Friday, May 29, 2009
There’s something special in Rome, Italy
With an early start to the day, we were off to Rome, Italy and Vatican City. The weather was perfect for the day long events, over cast, yet warm. We purchased the hop on, hop off tour bus excursion to be sure to see all the important locations throughout the city. It worked like a charm! Starting out with a bang, we visited the oldest sporting venue in the world...the Coliseum. Marc and I had been there before, but never inside. With a short line up for tickets we decided to take this last opportunity to tour inside and see it for ourselves...it was fantastic...we could finally place the events and the proceedings that happened 1900 years ago and try and imagine an event in action...the steps were steep, the building made of brick and stone and the tunnels underneath the stage for the fighters and their combatants (lions, jaguars, tigers, elephants etc)...after leaving the Coliseum we toured by the State capital building and the tomb of the unknown soldier...the monument is guarded 24 hours a day, everyday...you are not permitted to sit on the steps leading up to the monument nor to talk once within a certain distance of the tomb...our travels continued to the Pantheon...a dome covered chapel that has an opening in the top for the sun to shine in...the tomb of the first king of Italy in housed there...with a slight detour we found our way back to the tour bus and hoped on to the next stop...the Vatican and St. Peter’s Square. This was the location that I was looking forward to the most...It has peaked my interest even more since going back to school and studying religion, but this time I could take everything in and connect the dots between the meanings of statues, paintings and names...I can’t imagine being able to go to the Vatican once in a life time, but I have been ‘blessed’ to be able to go twice...I took lots of pictures this time to remember this forever...with the day winding down we headed for the tour bus to take us back to the train station for our 1.25 hour train trip back to the port to board the boat... The evening was a quiet one with the daily dinner in the Grand Pacific dining room at the Captain’s table and then retiring to our cabin to catch up on homework and the news of the day. Tomorrow we’re off to Florence and Pisa...we’ll see what the day brings us...hopefully it doesn’t lean too far to one side than the other and we’re able to handle what is thrown our way... P.S. – the seas are a little rough tonight...we can hear the waves hitting the boat from our cabin, but the sway isn’t as bad as last night.