Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Day One - Rome

Day One: Rome.

The "Eternal City" certainly lives up to its name.  The amount of preserved antiquities here is overwhelming!  It is just fantastic.

I started the day off early, with some cappucino and a sweet roll, and off I went, armed with nothing but my little map and my good luck charm from Noelle and Michaela --not even any wifi, as my phone was useless at this point except as a camera.  But, that didn't deter me.  I had a good plan and felt confident I could pull it off.

I took the metro at Cipro (right by the Vatican where I'm staying) and took it into the main Termini of the city, where I changed lines and headed to the Coliseum and the surrounding area.  The first thing that greeted me when I exited the subway was the Coliseum, and it was so huge in the bright sunlight -- it was very impressive.  I just stood there for a moment, amazed by it, while teems of people swirled by me.  It was stunning.  The surrounding area is just a marvel of beauty and history.  Palantine Hill, and then to the Circus Maximus -- a la Ben Hur.  Just amazing.  From that area, I hopped an open bus for a tour around the city, to see all of the major landmarks within 2 hours.  It was a great way to catch a glimpse of them all, and you can hop off at any point, explore, then hop back on, as these buses arrive every 15 minutes.  Pretty cool and not too costly either.  I was able to see so much, and the weather today was fantastic.

After hopping on and off and exploring in different parts of the city, I decided to hit the view of the city from the river, with a cruise on the Tiber.  It was very beautiful and relaxing, with stunning views and gentle cool breezes, until I ended up next to the PERVERT.  Yes, no trip is complete until I have this fun experience.  So, this older gentlemen keeps smiling and moving closer to me, taking photos, all seems innocent.  He bumps me a few times, and keeps creepily brushing his arm down my leg (he is now seated next to me). This is starting to irritate me, so I move away from him.  He inches his chair closer, and then starts taking some photos, and then I hear the shutter going on his camera, and notice he has it tucked under his arm, aimed straight at my BOOBS.  He is taking photos of my boobs.  Now, mind you, I have a tank top and a sweater on.  Like, really???  I catch him and give him a stone cold stare.  He smiles and shrugs like that's not it.  I move down to the end of the boat, and he starts following me, but I give him a nasty look and he stops.  I decided that disembarking at the next stop is probably the best thing to do, and I notice him trailing me -- so I pick up the pace, and go up a set of treacherous stairs, and hop on the first bus waiting, and leave him in the dust.  You never can really avoid these types of weirdos, but you can NOT let them ruin your day.

After ditching the weirdo. I continued on to the Trevi Fountain, which was absolutely gorgeous.  The Spanish stairs were completely mobbed so I decided to just admire them then to get caught in the throng, and then also decided it was time to find an late lunch/earlier dinner.  I headed back to the Vatican area, wandering around, hit the supermarket for a few essentials I forgot to pack, and then settled down with a delicious pasta Parmigiana with ground porciata (pork).  It was delicious, the bread fresh and crusty, and the views from the cafe were nice as well.  I had macchiato and decided to wrap it up as I had some work to get finished too -- so after I take care of that now, I can relax, and maybe head down the 108 steps to the Gelateria for some happiness later on.  It's been an amazing first day and I'm looking forward to tomorrow's adventures! 

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