21.04.2011 - 23.04.2011
It feels like I just posted but a lot has happened in the last few days. This may work best as a run-down of the events.
Thursday, like I said, I spent the entire day in the apartment and slept a lot and rested. It was good for me.
Friday I explored Perugia, the oldest city in Italy. I saw the Etruscan Arch, the oldest thing in Perugia, and Rocca Paolina, the underground original Perugia on top of which was built the city as it is today. There were tons of booths set up in the streets, which I thought was typical but was told was special for the weekend. Good timing. In the evening I had a bit of a breakdown, just internally, feeling like I wasn't sure if I could keep going. A website wasn't letting me buy a plane ticket with my credit card again and I was just feeling so tired and discouraged. But I realized that I really needed to get some sleep before I dealt with all the trouble. So I went to sleep and slept very well.
Then Saturday, I got up not knowing where exactly I was going to go next or when but by noon I had booked a cheap flight from Rome to Belgrade, packed up, showered, eaten breakfast with the family I was staying with, taken a bus with them to the train station and was on a train headed for Rome. The only thing was, my flight was Sunday morning! So I got into Roma Termini train station at 330pm, checked my bag into baggage deposit there, bought a map of the city and started walking. I had 7 hours to see Rome before catching the last shuttle to the airport where I slept until my 915am flight. It was nice to have my sleeping bag,
I thought that would be no time and that I would get to see just one or two things in Rome but as it turns out I didn't even use all of my 7 hours because after walking at a good clip and pretty continuously for 5 hours, I was able to see a lot, was super tired, it was dark and had started to rain. So I headed back to the train station, ate a sandwich and got on the 9:30pm shuttle to the airport, but not before seeing the Colosseum, the Pantheon, Piazza Venezia, the Trevi Fountain, Trinita dei Monti, Piazza del Popolo and walking all the way to the Vatican. There I saw the line of people waiting to get into the Vatican for Easter. So many people there and so many people in Rome everywhere the day before Easter. In Rome, all of the "sights" are tucked into the city and have been completely built around, so as I was walking, I would be unsure just exactly where something was until a few blocks away I could see a massive crowd. As I approached it and passed the building beside it, suddenly, there was...the Trevi Fountain! or The Pantheon! It was funny. Then just as I left the Vatican it started to rain so I walked about an hour and a quarter at a good clip to get back to the train station. It was so nice. Every time it has rained on my trip it has felt refreshing.
Rome was beautiful, truly, but I decided, in going, to take the wise advice of my brother and not feel the need to take it into myself but, rather, to let it wash over me. I walked past and through some of the oldest, greatest structures in the world, and I only saw them, did not feel or experience them. And even so, they have, without doubt, affected me. How could they not? I am glad, in my fullness, to continue on in this way for now. I am most proud of myself, I think, for these 24 hours, from leaving Perugia to flying to Belgrade, because they have been the most on-my-own without a host or anyone to advise me or help me do things. I figured it out and was everywhere I needed to be at the right times, accounted for my things, saw a lot of Rome and even slept in the airport, cool. Like a real solo backpacker. Haha. I didn't realize how much I've been assisted by everyone until doing it alone was so exciting. Though I am still so grateful for my hosts; couldn't do it alone the whole time!!
I am learning once again that in my moments of fatigue and discouragement I almost always simply need sleep. I am needing more sleep on this trip than usual in life, which is only to be expected, and it is when I am not rested enough that I start to doubt myself, my plans and my ability to see them through. It is amazing how much better I feel in the morning.
In Belgrade I am with my friend from Gordon, Ruthie. It is the first time that I am staying with a good friend (until this point has been acquaintances and family), and it feels really good. We speak the same language about life and have so many reference points. Yesterday for Easter we went straight from the airport to a picnic with friends. It was great with both good food and a good nap on a blanket for me. I'll be here until Thursday and then head to Thessaloniki, Greece. A changed plan, a good plan. More adventures around every turn. Making me strong, resilient and confident.
Strength for your days and challenges as well.