Day 15: Rome Sightseeing.
Sep 11, 2005
|Breakfast was at 7am this morning. I found out this morning that there had been a brawl last night and a couple of the guys (Alex and Steve) had copped it quite badly. Poor Alex has a massively swollen eye. I thought something must have gone down as Sel and I were woken up at some ridiculous hour by people shouting outside our cabin and someone being knocked against our cabin. Sel opened our door and said "excuse me" and some chick told her to shut up. So Sel, being the tough chick she is, said "no, you shut up. People are sleeping here." You go girl!! Haha. They left after that but from what they were saying I think they were the people from the other group.
At 7.30 we got on the bus and were driven to the train station. There we caught a train (well, several connecting trains) to the Colosseum in Rome. We were going on a walking tour of the outside of the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. It was one of the optionals I chose to do. It was really good. It went for about 2 and a half hours and was really informative. I'm glad I did it this way because I think otherwise I would have just wandered around the ruins with no idea of their historical significance and not understanding their real impact.
The Colosseum was begun in AD 72, could seat 80,000 and featured gory and deadly gladiatorial combat and wild beast shows. I didn't pay to see the inside but some of our group went there after the tour and enjoyed it. On the west side of the Colosseum we saw the Arch of Constantine, built to honour Constantine following his victory over his rival Maxentius at the battle of Milvian Bridge in 312. In the Roman Forum we explored the ruins and listened to explanations about monuments such as the Arco di Settimo Severo (built in AD 203 to honour this emperor), Tempio di Saturno (one of the most important ancient Roman temples) and Arco di Tito (built in AD 81 in honour of the victories of Titus and Vespasian against Jerusalem).
Afterwards, Selina and I got back on the train and headed to St Peter's Basilica. Selina bought some Italian shirts for her boyfriend and then we went to a restaurant where I had the best lasagne ever for only 6 euro. I wasn't expecting it to be as big as it was so I ordered bruschetta as well - oh well, I enjoyed the over-indulgence. Then we went on the internet and then headed into St Peter's.
We stood in line for the cupola. We climbed the 500 stairs to the top. I was really starting to feel it in my legs by the time we were at the top. The last flight of stairs was tiny and really cramped so I experienced a bit of vertigo but was ok once I reached the top. The views were totally worth it but the number of people up there in such a tight place made me feel a bit claustrophobic so I took my photos and went back down as soon as I could.
We wandered around the inside of the Basilica and then hopped back on the train and made it back to the cabins around 5pm.
I had a really quiet night tonight. I'm worried I'm getting the Contiki cough. A lot of people on the tour are already coughing away. Dinner was at 7pm. Afterwards, I went and emptied all my bags and repacked. Plus, I packed my overnight bag needed for our ferry crossing to Corfu tomorrow night. I feel really organised now. Sarah decided tonight she was going to nickname me Peaknuckle, reason unknown haha.
I was in bed by 10pm!!
12 euro - lunch.
4 euro - entrance to St Peter's Basilica cupola.
3.50 euro - coke.
2.20 euro - postcards.
50c euro - shuttle bus from train station to cabin site.