Europe Cruise 2012 – Rome Day 1

Since I had a sudden increase in free time, DH and I decided to use one of his free cruises to go back to Europe. We wanted to do the western Mediterranean. Because it departed and returned mid-week, we decided to get on the NCL Epic in Rome (actually Civitavecchia, which I keep wanting to call Citavecchia). Booking last minute meant that finding a reasonably priced hotel to stay in near Termini Station in Rome was a challenge; most places were sold out. However, we managed to book at the Funny Palace Hostel (for a traditional room with en suite bathroom, not in the hostel part), and we really were quite happy with it. The room was not all that different from our previous European hotel experiences. The main difference that affected us was that, while they will include towels at no charge, things like soap and shampoo aren’t in the room. Fortunately, I had brought my own shampoo, but neither of us had soap with us. Still, when you’re just staying one night on either side of a cruise, it’s all you need. There are stores right nearby where you can get soap and whatnot if you want. Also, an “express” breakfast of a pastry and coffee or juice was included, which was great for us.

We got into Rome in the evening. Our first challenge was hauling our luggage up four flights of stairs to the room. (One of these days, I will learn to pack lighter for these trips! Did I really need FOUR bridge books? Why didn’t I find them on Kindle instead? These are the things you think about while climbing four flights of stairs.) After that, we changed clothes, freshened up a bit, and headed out onto the town. Even though it was relatively late in the evening, Rome was hopping. Our hosts had warned us that the trains wouldn’t be running due to a planned workers’ strike that night, so we took a cab instead to the Spanish Steps to start a walking tour.

Europe Cruise 2012

The Spanish Steps are, among other things, a popular hangout for teens in Rome. It’s a place to see and be seen. There’s also a nifty fountain at the bottom.

Europe Cruise 2012

Europe Cruise 2012

Our walking tour then guided us toward the Trevi fountain. Along the way, though, it called out “the fanciest McDonald’s in the world”. We could NOT pass that up. When you first walk inside, it just seems like the new McCafe concept, albeit with some interesting art on the walls.

Europe Cruise 2012

However, after going down a long and dark (but inviting) hallway and climbing a flight of stairs, you end up in a McDonald’s wonderland.

Europe Cruise 2012

Europe Cruise 2012

Europe Cruise 2012

Europe Cruise 2012

DH decided he had to get a cone here, just to say he ate at this McDonald’s. I took advantage of the clean and complimentary bathroom while he ordered. Then, while he noshed, we worked on translating the signs.

Europe Cruise 2012

We think that one reads:

MILK: eat from pastures
IN SALAD
* Transport in vehicles with temperature controlled lettuce
* In one tree with one possum, rise to your camp to say yes and loudly for the Nostradamus salad
* Prepare the Nostradamus salad freshly like DiGiorno (not delivery), like Nell’s coochie and God’s Nostradamus restaurant

But…our Italian is rusty, so, don’t quote us or anything.

As we walked further, we came to a sign that I think speaks for itself.

Europe Cruise 2012

Before too long, we were at the beautiful (and crowded) Trevi fountain. I took lots of pictures that are in the gallery, but I’ll leave you with this dramatic image. (Yes, I went nuts with my art filters on this trip!)
Europe Cruise 2012

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