Sunday, August 16, 2015

How I Dealt with the Foro Romano (Roman Forum)

Roman Forum

It was a fine October day in Rome. Naturally, people are expected to make a beeline towards the Roman Forum. True enough, I arrived at the Forum's entrance, with a long queue already forming even if it was still considerably early in the morning. But I stayed in the queue for some time, while trying to keep my patience and pretending to enjoy basking in the sun like everyone else.

However, knowing I can have a fair share of the glorious sunshine back in my side of the world, I decided that it was not going to be worth it. I didn't just go to Rome, to get more tan and while standing patiently in the queue no less. So when a staff repeatedly announced that one could skip the queue if one would join the guided tour that they provide, I was all ears. The catch is the additional €5 on top of the ticket price.

To cut the story short, I took their bait and instead, patiently waited our tour to start under an ancient olive tree. What a joy to be had.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

United Kingdom in 8 Days

Buckingham Palace

September of last year, I incorrigibly flew to London without knowing a single soul there, except maybe the royal family and the guys from Hogwarts. But I didn't want to impose myself on their hospitality so, I decided to go about the United Kingdom on my own. It was easier that way. Okay. Okay... Let me drift away from this fanciful thought or shall I say, delusion? haha Face palm.

Well, it's true that I didn't meet anyone whom I personally know there. I was even being blunt to the Immigration Officer in Heathrow, when she asked me if I'm traveling with someone or if I'm staying with family or friends in London. Still groggy from a long-haul flight, I simply replied no each time. After a few more questions later, it's a good thing she didn't tell me to fly back to the other side of the world. It would be heartbreaking, to say the least.

But let's not dwell on something that did not happen because shortly after that, I was making my way through the London underground, with the smallest train I have been on, ironically and oddly enough. (Train cars are supposed to be big in the Western side, right?)

Small underground trains aside, here's what was up with me while in the UK. Although I had only been around England and Scotland, I'd like to consider it to already encompass the UK just adequately.


Sunday, July 26, 2015

London!

Travel Joy Hostel, London

So I made it to London last year and a bit of the United Kingdom for a week. I know, such a very short time, given the fact that I needed to travel 16 hours by plane and subsequently, manage a 7-hour time difference. But when the impulse gets the better of me, I am willing to withstand anything even it meant, it'd be against all odds. Oh my! What a melodramatic way to start this post. haha

Anyway, after I successfully navigated my way from the airport to central London, a glorious sunny day welcomed me. Quite a surprise really, having known the infamous weather of this city. I might have packed the sunshine together with me because never it did rain in my entire stay! I even brought an umbrella, which only turned out to be an added weight to my luggage. Pfft! But the unusually fine weather seemed to support this whirlwind adventure!

Grosvenor Road, London

And without much further ado, I braved London with obvious glee and excitement! Of course, I had an essential help from my phone, which was most importantly installed with an offline map. Dropping my luggage at my hostel, I quickly headed over to the bus stop that was merely a few steps away and waited for the Bus 24 that would take me to places, I fancied to go first.

To be honest, I didn't worry that much about being in London for the first time because I reliably just hopped on buses like any local would do. Perhaps, the idea that I won't have to overcome another language barrier, made all the difference. And maybe a dose of Alice-in-Wonderland confidence sealed the deal.

Hello London!