Having recently turned 26 and, true to form, booking myself a little mini adventure to Scotland in an attempt to ease the transition from one age to the next, I thought I’d share with you a flashback (through some very wonky photos) to about 9 or 10 years ago when my mum took me to Italy to celebrate my birthday and the end of my GCSEs… shame I couldn’t crack a birthday smile for the picture hey?
Europe by Train
Judging by the above picture I was obviously a stereotypically moody teenager and for a couple of years developed a bit of an anxiety about flying (definitely over that now). My mum did not let this deter her from being determined to make me enjoy the last few years of my teens and soak up some of her adventurous spirit at the same time.
To get around my flying veto she turned our visit to Italy into a rather epic adventure across Europe by getting us there solely through train travel. Although far longer than simply flying, we both agreed that it was definitely a more exciting way to begin our trip. Our voyage was kick started by taking the 2 hour train journey from our home city to London and from there hopping onto the Eurostar to Paris. Next we had to put my developing French skills to good use to get us across Paris to a different train station where we caught an overnight train which would get us to our final destination of Rome, Italy.
On the overnight train we had a very sweet (if not a little compact) cabin which then folded down into bunk beds so we could sleep our way through France, into a corner of Switzerland and then down through Italy, arriving in Rome first thing the next morning; once you get over the excitement of crossing 3 countries in the space of a day (well actually a night) the gentle rocking of the train actually makes for a good night’s sleep.
Top Things to See in Rome
This is one of my favourite holidays from my pre-adult years as it really was an adventure from beginning to end and I think because of that it has just always stuck out in my memory as being quite special.
Fontana di Trevi
Rome is such an amazing city because it is so steeped in history, we were only there for a long weekend but we managed to take in a good amount of its historical sights (I’d just finished studying Classical Civilisation as a GCSE so I had a pretty good head start on all of the best places to visit).
The Spanish Steps
After the awe inspiring sights of the Colosseum one of the next best stops on our whirlwind visit was the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican.
On the last Sunday of the month they offer free entry to the Sistine chapel and Vatican Museum, low and behold that happened to be the very Sunday that my mum and I turned up for our visit. The queue was incredibly long and the guards kept telling us that we probably wouldn’t get let in because there were too many people ahead of us but, being British, we knew how to handle a queue and stuck it out to end up being the penultimate people let in! Safe to say it was worth the wait and the wonderfully embarrassing photo of me featured at the top of this post (taken in the halls of the Vatican Museum) would never have happened if we hadn’t have queued with such determination.
Saint Peter’s Basillica
Well, hopefully whilst you’re reading this I will be making my way from the East of England up to the East of Scotland to explore Edinburgh for the weekend and creating more fantastic memories.
What’s your favourite place you’ve visited or trip you’ve been on?