I’m in Rome! And I am updateing my blog. Will wonders never cease? The journey began yesterday with a train trip from Basildon to St Albans, where my friends Beth and Vish live, as does my travel companion for the next five and a half weeks, Jan. After a sleepless night (why is it impossible to get a good night’s sleep when one is anxious about sleeping through the alarm?) I arose at 4 am. Beth (bless her cotton socks) drove us to Luton for our 7.10am flight to Rome.
After an uneventful flight (the best kind, as my brother recently pointed out on his blog…) we arrived in Rome at about 10.15 local time. We took a bus into the city, found our hotel (the very pleasant Hotel Des Artistes), and decided to brave the Metro, taking the train to the Vatican. Having been warned about bag snatchers, it was lovely to see so much security around the trains, although methinks they had their eyes open for terrorists rather than petty thieves…
We really enjoyed St Peter’s Basilica. We did the mandatory wander past the tomb of John Paul II and then walked to the top of the dome (well, alright, we cheated and took the lift part of the way, but that still left over 200 steps to the top – Jan counted!). The views from the top were well worth the puffing, sweating bodies we arrived it- just stunning! We were there when a service was in process so we were able to hear the choir singing, something I always enjoy! The sun was shining in through the windows above the alter, creating ‘fingers of God’ (sun beams!) which was lovely.
From there we walked to the river, where we enjoyed a sit down and drink. It was a lovely mild evening after a really hot day! On our return to our hotel we found a cafe for tea, where I had my first Italian Pixxa (sorry for spelling, but ‘that’ key isn’t working on my keyboard) which was absolutely scrummy – so glad it wasn’t a disappointment.
So now it is 10.40 pm and time for beddy byes – having had negligible sleep in the last 48 hours! Will try to update next time I am near a computer! Tomorrow we are checking out the Colleseum etc, and will catch a train to Siena in the afternoon.