Euro Blog Day 11: Bailey Webster
June 3, 2009
We woke up early in the morning on May 30, so we could catch the 8:15 a.m. train to Rome, Italy. The train ride lasted about four hours and most of the team slept the entire time. At the train station in Rome we met up with a lady named Joe, who works with our tour guide Tim. She led us to the hotel which was walking distance from the train station. We reached Hotel Assissi and from the looks of the lobby, we could all tell that it was not a big place. It began with the elevator. Only two people could go into the elevator at a time so there was a huge line. (head coach) Jerritt (Elliott) decided to have us all put the luggage in the elevator and have the team walk up the steps. Of course the smallest person, Syd (Sydney Yogi), rode with the bags to make sure they arrived to the second floor safely. It ended up being four to a room and they were extremely small. I roomed with J (Juliann Faucette), JD (Jennifer Doris), and Syd. Syd and I had to sleep in bunk beds while JD and J slept in twin beds.
After we put our stuff down in the room, we headed to a small restaurant next door to the hotel. We munched on pizza for lunch and ate it so fast because it was so good. Tim gave us our one way tickets for the metro, a map of Rome and a card with the hotel address and number on it just in case we happened to get lost. Our plan was to head to Vatican City because Pao (Lauren Paolini) had set up a tour with an old friend from Michigan. Joe led us to the metro and that started our journey in Rome.
Before we went to the metro, Tim told us to watch our stuff because the metro was a popular place for people to steal things. It is so crowded on the metro and it's easy for people to purposely bump into others so they can pickpocket them. The team got onto the metro holding on to our bags very tightly. The metro was kind of a scary place honestly, but it was a good way to get around. We successfully made it to the Vatican and took tons of pictures while we waited for Pao's friend who is studying to become a priest. We met up with him at 2:30 p.m. and he explained what everything was. We actually got to see the window of where the Pope lives! When the window shutters are open that means that the Pope is there. Our tour guide, Neal told us that he was there and preparing for mass on Sunday.
We got in line to go inside St. Peter's Basilica and once we got in it was breathtaking. I honestly don't think that I can put into words how beautiful and amazing it was getting a chance to see the Vatican Church. It's one of those places where you have to go for yourself in order to get the full experience. It is the largest Church in the world and has so much history. The tour of just the Basilica lasted almost four hours. Again, I cannot even describe what I saw today. We then did some more sightseeing and saw the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain. On the street there were men trying to sell purses and sunglasses and while we were eating, we noticed that some men started running with their bags and soon after we saw the police chasing after them. It was quite an experience. After our long day of sightseeing, we enjoyed a wonderful Italian dinner at the restaurant next to the hotel. We then went to bed so we could get ready for our morning match against the Italian Junior National Team.