Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Our Trip in a Nutshell-Part VI


We bid farewell to Wayne and Michelle after breakfast and all filed into the bus to Assisi. The bus ride was kinda long but it gave us time to chat with people, fall asleep and in Aaron and Sam's case, challenge each other on brickbreaker. I forgot when but fairly early on, Sam saw Aaron playing brickbreaker. He told Aaron that he's been playing a bit. Aaron showed him how obsessed he is with the game and so it went. Actually, a lot of the men's conversations centered around football, video games, baseball and UFC (I jumped into these once in a while). It's true that regardless of where you're from, you can always find something in common with people.

So yes, we got to Assisi around mid morning and got a really wonderful view from the city walls. The morning fog still hadn't fully dissipated yet so you'd get these buildings jutting out of the light fog and fantastic beams of sunlight streaming through. It was kind of surreal. I loved it.

We didn't have a lot of time to spend in Assisi, only about an hour. We basically had just about enough time to check out the basilica. The basilica itself is really pretty. I like that they let you down to where the brothers of the order are buried including St. Francis for free. The basilica's artwork is really pretty. Although it's all Byzantine art which we're not so fond of, the fact that it's almost all still there and in really great shape is amazing. It looks like they did the whole thing in frescoes. The upper basilica has a bit more damage to the artwork I missed what another tour guide said happened to cause the damage but it's still very well kept. It chronicles the life of St. Francis.

Outside we got another gorgeous view of the area below, took some photos and then we wandered a bit around the small shopping area in front of the basilica. In one of the shops I found these mugs that offered prayers for different occupations. I found one for La Polizia. The man at the shop asked if Aaron was a cop. When Aaron told him he's NYPD the guys eyes lit up, he shook his hand and told him that he was an MP while he was in the military. He gave Aaron a free souvenir. It was really sweet.

The drive back to Rome went the same way as the ride to Assisi. People were kinda quiet. I got to catch up on my journal entries, I got to do a bit of drawing in my sketchbook and the brickbreaker war raged on. It took most of the day to get back but by the time we did, we were all pretty hungry. We settled into the hotel room and almost cheered at the fact that we could actually extend our arms inside the bathroom. The shower, however, was the smallest shower we have had in the whole trip. To think, they had all that space in the bathroom itself, but they couldn't extend the shower box by a few inches. Sigh.

So yes, we got together with Shane, Samone, Sam and Nicole and went out for dinner. Jason and Laura were going to join us but I think she was feeling under the weather so they got some paninis and went back to the hotel. Dinner was very nice. We made sure we all had each other's information and chatted away. It was kind of bittersweet. On the way back we hit a pastry shop and picked up a small selection of goodies for after we repacked everything.

We really had to get creative. We had to make sure the suitcases weighed under 50 lbs or 23-ish kilos. I ended up packing most of the souvenirs in my backpack and threw a few of the lighter items under the mask which remained with me in a shopping bag. I was so not taking any chances with that thing. I spent too much money and too much time making sure I got the right one to let anything happen to it. Half way through we noticed the room was really frickin' hot. The AC wasn't on. I played with the dials and nothing. I called down to the front desk to ask if there is anything going on with the AC. The guy picks up and tells me, "Yes, we normally have air conditioning, but tonight, it is very cool. Prego." and hangs up. In other words, open your damn window. We opened the window but the problem was that our window faced another building and didn't get much more than a hint of a breeze. We finished packing, enjoyed our snacks and tried getting some sleep since we had a 5:15 am wake up call. About 1:00 am we woke up sweating. We decided to go out for a stroll to the gelateria to get drinks. All the way to the place we heard chanting and partying. Apparently one of the Italian teams won. It was kind of fun. There were even a few groups of people partying in the street in front of the gelateria.

The drinks helped quite a bit and we eventually got back to sleep. A few hours later we got right back up. Blech.

Tomorrow: Berlin, Beer, Beer, Food and oh yeah, more beer.


Chele76 said...

the teeeeny hotel rooms and bathrooms are charming for the first few days. Then our Americanism kicks in and says "gimme space!" lol I remember about 10 days into my trip, we found out that we were staying at a holiday inn express and the entire bus cheered! I took a bath AND a long shower just because I could.

BeeOhVee said...

Yeah. No kidding at frist I was thinking okay, it's small but we are ina different country after all. By the end I wanted to get the hell out of Italy and find a normal sized shower.