Friday, July 02, 2010

Day 18: Rome

I was signed up for the "Rome on your own" excursion today which basically offered transportation and a map.  A few of us who were by ourselves formed a group of 3 guys and 1 girl to successfully reverse the gender SAS demographic.  It was a good group to be in, we moved quick and saw a lot.

The bus dropped us off in front of St. Peter's Square.  We took a short walk over to the Castel San Angelo, a good photo-op, and continued across a bridge over the Tiber.  We walked down to Piazza Navona (fountains and people selling art) before checking out the Pantheon.  I forgot how large the dome is and that it's always open; it would be interesting to visit in the rain.  After leaving, the first gelato of the day was consumed and we made the trek to Piazza Veneiza and the Emmanuel Monument.  A little while later we found ourselves outside the Colosseum and, because a few people had never done it before, decided to go into the Forum.  There's a reason most guide books say to avoid the Forum midday.  It was hot and it was sunny, but with much sunscreen and water we did fine.  After spending a few hours in the Forum, we got completely lost on our way to the Bocca Bella Verita (the mouth of truth...if you're a lier the giant face will bite your hand off.  You'll be happy to know I'm apparently a truthful person).  We walked back up to the area around the Pantheon to grab a quick bite to eat and take a small break in the shade.  It was nearing our meet-up time so we went back across the river to the street leading to the Vatican, consumed more gelato, and boarded the bus back to the ship.

Despite having seem most of the sites before it was a really good day.  We accomplished quite a bit in a short amount of time.  It was also good to just get that "Rome" feel of tons of people and dodging traffic every-which way.  Tomorrow we'll arrive in Naples and I have an orientation of the city followed by a tour of the Teatro San Carlo.  I'm looking forward to seeing the infamous town allegedly run by the mafia.  Tomorrow evening four of us will board a train for a little overnight excursion to Venice.  The computer probably won't come along so I'll update when we get back.

We just got back from a lifeboat drill.  I guess they are done every few weeks and  every attempt is made to pick the most inconvenient times.  They make a rather big deal about dressing warmly so everybody comes out with sweatshirt, etc and since the cooking excursions had unlimited wine this afternoon we had all sorts of fun with people passing out.  Ah, the fun times at sea.  That's all for now, I need to think about packing and some Italian healthcare policy.

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