May 4 – Trains, Plane, Metro – How to Pack Light
We had a full day of traveling from Brugge, Belgium to Rome, Italy. 100% of the hosts we have talked to have said Rome is their favorite city. We began early by taking a train to Brussels. It was sad that we didn't have time to take in this lovely city. We had found an inexpensive connection to Rome with Ryan Air that left from Brussels, but we didn't have time to visit the city.
There are some horror stories on the internet about this airline, so we were a bit apprehensive. First of all they have strict rules with carry-ons. Size limit of our packs had to fit in a box - an area 55 x 40 x 20 and it could only be 10 kilo (about 22 pounds). Then there was the rule of nothing else in your hands; no purse, no camera, no water bottle, no food, no computer, no book...nada!
So we wore many layers of clothes (and underwear) and stuffed our pockets. We made sure when we figured out our clothing two months ago that our shirts, pants, jackets all had many pockets. We both wore our light jacket and our rain coats. I had on my hat and neck scarf, too, so we were ready. They did look at us funny, though, when we went through the scanner and had to take everything out of our pockets and take our coats off. Then, of course, I had to be “patted down” because of my artificial hips. This is always so fun, but this time I really got patted down everywhere. Mmm.... When we boarded, there was absolutely no weighing of anything or checking of dimensions. All that worrying for nothing, but better to be prepared! We were definitely warm while waiting in the airport! Too bad we didn't take any pictures. HA!
|Osprey Kesgtrel 48|
What is in my backpack: (I have an Osprey Kestrel 48)
2 pairs of walking/comfortable shoes
1 pair flip flops
2 pair capris
1 pair long black water-proof pants
6 short sleeved tops
1 black long sleeve knit top
5 pair Smart Wool socks
5 changes of underwear
2 skirts (one long/one knee length)
knit warm hat
light hoodie jacket with pockets
rain jacket with pockets and hood
Cube with Toiletry items (inc. towel & wash cloth)
Cube with hair items & misc.
Postcard "Thank-You"s to give to hosts
Few Snack Items
We had our first experience with the metro in Rome – mmm....quite confusing, but we got the hang of it by the 3rd day. We arrived at Paola's flat around 11:30 at night. We felt very lucky that she accepted us as we had many “declines” in Rome. It's the most touristic city in Europe and the hosts there get several requests each day. We thoroughly enjoyed Paola for the next three days.
She was busy with some projects for
work, but took time for us in the evenings. She cooked us dinner all
three nights and we had so many enriching conversations. She lived
alone (no animals or anything), so her place was spotless. Here are
some photos of the meals she fed us. She taught us to make
bruschetta: this is an antipasta dating back to the 15th century. It consists of grilled bread rubbed with garlic and topped with olive oil, salt and pepper. Variations may include toppings of tomato, vegetables, beans, cured meat, or cheese. We put on chopped tomatoes, parsley, and added oilive oil and salt on this one. Bruschetta is usually served as an appetizer.
|We loved Paola and her taking time with us and for us! Thanks Paola!!|
|Bruschetta - a popular appetizer in Italy|
|We cooked potatoes for her and she made a rice and asparagus dish to go with it.|
|This was our beautiful couch that we slept on for 4 nights while in Rome.|
|Paola loved making pasta dishes; this one had peas and mushrooms|
|This pasta dish had zucchini and onions|