Day 1 – Houston to London to Rome:
We flew from Houston to London – a trip of almost 8 hours! We arrived there all jet-lagged but the moment we set foot in the city (we had a few hours before our flight to Rome), all tiredness vanished and we ran from post to pillar soaking in London!
Planning a trip to London? If so, then Madame Tussaud’s is a must see, to admire and take pictures with your favorite celebrities (Politics, Sports, Hollywood AND BOLLYWOOD). After spending a couple of hours there, we went to see the Buckingham Palace even though it was brrrrrrrr cold outside! We missed the Changing Of The Guards, but it is a must see at 11:30 AM.
Need fast and convenient transportation covering all of London? Then use London’s underground trains! 6 hours just flew and we rushed back to the airport in time to catch our flight to Rome, Italy. Because we reached past midnight, the train service had stopped. We had to grudgingly take a taxi to our downtown hotel. Finding a Burger King at 1 AM to feed the family in an unknown city was no walk in the park, but we managed.
Day 2 – Rome to Port Civitavecchia:
The Pantheon was not too far… It was awesome seeing the ancient Roman Temple from inside. Our last stop on the bus was the magnificent Trevi Fountain … pictures galore!! No trip to Rome is complete without sinking your teeth into their awesome gelatto….of course we indulged.
Later in the afternoon, we caught the train to the Port of Rome, Civitavecchia and boarded our cruise ship, Costa Pacifica after a bunch of misadventures…late train arrival, missed port bus, lost luggage, crying kid, and an almost missed ship – but whew, we made it in the nick of time.
So glad we took the balcony room – the rest of the evening was spent looking at the reflection of shining port lights in the dark blue sea.
Day 3 – Savona, Genoa (Italy):
The first night sailing was a lot of fun and uneventful. But we were happy to reach our very first port. Glad we took the balcony rooms so we could see the city all along as we pulled into various ports. Since we had already spent some time in Italy, and we wanted to add more countries to our repertoire, we decided to take the ship’s excursion tour to Monte Carlo and Monaco.
The 1.5 hour bus ride was a dream as we drove through the Italian countryside and then passed through France.
Monaco is famous for its princely castles. We saw the Changing of the Guards here at the prince’s residence, since we had missed it in London. The whole ceremony was very grand, as was evident by scores of people watching it. Luckily, we were at a higher level so we could also see the awesome view of the rest of Monaco alongside.
Monte Carlo is world famous for its Grand Prix race tracks, but we used our time walking around the gorgeous city. This is a perfect place for window shopping for people on a budget like us. 🙂 The little boutique restaurants offer a variety of cuisines, catering to all tastes. Too bad we didn’t get a chance to step out of the bus in France, either from or to Monaco/Monte Carlo.