The ship docked in a small port town of Civitadevecchia about 1 1/2 hours away from Rome. We boarded busses to be transported to our destination of the day.
Today I heard the news, but not directly. An employee of a shop in Rome asked me how I felt about 'what happened'. My jaw dropped. I instinctively knew what her question was about. 'You mean....Trump WON?????' Incredible. Unbelievable. WTH? How could....???? For the rest of the day, I was asked several times by strangers 'what do you think?'. I shook my head, and they were shaking their heads, too. I WAS IN ROME!!!
Rome is a stunning city, to say the least. Everyone should experience it. And, it appeared everyone was there experiencing it. In November.
It's one thing (and a mighty thing) to walk into a cathedral constructed 500 years ago, but it's a completely 'nuther thing to walk amongst stuff from 'BC'!!!! My mind was/is boggled. Does not compute. Ctrl-Alt-Delete. Re-boot.
The city was clean, streets and lanes wound around every which way. Shops, and more shops, and morrrrre shops. How do they all survive? Charm x 1,000. Amazingly, there seemed to be very little traffic. No jams, no honking horns, no car alarms wailing or chirping. NONE. NADA.
On this particular excursion, we had an EXCELLENT guide. She didn't yammer on and on and on about every micro-detail. She had an excellent sense of humor. I loved her accent. Every word seemed to end in an 'uh' (like Ethel Merman and/or Lawrence Welk). 'Now-uh we are going-uh to see-uh the Colliseum-uh. The Pope-uh lives in a small-uh apartment-uh.'
Dare I say this next part for fear of all the politically correct police back home.
When we arrived at the Colliseum (uh) there was a huge parked bus painted all black. On the side of the bus, were the words in big letters 'The Blacks'. One guy on the cruise looked at it at the same time as I and we both busted out laughing. I said 'Where's the bus for The Whites?'. More laughter. The guide asked what was so funny. She didn't get it. Dang, forgot to take a photo of it.
Anyway, I can't begin to describe how amazing this city is. My mind doesn't comprehend HOW these structures were built so long ago without modern machinery, without university degrees in engineering and design. WHERE did they get all that marble? WHERE did they get all that gold? HOW did they carve everything so intricately? HOW did they get it up there....300 feet above ground? And many, many more questions.
At this point, I'm gonna shut up and just let the photos do the talking.
|Pine trees were the most common, but of a breed where the green was mostly at the top.|
|Oh, that's the Colliseum (uh) in the background.|
Our guide said 80,000 people could enter the coliseum in 5 minutes. They would spend all day watching 'killings' in the arena.
|This was a popular fountain. The story goes....toss one coin over your back into the fountain and you will return to Rome. 2 coins, you will find love in Rome. 3 coins and you will get a divorce.|
|I loved this liquor shop. It almost looked like a perfumery because so many of the bottles were 'pretty' and colorful.|
Sorry for the grainy-ness of the upcoming photos. For some unknown reason, my I-phone ran out of battery very fast. I could've SWORE I had it 100% charged before I left. So, I had to switch to my tablet phone which takes poor photos....just when I was getting to the VATICAN for cripes sake!!!
|Some dumb place called 'The Vatican'. Some guy named 'Pope-uh' lives there.|
It's located on St Peters square.
It's somewhere around 400 years old. blah blah
|The current Pope-uh, Pope Benedict did not want to live in the provided-for 8,000 sqft apartment. He chose another space....a 2 bedroom/1 bath apartment on the Vatican premises.|
|The dome above the altar is approximately 450 feet high.|
|Did I happen to mention how I can't fathom how all this was built in its time?|
|Much like the guards at Buckingham Palace, these guys stand there and don't flinch. WHO would want such a job? BTW, the guards at the Vatican are SWISS.|
Back on the bus and a 1 1/2 hour ride to the ship. On-board, the captain announced we would not be going to the Isle of Sardinia (didn't know anything about it anyway) due to forecasted bad weather. They chose in place of it, to go to Livorno where we had the option of taking excursions to Florence or Pisa (as in leaning tower of....).
....to be continued!!