Friday, October 30, 2009

Finally back home /Rome Ramblings

It seems like a long time since we were really at home. I guess it has been just that. With our trip to Germany and Italy for 2 weeks in Sept and then a brief 3 weeks home before we left for 16 days on the Mediterranean, it's really good to be back home. I'm not sure why two opportunities to go abroad came the same year and the same season but I'm glad we seized them and went.
The only downside is that Harv and I caught a bug on the last day at sea and have been unable to get rid of it. Harv is on the mend but I'm still suffering stomach cramps. I've already lost 10 lb. which is wonderful, however I suspect it will quickly return once I'm back to eating. :(
Standing above the Forum area in Rome

What a great trip! I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to blog all the places we visited. There was just so much that we saw and did.

We travelled with our friends, Don and Bev from Vernon. We've done a motorcycle trip with them at least once every year since Don got his bike many years ago. He loves to plan the trips and we just go along and enjoy. This was our first non-bike trip and our first overseas trip with them and and it proved to be just as much fun as our bike trips always are.

Our cruise was to leave Rome on the 13th so we booked flights for the 8th and spent the first few days walking around Rome. What fun! It is not called the "Eternal City" for nothing! Everything is so old. It is mind boggling to realize that Romans have walked those same roads for more than 2000 years. Everywhere you walk there are pillars, foundations, arches and buildings, many of which were errected before Christ. The size, scope and sophistication of ancient Rome must be seen to be believed.

We visited all the sights;

- The famous Trevi Fountain where I threw in a coin to ensure another visit to Rome,
- the Pantheon with it's domed roof,
-the Vittorie Emmanuel Mounument where we took the elevator to the top for a panoramic view of the city. -we climbed the Spanish Steps,

-we toured the city by horse and buggy,
-we were dazzled by the high fashion in all the shops.

- we enjoyed a different flavour of Italian Gelato every day
-we took an excellent and informative tour of the Colliseum and Palantine Hill,

-we had dinner in quaint Piazzas and sometimes right on the street (literally! - we had to pull our elbows in to avoid having cars' mirrors hit us). -we saw Pillars, ancient churches with domed ceilings, monuments and fountains galore.

-we walked everywhere from our centrally located hotel - the "Zara" and enjoyed the warm weather the first 3 days.

- we took a tour of the Vatican on the fourth day, a good day to do that as it was somewhat rainy and cool - We saw part of the Vatican museum, the Sistene Chapel with Michaelangelo's famous Paintings, St. Peter's Basilica and St. Peter's Square. The most impressive things there were its sheer size - it's the largest church in the world, and the works of art in the Basilica -
not painted but composed of tiny squares of naturally coloured pieces of marble mosaic tile. Truly a work of art in the most literal sense.
Rome was a wonderful place to visit; teeming with visitors, but vibrant, historically fascinating and full of architectual beauty. We only hit the highlights - one could visit again and again and never run out of things to see and do. I highly recommend it!