Rather than try to write about events from a few months ago, I will start this blog with Amanda and my Christmas travels. Amanda has already posted about our journey from Billings to D.C. and our first few weeks in Oxford.
We spent 11 days in Italy and 17 in Germany. Italy was a whirlwind of more touristy travel: Our itinerary included Rome, Naples, Pompeii, Florence, Bologna, and Venice. Germany was much more relaxed because we were traveling with Paul and Alice, two of our good friends who are there on Fulbright scholarships.
On the evening of December 11, we flew from London to Rome. From the Fiumicino Airport, we took a Terravision bus to Roma Termini, the main railway station in Rome, with trains, buses, and the subway all intersecting a few mildly seedy blocks from our hostel.
The next morning, we were up early to head to the Vatican Museum. We had reserved tickets online beforehand, so we were able to jump the queue (something I highly recommend doing, even though it costs an extra few dollars).
After passing through the entrance, we headed through fantastic exhibits on Ancient Egypt; Greek and Roman statues; the oddly interesting Sala degli Animali (Room of Animals); and displays on the Etruscans, the most important pre-Roman Italian civilization.