When in Rome , We were Romans !

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Finally we reached to our destination for which we planned with great excitement and enthusiasm a good six months in advance. There were moments of anxiety and desperation when we were still to get our ‘Schengen Visa’ and departure date was arriving in ten days.Refusal of Visa could have spoiled the most romantic and lovely phase of our wedding ceremony.

Schengen Visa

Though I had a back-up plan of Visiting to Moscow and St Peters-berg in Russia , but Europe was our priority.Luckily and finally we got our Visa.

I would check my Visa-Status at least fifty times a day.That was crazy.And when I received the message from VFS Global(Visa outsourcing Company) that our passports have been received , I was even more nervous as they didn’t tell me if my Visa was granted or refused.When I reached VFS Ofiice in Nehru Place , Delhi and collected my Passport , which was in a closed envelop , I decided not to check it until I reached home.After reaching home I opened the envelop and started flipping the pages of Passport , I couldn’t find the Visa-Page of ‘Schengen’ but only previously stamped Visas of other countries toured by me in the past.I was shattered and hopeless.And then when I was just thinking of throwing my passport in the shelf , I felt a thick page.Wow , I turned and it was licence to my dream ..Europa ! I was euphoric and instantly called my wife who was in fact more nervous than me… I could hear her scream on the phone.. 🙂

Hotel-Pool

Now I am coming to where we had reached in last post , that is , Rome. After reaching our hotel ‘Christoforo Colombo’, we went straight to the check-in counter and it was smooth.But nobody bothered to escort us to the room.They just gave us keys and showed us the direction of room.And it was a “Four-Star’ Hotel.In India , even in two-three star hotels , we get our luggage transported by the staff. Welcome to Europe ! 🙂

Eurma-2 , Mall adjacent to our Hotel

It was around 9:30 pm local time and we could have missed our dinner if we didn’t take our shower fast after such a long and tiring journey. After taking shower we went out to find something to eat.There was this big mall “Euroma-2” adjacent to hotel.It was about to close so we hurried a little and inquired about any eateries there.My wife asked a gentleman in the parking if we can get any Indian restaurant here.He gave some Idea but it was too late and staff was collecting trolleys from the parking space and were shutting down the whole place.So it was almost sure that we had to depend on what our Hotel-restaurant had to offer for just 15 Euro per person.And options were very limited.

Hotel Restaurant

I don’t remember exactly but it was something like a combination of Spaghetti with bacon , Tomato and ‘patate fritte'(french fries) with water.Bacon was out of question as I am a vegetarian(I eat egg , though).My wife eats non-veg but not the raw-type which was available there.So we had to adjust with spaghetti with tomato and french fries.When I drank water I felt something is wrong.I examined the wrapper and found out a word something like ‘gassed’ though it was written in Italian but I somehow found out that It was actaully not water but carbonated water which is also called ‘Sparkling Water’ or ‘Soda water’ in US and Britain respectively.We got it exchanged with still water.Already having enough excitement in the days , we just wanted to lie on our bed and sleep … so “Sweet Dreams” , we said to each other. 🙂

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7 responses »

  1. Dude, so cool you got your visa on time. This is true I also noticed in India they always get a porter to carry your luggage to the room but in Europe and also USA it is not as common – they just take a deposit swipe of your credit card, give you your keys and directions. Actually I prefer carrying my own luggage especially if I am just about to catch a flight because this way I know my bags cannot be tampered with!

    Which airline did you choose? Air India or JetAirways? I have not flown Air India for quite sometime, but I flew Jet Airways and was quite impressed. Also Kingfisher looks good. I also flew Emirates and they are quite good too, very helpful staff.

    Looking forward to next instalment of adventure!

    • Actually I had arranged the whole Europe tour by myself so did an endless R&D on Europe Tour.I browsed every available travel site to find out which flight to use , which hotel to stay at and which place to go.And even before I landed in Europe , I knew that I am not going to get some essential and take-for-granted facilities of porter, drivers in Europe as we get in India.So it was actually not a surprise for me but confirmation of Facts.But to see is by your own eyes is interesting even when you know it will happen eventually.

      As , my main aim was to make my tour as economical as I could , I opted for one of world’s oldest airline “Aeroflot”.It was great to travel in a plane other than Boeing and Airbus.It was original Russian creation plane with No Entertainment on-board till Moscow.After Moscow we were put on AirItalian plane which was Airbus , I think.Emirates is one of the best airlines of world.I have traveled on Kingfisher and Jet airways but only on domestic route so don’t know what they look like in an international journey…

      • Aeroflot – awesome I have never flown by them but yeah they use original Russian planes not boeing or airbus. Alitalia I have never flown by. Awesome you planned the trip yourself – this is the best way instead of ready-made package tour where you have to go where they tell you. EXPEDIA dot com are excellent travel site and have excellent service – all call centres were in Bangalore and people were very helpful.

        • @ duprinderjitdupreesingh
          The Delhi to Moscow route is one of the only two international routes where Aeroflot flies Russian planes (the other is Delhi – Bangkok). The rest of the international and most of the domestic routes of Aeroflot are flown by Airbus A320, A321 or A330 jets.

          • Oh I see. Airbus A380 is my preferential aircraft type, although what surprised me is cockpit layout has no traditional column – it only has small joystick control (only Emirates, Singapore and Quantas are flying these at the moment I think). I also like A340. Boeing you cannot beat 747-400 very nice aircraft and also 777-ER is really nice for long haul. Best airline I have flown EVER is BRITISH AIRWAYS – much better than Virgin Atlantic or American Airlines can’t beat British Airways for routes, service, and comfort. I also prefer A320 and A330 to boeing 737-800, which Jet Airways seems to use for a lot of it’s domestic routes.

            • In this era of fly-by-wire and autopilots, joysticks are very little used, particularly in an aircraft as big as A380. As for British Airways, I find their equipments rather dipilated, except the 777s. Not to mention, BA flight attendants are some of the most morose and unhelpful I have come across, even if we use Aeroflot (not a good airline by any standards) as a marker.
               
              When it comes to quality of service, there is nothing like the Asian airlines (Emirates, Singapore,JAL, etc.)

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