We arrive in Rome late in the day on April 30th after an overnight flight to Heathrow and a connector to Rome. Jeff and Connie join us on the 1st. Our base of operations will be The Hotel San Anselmo which is located in a quiet residential area in the heart of Rome, within walking distance of many of Rome’s historic treasures. We’ll be here until May 5th when we move to the tour hotel for phase 2.
We made it. Checked in late last night after 14 hours in the air, 2 flights, and almost 2 hours in line at the Rome airport to clear border control. Oh yeah, the cab ride to the hotel was a bit of a pothole dodging rodeo as well. Some problems are universal. After a light lunch in the bar we crashed for a few hours but were wide awake at 2:30 AM local time to deal with the first jet lag challenge. Carol read and I fussed with cameras and gps stuff until about 4:00 when we finally were able to sleep. Off to breakfast. One very pleasant surprise. The room phone is a current model Android smartphone, fully enabled with data and a Rome phone number, unlimited calling and internet, that’s ours to use anywhere we travel while guests of the hotel. Very cool.
Our first full day and it was jet lag day two protocol, breakfast, walk, observe, nap, walk, lunch, nap. Repeat nap as needed. 🙂 Our hotel is an easy walk to Circus Maximus, numerous eating establishments, some beautiful gardens and parks, and the Trastevere district for tourist shopping and watching. It’s sobering to realize some of these buildings were old long before North America was even discovered. Cars are tiny, scarves are massive, jeans are still way tight, bicycles abound, and scooters rule the streets. Weather is a bit cooler than anticipated, around 20c, which is a good thing with the 90% humidity. In Carol’s words, “The few rain showers we had weren’t enough to ruin the day”.
Awaiting the Kahns.
Still waiting for Jeff and Connie. Brutal run of luck had them stuck in Frankfurt overnight. Due to arrive today. Another wander this morning, all the way to the Colosseum and area.
14 km and many thousands of people. Probably 10s of thousands by tonight. A few pictures in the Rome Gallery, but in reality there are many better pictures online. Consider this “proof of life” as Carol aptly put it.
Jeff and Connie arrived yesterday after yet another delay, so today we tried to cram in a few extra tourist high points, resulting in a15 km epic ramble over the cobblestones. A tolerable 22c with intermittent light rain was the weather forecast and regrettably they were right about the rain. Duelling umbrellas was the order of the day.
The Trivi Fountain, Spanish Steps and the Pantheon all fell to our cameras. Impressions? People. Never in our travels have we seen the volume of tourist traffic we’ve observed here. Tour busses are the most dangerous street enemy as they are constantly in a rush to get the last parking spot near the areas their passengers are next to see. Consequently not many pictures but some good gellato. The weather cleared enough for us to make our way down for dinner, at which point the skies opened up again. By the time dolce was consumed the streets were dry and our return was uneventful. All in all, a good day.
We’re all feeling the effects of yesterdays trek so it’s been decided today is a bus day. Hop on Hop off variety. We revisited our earlier locations albeit from different directions and perspectives plus got a quick overview of Vatican City. I thought the crowds were thick yesterday. We didn’t even bother getting off the bus. We did however go on a search for the best gelato in Rome (according to Connie) and in spite of Jeff’s navigation, found it. Very good it was, but the best? Jury is out on that one. Much more research necessary. Tomorrow we move to our tour hotel and prepare for the motorcycle tour so a few final observations.
Rome is a very busy, vibrant and colourful city that I’m glad I’ve experienced. The history and surviving infrastructure from a time so long ago is a tribute to the efforts of the city and the Italian people. I doubt I’ll return, but I’m a bit wiser for having visited.