After visiting Toledo I had one last day in Madrid and I really didn’t do much. It was a bit of a downtime week. I think I just needed to rest my body, write some blogs, do some work, and chat to some family and friends. The plans I had mentally been making, just stayed as mental plans. I think as much as I am capable of going out by myself, and talking to people, sometimes – I just can’t be bothered. I think there was a bit of this going on. It happens back at home in Melbourne too. I will have tickets to go see a band or something that I want to go to, but I am going alone, and then when the night rocks around the getting ready to go somewhere at 10pm with no one else’s excitement kind of falls flat and I just go, well I was happy to support them with that ticket. Whatevs. I guess I had a bit of that feeling this week. Fair enough, it’s been 2.5 weeks of me, myself, and I and as much as I like doing things, I also enjoy doing nothing other things.

Did I waste my time in Madrid? Some might think so. But, Nah, I’m happy with what I got out of my time here. I think if I’m going to have 8 months out and about being okay with not doing things really needs to be something I’m okay with.

Actually one exciting thing I did on my last day, I went and did my laundry at a laundromat again. The most busiest laundromat I have been in. (I have now only been in 2). As soon as my clothes finished drying I popped them in my bag, walked out the door, and straight into an EPIC down pour! ‘Meh, I’m going to get a bit wet’ but I just wanted to stop by the supermarket quickly, grab some popcorn, and head back to my hotel room. So I made it around the corner to the supermarket, I was mildly damp. Got what I needed and pushed my way through the people that didn’t want to get wet so were all just congregating in the doorway. I hightailed it out of there ducking in and out of any tiny bit of coverage there was, (not much), and trying not to slip in the puddles forming on worn cobbled streets, I was wearing my Teva’s (thanks Jess K for the intro!).

I made it into my hotel, also pushing past a bunch of people just hiding from the rain in the doorway and I was soaked now. It even randomly started to spit out some hail just as I was a block away from home. I had tried to shelter my clean dry clothes as much as possible, turned out I did a pretty decent job. I really only had to hang up one singlet, some socks, and a pair of undies to dry back out again, along with EVERYthing I was wearing. Anyway, that was the major excitement for my last day in Madrid. See, even when you do nothing, you still do something and can turn it into the most long winded “It rained, I got wet” story.

Anyway, the next morning I took my time, packing up, doing some work, and checking out just before midday when my airport transfer met me and took me to the airport. I had a few hours to wait so did some more work. Then boarded my flight to Rome. I was sitting next to a woman who was joining her husband on his business trip. They were from Texas. Texas is where the majority of Americans I met so far have been from actually.

When I had tried to book an airport transfer in Rome the prices had just gone nuts! They had jumped around from $100 – $260 (AUD) in such a short time frame that I found out instead about the direct train into the city centre which was actually about a 5 minute walk from where I was staying so booked that instead for $17 EURO. That was actually pretty easy and I might do that when I head out next week. Except I do have to be at the airport at like 7am or something… I’ll sort that in a few days.

Today I went on an underground tour of the catacombs of Rome and it’s oldest graves. Here, the penny also dropped for me when the tour guide asked if people had been stung by the taxi strike over the last day or so. Ahh, that’s why prices went crazy. So if I look now, maybe getting a taxi to the airport from my hotel won’t be as challenging.

So this tour was great! Catacombs: The Coolest Underground Tour. To be honest, the name definitely was a major factor in me spotting this one and flagging it to book even before I had left Oz. If someone is putting that thought and humour into their experience name, I’m going to expect good things from them. Mike didn’t disappoint. He bought so much energy to the tour, retold stories with excitement and shared vast amounts of knowledge that went deeper than reciting dates.

This was the first tour I have booked and gone on in Rome but I did use the day on either side of this to walk around Rome. This was taking place about 1.5 hours walk from my hotel and I considered public transport but opted for walking it. Taking slightly different routes there and back. It was a great way to just get a feel for more of the city and obviously gives me an opportunity to snap street art.

I was mindful of the fact that I forgot to bring my battery pack for charging my phone and I was down to 45% as we were about to start the tour. I had spent about 4 hours walking around using maps and filming bits and pieces before I got there. So it was kind of good for me that photos weren’t permitted on this tour. Sucks for you all though! Sorry about that. When the technology happens that I can project the memories from my brain onto the wall for you I’ll show you then. So post tour, I wound up with enough battery to get myself back to the hotel and my phone was at 23% when I got it on the charger!

Here are a few snaps of some of the things I walked past today though, including the Colosseum.