Sunday, 22 June 2014

... Roma ...

Days 63-65 Roma

1.  Pantheon (my favourite building ever)
2.  Spiral staircase at the Vatican
3.  Gladiator Jack
4.  Espresso (must have been after 11am)
5.  Piazza Navona (spot the gelati spoons!!)
6.  Fresh cherries- campo Di Fiori
7.  St Peter's Square
8.  Colosseum

The hotel had a bus to take us to the train station.  It was always busy on the trains.  The trip to Rome only took 20 minutes.  I liked to count the stops.  When we arrived at the station we didn't have to walk far to the Spanish Steps. Lily counted 136 but the book said 138. 
We also saw the Pantheon that has a hole in the roof. The only light in the whole building came through the hole.  If the rain came through the hole there were tiny holes in the floor to drain the water.  

Rome is the place for street sellers. Seriously no matter where you walk someone is asking you to buy their stuff or to give them money. We are staying near the edge of Rome at a nice hotel called Piccolo Borgo and apart from the creaking water tank waking most of us up it was actually quite nice. The hotel had a pool and we didn't get to use it much because of the thunder storms. We took the hotels shuttle to the metro then caught a train to Rome. We saw the Spanish steps and according to the Rome book there were 138 but I only got 136. One man dressed up as a gladiator had mummy take a photo of him pretending to chop jacks head off. She took several photos with all of us and it ended up costing ten euros but we only gave him four. We moved on to the Trevi fountain with only one downfall. The fountain was under construction and had no water in it at all:(  It was a busy day for us, the steps, fountain, building with a hole in the roof and the colosseum all in one day. The colosseum was really nice to look at. It was cool how bits of it were falling down. The building with the hole in the roof was cool too.  We took lots of photos. We went to the Vatican museum on Thursday the ceilings were great except it was hot and all I wanted to do was hop in the pool. St. Peter's looked cool from the outside but I wish we could have gone inside. Although I didn't really want to wait in the long lines. I bought a bag at a stall at the markets on Friday so now I can carry my own stuff around. We finally got to have a swim on the last day and it was nice. The place we are staying at now has the same sort of pool.

On Wednesday we caught the metro to Spagna (one of the train stations).  Then we walked to the Spanish steps.  While going up Lily and I counted all the steps there were 136.  Half way up I mis-counted.  After we got a photo whith a man dressed up as a gladiator. He wanted Mum to give him ten euros (she only gave him four).  We walked to the trevi fountain. It was covered up with scaffolding so we didn't throw a coin in.  So we walked to the pantheon.  It has a big hole in the in the roof.  When it rains the water gets soaked up because there are little holes in the floor.  
On Thursday we went to the Vatican Museum........ it was really big.  The ceiling had pattens on it ......... they were really detailed.  At the end Dad bought a puzzle of one of the paintings in the Museum.  That night we sat In pub and watched the World Cup Australia vs Holland.  Holland Won :( :( :( :(.  
Last day in Roma:
Today we had one last look around.  Lily and I both bought a bag. Then we went home and had a swim 
Grace :-)

When planning our Europe trip I tried to talk Alison out of going to Rome. It added to our driving distances and and I had no strong memories of my previous  visit.
I lost this battle and I am glad I did. Spanish Steps, Vatican, the Colosseum and Travestere were all highlights.
And Australia v Holland in a Roman bar with some very anxious Dutch supporters.
Continue to love the Italian drivers who ignore lines on roads; as long as you are heading in the right direction it is all okay.
No commitment from my family who chose gelato over a 3 hour queue to enter St Peters!

Rome is still crazy beautiful. It's crumbling but majestic.  It's loud, fast and furious. It's smelly and dirty (the anti-smoking lobby have got a mammoth task here).  The drivers are insane ... as are the pedestrians (crossing even a small road has sorely tested Jack's "wait for the green man" approach).  It's full of surprises, style and sellers - some with charm, others brash  or even outright rude.  It's manic and fun. I'm glad we came back. I'm even glad we didn't make it up St Peters this's another reason to return.

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