Wednesday, June 9, 2010

european adventures: when in rome

Ciao Roma!

{That's hello Rome in Italian ... or it could also be goodbye Rome ... never really understood the many uses of ciao. Then, I started to think about the weird greetings we use like ... what's up? That doesn't make any sense either.}

After our trip to Northern France, we arrived back in Paris. From Paris we hopped on a plane and headed to Rome.

I'm going to start with one of my favorite pictures ... just in case you get bored and stop reading ... at least you will see this one.

So perfect that you would think the background is fake ... but it's not.
There we were sitting in front of the Colosseum.
After just reading the first two books of the Mark of the Loin series, it was perfect timing to be visiting Rome. Although the books are fiction, I feel like they gave me a lot of perspective on the "eternal city."

{insert memory: Made it to Rome on the 24th - tired, hungry, and then it started raining, City was ugly and scary until we figured out how to navigate it! Then we ate, did the night walk, and had our first gelato ... excellent!}

When we wrote down that our first impression of Rome was ugly and scary .... well that may be a little jaded by the fact that we did not stay in the center of town. Not staying in the center of town = ghetto and lots of graffiti. When you're planning a trip, it's hard to look at a map of a place you've never been and know what's sketchy and what is not.

So, a word of advice ... if you're planning a trip to Rome, then literally stay in the heart of the city. Stay near the Pantheon or something. Don't look at a map and think ... "this is only a 10 minute walk outside the center." 10 minutes can make a big difference in scenery.

Onto other business ... The Pantheon. 

It was under a little bit of construction ... oh well ... it's really old ...and old things need restoring.

My favorite place to eat was outside of the Pantheon. We found a deal that had an appetizer, 1 pasta dish, and a coke for 12 Euros.

{insert memory: Ate dinner at the Pantheon and had a cool waiter ... and met a couple from Australia.}

We did meet friends in Rome. They were from Australia, so it was easy to talk to them. E met friends everywhere we went ... I kept saying he was like Cam on Modern Family. It's hard not to meet friends when the tables are on top of one another. They were really sweet though. We even saw them again in Cinque Terre ...small world! It was ironic that they were going there on the same day, but not totally crazy that we saw them there since they suggested two restaurants and those are the exact places that we went and where we saw them again!

{insert memory: We loved Piazza Novono with the Rive God's Fountain and all the art ... bought a painting.}

Soooo romantic... this piazza was E's favorite.

Then, onto the Trevi Fountain. This was amazing at night. Way better to see it at night than during the day.

Check out the masses of people ...

{insert memory: We realized that Eric is better with directions when navigating a new city, but Rachel doesn't like the way he leads.}

I can remember E writing this memory down and me saying "this is not true ... you get us lost all the time!" E replied, "this is my journal and I can write whatever I want."

I will say that Rome was difficult to navigate. I thought that it was harder than Paris, but maybe that's because our friends were not with us. Or maybe it was hard because we wandered around lost for a couple hours before we realized all the street signs were on the walls of buildings!

Next, the Spanish Steps...

Then, I headed back the the ghetto and went to sleep! Rome kicked my butt! There is so much to see that it is exhausting.

The next day, we toured the Roman Forum, the Colosseum, and the Vatican.

Here we have the Roman Forum. Super crazy history here. It's amazing how old these ruins were. It's amazing how all of this was happening around the time of Christ and the early followers. 

When Rome was at it's peak, they called it the Eternal City. They called it this because they never thought it could fall.
Looking at the ruins reminded me that nothing in this world is permanent. Empires rise and fall. Only Christ is eternal.

Even Caesar falls ... here's a picture of the grave memorial of Julius Caesar.

The weird part is that most of these remains are from temples to other gods. Being here made the scriptures about the worship of idols come alive in a different way.

Next we went to the Vatican.

and saw the Sistene Chapel ...

and St. Peter's Basilica...

We also saw some funny things at the Vatican ...

This guy was serious ... not joking even a little bit! bahahahahaha

And these statues that reminded us of LOST!

I get that they're historical, but I still thought it was strange that they had all these statues of other Gods in the Vatican museum. Maybe it's just me, but I found it very odd.

Just for laughs...

E and his $12.00 coke. Yes, that is the true cost.

Next, the Colosseum ...

{insert memory: Went to the Colosseum during our last morning in Rome, which was very sad, but unbelievable as well. There was amazing architecture, but it was hard to imagine what actually happened there.}

A lot of historical irony in this picture ...

{squinty eyes}

Notre Dame. I guess that really doesn't surprise me.

So .... that's Rome!
Soon ... maybe tomorrow ... we will move onto Florence. Florence is way more laid lack. 

Until then, I will leave you with this...

{Jen, are you flashing back to any other ice cream memories??}


Shannon said...

when i think memories and ice cream, i think of either amy or tudge throwing it against the window of dunkin doughnuts.

bc of the hair.


Julie said...

rach, I am loving this. I can't wait for you guys to tell us all kinds of awesomeness for when we travel.

Also, I am not used to Eric's hair yet!!

Katie said...

these pictures are beautiful! i love that you guys got to see all of this!