Italy Trip - with 15 of my friends - Part I
Tour to Italy with a 15 member group:
Before we get out of the dream from our Netherland trip and before we get into working mode again, we started the Italy trip last Friday. Manikandan cannot make this trip, due to his trip to India to attend his brother’s marriage. Rest 15 of us left the office around 1pm and boarded the 15+ seater Euro Taxi. Anand, as usual was very busy with his work rushed and joined us around 1.30pm. It was a long Weekend, so very heavy traffic stopped us from reaching Stansted until 5pm. 5.20 pm was the flight, however go-fly Airlines, which always seem to delay taking off helped us to board the flight. People who question the stinginess of different airlines in US for providing peanuts and half cup coke for a $250 local flight will get an answer when they have to pay 50 pence for a 15cl cold drink in this flight. Flight reached Milan around 9.15pm GMT. Local time was 10.15pm that time. Landing by the Pilot can be considered as the worst. Immigration officer seem to have fighted with his wife, so no friendliness was visible in his face. Before we started cursing Italians for the racial attitude, one old Italian man came voluntarily to help us in understanding getting Train Tickets and Train Timings. He was with us for more than ½ hour. Some of us thought he expects some money, however, he just left us without taking any money. Good old man. Flight delay made us miss the last train from Milan to Rome and we stayed in a very posh waiting room in Milan Railway station. So, people who travel to Milan and wants to continue next day didn’t need to book an expensive hotel, just stay in the waiting room.
We started for Rome by 5.30 am train and reached at around 11.30 am. The route almost looked like hot portion of India i.e. dry Grass and mostly landscapes. We took food in McDonalds in Rome and it was the most worst food I have ever tasted. We went to our Hotel, which was not okay. Only Fans and no AC. We proceeded to Vatican (San Petero) by a Metro train from Rome-Termini station. Everybody knows, it is the smallest country in the world. It looks like Vatican is smaller than Mylapore. We went to St. Peter’s Cathedral. The highly ornamental sculptures, paintings and decorations proved it as the richest religious place in the world. We took some photoes of Pope’s security guards also. Then we proceeded towards Colloseum (refer Gladiator movie). View was really very majestic. It still stands as the symbol of Rome as well as symbol of many heartless people. Then we visited Forum, where ruins of very beautiful Roman architecture stand majestically. Next we went to some Government building where stunning statues stood beautifully. I think the name of the building is Campidoglio or Capitoline Hill- the city Square, one of Rome’s most elegant squares designed by Michalengelo, it also features some of the city’s primary classical sculpture. Next is a Fontana di Trevi, the most grandiose and famous of Rome’s baroque fountains. It is a beautiful one. It has become night now and half the group proceeded towards a Chinese Restaurant. Although the price of each food item is in 1000s of Liras, converting them into Pounds came to around £1. So we started with soup and finished with a desert. I took a Chinese Fried Icecream. Icecream is stuffed into a Bajji type flour cover. I may be the first Indian to taste that stuff. It was not bad. Senthil Kumar took more wine and started talking in Chemical terms. Though out the day, Aniruddha was able to tell the Italian names and take us anywhere to Rome similar to a local guide.