TRAVELS WITH MY CAMERA -ITALY 2018 Rome -Day 16 -My first experience of hostel life

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I was sad to leave this lovely little town. of Chiavari has so much history and character. Its also has beautiful glistening sea and very beautiful streets. with such interesting shops. Most of all I was leaving the lovely people.

One café I went into did its best to try and understand my now burning desire for an extra hot latte. Coffee of course is different in Italy, but I was missing the way I liked it. I couldn’t drink it like the Italians do (drinking a small shot of eye-opening coffee) at any point of the day. I found this lovely place and noticed how the waitresses were full of joy and laughter. The clientele were playful and interesting. One old man came in with a dog that resembled a small donkey and sat a while sitting his coffee. Cafes in Italy, are for those either stopping off for a quick shot or whiling away the hours to watch the world go by. After a week of the sun, the narrow cool streets of buildings made of stone start to make sense. It’s nice to come out of the heat and relax a while.

Chiavari train station is small and easy to navigate around, so I walked in the early hours to catch my train to Rome

It was a four-hour journey on the fast train and having slept poorly the night, I was happy for a few hours rest. lifting cases up and down off trains and along cobbled streets starts to play havoc with your body.

The journey was as beautiful as the trip from Nice to Genoa. Once you book a seat you can relax and stare out of the windows for hours. The train passed many beautiful coastal towns and countryside and vineyards . The countryside was lush and green. There was a different feel to this part of the countryside as we headed closer to the city.

Once in Rome my senses on all levels woke up. It was loud noisy, vibrant and huge.

Rome train station is very big and has a lot going on. There are a lot of shops and places to eat. As soon as you leave the concourse the pavement is lined with every type of ticket tout you can find. Akin to oxford street in London but on a grander scale.

I had been told that when in Rome you need to watch your bags. You also need to be switched on and not look like many of the other tourists. Ripe to have their big baggy pockets picked. The tourists were equally in awe or astounded by what was hitting their senses.

I had my, now heavy, bag & backpack and was dying to sit down so attempted to find the hostel I had booked . This was going to be my first visit and stay at a hostel. I was hesitant and already wondered if I would stay the one night and not two as originally planned.

I walked down from the station towards what seemed to be the location on my google map. I struggled to find the place. I felt a sense of unease. The area was full of hostels and one and two star hotels and the smell that goes with back streets in towns. I could feel my anxiety rising and wondered if I had booked myself into the right place. I decided as it was for a night only I would go and check out the venue where I would be staying.

I finally found this non-descript building and walked through the heavy wooden doors. I navigated my way towards reception. I met with friendly staff who were really helpful and even changed the booking for me. I had planned to stay for two nights but realised Rome needed a lot more time if I were to really discover it. I didn’t like the chaos and noise and wanted to get to Sorrento. They gave me the key and instructions

I found my way to the top of the building and walked through the corridors, ok I thought, it’s clean and fresh so far. I opened the door into a fair size room with 3 bunk beds in it. Basic, clean-ish and resembled the floor of my sons’ room. I wasn’t sure if I’d be glad that I could settle for the night or remain a bit disjointed. There was a sofa and I needed to sit down, food and coffee would be later.