Wednesday, November 27, 2013

When In Rome. . . Do As The Romans Do

Hi My Friends, 

I am sorry it has taken me so long to post something.  We walk all day and as much as I like blogging, by the end of the day my mind isn't as alert and witty as usual.  So I am now in Geneva Switzerland, by myself, on a solo trip, and since my hotel has English television I am able to blog like at home.

We just left Rome after six glorious days and I will miss it.  Lucking out on the weather with only one day of pouring rain, Kristina and I explored Rome from end to end.  Each ancient Roman ruin, we saw it and as a Canadian it is amazing that the buildings, statutes and remnants of ancient Romans is 2500 years old, existing before Christ, as Canada is only 125 years old.

Our first day we headed over to the Pantheon, a domed temple built during the reign of Augustus, with a peak of the dome opened all year round, letting Mother Nature in each and every day.  It had started to rain while we were there and as it fell into the Patheon it was so serene and beautiful allowing me to understand why they left it open!!   We stepped out into the light rain and began strolling through the endless streets of restaurants, shoes stores and shopping for everything and anything you would like.  Definitley finding some amazing deals at a street market and got a feel for the history this city has to offer. As the rain picked up I bought an umbrella and we decided to head back to the hotel but by then it was too late we were caught in a torrential downpour and just to make it interesting, we decided to stop and get groceries; Salad, salad toppings and 80 lbs of bottled water.  Not the finest of ideas in the pouring rain as we fought our way through crowds of people and umbrellas carrying the heavy water and all our shopping bags.  For the last few blocks we had had enough of it and Kristina yelled MOVE to anyone in her way with me hobbling slash jogging behind her.  We made it back to the hotel soaked, hungry and exhausted.  We went upstairs, hung our clothes to dry, had a bath and made salads in our room! 

We had met a kind man on the plane who advised us we should go to Florence if we have the time, 6 days booked for Rome, I think we could squeeze in a trip to Florence.  So we booked our train tickets for Saturday and lucked out on a two for one deal saving us 160 euros!! After a long day of roaming we went back to the hotel and made salad, relaxed as we had a journey to Florence the next day.


This little city amount the countryside of Italy was absolutely stunning.  We arrived to Florence with ease and made our way to to the meeting place of the free walking tour we found.  Arriving a little early we walked through the streets a little and got some bearing but travelling with the queen of maps (Kristina) we would never get lost!  We arrived at the meeting place looking lost as ever as there was no sign of a tour guide waiting or groups gathering.  Being the people we are, willing to talk to everyone and anyone, we noticed a few small groups standing around and then stopped two guys who seemed to be looking too and we all stood together, one other girl joined us and then another big group who were waiting as well.  And with that we had found our tour but without a guide.  As we all chatted and introduced ourselves we kept looking at the time, all of a sudden, a scraggly late 40s man appeared with a sign saying free guided tours, we all looked at each other and slowly made our way over, hoping that wasn't our guide.  He was and at the end of the day, he wasn't the best guide, but it allowed us to see the city and meet some new friends.  After the tour, Kristina, myself and our new friends Aditya and Aniket headed to a pizzeria for the most amazing pizza any of us have ever had, EVER.  Straight out of the wood burning stove these pizzas were fresh, hot and delicious!!  The best meal we had in Italy by far!  After a bottle of wine (drunk mostly by Kristina) we headed out to roam the streets of Florence, once we began to shop, the guys left us as they had another tour to catch, but we made plans to all go to the Vatican the following Tuesday as they would be travelling to Rome.  Our friends are students on an exchange from India, studying management in Paris while taking trips on their days off!  We spent the rest of the afternoon touring around Florence and made our way back to the train station early for our hour trip back to Rome.  Exhausted we headed back to the hotel to relax!

We spent Sunday sleeping in and touring the Roman Forum and the Colleseum.  Unfortunately we couldn't get into the Colleseum as they closed early so we Romed around, a little shopping, picked up some pizza and headed back to our hotel.  The next morning we woke up early and set out to the Colleseum, we wanted to get there early enough to make it inside and that we did.  With it being low-season we walked right in, bought our tickets, which allow you into other places within the forum, and made our way to where we would wait for our guided tour.  Kristina and I had opted for guided tours in most places that we went, it allowed us to learn, well for Kristina to learn and for me to learn what I am taking pictures of.  We also were able to interact with other people who spoke English, which was nice.  Something I am missing as I have to ask people if they speak English everywhere I go.  The Colleseum was amazing, is amazing, and a definite must see if you are going to Rome, I absolutely loved everything about it and the guide painted the perfect picture of what it had looked like when it was all intact.  Many people do not know this fact about the Colleseum and the gladiators that faught within its walls; Gladiators did not fight to the death, they fought for freedom.  If a gladiator had won his match then he would go out the exit to freedom, if he had lost, he left through the losers door and awaited his next fight in hopes of freedom.  The only people who died within the walls of the Colleseum were those who were criminals and then they would be slaughtered by animals, naked and hand cuffed torn to shreds by lions or tigers.  Yes it would have been gruesome but it was a thing of the times and everyone loved it.  After our tour Kristina and I walked around the Colleseum soaking in the history and antiquity that was left.  We spent the next part of our day walking around and through the Roman forum after about 8 hours of walking my feet had had enough, I couldn't bare the aching any longer and we made our way back to the hotel, stopping for a surprisingly good dinner.  I soaked my feet, rubbed them as we relaxed knowing that the Vatican City was the next day and that was going to involve a lot of walking.  

The Vatican City can only truly be shown to you in another post as it is one of the most magnificent places I have ever been to.  I will be posting this tomorrow with as many pictures possible, which do not do it just it at all.

Have a great day my friends

**any suggestions on iPad photo collage apps would be greatly appreciated! not loving what I am using**

1 comment:

  1. Having fun catching up on all your travels & experiences marthold! You have to rename your catch phrase to "life happens between commercials, planes, trains, towers, pastries, coliseums & shopping" ... lol