Traveling from Barcelona to Rome during St. Andrews reading week
The title’s pretty lame, but anyways, I finally made it out of Scotland for the first time since I came to St. Andrews. It might have been one of the greatest weeks of my life. I went with a group of guys from Holy Cross, and the five of us spent Saturday through Tuesday in Barcelona and Thursday through Sunday in Rome. Wednesday was a travel day, nothing really too interesting. It was my first experience dealing with international airports, customs, and Ryanair, but overall I would say we were pretty successful in our travels.
Barcelona was a good time, really relaxing. We spent all of Monday sightseeing, and actually covered a lot of ground in one day. Most of the monuments were pretty generic, but we were able to see the Sagrada Familia, which is a cathedral that has been under construction for about 200 years. On Monday, we spent most of the day on the beach. It was roughly 70 degrees, although the water was cold and none of us ended up going in.
It was probably 45 and rainy in St. Andrews, so I was happy to soak in whatever heat I could get. That night we ended up at an ice bar on the same beach – someone told us it was the only ice bar in the world located on a beach. We ended our trip in Barcelona at an FC Barcelona soccer game on Tuesday night.
Rome was easily the most interesting place I’ve ever been to in my life. The first night there, we went out for dinner (I had spaghetti and meatballs) and then had some gelato while hanging out at the Trevi Fountain. We spent almost all of Thursday at the Vatican, and although we didn’t get to see the Pope, we did get to see the President of Italy drive by on our way back to our Hostel. On Friday, we went to see all of the ruins, including the Coliseum.
The Coliseum is pretty unbelievable in itself, and while a lot of the ruins have eroded down to pretty much nothing (which is understandable seeing as they are 2000 years old), it’s still easy to appreciate what they would have looked like in their prime.
We were supposed to do some more sightseeing on Saturday, but we ended up following a protest/riot around Rome for a few hours – they were marching and lighting flairs and smoke bombs around the Coliseum like it was no big deal. We ended the trip on a good note on Saturday night with some of the best pizza I had ever eaten followed by more gelato and a final trip to the Trevi Fountain.
If you include the Vatican, that’s three countries in nine days, and like I said, easily one of the best weeks of my life. I’m in the process of planning my trip to London in a few weeks, so hopefully that will turn out just as well. And finally, I took plenty of pictures over the week, so those should be up within the next two days.
If you have any other questions or comments please feel free to leave them below and I’ll get back to you!