Sunday, September 8, 2013

Walking Through Rome on our First Day

Our First Day in Rome

Our Flight over to Europe was pretty uneventful; I do have to say that our initial impression of flying with Air Berlin was very favorable.  We were drawn to using them by the price thinking the planes might be a bit old or the service might be a bit frugal.  The planes were brand new and spotless and the service was the best we have seen in years, perhaps decades.  They were about as on time with everything as you would expect an airline with a name of ‘Air Berlin’ to be, almost kind of funny, the wheels leaving the runway within 10 seconds of the planned takeoff time, etc.  The luggage offloading from the plan in Rome took quite a while, about 45 minutes, which was more than we hoped for, but about what we expected.  Since the Leonardo Express runs every half hour, we just caught the next one and did not have to scurry to get to the train in time (nobody in Rome seems to scurry).

We slept pretty well through the night, got up at about 5:00am and had a little breakfast, tried out the espresso machine in the kitchen, it works GREAT.  After allowing at least 45 minutes for the caffeine to kick in we programmed the room safe and secured our passports and extra credit cards, and off we went for a walk around town.

It was a very pretty day and it started out at reasonably comfortable temperatures.  It did get a little warm about 3:00 in the afternoon, but in Rome you kind of have to count on it being hot for at least a small part of the day.

We visited a few major cathedrals, viewed tons upon tons of ruins, walked down some beautiful shaded streets, had lunch in a park with a nearby and clear view of the Coliseum.  After lunch we walked toward the center of town and visited several of the more famous Piazzas, walked through a wonderful park and wrapped up with the Spanish Steps.
A handy drinking fountain

St. Giavonni Laterno

Piazza Navona

On the way back we stopped at an attraction run by the Capuchin Friars that had a few rooms that detailed the history of their order and the main attraction was a couple of rooms decorated with artistically stacked skeletons of former Friars.  Linda and I are divided on whether the rooms decorated with the Friars bones are a great attraction or a silly tourist trap.  I think rooms that are decorated with old hubcaps and empty beer and wine bottles might be a step up in taste.  We finished the day kind of hot and tired, but very happy with all of the things we saw.

If you would like to see where we went on a map, with some additional pictures, here is a link to a "Garmin Adventure" for today's trek. We carried a GPS with us and were able to record where we were.  Kind of cool if it works (I hope it does).

This is a link to a "Garmin Adventure" of yesterday's trip.

Thinking of you,

Stephen & Linda

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