soo…. It’s now 1:30ish here in Rome, and Steve and I are about done for the day. We got woken up at about 4:00am for breakfast, and landed at about 6:00am. Then we pretty much strolled out of the airport, and out to the airport train station. There we had to deal with our first buying-stuff-in-foreign experience… We got our tickets with only minor awkwardness, and hopped on to the waiting train. The train took about half an hour to get into Rome’s Termini station, during which time we ate the midnight snacks I’d joinked from the plane (I was half awake & they were handing out stuff, so I took a couple), and commentated on the architechure and flowers that we were passing.
Our hostel is just down the street from Termini station. We found it without any trouble, because we’d remembered to make a note of the address, and we had a map. Woo. Being about 7:00am, it was too early to check in, so we dumped our bags in the storage room & headed out to explore. The guy at the desk had told us where to look for a supermarket, so we wandered off that way. We didn’t find a supermarket, but we did find a big park with random ruins and a tribe of stray(ish) cats. From there we wandered down a random street, and saw something intruiging in the distance…. (I wish I could show you the picture, but these computers are locked down like crazy, and I’m I don’t want to pay 3 euro cents a minute to try breaking it)
It turned out I was right, and it was the Colosseum… The herds of tourist buses had tipped us off to something big nearby. We wandered a bit sideways to that direction, looking for the place Steve’s conference is in. It is literally around the corner from the Colosseum. And I mean literally in the proper sense of the word. We headed back towards the Colosseum, pausing at the top of the stairs to admire 1) the building and 2) the crowds. Then we headed down to join the throng. The line to get in was huge, so we just wandered around the outside. We looked at the arch that’s right next to it (arch of Constantine? my map is too far away and there’s no way to get another tab or window), and peered through the fence around Palatine hill. There was a long line to get in there too, and by this time (about 11:00am) we were starting to droop a bit. So we turned around and headed back to a little shop we’d seen near Steve’s conference place for lunch, then headed back to the hostel.
Our plan for the rest of the day is to rest. Tomorrow is Steve’s last free day before the conference, so we’re going to the Vatican. Wednesday morning we’re planning to head to the Colosseum, etc bright and early to hopefully get in ahead of the crowds. Once you’ve bought your ticket you can skip the lines, so then you can spend the whole day. Not sure what I’m doing after that… The Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain are the other two big ones, but I suspect I might spend a lot of time at those ruins just around the corner… Palatine hill looks fascinating, and I’m sure there’s plenty to explore in the Colosseum.