August 8th, 2004 Rome, Italy
During the night I got to thinking about the train trip coming up on the thirteenth and decided that the connections were just too close time wise. So today we are going to go back to the train station and change the reservations so that we come back through Rome from Sorrento and from here go on to Ravenna. More trains are available and we’ll be more comfortable with the schedule (I hope) and also we will be familiar with the stations. Can’t go until late this afternoon as I have jammed the lock on the room safe and I have to wait for the manager to arrive; he is the only one with a key to open a jammed lock. All of our passports and tickets are in the safe.
We left the hotel about 10 am for our walk to church. Arrived timely but found out at 11 am that the English Mass had been discontinued for August. But, we had an Italian Mass at the church next door, St. Ignazio, at 11:30. Jim used the time to go over to the see the
I’m resting and doing my computer work and Jim is off to the Villa Borghese again to see their
Jim returned about 4:30 pm and said he’d really enjoyed the
August 9th: Manager was to arrive by 9 am so after breakfast we checked at the front desk; now he is due to arrive by 2 pm. Seems as though he is on holiday outside of
Left to go to the #110 Open Bus Tour; the stop is just around the corner but it was running late and opposed to only fifteen minutes we waited about forty-five minutes. Then we went to the next stop at the Termni Train Station. Had to get off that bus and get in line to wait about fifteen minutes in the sun for the next bus to leave. The train station is the beginning and end of the line. We decided to go the entire route as we had upstairs seats and could see everything really well. The entire tour is about forty-five minutes; it goes past the major sites and we had English in our earplugs giving an explanation of each site as we passed. Since we purchased the On/Off Pass for thirteen euros we will take it again this afternoon to the train station (after the hotel manager arrives to open the safe) to take care of our tickets and then get back on to go to the Colosseum. From there we will walk to St. Giovanni In Laterano; the Pope’s main place as the Bishop of Rome. There we will also take a look at the 28 holy marble steps; but only through a window. The tour book states that the relics are now in the
By noon we were beginning to toast and decided to take a siesta at the hotel. This afternoon I think we’ll be happy to sit downstairs in the cooler interior of the bus for our adventure. Also; on Jim’s morning walk after breakfast he walked over to the Restaurant Marcello and found the doors open; alas they are using August to paint the interior as it is closed for the month. Stock Market is not doing well we hear on CNN. But the ticket sales are going well in
Back in our little room for the night; busy packing, charging batteries and getting ready for our move tomorrow to
Took the 110 Tour Bus again and headed for another round of the same sights as we had this morning. Realized we’d left the Rick Steves’ Rome Book in the train station about half an hour later. We have decided that if we’re meant to carry it home it will still be there tomorrow morning.
We got off at the Colosseum stop and walked to San Giovanni in
Wow! That was tough. Many of the people going up were going very slowly and saying prayers on each step. There are separate stairways on each side that go up to the chapel for those who wanted to just walk up. At the top you could only peer through a grill at the chapel and the relics inside of the original chapel; there is a newer chapel that you may enter off to the side. A very moving experience; we had no idea that we’d actually be able to go up the steps.
Back to the 110 Tour Bus and completed the tour of the sights returning to our hotel area about 7 pm. Decided to have pizza and “water with gas” at another outside eating area on Via Veneto. Stopped to look at the little tractor that has a crane on it before returning to the hotel. Jim is fascinated with this machine. It’s relatively small with rubber tracks on the wheels and then there were four arms that helped to balance the machine; literally lifting the tractor off of the base when it was in use. It had the ability to go up about forty feet; you could call it a “cherry picker”. The operator was there this morning and spent some time with Jim explaining how it worked. It was radio controlled by him from the ground. The top had a platform that held two men who were working on the edge of a building. He approached Jim while he was taking photos and asked him if he liked his machine. I didn’t think we’d ever continue on our way!