I didn’t know if I was going to make it out alive.
Since Jared and I had done most of the things we really wanted to do in Rome on the previous two days, we spent the third day just puttering around without much aim. We saw the Spanish steps but did not go up them since we were already riding the struggle bus what with the oppressive heat, and plus we just wanted to stay in the shade as much as possible. We headed in the direction of the Pantheon but since we got lost, ended up going to lunch beforehand.
I ate pizza. Again.
Afterwards we headed back over towards a gelato shop we were at a few days before, since it had cheap, delicious gelato, BUT IT WAS CLOSED. The sign on the door said, “Torno subi√0!” so we figured we were out of luck and just headed over to the Pantheon instead.
Luckily for us entrance into the Pantheon is free and it’s quite a bit cooler inside, so we spent some time just sitting inside and recovering. The Pantheon is quite interesting because it’s the best preserved Roman building. If you go to the Roman Forum you just see ruins; you can’t really get a good impression of what the actual buildings looked like. However, you can with the Pantheon because it’s still intact today. It was originally built to as a temple to the Roman gods, but since the 7th century it has been used as a Roman Catholic church.
We then walked the short distance to Piazza Navona, which is a square with an Egyptian obelisk (quite a few of these can be found in Rome) and some beautiful fountains. We continued to bake in the heat, then we looked at all the artwork for sale in the square. Jared bought a few small paintings from one of the vendors for his mom, and the couple who sold us the paintings gave us some tips for how to get to beach and other things to do in the city. Since they told us we wouldn’t have enough time to go to the beach and back, we made our way over to a park to relax.
On the way we found the biggest gelato stop we had seen–they had at least 50 flavors. It was a bit overwhelming since there were so many flavors, but eventually I settled on chocolate orange, peanut butter, and Lion flavors. The chocolate orange was a bit disappointing since it tasted a bit off, but the peanut butter was amazing, as all peanut butter-flavored things are.
We then headed over to the park, which was just behind the Spanish steps, and laid there for a while. Afterwards we went back to the hostel, I showered, we bought some food from a grocery store, and then Jared had to catch a bus back to the airport. I then took a train to Bologna and was supposed to switch there for an overnight train to Munich.
Random side note, you know how they say all roads lead to Rome? Not for me. For me, all roads (or, more accurately, all train tracks) lead to Munich. Seriously, how many times have I been in Munich now? A freaking lot, that’s how many.
Anyways, I was supposed to switch trains in Bologna. When I arrived in the station, there were two trains departing at the time my train was supposed to leave. Unfortunately, neither of the trains listed showed Munich as the destination, which led me to panic. I started freaking out since I didn’t know which train I was supposed to get on, and I couldn’t find the information anywhere. Also it was late, so staff at the train station was limited. Luckily for me I found somebody and asked which train I was supposed to get on, and he told me.
Still, I was panicking. The train he told me to get on was a train destined for Vienna. Vienna and Munich aren’t close to each other, and the train was supposed to arrive in Vienna at the same time as my ticket told me it would arrive in Munich. In other words, it wasn’t possible.
After freaking myself out for quite a few minutes, I realized that the train was probably a train that would split during the night. I was completely correct–half the train was destined for Vienna, and half the train was destined for Munich. I got on the right part of the train and found my compartment, which was empty except for one other person.
It was frustrating, though, because somebody was on my train who was supposed to go to Vienna. I tried to tell him that he needed to move a few cars up the train, but he didn’t speak English and I don’t speak any Italian. I hope he made it onto the right train.
Anyways, after getting onto the train, my night became considerably better. The sole other occupant of my compartment ended up leaving shortly after I arrived, so I was able to take up three seats and sleep lying down as opposed to sitting up. As far as I’m aware, nobody else came into my compartment during the night. I slept like a rock, and it was much better than the train to Rome had been.
In the next post, I fly out of Munich for a colder place, but one very close to my heart.