A boat, a train, a metro, a cab, a plane, a bus, and a metro all in 24 hours!
The morning started with some anxiety about our vaporetto ride getting us into the train station where we would have to catch a quick train across the lagoon in order to catch our next train back to Rome. Apparently, I should have read the ticket a little closer. Upon arriving at the train station I realized we didn't have to catch 2 trains but only 1 for our trip back to Rome - crisis averted. And our seat mates for this train ride turned out to be an American couple, who it turned out were from San Diego, and even lived in the same town as PS. Random small world!
Side note: We must have had the travel gods smiling on us. There was some type of transportation strike across Europe that actually happened the day we were meandering around Venice, not the day before or after when we were actually traveling by train. We ran into quite a few people who it took over 10-15 hours just to get to their destination.
Back in Rome for the afternoon before catching an early morning flight to Paris!
Lucky for us, EB's office at the UN is right next to the Forum and Coliseum, so we took a quick tour, dropped off our bags, and headed off to explore more of Ancient Rome. And for those inquiring minds, EB works for FAO (Food & Agricultural Organization) concentrating on food sustainability and biofuels (the short explanation).
Visiting EB at the UN - FAO.
Her view from the rooftop of work - Circus Maximus, Palatine Hill and the Coliseum
Walking over to the Forum and Coliseum
Since we knew we had a lot of ground to cover in a short period of time, we thought we would actually get an audio tour for the Palatine Hills, Forum and Coliseum. BAD IDEA! Not only did this take longer, because they gave you so much historical background of names and dates you would never remember, but half the time you didn't even know what you were looking at. Next time we'll just download an app (like we saw one smart girl doing) or revert back to our tried and true method of self-naration via Rick Steves/Lonely Planet. Although we did eavesdrop on the tail end of a very entertaining tour guide, who was giving an alternate version of Caesar's death...not the version we all know thanks to Shakespeare.
Once again, EB came through with great recommendations (if she ever decides to stop saving the environment, she has a serious career in travel planning)! Instead of waiting in a LONG line at the Coliseum, we bought our tickets at Palatine Hill for all 3 sites and walked right past all those without the benefit of an awesome sister with great advice!
Afternoon at the Coliseum
Unfortunately we had to cut our exploration a little short, as EB called to tell us the UN security desk was closing, and they had our passports. (Not so good when you are trying to fly to a different country the next morning). And after all her good advice so far, I decided to cut her a little slack for not informing us of this little timing detail ahead of time. Well, she made up for it with our next stop...Happy Hour which included unlimited plates of delicious food (over 20 choices of items) including a glass of wine or large beer for just 10-15 Euro!
Unlimited plates of food at Happy Hour...amazing!
Are you seeing a pattern of PS with large beers?
Enjoying a delicious Nobile!
The next morning we planned to jump on a 6:30am flight to Paris via Ryanair, after a 5am cab ride out of the city to Ciampino. Now, having flown Ryanair before and paid the price (literally) for heavy luggage, we were determined to cut down our luggage even more. We left a few items behind at EB's, mainly anything to account for cold weather since I had determined it wouldn't be any colder than 70 degrees. WRONG! We stepped off the plane in Paris Beauvais to drizzle, wind, and temps in the low 60's. At least we had an hour bus ride into the city to warm up, sleep a bit, find the metro, and then get my brain to remember all my French from HS and college.
Saying Ciao to Italia and Bonjour to Francais for the next leg of the trip!!