Not lovin' Ryanair quite so much now they left me and Chaz in an airport for hours! >:-I
13.06.2009 - 15.06.2009 34 °C
Well another weekend and off again on a Ryanair bargain flight...this time to Rome to visit the Pope amoungst other things
We made it there bright and early on the saturday and decided to head straight to the Colosseum and nearby palace ruins to do the touristy thing and view the sights and take the tour. When we got there we realised that the tour was very expensive so we would make up our own tour and do it at our own pace. One thing that did annoy me although I was prepared for is that you can;t get a discounted concession rate unless you are under 25 so my student card was useless for the combined ticket for the entry to the Colosseum and the Palace ruins. It worked out at €12 for me to get in but I guess this was pretty reasonible. concession was half that price.
The photos really don't do this place justice and every evening Chaz and I spent resting near the Colosseum just watching how it changed colour as the sun set. Inside it was MASSIVE and they had reconstructed part of the floor at one end to give an impression of what it would have been like at the time of the gladiators This was really good and didn't in my opinion spoil the overall view. This took a whole day to do and was a day well spent even though we were dragging all our luggage around with us!
We went back to our hotel to check in which was called hotel Urbis near Termini station. Being near Termini is ideal as the lines for the metro cross here to you can get about well quickly. The hotel wasn;t great but it was a good price and even though it was a shared bathroom we didnt have any issues once. The beds looked a bit dodgie and soft but as a suffered of bad backs I have to say I am none the worse for wear from my experiance! I would recommend however that you take your own towel! As theirs were not exactly white clean and they were rough as cardboard!
From the Lonely planet manual we had worked out that we wanted to go to the popular camp del flori to eat as there were a lot of resturants based there and it came recommended. So we got the metro to Colosseum and walked there which was a nice 15minute walk in the evening sunshine. I found the meals to be fairly priced at most of the places we went to and I was overall impressed witht eh food in Rome. During the meal there was quite a commotion as the Roma Gay Pride parade started up (we didn;t know what it was at first) the streets were litered with people singing and dancing on the floats it was really good fun
The next day we decided to do the sights around the vatican and the vatican itself. We attended mass in the vatican city and a word of warning to ladies make sure you take a shaw or have a good friend to lend you a tshirt as you are not allowed to have you shoulders exposed in the city! I borrowed chaz's and took a pair of trousers to put on instead of my shorts. The service was delivered in Italian but it was an experiance all the same and afterwards a real treat we were not expecting the pope showed himself! This apparently is normal if he is in town on a Sunday but it made us really glad we went then and was very unexpected!
We walked from here back to the Colosseum passing the Panthelon and Trevi fountain amongst other sights highlighted on the map. The Trevi fountain was one of my favourite things there although it was REALLY crowded and I couldn't help but think this did spoil it a bit as there was no room to get a decent picture which was a shame.
All of these things were free though which was great and helped save the pennies in the euro zone whch is proving quite costly for us Brits at the moment. We went back to the square for food this time to a restaurant called magnolia...highly recommended for evening food although wasn't so good when we went back the next day for lunch! After this another walk back to the Colosseum to watch the sunset.
On our final day we headed back to the Vatican and went to the Museums and sistine chapel. I could use my student card here to gain concession entry which was a result I would highly recommend purchasing the vatican city and museums guide book before you enter! €10. this is for two reasons firstly its pretty damn good and has information on all the improtant bits and pieces and secondly signage inside is terrible with no maps and to some extent you can't go backwards if you miss something! You are allowed to take photos inside although they do ask for some areas you turn you flash off which I did. You are not allowed to take photos inside the Sistine chapel for obvious reasons that its a religious building and to preserve the paintings for future generations but some disrespectful SKUM were and I think these people should have had their films ripped up or memory cards wiped as its terrible and could ruin the work for others to see in the future. There are lots of other ceilings you can take photos of whilst you are there but not so impressive as the Sistine chapel.
The trip home was not ideal Ryanair messed up in general and the lack of information was tire some but 1 bad experiance out of 8 flights I guess is not too bad
Well I am clocking up the countries on this ere map :D