Wednesday, 27 July 2016

The Eternal Rome-ance - Day 8



Emanuelle II Monument
Rome and Florence                                                                  Italy

Thursday 24th July 2014

Just before my alarm went off I was already up and ready feeling less agony in my legs mainly because I took a longer rest yesterday which I was thankful for. I headed for breakfast for the last time and I noticed there were a lot more people in the hotel restaurant this time thinking that they were here to begin their adventure in this great city. I only had something light to eat as I didn’t want to overeat with the plane journey back home. I headed back in my room half an hour before my taxi was due to pick me up triple checking everything making sure I left nothing behind. I also checked my hand luggage making sure my documents were inside before finally leaving the room with my heavy rucksack on my back closing the door behind me. I approached the desk to hand my key back and there was a city tax I had to pay of 14 Euros which I knew of before I arrived in Italy. As soon as I got out of the hotel I was welcomed by my taxi driver who was very early. I was the only one getting picked up from the hotel so he said I could sit at the front with him. I sat at the front and immediately I was freaked out with how the steering wheel was on the left. However, as we got moving it felt such a relief to be driven around the city instead of constantly walking. The driver had to pick up another four passengers so we headed into the city. Throughout the journey I was gripping my seat as I was amongst the erratic drivers of Rome trying to get to the front of the traffic. We eventually picked up the passengers and were soon on our way out of the city. I was almost in tears when the driver turned one corner and right in front of us approached the Colosseum. I had the biggest smile on my face knowing that I would get to see its beauty one more time and we did a complete loop around it with me not keeping my eyes off it. We managed to get out of the city and onto the motorway straight for Fiumicino airport. The wind blowing in my face was a great feeling too but finally we arrived at the largest airport I had ever seen. The driver gave me my rucksack and I was soon on my way inside figuring out my next move. The first thing I did was to check the departures board which showed the flight, what time it was leaving and which check in desk to go to. I was relieved when I accomplished all three with ease. After all my checks and receiving my tickets I headed straight for the customs area. I took all my jewellery off and placed them on the tray along with my phones and wallet and stepped through the detector. I was told to go back and take my shoes off and I did with a bit of confusion. After all my security checks, I was soon in the departure lounge keeping an eye on the departure board. I only had about 8 Euros left to spend in the airport so I managed to buy a tub of Pringles and a drink which left me with 1 Euro. I sat and ate my Pringles with a lot of time to spare. I watched people rushing around trying to get to the right gate which slightly humoured me. It made me think showing up early is the best solution at an airport rather than rushing around in a blind panic. Later on, I sat at a set of seats with other passengers going to different destinations zoning out when all of a sudden I heard an almighty smash of glass and then a strong smell of whiskey came flushing up my nose. I realised that a passenger had dropped his bottle of whiskey which I assumed was really expensive judging the amount of alcohol spreading on the floor. I sat and watched the cleaners wipe it up who looked miserable at the fact they had to clean it. Time had passed and I eventually took my leave for my Newcastle flight. There was hardly anyone at the gate just a few other passengers which was very good for me as I was at the front of the queue. I sat next to a middle aged woman and got talking straight away. We were talking about where we had been and what we were doing on our holidays and she also gave me tips on good places around the world which passed the time well. Finally the call came out stating that we could board the plane so after I showed my passport I hopped straight onto the bus. It was a short distance to the plane and when we arrived, my nerves slightly came back realising that I would be in the air very soon. As I climbed the stairs I quickly admired the look of my Boeing 737 plane before eventually taking my seat and waiting to get moving. 
My Flight Home
It took for what seemed like forever to get moving due to the airport being full of planes. Eventually the moment came when the planes engines were at full throttle and we were taking off. I had my eyes closed again hoping that it wouldn’t drop and thankfully it kept rising and rising. At this point I opened my eyes and looked out of the window to see a wonderful blue ocean whizzing by. That feeling of excitement came back to me noticing how beautiful it was being in the air. There was a lot more turbulence on the way back though so I plugged my headphones in and listened to my music as I looked out of my window constantly thinking of home. 
Flying Home
2 hours of bumpy flying brought us over the English Channel and I couldn’t believe how close France was to the UK whilst being 35,000 feet in the air. Another 30 minutes went by and then the captain came on the speaker saying 20 minutes to landing. I was surprised as to how quick and smooth we arrived into Newcastle feeling relieved as the plane slowed right down and finally into the gate. My ears were slightly funny with the air pressure but they were soon returned to normal when I went through to baggage reclaim. As soon as I arrived there I could see my bag which was great as usually it was always the last to come on. I had a great big smile on my face as I approached the arrivals exit thinking that I would see my grandfather waiting there for me. However, he wasn’t there so I stood outside and rang him. He said he would be five minutes and he was soon here to pick me up. Grandmother was there too feeling relieved to see I was still in one piece. On the way back home I had a great chat about my experience of Rome and the moment that I was with my cousin Lauren and her friend. It was a surreal moment returning back home coming to terms that my adventure in Rome was over. I was constantly thinking about the wonderful sights and people I had seen along the journey feeling a sense of satisfaction at the fact I had finally been to the eternal city after waiting so long to experience this brilliant place. Along with a special trip to Florence I finally felt at peace thinking how life was great at this moment in time.

Roman Forum
Ponte Vechio - Florence
Florence City Skyline
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