So, we finally made it here, but not without some interesting experiences on the way.
Things got interesting at Sydney, as "Pick on Lu Day" commenced. The security people thought that they needed to go through his bags even before getting to the checkin desk. The rest of us were allowed to go through ok. On the flight to LA, he even got seperated from Mach and I. My personal theory is that he was seated betweeen the Sky Marshalls coz they were these two big burly blokes. Poor Lu.
So we get to LAX, and out connecting flight was at an entirely different terminal (Tom Bradley International), so after getting "instructions" from some entirely unhelpful airport staff, we finally managed to get to the Lufthansa checkin. The very helpful German dude there got us checked on to our next two flights, and got us all sitting together. Lu was amazed by "German efficiency". After a quick meal at LAX we were on a Lufthansa flight to Frankfurt.
Frankfurt airport is bloody huge! We spent a good few hours walking around the place (and looking for an elusive supermarket that was located in the apparently mythical "Terminal A, Floor 0") and finally got our connecting flight to Rome.
Rome airport is without a doubt the most relaxed airport I've been to. There were two dudes in plain clothes outside the exit from the plane, where they checked random people's passports. After that there was nothing. No customs, to immigration.. I didn't even get a stamp on my passport.
We took the airport train to to Rome's equivalent of Central Station - Stazione Termini. It looks like the outskirts of Rome is just apartment block apon apartment block - all relatively low rise. What was very noticeable was that everyone had a window box or plants growing in their balcony, and that everyone looked like they had their own antenna on top of the apartment block. The buildings look like giant porcupines. Othwer thing we noticed, the graffiti looks exactly the same no matter where you are, no matter if it's done in Italian or English.
We got to Termini and found our Hostel pretty quickly, it's about a 10 minute walk from the station. The hostel looks to be pretty cool, with lots of people from various places. We met up with the girls that evening and hit the town for dinner.
Rome, Day One coming up next.