Sunday May 20th
I woke up to pack at 4AM, got the early bus to the other early bus to the airport. There were some nice views of the English countryside from the second bus and I got some pictures. I checked in and went through security at about 6:45AM. I got some food and big bottle of water from the Boots store and headed towards the gate. Remember that I paid a pound a minute for internet at the rail station? I found a bank of computers in the airport that were one pound for 15 minutes! I checked my email and then experienced the frenzy of boarding an airplane with no assigned seats. RyanAir does not assign you a seat on the plane, but it wasn't too crazy. We did have to walk from the gate to the plane right on the runway, and use the old-fashioned airplane stairs. I got a window seat and got the coolest views of the English Channel, France the Alps and all of Italy.
Once we landed, they had to bus us from the plane to the terminal and I was waved through immigration in order to wait at least 30 minutes for my bag. I took a 6 Euro coach bus to the Termini in Rome, and I napped a bit on the way there. At this point I realize I have American Dollars, British pounds and Euros all in coins and bills mixed up in my wallet. I put all the non Euro cash into a baggie with my passport. On reaching the Termini, I go inside to buy my Trenitalia ticket to Florence for Tuesday and get some food. Then I take the 64 bus to Stazione St Pietro and walk to my B&B. The first thing I see as I turn the corner is the dome over St Peter's Basilica. My host is very nice and I take a quick nap before heading out to see Rome.
I started by walking a few blocks to St Peter's Square, then over the Tiber River on Ponte Vittorio Emanuele II and then back on Ponte Sant'Angelo towards Castel Sant'Angello. Back over the river, I wandered around and came into Piazza Navona. Unfortunately, the Fountain of the Four Rivers was under scaffolding. I walked down Corso Vittorio Emanuele II all the way down the Monument Vittorio Emanuele II (he's a popular guy since he was the first king of a united Italy) and then backtracked to a restaurant. I had salmon and sweet rosemary potatoes. It was dark and I was tired (sensing a theme here?) so I took the bus back to my B&B, seeing some stray cats along the way. I hit the sheets at about 11PM.