Sunday, 2 October 2011

19/9 to 23/9 Rome

I got off to a good start today; I went to the correct air port! On the bus from the airport to the city, the woman behind me was talking on her phone for full 40 minute bus trip, and continued after she got off.
There is crazy traffic in Rome. Cars turning in front of bus, drivers in dreamland when changing lanes, scooters everywhere.
When I got to the hostel, the Mona Lisa, I went to bed.

Start 8:30, I had no breakfast (which proved to be a mistake) and rushed off to beat the crowds at the Pantheon. I can see why this building inspired so many over the centuries. I can just imagine it without all the religious stuff. I later found out the original bronze relief over the entrance was melted down and used in an oversized stage thingy in St Stephens Basilica.
afterwards, I rushed to the colosseum, where I stayed for 4 hours. Standing outside the colosseum feels like standing outside the MCG. It is amazing that it took another 1600 years before something like this was built again. I took a very ordinary tour of the place. I was starving by the time I had finished.
After an ordinary feed of tourist retail food, I investigated the Rome ruins, 4 hours. I would have loved to see this place in its hey day. Their society looks only a few hundred years old, not a few thousand. When I had finished, the other tourists had awoken, and were everywhere! The lines were ridiculously long.
I would like to point out here, the best decision of the modern Roman government; there is NO business or retail on the ruins site! This was a major relief, as there is a massive oversupply of corney tourist traps outside, and some of them were just plain annoying, such as the "roman soldier" asking, "would you like a photo" "NO"
Next, I walked around circus Massimo, the site of the chariot races. Only a small section of the original buildings remain, but they cleared the track of new buildings, so I could imagine the chariots. The massive remains of the old palace are still visible from the track, and look amazing.
I walked down the river, and found some official function in the street with a military band, so I stayed. I got to bed at around midnight.

Emergency vehicles with constant drone are everywhere they are seriously annoying.
I purchased the hop on, hop off, bus tour, and returned to the ruins to see the emperors house. Most of the decorations (freshcos?)  are still there.
Bus to Piazza Venezia, see white monument. The building appears to be a military museum thingy now.
Go to time elevator, watch 3 movies: escape from ______ manor; a fictional tale about a man who enters a haunted house, an ode to life; history of life on earth, time elevator; 2750 years of history of Rome.
I completed the bus tour back to start
before tea, I saw the Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica. It was just another church. I am getting a bit sick of them.
I returned to the Hostel for food, then watched a little Doctor who.

Vatican day
Buy guided tours
Go through dead pope chamber
First tour, St Peters Basilica. Huge! This included a walk around the top. By the time I had finished with the place, the tourists had woken up again and were everywhere. The place was packed.
I couldn't help but wonder how much it all cost. Isn't there a story in the bible about not worshipping expensive material objects? How did this become acceptable?
Buy lasagna for lunch. I recon I can do better. I think that restaurant is another tourist trap.
Tour through museum with tour, finishing with the sistean chapel. This museum requires at least 2 days to do it some justice. Why did the church mutilate so many genitals on the ancient Roman statues? Would god really approve of chopping off a part of male anatomy which he so passionately created in the first place? (wow, if I continue like this, I might actually sound religious!)
after, I went to the Leonardo da Vinci machines museum. Of all the amazing stuff there, I liked his bridge the best; timber poles, no rope and no nails. Might still be useful in the field!
I found the big, famous fountain, and couldn't believe the size, of the crowds!

I Finished the Dr who sub-series.
I Walked to park, then to train station
Found rich suburb.
Fly back to weeze airport in Germany
Bus and train back to Bonn
Bed at 2am

Italian food, the best I got there.
Leonado's bridge
The big fountain
The big crowd at the big fountain.

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