Oversea, Travel

London + Rome Day 3: YHA Oxford Street, Gatwick Airport, easyJet & Tiring Rome


My Europe travelogue so far…
London Day 1: Flying With MAS, Heathrow Connect & Piccadilly Circus
London Day 2: Covent Garden, British Museum, British Library & Phantom Of The Opera Musical

Remember what I said at the end of day 2? Day 3 is gonna be 3 times more tiring. So hear me out!

First let me show you around YHA Oxford Street, our lodging for 2 nights in London.

Our Bed @ YHA Oxford Street
Comy bed! This is our private room @ £131.00 for 2 nights. In terms of dollar to dollar, it’s very affordable but if you convert to RM… not so lo.

Our Room @ YHA Oxford Street
It has the basic necessity like fan, radiator cum conditioner, table, cushion stool, night light, electric socket… shower and toilet is shared though. Not a problem as they are very clean.

Wash Basin In Our Room @ YHA Oxford Street
Wash basin and behind me is 2 lockers.

View From Our Room On A Gloomy Day
View from our room (5th floor-highest) on a gloomy day.

View From Our Room On A Sunny Day
View from our room on a sunny day. Can you spot London Eye?
Throughout our 2 nights stay, the London weather is very cooling. Perfect for sleeping in.

Self-Catering Kitchen @ YHA Oxford Street
Self-catering kitchen @ YHA Oxford Street. It has everything you need: cooking hobs, microwaves, toasters, electric kettles, plates, cups, utensils, etc. Funnily the drinking water in the kettle will form a white layer. Not sure it’s too clean or dirty or it consist some kind of minerals.
Photo from TZ-7.

Lounge + Dining Room @ YHA Oxford Street
Lounge (TV, internet, game) and dining room area.
Photo from TZ-7.

All in all YHA Oxford Street is a nice place to stay. It’s a great location to be in; near Oxford Circus tube (about 5-8 mins walk) and is located at Oxford Street – shopping paradise with many good shops and restaurants nearby. This YHA also provide luggage storage facility for £3. My only complain is there’s no lift to your room so ask for a ‘ground’ floor room (3rd floor) if you’re carrying heavy luggage and the room can be quite stuffy during hot weather (our air-conditioner cum radiator not working).

One queer thing that I noticed during our 2 nights stay in London was that we found our nose mucus to be black in color. Not greyish, not brown but BLACK!!! So ewwww ewwww man! This show London’s air is very polluted.

So brekkie was sandwiches bought from M&S yesterday. At 8.30am we checked out from YHA Oxford Street. We’re going to Rome, Italy today! Although we did not buy a lot of stuff somehow our luggage feel so much heavier! *#^$^@ So we dragged wheeled our stuff slowly to Oxford Circus Underground. Going down the stairs is so much easier. Fheww! Took tube to Victoria Station.

Inside Gatwick Express Train
From there we took the 9am Gatwick Express train to Gatwick Airport (just in the nick of time! Happy coz we don’t have to wait for the next train which is 15mins later). A single train journey with Gatwick Express cost £16.85 which will take 30 minutes to reach Gatwick Airport.

And why we’re in Gatwick Airport? We’re taking easyJet to Rome! easyJet is one of Europe’s leading low-cost airline.

Gatwick Airport
This is Gatwick Airport.
Photo from TZ-7.

Gatwick Airport
This airport is so much better than our LCCT. The place is huge and very clean with lots of affordable eating places.
Photo from TZ-7.

Meal Deal @ Boots, Gatwick Airport
For lunch in plane, we bought the meal deal set @ £3.79 at Boots in the airport.
Photo from TZ-7.

Meal Deal @ Boots, Gatwick Airport
The meal deal consist of any sandwich or salad + any drink + any snack. What a bargain!
Photo from TZ-7.

Inside easyJet
Inside easyJet plane. It’s a 3-3 seating configuration.
Our London to Rome easyJet plane ticket cost £112.98 (for 2 person + 2 x 20kg luggage allowance). About RM280 per person for a ticket to Rome. That’s a good deal.

easyJet Seat
Not much leg room… just like AirAsia.
We sat at the very end of the plane (free seating) and it was just the 2 of us in the 3 seats. Haha nice! Bringing our own food inside the plane is no big deal. Don’t have to be cautious.
Photo from TZ-7.

Meals On Board easyJet
easyJet on-board menu.
Photo from TZ-7.

Menu Deals On Board easyJet
Looking at the price, it’s more affordable than AirAsia’s one.
Photo from TZ-7.

Flying easyJet
Our plane depart 15 minutes late at 12.15pm but arrived 10 minutes earlier (chuckles!) at Rome. *Tsk it’s due to jet stream flow that’s why flying from west to east is faster (for plane flying at high altitude) – I learned this from Korean drama LOL. It’s a 2 hrs 5 mins journey altogether. Note: London to Rome is +1 hour.

Flying Above Fiumicino, Rome
Flying above Fiumicino, Rome near Fiumicino Airport.

Yeah I know so far there’s nothing tiring about day 3. Wait wait the drama has not began yet.

Once we touchdown at Fiumicino Airport (also known as Leonardo Da Vinci Airport), we head to the train station which is interconnected. Because I was in a hurried mood, I bought our Leonardo Express ticket (train which will bring us to city of Rome) from non-official shop hence I had to pay €2 extra. Knocked myself at the head! So instead of paying €14, I paid €16 per person. We also bought B.I.G (1 day ticket) and B.I.T (75mins ticket) metro tickets from tabacchi shop (tobacco shop) there.

Ticket Validate Machine For Leonardo Express
See the yellow machines? That’s where you need to validate your train ticket before going on board. Failure to do so will result in heavy penalty. Leonardo Express departs every 30 minutes. Our train arrived at 4.30pm and depart at 4.40pm and arrive at Roma Termini (Rome train station) at 5.30pm. Not sure why it took that long coz it’s suppose to be a 30 mins journey.
Photo from TZ-7.

On The Way To Rome Via Leonardo Express
On board Leonardo Express to city of Rome.
Photo from TZ-7.

We decided not to take the metro to our lodging as it’s only 1 stop away. Walking to our lodging will take 8-10 mins only (usually) but it proves to be the worst idea EVER. With luggage and uneven road…it took us over 40 minutes! Already so tired ‘dragging’ our luggage we encountered many ‘muka karat’ people (shady people). Some even looks like gangster. Scary! Along the way we saw lots of Chinese wholesale shops selling clothes, jewelry, etc. Now this is new to me.

Once we reached the area, we had no way of finding our accommodation. Cham la! I asked a restaurant for the direction again and finally we saw the sign board! The apartment we’re staying is actually behind the main apartment building and we had to go through a very tiny escalator (can fit just enough the 2 of us with our 2 luggage). We finally meet Max the owner of Six Beds.

We met Max in his office cum kitchen (at first I have no idea that’s a ‘real’ kitchen). LOL He explained to us about our breakfast and nearby attractions and also provided us map. So sweet of him. And when I asked him where I can get drinking water (as I was so EXHAUSTED), he told me the kitchen sink! Surprise at first although I’ve heard about it. Yeah when in Rome, you can drink the tap water. It’s clean! I guarantee you I have no stomach-ache/diarrhea throughout my stay in Rome. The lovely lady with him (sorry can’t remember her name) happily told us about her favorite gelato shop. She said that’s the best gelato in Italy and make sure we tried it. We and the lady conversed through google translator. LOL

Actually our plan after checking in is to do Trevi Fountain, Pantheon and Piazza Navano but since it’s nearing 7pm we had to cancelled it. No time! We can do those next time. No regret. Instead we head back to Roma Termini (walking again) and thankfully this time not that bad to buy train tickets for our onward journey.

We were quite lost upon reaching Roma Termini (Rome train station) as we’re not sure where to buy Trenitalia ticket (primary train operator in Italy). We then decided to have our dinner there before searching again. Our dinner: vegetable risotto @ €4.65 was the worst dinner in this Europe trip. Anyway we did re-energize after our meal and decided to go searching for the ticket office again. Upon asking, we finally found the place and as we’re queening few minutes later, the official came and close the line… no more queening except the existing line. Counted ourself very lucky!

The lady who sold the tickets to us were quite rude when we were asking her some questions. Isshh. The ticket that we bought were for Pisa to Florence journey (€7.10 pax) via regional train. After Pisa we plan to go Venice but there are no direct train to Venice. Besides you can’t buy regional train ticket online at Trenitalia website. You can only buy fast train ticket online. We already bought our Florence to Venice train ticket online before coming to Europe (fast train).

Trenitalia Ticket Office @ Roma Termini
Trenitalia ticket office.

Trenitalia Ticket Machine @ Roma Termini
Later found out we can actually buy the ticket from these machines. *Smack head
Oh well next time we know! Hahaha

As it was already 9pm plus we walked back to our apartment. Stopped by a sundry shop and bought 6 apricots for €2. Not bad eh.

Ok I know it doesn’t sound very tiring but day 3 was the most tiring day out of our 15 days trip. Period.

Note: Going into Italy especially Rome, we knew we have to be extra careful due to pickpockets and because there are many gypsy in Rome. Parents having been to Rome advised us to be on alert all the time. So going into Rome, we prepared ourself both mentally and physically. Physically as in wearing money belt and passport pouch inside our clothes. Even during planning our trip to Rome, I don’t feel like staying longer as we feel the place can be quite ‘chap’. So we only choose to stay in Rome for 2 nights.

Tsk saw quite a lot of shady people at Roma Termini when we were there. We were very cautious in Rome.

So yes day 3 was a no-visit-attractions day. Kekekeke

Alright stay tuned for day 4! (gonna take a break by introducing a K.drama first in my next post)

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20 Comments

  • Reply Dawn June 22, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    This is so interesting. You definitely have an awesome traveling companion!

    • Reply Che-Cheh June 22, 2012 at 8:23 pm

      Yeah glad I have my sis as traveling companion but still need to give and take sometime. 🙂

  • Reply FeR June 24, 2012 at 11:21 am

    teehee! can’t help giggling at the black boogies comment.

    that’s exactly what i noticed first time i was there – friends and i concluded it’s because of our time spent taking the tube (underground).

    • Reply Che-Cheh June 24, 2012 at 11:54 am

      Really disgusting ya??? Hahahaha

      I didn’t spent a lot of time in the tube. Saw lots of dust on our room’s table just after 1 day, so it must be really dirty air in the city.

  • Reply Constance Ant June 25, 2012 at 12:10 am

    the last time i had black boogies was during my national service time. imagine all the dust that we breathe in. lungs be good!

    during my visit to HK last year, we (travel partner and i) did so muchy walking too, cos keep walking on the wrong route =.=

    • Reply Che-Cheh June 25, 2012 at 12:28 am

      Wah really? Ewwww I thought ‘jungle’ suppose to have clean air?

      Best part about walking the wrong route, you see more scenery. Hahaha

  • Reply foongpc June 26, 2012 at 2:37 am

    White layer on the water in the kettle? Wonder what that is!

    • Reply Che-Cheh June 26, 2012 at 9:45 am

      Me wonder about that too but I have a few theory as mentioned above.

  • Reply foongpc June 26, 2012 at 2:38 am

    Black mucus? So polluted?!!

    • Reply Che-Cheh June 26, 2012 at 9:46 am

      Yeap. Disgusting and weird at the same time coz that’s the first time I’ve seen and produced black mucus. LOL

  • Reply foongpc June 26, 2012 at 2:40 am

    Oh so you went Rome? Nice! Err..what is jet stream flow??

  • Reply foongpc June 26, 2012 at 2:43 am

    Oh! Shady characters? Must be scary right? LOL

    • Reply Che-Cheh June 26, 2012 at 9:49 am

      Too many muka karat. LOL Like when you’re at KL Sentral like that.

  • Reply foongpc June 26, 2012 at 2:46 am

    So Rome has a lot of shady characters? Hmmm, like not so nice place to go to!

    • Reply Che-Cheh June 26, 2012 at 9:51 am

      Gotta be careful especially at Roma Termini, buses and place of attractions… especially Roma Termini.

  • Reply Adino June 26, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Looks like you ate a lot of sandwiches hehe. They have Starbucks on the plane!

    • Reply Che-Cheh June 27, 2012 at 3:03 pm

      Yeah convenient and cheap ma. LOL
      Oh yeah Starbucks. Kekeke

  • Reply Dawn June 26, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    The white layer/ring in the kettle is from calcification from the water which is hard water. I have that in all of my pots and kettle. Even the tap has mineral and calcium build up and needs to be cleaned out with vinegar once in a while. It is save to drink and so far I have no problems after drinking the water.

    • Reply Che-Cheh June 27, 2012 at 3:10 pm

      Ahh that’s what my sis told me about hard water but she’s not sure about it. Guess she’s correct. It’s a little ‘yucky’ when you look at the water. Haha but hey at least it has tonnes of minerals.

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