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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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)