We checked the times in the train station around 6am to see when we could leave, the soonest being 7:45am. Our stomachs were growling at us because we hadn't eaten in a really long time, so we went back out to the streets of Milan to see if anything was open. Unlike America, McDonald's doesn't open at the crack of dawn. They usually don't open until 10am in Europe, so that idea was 86'd. We wandered around for a while with no luck of finding anything and then went back into the train station. It was close to 7:15am at this point and as we were walking in, we ran into our friend Brady who had just gotten to Milan and was sitting on a bench. It was good to see him again. We sat with him for a bit and he gave us food and water (since nothing was open) and we all just talked. Eventually, he walked us to our train and said goodbye to us. Around six hours later, we reached Rome. We found out where our hostel was by asking the Tourist Information booth and started to make our way there. It took us a little longer than expected, but we managed to find it with the help of a nice restaurant owner. Steph, Tyler, and Luke were checked in to the hostel, but they were out wandering the streets of Rome. Taylor, Julia, and I decided to get checked in and shower (it had been three days since our last one) when one of the staff asked us for our passports like most hostels do. Taylor and I gave the guy ours, but Julia still hadn't found hers. After 30 minutes of searching, she started to get frantic. We looked through all of our packs - nothing. Apparently, either from Pisa to Milan or Milan to Rome, Julia had lost her passport. Thankfully, the guy said it was okay and he gave us the number to the Canadian embassy for her. It was Thursday evening and the embassy was only open Monday - Thursday, 9am-11am. Julia decided not to worry about it until she needed to, haha. We got cleaned up and were starving when Steph, Luke, and Tyler came through the door. We greeted them with hugs and hellos and filled them in on the passport situation. After that, we all got ready and went out for dinner at a little place down the road. It was really good. Following dinner, we went to the Trevi fountain, made wishes, and got gelato. Mmm, gelato. Then we walked around a bit more before we went back to the hostel to sleep.
The first thing we went to see after we got ready in the morning was the Colosseum. We paid 20 Euro for a tour of the inside and of Nero's palace across the road and of the ruins of Rome. It was incredible. Walking through the Colosseum was a weird experience. On one hand, it was awesome to experience that part of history, but on the other hand, it was awful the things that happened there for sheer entertainment. I guess you could say it was bittersweet. Next was Nero's palace. Also bittersweet if you know what happened there. Walking through the ruins was cool. We got to go down into Paul and Peter's jail cell, which was also bittersweet. Unfortunately, we had to pay for all these places, so we didn't eat very much that day. We were planning on going to see the Vatican after the other places, but it closes at around 4:30pm and it was 5pm. Instead, we went to an internet/international call cafe so Julia could call her parents and so we could email the school about the situation. As it turns out, and what was a major answer to prayer, Julia's dad's REALLY good friend and his family were living about 30 minutes from where we were staying and Julia could stay with them until the embassy opened and she got a temporary passport. Unfortunately, that meant she couldn't go on the rest of the trip with us, but might be able to meet up later. We were leaving for Venice in the afternoon the next day and Julia would come with us and stay for a night, but she'd catch a train back to Rome the day after. Everything was worked out in an hour and a half, so we went back to the hostel and chilled before bed.
peace, love, and trusting God.