Thursday, August 28, 2008


Just arrived in Rome. Met up with my family at their hotel. The taxi driver tried to rip me off, but I asked how much it should be at Termini train station so I knew it was 15 Euros cheaper than his asking price. I got him to go down to the normal fare of 10 Euros. Lonely Planet said that taxi drivers rip off tourist here.

I just found out that the family is going to take a tour of Naples and Pompei. So I guess I am going too. Last night was pretty hectic wondering around the Spanish steps looking for a hostel that my friend from STA told me about. It doesn't exist, I looked around for it until 2am. My cousins snuck me into their hotel room. It was such a bad decision to sneak me in to sleep, but there wasn't any other options and they insisted that everything would be alright. I walked out without any problems at 5 am in the morning to catch our bus to Naples.


On Air Italia now, almost made it to Rome. I've been studying up on common phrases in Italian and trying to familiarize myself with the subway system. It really doesn't look too complicated to figure out. The bus ride from Lozenets to Burgas to Sofia took forever. The driver kept making food stops. I was getting anxious to get there, especially since I didn't know how far away the bus station was from Sofia International. At least I wasn't bored I found many different types ways to entertain myself for the long 7 hour ride. Mostly, I just took pictures of all the gypsy villages we passed along the way. If you never seen one before then the easiest way to describe them is it looks like a dump. If you look closely you will see houses made from old wood planks, tires to secure the roof from blowing away, and yes trash to make their beds. I saw one man making his bed from an old car seat and part of a bed frame.

I got to the bus station with plenty of time to spare. I picked up a couple Bulgarian phrases, but nothing that would help me get a taxi. Violeta wrote down how to say, " I need a taxi to the airport." The taxi driver was around my age and actually spoke English and fairly well. I think he was the most friendly Bulgarian I encountered during my stay (besides Violeta's family), and he smiled often. I got to drive through the heart of Sofia . There are so many beautiful churches and a large soccer stadium. Not only was my taxi driver friendly, he also was very informative about the different buildings in Sofia. He pointed out many buildings and their significance.

I am doing pretty good not spending too much money. I only spent 425 dollars so far including my ticket to Rome. I haven't set out an around that I am going to spend while abroad. I am getting really tempted to extend my trip even longer either to go to Munich for Oktoberfest or to China to visit my friend Emily. China would require a visa and I don't have an address to send it to. First things first. I will see how I am feeling after the wedding in Serbia and plan from then on.