I had forgotten how expensive Europe is! Luckily, I am only spending a few days here…I can’t believe I’ll be home in 9 more days.
After a long flight from Cape Town via London I arrived in Rome around 4ish. It took a while to find a room and it was getting dark by the time I got settled in. The hostel is right next to a subway station, and when I looked at the map it was obvious that I had to head to the Coliseum stop for dinner. The first sight of the Coliseum was breathtaking! I walked around it for an half hour or so just taking in the sense of antiquity. Right across from the building I found an outdoor restaurant with a perfect view of the whole area. I had a blast eating an amazing dinner, drinking cheap wine and just watching the tourists wander around.
I’ve spent the next day exploring the city proper. It was the perfect day to see everything except for Vatican City. Mother Theresa was being beatified which meant that the 300,000 tourists were all crowded into St. Peter’s square instead of the usual scenic spots. That evening I went on a night walking tour..it started raining half way through, but it was still a lot of fun. We ended up seeing a few sights that I hadn’t gotten around to yet like the Trevi fountain and the Pantheon.
The following day it was raining in Rome so I figured I head out of town to check out Pompeii. I think the rain decided to follow me because it was pouring when the train arrived! It was lousy for photography, but the rain really added to the atmosphere. Between the rain and the ceremony in Rome the previous day there were hardly any tourists. Wandering around the deserted streets, seeing the ruined homes, bath houses, and theaters was surreal. One day I’ll have to come back and spend some more time exploring here and around the whole region of Vesuvius
Finally the next day I wandered over to Vatican City and spent the day wandering around the museums and chapels. Photography isn’t really allowed, but most people have seen reproductions of the artworks anyway. You know, with all the money that the Vatican has tied up in art over there, it makes me wonder why the hell I had to give away part of my allowance every week as a kid to the local parish!