Hello everyone, we’re finally back online. I’m going to rewind things a bit and conclude our stop in Italy before telling you about Egypt. There were two reasons for the long delay between posts. First, we have been traveling down the Nile River for the last four days and there was no Internet onboard. Second, when we arrived in Cairo last week, we learned that the entire country lost its Internet connection. Apparently the fiber optic line that connects Egypt to the Internet was severed so everyone was without the Internet for several days. That’s life in Africa, now back to Europe…
We had a nice time in Rome and were able to mix taking care of personal business (laundry, Nate got a haircut, etc.) and seeing the sites. For the first time on our trip, we stayed at a bad hotel. To keep things fun, we kept telling each other “it’s perfect” in a sarcastic tone. We learned about the Hotel Nardizzi Americana from a Rick Steves’ Italy book we picked up for free at our hotel in Venice. Based on Rick’s recommendation, we booked at the Nardizzi in Rome and were sorely disappointed. Our room lacked a telephone, a safe, a shower door, towels, an Internet connection, and several other things promised when we booked the reservation. The best part was that our room wasn’t even located in the hotel, it was in another building mixed with residential appartments. When we checked out, Shelly handed the hotel clerk our “punch list” of things that needed to be improved and he immediately launched into why it wasn’t their fault. He took us to the wiring closet to show us that they had phones connected, just that our room wasn’t connected yet. He showed us a dirty room with a safe to show us that most rooms had one. This tactic was a waste of our time and we still don’t understand why he did it. In the end, we didn’t even get 1 Euro knocked off the price, but hey “it’s perfect”. When we get a chance, we’re going to drop our fellow Washington state resident, Rick, an email asking him to remove the hotel from his guide books. We should have known we were in for trouble when Rick’s personal Christmas cards from 2006 and 2007 were prominately displayed at the front desk. They clearly are living off of his recommendation and care little for their customers.
Aside from our hotel issues, we did manage to work in seeing the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, the Vatican (which was our favorite site), and the Colosseum. We enjoyed our time in Rome and actually found it much more enjoyable than some of the other parts of Italy. My haircut was also an interesting experience. My barber didn’t speak English and I can’t speak Italian. We did a pretty good job of communicating through hand signals and I managed to escape with a decent cut. So with that, here are some pics from our last days in Italy:
The Trevi Fountain
… and finally the Spanish Steps