas station or small farm. But once our group entered Rome, the switch from rural to urban was almost instant. Our hotel was just on the outer limits of the city, and it was very well arranged. I shared a room with three of my friends, and it was much more spacious than the ship. It contained four beds, a TV, a nice bathroom with hot water, and a terrace with a decent view. After we were settled, our group was summoned to dinner, where we dined on fresh cheese pizza and gelato.
I discovered that the hotel had very strong wifi at a cheap cost, so I purchased an hour of use and decided to FaceTime my family. I couldn’t tell who was more excited to see who, but regardless it was nice to see them all. It was a six hour time difference, so as I was getting ready for bed, they were getting ready for dinner. My family and I talked for a good half an hour before I told them I had to go to bed. We said our goodbyes, and I walked up the short flight of stairs to my room (you could only use the wifi if you were in the main lobby). As I climbed into bed, I stared up at the ceiling, thinking how crazy it was to be in Italy, and of all the exciting things I was going to see and try. With that thought, I happily turned over and soon fell asleep.