We may not have walked over the seven hills of Rome today, but my feet sure felt like it! According to my step-counting app, I took 13,019 steps today, and with most of those taken on hills rather than level ground, all I can say is “Oh, my aching feet!”
Any thoughts of getting a good night’s sleep last night were dashed when I finished yesterday’s blog post about 10:30 pm. Remember, I had been up essentially all weekend when it took me 36 hours to reach Rome. I was so hoping that I would be rested for today’s outing, but alas, I was wide awake at 1:58 am! So I checked my email and Facebook hoping that sooner or later I’d get tired and fall back to sleep. My alarm finally went off at 6:30 and I was sitting down in the breakfast room about 6:35 am.
We took a bus today to see the Colosseum, where Roman slaves took part in all kinds of bloody gladiator combat: human vs. human or human vs. animal. What seemed so amazing was that in ancient times, lions, tigers, crocodiles and other wild animals were captured from Africa and brought here to Rome without the aid of tranquilizing darts, infrared sensors, etc. and other modern means of catching animals safely. The enormous structure only took about ten years to build!
Our bus then took us to a lookout over the Roman Forum, a jumbling array of ruins of ancient government buildings — which looked something out of a travel magazine because of today’s gorgeous clear weather. After lunch, seven of us ladies took to the streets of Rome where we eventually ended up at the Pantheon, the first dome ever built with a large hole in the roof to let in light. Along the way we stopped for gelato which was so delicious but melted so fast that it was dripping down the inside of my sleeves! I picked cherry and mango flavors on a cone— yummy but messy! Luckily my companions helped me get napkins, wet wipes, and helped me zip up my purse.
I do have to mention that pedestrians here do not have the right of way, and you literally take your life in your hands when you cross the street. Scooter drivers are especially dangerous since you only have to be 14 to get a license. (Yikes!) We had some near misses today, but thankfully everyone survived!
Here is a slideshow of some of today’s highlights. Tomorrow we go to the Vatican!