20 July 2015

Roamin' in Rome

Well, Kay's back from her European tour, having taken in Amsterdam, Berlin, Krakow, Auschwitz, Budapest, Zagreb and Split. Her companion had to come back to the UK earlier than Kay, so I offered to meet Kay for the last few days she had left, particularly as it meant she would have been on her own for her 24th birthday. Where to meet? First choice for both of us was originally Prague, but then the logistics let us down, meaning we had to choose somewhere else she could easily reach from Split and me from London without arriving at midnight or leaving home at 3am. We stuck a pin in the atlas and came up with Rome. Neither of us had been there before.

I booked hotels and flights feeling very pleased with myself that I had chosen a hotel equidistant from all the sights and flights that were at reasonable times. What I had not done was check the climate.  O stupidity!  Rome in July is like walking into a furnace. Whatever possessed me to book a break in Rome in July? Even the Romans leave Rome in July!  What was I thinking?

To say it was hot was an understatement. The average midday temperature was about 37C. It only fell to about 25C at night.  For a post-menopausal lady of a certain age given to frequent tropical moments even in the middle of a snowy January, this was not good news. Even blinking brought me out in a sweat. Thank heavens for air-conditioning in the hotel. Kay threatened to disown me as I had invested in a UV-resistant parasol to dive under when shade was sparse, but I did notice she was quite happy to dive under it too at times. And, no, I did not  have a trail of tourists following me around thinking I was their tour guide. There were enough like-minded tourists doing the same.

There was one spooky moment, when we were sitting in a square and musing about Greg, when all of a sudden a street musician started to play a very old song which was one Greg used to strum on the guitar. It was a hair-raising moment.

Despite the intense heat, we packed a lot into 5 days. Here are some of the places we saw.

Colosseum outside

Colosseum inside at 8.30am (to beat the heat and the crowds)
 A lion I fought earlier

Pantheon outside

Pantheon inside

Trevi Fountain complete with scaffolding and no water!
St Peter's Basilica and Square (also at 8.30am- half an hour later, the queues were half a mile long)

San Giovanni in Laterano
Vatican - which one's the Pope's bedroom?

Il Vittoriano

Roman Forum

The Forum's bigger than you think

Presidential palace

Spanish Steps

Somewhere to recharge the batteries

A beautiful city - from the Borghese Gardens


Working Mum said...

Fabulous! Glad you had a great time. Hopefully you sampled the Italian iceream to cool down as well.

Graham Hunt said...

We went to Rome last year for my wife's 50th - lovely city. I found the Pantheon my highlight, this building built so long ago by people without all our supposed modern technology and not just a fantastic building, so beautiful and still in use today. I mean the religion it was first built for has long since gone and it transferred to Christian use some centuries into its life. Incredible.... I wonder if it'll see another religious change in the future? I can't see people still stood atop the Shard in a couple of millennia

ADDY said...

Graham - that's exactly what my daughter said - about the Shard, I mean.

DD's Diary said...

We went to Rome a few years ago in July so I fully sympathise! It was brilliant though - but hard on the feet. I liked the pic of the vanquished lion!!

K Ville said...

oh wow. I would like to go there. Your pictures are great. Love the lion!

I invested in a proper UV umbrella this year, it's surprisingly heavy but seems to work much better than the 'normal' umbrella I've used for years. I gave up caring years ago about people laughing at me for using an umbrella in the sun.