Friday, November 27, 2009

Lost and Frustrated in Rome

This day was kind of a late start for us. Shaun, Mindy and I headed out for the day after a quickie breakfast. The weather was warmish and clear. We stopped by a courtyard but to this day I'm still not sure what it was called. Several headless statues were there, and of course there was a fountain, as those seem to be everywhere in Rome.

From there we headed towards the terminal to look at bus passes around the city. Mindy and I ended up getting a one day pass that would drop us anywhere along a certain route...and pick us up anywhere along the route as well. Also included with the pass was a tour of the Vatican museum and St. Peter's Basilica on Monday.

The three of us got on the bus with plans to catch another bus to the Catacombs. This all worked out well and we were dropped off not far from where we needed to be. What we didn't know was that the Catacombs were closed from 12-2, and we were just getting there at 12:15. I was incredibly frustrated for the time we had to wast to get there, and wait there, but it would have been more wasteful to leave without seeing it. Mindy and Shaun were good sports though, and we ended up enjoying our time, taking pictures of the little village that was there, and the beautiful landscapes.

The tombs were very maze like and disorienting, chilly and a bit musty smelling. No pictures were allowed here as well, but I don't think the lighting would have been that great anyway. By the time we flagged down a but to take us back to where we switched buses, it was too late to go into the Colosseum, and it was also raining quite heavily at times. Shaun headed to a film about Rome that he wanted to see, and Mindy and I got off of the bus a short time later, only to be turned around time and again.

We wandered in one direction for a while, and then, feeling like we were headed in the wrong direction, would turn around and head down a different street. Now is a great time to mention the streets of Rome. They are a bit wider than those in Florence, and have wider sidewalks for pedestrians, however, what always got us looking at the map was the fact that no streets in Rome last very long...after a few blocks, you end up in a little square and from there, the street we'd just been on ended, and several others branch off. I'm sure that was the main contributing factor of getting lost, as was the fact that it was pouring down rain in the dark. Once we found the Pantheon again, we had dinner at a nice little place with a view of the monument, again outside under a tent with heaters nearby.
We finally knew where we were, and after dinner were planning to head back to the hostel.

Planning...doesn't always work out the way you intend. Along the way, it started to rain again, and low and behold, there was an Irish bar. What was to be a quick stop for one beer turned into three pints for myself, and two for Mindy. We met a lot of real Romans there, an also and American who had been living in Rome for the past four years. From there, we did make it back to the hostel, where we opened another bottle of wine and hung out with our other two roommates.

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