Day 72 – Rome to Dubai

Thursday 22nd October 2015

I got up really early this morning so I could be at the airport on time for my 10.20am flight.
My hostel room mates were probably thinking wtf is this girl doing, she’s up at 6am but has been sleeping in until 10am for the past two days haha.

Anyways, my alarm went off and I got myself up and out of bed.
I had a shower, cleaned my teeth and moisturised my skin in preperation for that very air conditioned flight I was about to embark on.
Being in a metal tube dries your skin our guys! You have no idea how dehydrated I get. Everything from my eyes, lips and legs get dry from flying. 😣
I’ve been using this Johnson baby moisturiser (don’t even ask why, I think it was the only thing they had at a store in Croatia) but it’s really not doing the job so I’ll have to go and invest in another one.

I was all ready by 7am so loaded my bag onto my back without falling over. Grabbed my smaller backpack and my Victoria Secrets duffel bag and was on my way to check out at the hostel reception. I got my €5 deposit back (I borrowed a towel as I left mine in croatia) and proceeded to walk to the Termini (the train station in Rome)

I bought my ticket from one of the self -ticket kiosks and then kind of wandered around looking at the boards trying to figure out what train I was meant to be on. I’m not gonna lie, it was a bit confusing for me!
After confirming with someone, I found my plat form and stuck my ticket in a machine so it could get ‘validated’
I didn’t even know you had to do that, I just saw like 5 machines at the platform and stuck my ticket in which then put a stamp on it.  I didn’t see anyone else do it so I hoped I hadn’t cancelled it or something.

Funnily enough, when I got on the train and the ticket guy came round clipping everyone’s tickets. He told off half of the carriage for “NOT VALIDATING YOUR TICKET!!”
Phew. 😥
But in their defense, they don’t make it very obvious to know what to do.
So just a heads up when you go on the train in Rome, if there’s these green ticket readers on your platform when you’re waiting, stick the bar-code bit of your ticket in there 😉 and you’ll be just like a local!

The train took about half an hour to the Airport.
When I arrived, I got out and found my check- in terminal easy enough. As I’d already checked in online I just had to drop my 2x bags off and collect my boarding pass.

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I went quickly through customs, (they seemed very laid back in Rome). And then I had a look around duty free but didn’t buy anything.
I’m kind of waiting to buy some perfume at the duty free when I leave Dubai as I hope it’s a bit cheaper.
I did get this yummy croissant for breakfast though 🙂

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I boarded about 10.20am and left Rome about 11am.
I’d never flown Emirates before but even before I flew with them they’ve been one of my favorite airlines haha. (I read too many blogs of girls working for Emirates doing flight attending I think)
We got hot towels at the beginning and end of the flight. The movie choices were great and the cabin crew were really nice and friendly.
The only downfall was whenever they had a PA announcement it’d cut into whatever you were watching and it was SOOOO FREAKIN LOUD.
I got a fright every single time and had to quickly pull my earphones out when I was watching a movie.

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I decided to watch the Disney Movie ‘Inside Out’ which didn’t capture my attention too much.
I got half way through it and then switched it over to The Notebook for something more serious. I swear will never get sick of that movie 😍😍
Even if it does make me cry I love it.

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We got served this roast chicken and broccoli dish for lunch which was all good. Also some little crackers and cream cheese and peri dip stuff along with some pesto pasta and a chocolate mousse for dessert 🍪 all very edible!!

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We didn’t land until 6.40pm Dubai time but we all got off the plane pretty quickly.
I’m so dumb, i assumed I’d have to find my way to my hotel and was wondering how much a taxi would cost when I hear “Miss Horner!” And saw some lady holding a sign with my name on it.
I was like “um yes, that’s me!” Thinking I was in trouble for something.
She then proceeded to take me to this desk and gave me this welcome booklet along with directions on where to get my luggage and where to meet afterwards for my car to take me to my hotel. I completely forgot I had organised this with the travel company Student Flights before I left. Hahaha. I’m such an idiot.

Oh well, It took some stress off me! I should have done that with all the countries I’ve been to but I guess it’s a good experience taking public transport in new cities. Because it’s nearing the end of my trip, my bag is getting a touch too heavy so I appreciate these taxi’s.

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I was dropped off at my hotel which is really close to the Mall Of Emirates. I thought that was the main mall but it turns out it’s not, The Dubai Mall is the MAIN one and The Mall Of Emirates is the second largest one in Dubai. 😯 so much shopping to do!

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Mall of the Emirates – Dubai

As soon as I’d checked in, I put all my stuff on the floor in my hotel room, spritzed myself up a bit after my 6 hour flight and headed over to the mall. It was around 8.30pm by this stage but apparently the malls don’t shut until midnight here. (Apart from on Friday’s, that’s like their Sunday so they shut early I think)
When I went outside, phew it was humid. I think it was about 29° degrees here and that was at night time. The heat kind of reminds me of Thailand.

The mall was actually really close so in about 5 minutes I was inside and away from the heat.

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I went and grabbed some dinner first, I was going to go to The Cheesecake Factory as I never went when I was in America! But decided that was more of a ‘don’t eat much during the day to prepare’ type of meal so headed upstairs instead to the food court.
I then had the hard decision of eating at the good ole’ American Shake Shack for the first time (as I missed then when I was in the USA as well) orrrr…. head to Burger Fuel where I know their burgers are just great as we have it in New Zealand.
I decided on Shake Shack haha. I can wait until I get back home for Burger fuel though.

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I ordered a Shack Burger – which is basically their most basic cheeseburger and some crinkle cut fries.
Along with a black and white shake for my drink (and mixture of vanilla custard and chocolate fudge)
So good!
The burger was tasty, nothing to rave about but I’m glad I can say I’ve had it now! The fries were really good too.

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When I was finished, I decided to explore the stores. I had a look at the new Samsung Note 5’s they have out at the moment. I’m tempted to buy one even though there isn’t anything wrong with my phone right now. I just think it’s time for a little bit of an upgrade… haha. Plus the camera on my phone is terrible at night time that it’d be nice to have a better 18 mega pixel one 😉

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I went to the Nike store as well and bought 2 new gym tops. I need some motivation for when I get back home to hit the gym hard! Even though I think looking in the mirror will be enough motivation 😣

I also checked out their big supermarket/tech store/warehouse type store they had. I think it was like a Dubai Walmart really haha.
I bought some chocolate for some gifts back home and then went off to Sephora to have a browse. I actually ended up getting my eyebrows done at the Benefit Brow Bar as the hairs were in desperate need o being waxed off. I also bought a Sephora Branded eye mask.
I really really want to buy the Glam glow mask Sephora sells, it’s just so expensive! But it plays on my mind every single time I’m in Sephora. I’ve just read lots of great reviews that I really want to try it 😍

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By midnight, I was still at the mall trying on bras in Victoria Secrets. (which I didn’t end up buying as they didn’t have the colour I wanted)
I decided to leave after that but couldn’t really find the entrance I came in at. 😕 I walked around the mall for ages and left out one entrance then realised it was the wrong one. I had to ask 3 different people to point me in the right direction to my hotel. It was all just so confusing!
Eventually I made it back just before 1am haha. Apparantly I was on the opposite side of the mall in comparison to where my hotel was located. Silly meee.

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Now I’m in bed, I’ve had a shower, scrubbed my face with my wonderful MAC exfoliating ash and I’ve got my Origins overnight masque on with my Sephora Eye Mask around my eyes haha.
Feeling very hydrated right now!

Tomorrow, I’m gonna set my alarm and try and make the hotels free shuttle at 11am for the beach!
Xx

Day 71 – Rome

Wednesday 21st October 2015

My second proper day in Rome was a pretty chilled out day. I had washing to do so I loaded it all together and went down the road to the laundry mat.
Thankfully you just paid the guy there and they washed and dried it all for you. No waiting around for me!

As I’d done so much exploring the day before, I Googled somewhere to get my nails done and set off on a walk to find this place called Enhancements.
When I got to the road it was on, I must have walked past it because I couldn’t find it!
After feeling like I just went on a big walk for nothing, I eventually saw it and went in to see if they had any appointments available.
I didn’t even care how much it cost, my feet were in desperate need of a pedicure. You have no idea how gross your toes end up looking when you’re travelling and have no time to care for them! Haha.
Not to mention my finger nails kept breaking every time I so much as glanced at them so I asked about getting a manicure as well.

Thankfully they were free right then and there so I picked some colours for my nails and then went into a room to change into a bathrobe.
I know right! Getting changed just to get my nails done, it was a bit of a fancy schmancy spa. 🛀💱

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I got my pedicure first (poor lady). My feet were scrubbed and moisturized and massaged. It was heaven! She honestly did the best job and my toenails look so pretty and pink now 🙂

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I then got my manicure and even though she cut my nails nice and short, they look great and now they can finally stop breaking. My yucky black nail I have from jamming it into a door in Croatia is all covered up now too!

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I walked away probably spending the most I ever have on my nails but it was 100x better than going to one of the Asian nail spas that use cheap nail polishes. She honestly did the best job ever!
And everything was cleaned and sterilized and nice products were used. (I notice these things as I used to be a beauty therapist)
😯
It’s crazy how I’m excited that the products someone is using on my nails are clean. It shows how shady some nail bars are back home.

Anyways, once my nails were all dry, I paid and left to walk aimlessly around Rome.

imageimageI was feeling a bit hungry so went to a random restaurant that looked good and ordered some Pasta.
I’d had so much lasagna lately that I decided to mix it up a bit and get a Cabornara.

imageIt was very fulling!
That will probably be my last pasta dish for a very long time. I try and not eat it too much back home because I get sooo bloated when I eat really carby food. 😩

I went on a search for souvenirs after lunch time but couldn’t really find anything I loved. Or anything I could buy that would easily fit in my bag…it’s really getting harder and harder to buy stuff. I might just have to stick with clothes now as they’re the lightest.

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I went to the Termini train station on my way back to the hostel to try and figure out what train I had to take the next morning to get to the airport.
It seemed kinda simple, just buy a ticket from the kiosk and find your train at the time.
If you’re ever in Rome and need to get to the Airport, taking the train seems like the thing to do to save money.
They had a Lindt store at the train station too so I went in to have a browse and ended up leaving with 2 boxes of Lindt chocolate recipes to make back at home. I got a Chocolate mousse recipe and a chocolate lava cake type thing. Along with a box of powdered Lindt hot chocolate to make back in New Zealand. It’s funny coz all the instructions are in Italian so I’ll see how I go with trying to translate it haha.

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It’s good i’m travelling by myself as I was very boring when I got back to my hostel. I had a bit of alone time so I took advantage of the Wi fi and ended up watching more episodes of Teen Mom 2 in my room.
I’m really feeling for Leah here…can’t believe her and Jeremy got a divorce! He defiantly needed to be a more supportive husband while she was going through all that shit. (People who watch this show will know what I’m on about) 👿

Later on I went downstairs to the bar and met up with my friend from Top Deck Nick. He was sitting with some new people so I joined them and we started discussing our travels. Turns out they’d just been in Croatia too and they were the other boat of people sailing at the same time as us!
When I started talking about where I’d been in Croatia we all clicked and realized we’d been at the same club the night I got really drunk in Croatia. They remembered me as the girl who ‘did a dance off with one of the girls from their group’
I was now currently sitting in front of this girl and they thought it was hilarious. Me and the girl finally introduced ourselves and had a good laugh. We’re friends on Facebook now and we realized we had a mutual friend too! (One of my old flat mates I lived with) such a small word when you’re travelling…

imageI ended up going out for dinner with them to a restaurant next door to the hostel and we all had some more Italian food! Yes I got a pasta but it was defiantly my last one this time!!

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I had a slightly early night and went back to my room about 11pm to organise my stuff for the next morning.

Last night in Rome complete!

Xx

Day 70 – Rome

Tuesday 20th October 2015

Woops. I slept in again this morning.

I eventually left my hostel room at about 11am and met up with Malerie  (the Californian girl from the previous night) to do some sight seeing.

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As she’d already been to Rome before, she became my tour guide and took me to all the main sights.
The first stop was the Ruins and the Collesseum!

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We didn’t actually go into the Colosseum (trying to save my money for Dubai) but we took some pictures outside it and sat for a bit.
I was silly and wore my new converse sneakers which are like half a size too small for me. My poor baby toes were squished for the whole entire day of walking!
Thankfully Malorie was a touch hungover/tired so was happy to rest every few stops.

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As I hadn’t had anything for breakfast and it was lunch time, we stopped at one of the First Italian restaurants we saw and sat outside.
I’m so glad this is the one we came across because I then proceeded to drink the best hot chocolate I have ever experienced in my life.

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It was basically pure chocolate with a generous helping of whipped cream on top. It was a meal in itself, so so so good!!!
The lasagna was just as amazing too. If this was how Rome ate, I was ready to move here in a second! 😍

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When I was full of all my Italian goodness, we set out for more of our walk. We went to The Altare della Patria which is a monument built in honor of Victor Emmanuel, the first king of a unified Italy.

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The monument also holds the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier with an eternal flame. It was built under the statue of goddess Roma after World War I.

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After walking up the stairs to the Tomb, we went to the museum of Italian Unification. We then took like 100 more stairs to the top of the museum which had a beautiful view over part of Rome.

If my eyes look squinty it was because the sun was in them haha!

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There is also an elevator which allows visitors to ride up to the roof for a 360 degree view of Rome but again, we didn’t want to pay for the view when we already had a pretty great one!

When we’d taken like 500 pictures, we set off walking again and came across this really beautiful cathedral. Probably the nicest one I’ve seen so far on my travels. It was so huge! If I was to ever get married, I never really wanted to in a church but this one I would make an exception for.

imageimageimageOur next stop was probably another one of my favorites. Piazza Navona.
It’s a town square which was built in 1st century AD where The Ancient Romans went to watch the Agones (games) hence it was known as the “Circus Agonalis” (competition arena).

Nowadays it’s surrounded my restaurants and filled with locals selling all their artwork. I’m not one of those people who can spend hours at galleries but all these portraits and paintings were amazing! I ended up buying one painting for my wall (a small one) but if I had room in my bag I’d have loved to buy more!

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Malerie really wanted to go to The Pantheon afterwards so we walked there and I attempted to take pictures but as the sun was behind me they ended up coming out really dark.
The Pantheon is actually one of the best-preserved of all Ancient Roman buildings. It’s been in continuous use throughout its history, and since the 7th century, the Pantheon has been used as a church.

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My feet were killing me by this stage but we soldiered on and went in search of some Gelato for me.
Malorie had already had some at the Piazza but I wanted a better one than the place she got hers from 😌 fussy I know! They just didn’t have enough flavors for me to choose from.

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We stopped at the Trevi Fountain on the way but it’s under construction until next year so there wasn’t much picture taking there.

I found my Gelato in the end (but didn’t take a picture) and it was sooo good! The third amazing thing I’d eaten that day haha.
We sat down and rested our feet while I had my Gelato and talked for a bit.
Malerie mentioned going to the Spanish Steps so I Googled mapped it and I thought we were heading in the right direction until 20 minutes later I realized we weren’t haha. 🙈🙈

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We headed back to our hostels after my awful mapping skills as we were in desperate need of a drink!
First we grabbed some pizza for dinner then headed to the Yellow Hostel Bar for some cider and wine.
What a day of walking! I’m glad I had Malerie there to show me lots of stuff and keep me company while I explored Rome. I defintaly wouldn’t have seen as much as I did if she wasn’t with me!

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These babe’s are in desperate need of a pedicure now!
Xx