It Must Be Safe, Old People Are Still Walking Around

I love maps when I'm traveling. I like to know where I am in relation to everything else. I find it fun to figure out the transit system. Even though I enjoy it, sometimes it takes me a while. And sometimes I miss a valuable piece of information that leads to a very exciting tale.

The trip to Rome was over the New Year's. And we were determined to be "touching antiquity" at midnight. To this end we found ourselves at the Coliseum. From the bus information signs, it appeared that our bus would stop running at 12pm, so we would need to find alternate transportation back to the hotel. Easy enough, we'd just barter for a good price on a taxi. If not we could take the subway to the outer rim of town and walk to the hotel.

Travel tip: beware of flying (or thrown) fireworks in Rome on New Year's :)

The taxi option didn't work out because they all wanted to charge us like $70 to drive 30 min (which is only 15 min Italian taxi speed). We proceeded to the subway and rode it to the edge of town. Funny thing, it really didn't get us any closer to our hotel beside putting us on the right side of town. We stepped out of the subway station to see an empty parking lot, a bunch of apartment buildings, and the outer rim highway. Great, where the crap are we and how do we get to our hotel?

No worries, we are professional adventurers. We took a final look at the map and figured out approximately what direction we needed to head. And our first direction got us closer to the highway, but not the hotel. Dang, turn around. We felt somewhat safe walking around the outskirts of Rome at 2am since we still saw old people out and about. It was New Year's after all.

On our second route we passed a man selling flowers. One of my friends studied in Rome the year previous so her Italian was amazing...if we had been ordering food. For getting directions it sufficed. She gathered that we needed to keep in the direction we were going and we'd find a bus station (turned out to be more of a bus stop) and we would then take a right. My friend did yell at me once to put my map away. I'm sorry, I was just curious where we were. I know, cardinal rule, don't show you are lost when you are lost in what could be a bad part of town.

After walking for an hour and a half down empty roads, a couple alleys, by abandoned fields, and in the middle of the night, we found our hotel. Even more impressive, when we looked at the map we realized we had take the shortest route possible to reach our destination. We all three went to bed happily knowing we could have been boy scouts.

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