A Rocky Start in the Eternal City

Well, my excellent travel karma bubble was bound to burst at some point so it might as well of happened in Rome! Of course our troubles weren't too great (it could have been way worse!) and we knew there was Italian wine waiting at the end of it so it all worked out eventually. And I also was able to come to a few conclusions about our upcoming travels.....but more on that later. I have to tell about our first travel fiasco story.....

We were set to arrive in Rome at noon on Friday. Then we would meet our AirBnb host and waltz our way over to the Vatican for our 2:30 slot to the museum. Easy peasy right?! My only worry was that a taxi driver would try and rip us off taking us to our destination! Even though our flight was 20 minutes late, I still was optimistic. Well those small worries quickly turned into larger ones when we arrived and the taxi drivers told us they were unable to get us to our destination because of a transportation strike going on in the city center. What.

So back into the airport we went to buy bus tickets that would only get us to the train station. We would then still have to find a way to our apartment from there. The next bus wasn't until 1:30!!!! Ugh. I did not plan on this. So we went outside to find the 'bus-a shuttle-a' (Italian accent...swoon) guy and get some tickets. There was a huge crowd waiting for this said bus and it was hot. We were bundled up in our England weather garb and the Roman sun was melting us under all of it. First moments in Italy....not great.

Our tickets for the bus said 2:30 on them and I was getting nervous we wouldn't even make the bus, much less our Vatican appointment. I kid you not when I say I was the last person allowed on the bus. And actually 'bus-a shuttle-a" guy cut me off from entering the bus but Van came to the rescue (he was ahead of me of course) and said hey she's with me and he let me on. Disaster averted...kinda.

It took us over 45 minutes to get to Termini station, which brought us to 2:30. And after a taxi ride to our apartment, we didn't get into the place until 3pm. Vatican Museum tickets were now useless. I called to see if I could sweet talk my way into getting my tickets changed to a later time but it wasn't happening. My whole weekend schedule was now in ruins. So I booked tickets for the next day and we went out in search of some beer and pizza.

Our first real travel hiccup. It only cost us 50 euro and knocked 3 hours off our time in Rome but it still got me thinking. It made me realize that I crammed way too much in for Rome with no room for error. With our Paris trip quickly approaching, the Rome weekend made me realise that I can't plan for everything and being a busy tourist is not the type of traveller I like to be. I like to savor locations and relax. As does Van. Granted, we only had two nights in Rome.

But hey, we were in Rome after all and I wasn't going to let this get me down or let it taint my experience. After a massive pizza and a beer in Campo de Fiori, we were ready to explore the heart of the city.....which is coming up next week! But all of this drama made me realize that I absolutely do not want to over plan for Paris. And so I'm leaning towards skipping Versailles altogether. I love soaking in a city....not rushing around to catch a glimpse of all there is, but rather leisurely wandering the streets and committing the scenes around me to memory. What do you think?

How do you handle travel hiccups? Has it ever ruined a trip for you? Can I skip Versailles? :)

Rome Series:
Heart of Rome Walk | Vatican Museum | Colosseum | Trastevere | St. Peter's Basilica

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  1. After missing our connecting flight in Vienna from London on our way to Innsbruck, I've learned never to schedule important things on our travel days because you just never know what's going to happen when you're dealing with a lot of forms of transportation. I'm sorry your plans were messed up, but at least you got to go the next day!

    The only time while traveling that we have drastically overplanned things was Paris. We did SO much, but it's Paris, so we didn't want to miss anything important. (And yet we still missed the Louvre...) My advice would be to take two trips to Paris - it's so close to London that it's easy to do. That way you can spread your top picks out over two different trips. We need to go back because I'd love to see the Louvre as well as Versailles!

  2. I think this was probably the perfect way to come to the realization! At least the whole weekend wasn't bust! I can't wait to see what's in store....any wine spas?

  3. That makes me feel so much better that you didn't do the Louvre and Versailles!! I know I test my luck by planning things on the first day but usually if I have a direct flight scheduled I don't worry too much about it! But I really want to just enjoy Paris. I've cut back on my itinerary and I'm hoping we will have a great balance! And I'm hoping a second girls trip will be in thw works ;)

  4. Haha a wine spa...I wish!!! We mostly just did the touristy things while stuffing my face full of all the yummy Italian carbs :) But a wine spa.....I'm definitely going to be on the lookout for something like that! :)

  5. I'd add Versailles back on your list before the Louvre but that's just because I love Marie Antoinette. x

  6. I agree with Sarah, spread Paris out over five trips :) hehe jk not really. You def want to relax in Paris and enjoy the caf├ęs and sitting outside under the heaters and drinking wine and pastries at the Eiffel Tower watching it sparkle. It's such a lovely city! Versailles is nice, but you have already seen several palaces and castles that you don't really need to see it right away. And the Louvre.... well we skipped that all three times we went hah

  7. Well, nothing cures travel frustrations like pizza and beer right? ;o)

    What a nightmare. I would have been frazzled. I'm one of those people who gets super spazzy when things don't go to plan. Something I've been working on...

    Whatever you do DON'T skip Versailles!!!!! Just being honest. I LOVED it. It was amazing and one of my favorite parts of visiting France.



  8. That stinks that the transportation strike messed everything up--but pizza cures everything! :) I, too, usually try to cram way too much stuff into my trips because I'm afraid that I'm going to miss something. When we went to Scotland a few years ago, I didn't have enough time accounted for the Tube construction in London that was being done for the Olympics, so we only had about ten minutes between arriving at the train station and missing our train to Scotland!

  9. I just found your blog through other bloggers. I was reading your about you page, where in Arkansas did you live? I have to ask with all of those places you have lived, is your husband oil and gas? I am from Arkansas but currently living in Australia because of oil and gas. So glad I found your blog. This is a great blog! www.eatallovertheworld.weebly.com

  10. Even though it was a rocky start, your pictures look gorgeous and it seems like you had a fabulous time! And I promise to reply to your email this weekend! :)

  11. So many decisions!! I think I may just have to plan a second trip real soon!

  12. That's so funny! Well good to know that you have gone so many times and still enjoy it without the Louvre :)

  13. I am so conflicted about devoting an entire day to Versailles! I think I am going to leave it as an option and see how we feel when we get there!

  14. Pizza does cure everything especially in Italy! I usually plan a good mix but sometimes its just unavoidable to plan too much for certain cities!

  15. Yay for finding new blogs!! We lived in Little Rock, well North Little Rock specifically! The hubs works in Defense so it takes us all over the world! It's fun isn't it?

  16. Oh no worries!! I'll be looking for it :)

  17. How fun! We lived in Searcy and Conway. I would say you have a different view going from Arkansas to England, but there would be positives with both places. Yes I love getting to go and explore new places.

  18. Oh cool! So close! We haven't lived there since 2011, and it isn't our home but we enjoyed living there! It's a beautiful place!

  19. Yeah Van and I are the same way. And Rome took care of us and made us feel better about our yucky day haha!!

  20. Wow I love this. I visited Rome (and other parts of Italy) this summer.

    Hope you enjoyed Rome :)

    xox Ingrid of Style Prosciutto