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Rome, Italy

A whole day to explore

The group is fed and watered. A load of wash is done, but as I touched the metal counter above the clothes washer and wiped a drip of water from the floor I got a shock that went up both arms. We let the load finish and turned it off.
So the decision is no hop on and off tour, no guided tour. We are walking. Having done the walk ourselves two nights ago we had a good idea where to go. The plan of the day is walk ten minutes and sit ten minutes and see how the seniors do. This more or less worked.
We took them to the Coliseum with only one break and sat for a bit. OK it is more crowded than when you walk at night but I was expecting hoards of people and it was not too bad. There was no one lined up for the tickets on the side we came in and the main line up didn't seem that bad at all. Next sit down was at the forum. Half the fun is watching the tourists, the nuns in their many habits, the local hucksters and the tour groups that wander along looking hot and tired. Joyce is magnetically attracted to the stalls, but has yet to buy a long sleeved white shirt or a five Euro handbag.
We get them to the Victor Emmanuel Monument before crossing a very busy street in one piece. Now to find a place to eat on the way to Trevi Fountain. Voila, we turn a corner and a Pizzaria appears on the sidewalk, in the shade on a side street with no motorized traffic.
Our server speaks French and is very helpful as we order a litre of white house wine, mixed grilled veggies, a veggie pizza and a salad Mista. While we wait out comes a very tasty white bread and the oil and vinegar for the salad. We put some on our plate to dip the bread. This is all quite filling and we chat with two girls from Portugal that sit next to us. One Marianna spoke English quite well, the other did not say much so we think she does not speak English. By the time we leave she has Roger's email and will contact us.
They never bring you the bill unless you ask so we don't see the young waiter who served us for a bit. When we do Joyce said some thing along the lines that Tracy was looking for the handsome waiter. When asked Tracy explained what Joyce had said and blushed. The waiter quite liked that and on his way out we could see him telling his buddy. Tracy went in the Doris to pay the bill and when she came out she explained, much to our amusement, that the waiter had asked her out tonight. We said our goodbyes to the girls from Portugal and the waiter met us as we left to say he would be here tonight if Tracy would come by. Tracy said if she did that her mom and dad would be with her. He said no matter. LOL
Trevi fountain was just around the corner and Joyce and Doris threw their coins in and before we made our way out of the crowd we said hi to a fellow with a Vancouver Olympic shirt on. Turns out he and his girl friend are from Surrey and went to Holy Cross and knew several people that we know.
Now it was finally time for Gelato. Ah.... it was very good. We tried 8 flavours between the five of us, but the chocolate with nuts was my favourite. Again it was only about ten minutes to the Spanish Steps and after Roger tried to get them to walk up the steps and got peels of laughter a taxi was hailed. Tracy and I opted to walk and let others enjoy a little space as no vans showed up and we have already experienced too many in a taxi.
After a gin and tonic and a card game we head off to pick up dinner. A small tasty chicken and some green beans to add to the salad we already have and a bit of pasta to finish off the pasta sauce. Roger is craving meat.... perhaps chicken will help but I Imagine he needs red meat. Roger insisted on more wine, but we can take the leftovers with us on the train.
We are washed and packed so head out again into the night. Wifi in Rome is spotty. The place we went to last time won't connect properly so we go to a place we had passed. They advertise bar and food, but were not very polite when we wanted only bar.... then we saw their prices and decided to move along. 10 euros for a cocktail s a bit much. We passed an internet place which had wifi as well as their own computers for use so for 4 Euros for an hour we got all the plane info organized for tomorrow and people checked their email.
A special hug to Vivienne's friends and family on what would have been her 40th birthday. We miss you Vivienne. Also a hug to Heather and family, sorry to hear of your loss.

Posted by Mari Anne 03:18 Archived in Italy Tagged people city apartment rome explore 5 Comments (0)

Rome and off the ship

So they are making us get off today. How rude!

sunny 30 °C

The off loading of the ship was easy and our driver was waiting for us. Alex and Roger chatted in the front seat and the drive into Rome was quick and painless. Alex pointed out some of the sites and we arrived at the location to pick up our keys before we headed to our apartment. We didn’t get access until three so we dropped off our bags, washed up and wandered out. We ended up at a restaurant and enjoyed our first meal in Rome. The Risotto was excellent. We just have to remember to split meals as they are very large and the look at you funny if you ask to pack up your meal.
There was a group at the next table that seemed to know what they were doing so we chatted with them. They were from Texas and just finished a mission at an orphanage in Croatia. They had mixed feelings about that, but had lots of tips about their time spent in Rome.
We headed to a park where we enjoyed the atmosphere and some water and ice cream. We arrived a bit early to the apartment and it was not quite ready, but we slipped in and Doris, Roger and Joyce were asleep in minutes. Once the cleaner left I passed out to.
Joyce is hungry and wants her wine so Roger, Tracy and I wandered out. We found a Vietnamese and a Chinese market and a small corner store before we backtracked from a woman carrying a big bag of groceries. We found it. I immediately stuck a Euro in a shopping cart before trying to find just a basket on wheels. We had a great time picking out cheese, crackers, butter, wine, dessert, milk, cereal and such guessing at ingredients. I must go back with a camera to take a photo of the horsemeat baby food and the bottle of McDonalds Ketchup. Filling lunch for five was 51 Euros. Groceries for five for several meals were 39 Euros and that includes two large bottles wine.
Rome is hot and somewhat muggy but much cleaner than Naples. We continue to get major warnings about pickpockets. We had a fellow come in the restaurant to ask for Roger's pizza. The waiter headed him off and asked him to leave. The apartment is great; it has a little lift that holds maybe three normal people. You must remember to close both elevator doors otherwise it will not move. Joyce and Doris have a bedroom with twin beds, we have a room with a large bed and Tracy's bed is in the common room. The kitchen has a clothes washer, gas stove and basically what we need. There are fans in each room that are not in the best of shape, but they do work.

Posted by Mari Anne 13:22 Archived in Italy Tagged people city apartment rome explore 5 Comments (0)

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