18th June 2012
Well, after my nanna nap yesterday afternoon I went for a walk and had the nicest surprise. I turned down a little street not far from the hotel and there was the Colosseum a few blocks away. I wonder how long it would take before you stopped being amazed at things like that? I think for me it’ll be a while yet.
I had planned to catch one of the hop on hop off buses the next day but was in the right spot at the right time that afternoon so jumped on one of the red ones. I’m not used to public transport even in Australia and can’t see myself being brave enough to try it yet in Italy so figure this might be the next best thing.
Today I made a beeline for the Colosseum and spent half the day there. It was fabulous, I continue to be amazed by how old everything is here and how accessible it is also. Our settlement of Australia started not much more than 200 years ago and here is a place built almost 2,000 years ago. This is what makes Europe so enticing for me, all this history just sitting here waiting to be discovered all over again. I thought the audio guide was a great tool too, it allows you to go at your own pace and choose your own route. I would love to come back at night but that will have to go on the list for next time I feel.
I made use of my hop on hop off bus ticket to go to the Pantheon this afternoon and I think I might have found my two favourite famous places in Rome in one day! I hired an audio guide again and was happy I did, makes it much easier than trying to read from guide books or something while you’re looking at everything. I’m not big on religion and I know the Pantheon is a tourist spot but I was a little disappointed at how noisy people were, after all it is still a church, or maybe that’s just a sign that old age is starting to take hold.
I still had plenty of day left so decided to go find the Trevi Fountain while I was in the area. Good grief – what a crowd, all trying to get photos taken of themselves at the fountain. It was good to go and see and I threw a couple of coins in the water but didn’t get any decent photos I bought a couple of postcards though. There was a quaint little church just across the piazza from the fountain that was worth a look inside as well but I don’t even know it’s name, oops. Think I enjoyed the church than the fountain, but I’ll try to come back again before I leave to give it another go.
Eating alone – now there’s something you read a lot about! I grabbed a sandwich last night while I was out and about and ate that back at the hotel but decided tonight to try one of the bars nearby for dinner. There were only tables free outside so I did feel a bit conspicuous sitting there on my own – but do you know what I’ve decided? – it doesn’t really matter. I caught up on a few texts while waiting and by the time my very yummy pizza arrived there was a mun with two children at the next table so the kids and I had a funny little chat about our respective dinners, they in Italian, me in my very basic mix of Italian and English.
So I survived my first full day sightseeing in Rome with flying colours I’d say. I had an absolutely great day, one I won’t forget in a hurry that’s for sure. Now my biggest problems for the next few days will be deciding what I want to do and when – oh, for all problems to be that easily solved.