We left Dublin and headed to Rome. In Dublin, we were lucky to stay in a hotel where the services were awesome. Actually, we got the same good treatment through out our journey, all hotels or B&B we stayed in provided excellent services. In Dublin, we saved money instead of taking cab to the airport, we took bus based on the recommendation from the hotel. The bus stop was right in front of our hotel, it was so convenient. FYI, cabs in Europe are super expensive. This is one of the expenses that you don't convert to Malaysian Ringgit, cause it will cause a lot of heartache. Another expense you don't want to convert would be food.
Anyway, we reached Rome around 8pm. It was still bright, usually it'll get dark after 9.30pm in Europe during summer. Instead of trying to be adventurous and use the Metro, we decided to take the cab instead. I did my research and cab from airport to city center would be Euro40 flat.
When we reached the Da Vinci airport, it was a shocker. Airport was in bad shape. The service at the Immigration Centre was not good at all. Despite so many passengers queueing, only one counter was opened. However, on the flip side, it was good for us as the Immigration officer did not even look at our face, just lazily stamping our passport. Trust me, when you travel in western countries and wearing tudung like I am, at time, experiece at Immigration counters may not be pleasant one. I wanted to use the toilet before taking a cab to our hotel, but the toilet was so dirty that I changed my mind. And this was airport toilet mind you!
The moment we took our luggage and headed to the taxi counter, we experienced something normal back in Malaysia i.e. ulat. Ulat are drivers who offer taxi services and at times the prices can be ridicilous. Few approached us and some even said "No, we no cheating". It's a good thing we read tips traveling to Rome and walked on towards the right place to get a cab.
The next day was spent sight seeing. We took again the Hop on Hop Off, the same company we used in Dublin. We actually used the same bus company throughout our Europe tour and this entitled us 20% discount by just showing tickets of the previous destinations.
I must tell you, I was amazed the first time I saw many historical building. Colisseoum in particular was mesmerizing. We engaged with local tour operator who took us in via fastrack, if you choose to queue, it may take you half a day as the queue was super long. Again, buy all this tickets online. Save money save time. And engaging local tour operators benefit us as we were briefed on the history of Rome, Colisseum in particular. We were also taken to places which can't be access if you by your tickets over the counter.
We spent few hours at Colisseum before going to other amazing places. We went to Vatican City but did not enter, just snapping photos outside of the area. The queue to enter was also super long.
Halal food in Rome was a challenge for us. Using zabiha.com we received info most of the halal food are sold around Termini station, about 5 minutes walk from our hotel. Otherwise, we would opt for vegetarian meals which were quite common in Rome. It's a good thing the hotel we were staying provided breakfast so we filled ourselves before we start our excursion.
Enjoy some photos snapped in Rome. Yes, Rome adventure was awesome. Insyallah, if we have the opportunity, we would want to go to other places in Italy like Florence, Venice or Pisa.
Rome was awesome but it's time to go. Next stop, Barcelona!