Friday, December 01, 2006

You very nice, I give you half price....

As said to us by some greasy, very creep street merchants trying to unload their crappy faux Prada bags onto us poor backpackers......

Okie dokie, so I promised more detail, and here more detail comes. Well, not really, I'm feeling quite lazy, so it'll be semi-detailed.

Colosseum: After meandering around the streets of Rome for a while, Kim and I finally ran into the Colosseum (kind of hard to miss, no?). After avoiding all the people offering extremely overpriced guided tours, we paid our entry and headed into an arena that has been standing (it's still standing, kind of) since 70AD. That's pretty cool. After poking around the lower levels for a while (and getting the best self-photo ever), we charged up the stairs to get a view from the top. The stairs are mental; really big and they've been worn down so they have a definite slant to them. Now I'm sure that they're very historical steps, but surely thats and OH&S thing? We nearly bloody killed ourselves trying to get up them. Or we could just be lazy and unfit. Either way, big steps. From the top you can see the whole arena floor, and it looks like a labyrinth. I don't know what the deal is , but it looked pretty rad.

After the Colosseum we checked out Palatine Hill, which is where Mars' sons Romulus and Remus were fed by the she-wolf before they were adopted by that shepard dude and before Romulus slew Remus and founded Rome (like that little history lesson? I thought you would).
Now Palatine Hill is old, and seriously ruiny. Everywhere you look, ruins, ruins, ruins. As I said to Kim, "some serious shit happened here.....well maybe not here, but definitely over there (pointing to an important looking building)". It's pretty amazing to think about; these buildings had been built for more than 500 years before that Jesus guy came along. Hardcore, I know.

We also had a squiz at the Trevi Fountain. First thing that hit me about it was the number of people there. It was ridiculous, and people were just sitting there, eating gelati, relaxing. I CANNOT relax around that many people. It was tooooooo much for Lisa. So we sat down, took some photos, did the obligatory coin toss, marvelled at the beauty of it all, and went on our way. The water was very clean though, I like that.

Found a pharmacy and bought a truckload of gluten-free food; crispbread, panini, pasta, cookies, you name it, I've bought it, or am thinking about buying it. Cost me a small fortune, but I would do it all over again.

Vatican City: first we did St. Peter's Basilica, which was completely amazing, and enormous, and ornate and ridiculously intricate. But as Kim points out, there's something off about it all. I mean, it's beautiful and was obviously built with a lot of devotion and love, but it's all so sad and horribly depressing*. I even found the Pope's tombs to be depressing, because it all just seems so crass and weird. But moving on...the Sistine Chapel was completely amazing. Not at all what I expected in terms of form, but just as beautiful as I imagined, only fuller and with meaner guards. But it was still mindblowing. No photos though. Poo.

Piazza Navone was gaudy and unappealing, and have never felt more like I was going to be mugged and raped than I did there. NOT a highlight.

Pantheon was old and a little boring (see, I'm getting lazier as I type.....). I succumbed to my thirst despite my "no buying food/drinks near tourist monuments policy, and got a Sprite from near there, and was charged about 6 dollars. Never again.

Tiber was awesome and dirty.

Yesterday went to Ostia Antica and looked at more ruins, which were cool. They put a necropolis right next to the food warehouses though. I know it was 2000 years ago, but mucho unhygenico people.

Ok, must go out and do Roman things now.

More when we get to Prague (in about three days),



*Dogma is totally right. It was more a mourning of faith than a celebration of it. Kevin Smith is a genius, and as soon as I get home and have slept for a week, I'm going to have a Kevin Smith marathon.

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