30 March 2011

Hangin' with Mr Cooper Benedict - Rome [Day Two]

I was pretty keen for a sleep in after the previous nights escapades, but I was meant to be meeting Maja, a Croatian girl from CS that was also doing the tourist thing in Rome. Maja is a cool girl. A really relaxed, friendly and an interesting person; a perfect tourist buddy! With the green machine just sitting there looking at me, I decided to jump on and cycle into town. No public transport = freedom, no queues, no crowds, no cost! I realised it was a bad idea as soon as I started cyclying - my thighs and ass were killing me! But it was now too late to take public transport, so I carried on. I made it, a little late, but I got there.

Our first stop was the Colosseum. I am sure that I don't need to tell you what it is... But what I can tell you is that photos do not do it justice. It is a huge, imposing structure, and actually very intracately designed. There was this whole underfloor area where the sets and animals were kept, with trap doors and pulleys to keep it all working smoothly.

Just down from the Colloseum is the Palatino and Roman forum. Basically a whole lot of ancient Roman ruins. This area was 'down town' for them, and lots of important stuff went on here back in the day. Do you like my historically accurate description? No? Then go see it yourself!

That afternoon Maja and I grabbed a bus to the Vatican. We planned to just take a look around St. Peters Square and Basilica, as the museum there is a good half-day thing in itself. The square (actually it is more of an oval) is massive, containing an Egyptian obelisk, two fountains, and the huge columns I described in the last post.

The queue to get into the Basilica was looooong, but thankfully moved relatively quickly. Again, free entry! I feel I keep using the same words over and over, but amazing and spectacular certainly do describe this church - which has the largest interior of any Christian church in the world. It is also regarded as one of the holiest Catholic sites in the world. Unfortunately you cannot get a decent view of the dome from the ground - so there was only one thing for it - CLIMB! It cost €5 to climb the approx 550 steps to the top, or €7 for 350 steps and an elevator for the other 200. Well if we are going to walk 350, we may as well walk 550! After an already huge day of walking the climb was hard going, but we made it. The inside of the dome is beautifully decorated, and the outside provides stunning views over the whole city. I definately reccomend you do this if in Rome.

Sem was going to something called Critical Mass that evening - a cycle event in the centre of Rome. I had planned to join him, but our visit to the Vatican had run a little long, and I was not going to make it in time. So after we were done at the Vatican I said goodbye to Maja and made my way home. Along the way calling in at a couple of the tourist spots. The first was the Trevi Fountain, which is more sculpture than fountain; very cool. I also checked out the outside of the Pantheon and Piazza Navona - apparently the site of ancient Roman naval battles (similar to the Colosseum, but on water). The Piazza was a really cool spot, with an amazing fountain and a square full of people selling their wares, and characteristics.

I got completely lost on the way home! I knew what general area I was in, but could not find the correct direction. I actually got a call from Sem who said that Critical Mass had started late, and that I could probably still make it. By this point I was lost, stressed, tired, smelly, had a sore ass, and could think of nothing but a shower and dinner. I got the impression from Sem that that was fine, but when I got home no one was there! Well, either that or the buzzer was not working. So I waited for someone to go in our out of the gate so I could get in and ring the indoor buzzer. Nothing for about 15 minutes, then I see two older woman approaching. They go to enter before I realise that it is Sem's Aunt and Grandmother. Jackpot!

Their English was not amazing, and my Italian is almost non-existent, so when I tried to ask to cook something, they could not understand a word I was saying... So dinner was whatever I had left in my backpack... fruit and crackers.

After a huge day I was completely shattered. I basically hit the pillow and was out to it. Thankful to be getting a sleep in the following morning!


  1. AH! The Colloseum! I have always wanted to go there! Very cool pictures. :)

  2. ruins upon ruins upon ruins . . .

  3. Wow - amazing photos! I really need to go back to Italy


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...