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Let's wait in one more line and then run to catch our train

Rome Travel Blog

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Arch of Constantine

We took the metro back to the Colosseum and when we reached the surface we were greeted by those souvenir sellers - this time selling umbrellas.  What do we need umbrellas for?  Its not raining - SPLAT - oh, I guess it is raining.  The one dark cloud in the sky was dropping big fat rain drops, but not enough to pay for an umbrella.  We put on our raincoats and went to get in line for the Colosseum. 

I had read that you can avoid the lines by getting your ticket at Palatine Hill, so I suggested that.  Only we didn't really know where to go for that.  Both of us being crabby, we were clearly at odds over this.  I didn't want to wait in any more lines and Michele didn't want to go walking all over Rome looking for tickets.

Inside the Colosseum
  We argued a bit and then decided to get in the line at the Colosseum because we knew they would have tickets there (duh!).  Another hour goes by and we finally get up to the ticket counter.  Grr.  If we had our tickets we could have skipped the big line.  Actually we still would have had to wait in line to go through security, but we could have avoided the cluster at the ticket window. 

We went up, breezed through the exhibits inside and finally went outside.  It was really impressive to see the ruins from the inside.  The floor was mostly removed so you could see the tunnels below.  Many of the original steps were still in place, but blocked off.  The sun made the ruins a spectacular red.

Arch of Constantine from Colosseum
  But I was crabby and couldn't fully enjoy it.  Why were there so many people here and what would it be like in summer when it was really busy?  Yikes, I hope I never find out.  I sound like I'm angry at people.  I'm not, its just that I'm more used to the country where there are not so many people and it is a little overwhelming for me.  Besides, I'm a tourist just like them.

We walked all the way around the upper level of the Colosseum and then went to the lower level where you could look out over the floor better.  Again, lots of people and we couldn't really get up to the railing.  I was too tired to even get out my guidebook and read about the ruins and the places we should be looking.

Floor of Colosseum
  We both decided it was time to go.

We went over to Palatine Hill/Roman Forum.  New this year, the Roman Forum is no longer free to the public but is included in the Colosseum/Palatine Hill ticket.  Sure enough, there was practically no line and we should have bought our tickets here instead.  We didn't really go through Palatine Hill, but went straight to the Roman Forum.  On the walk there, we could see other confused tourists that didn't know you had to pay to get in now and that the entrance has moved.  We walked a little bit and then came upon a little grassy area near the path where families and lovers were spread out resting on the grass.  Great idea!  So we joined them and just laid in the grass for half an hour.

My game face
  It is amazing how relaxing and restful that was.  I'm sure we were breaking some taboo against resting on ancient ground or something.  But it was so wonderful!

But, we only had an hour to see the grounds (after our rest) so we decided to get moving.  We walked past the church we saw the other day and skipped the area we could see from the road as well.  The Roman Forum is the government center, or was.  We saw the dirt mound where Ceasar's body had been burned, still adorned with flowers two days after the anniversary of his death.  I wonder who puts them there?  We didn't go in any other buildings.  I think we were still tired from all the walking the previous day and all the line waiting today.

passages in the floor of the colosseum
  Its amazing how much waiting in line takes out of you.  It really makes you want to have nothing to do with whatever you were waiting in line for - even something you really want to see! 

We left the Forum and stopped up on Capitoline Hill to get some nice overview shots of the Forum with the sun in perfect position.   A beautiful bride (and her new husband) were getting their wedding shots on the steps of the governer's mansion.  What a great spot for wedding photos!  We descended Michaelangelo's Grand Staircase.  They didn't look very "grand".  Now what to do?  We have some time until the train leaves so we decided to walk to Trevi Fountain and give it another chance.

Colosseum from Forum
  We got gelato and sat in the same area.  And no surprise, it was still really busy and people were trying to sell us things.  I still couldn't hear the water flowing. 

A little worn out, we headed back to retrieve our luggage from the hotel.  We were a little early, but went to the train station anyway.  I wanted to go sit where our car was and be ready to board.  When we got to the train station, we were too early for our train to be listed on the electronic boards, but the posters showed us our platform number and car location.  So we went to Platform 7 and worked our way down to about "C" and waited.  About ten minutes to seven (our train leaves in 20 minutes), another train pulls in.

Roman Forum
  It is not a sleeper train.  And it didn't pull in and out again in a few minutes, like most trains.  It waited.  Something doesn't feel right.  I walked (really fast) down to the main area to read the electronic board.  Oh no!  Our platform has been changed to platform 4!  I ran back to Michele told her to grab her stuff and run.  We now had ten minutes to departure. 

We arrived at Platform 4, but the train didn't have the right number on it and the cars said they were going to Munich.  Hmm.  We walked a little farther, maybe ours was near the end.  We got about halfway down the train and still didn't have the right train number.  What's going on?  So I ran back to the electronic board, nope - this should be it.

Basilica Di S. Francesca Romana
  I ran back to Michele, she just confirmed with a conductor that it is the right train, we just have to keep going.  A couple cars later we found our car (going to Vienna).  Whew!  We had about 2 mintues until departure so we clambered on up and found our room.

We had a three bunk room to ourselves (I think we paid more, but I'm not sure - language barrier again).  I was beat from all that running!  I hate when I plan things and arrive early and then things change on me and I have to run to catch my train.  That was the whole point in planning and arriving early, so I don't have to run to catch my train!  At least I should sleep well with the train rocking me to sleep.

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Arch of Constantine
Arch of Constantine
Inside the Colosseum
Inside the Colosseum
Arch of Constantine from Colosseum
Arch of Constantine from Colosseum
Floor of Colosseum
Floor of Colosseum
My game face
My game face
passages in the floor of the colos…
passages in the floor of the colo…
Colosseum from Forum
Colosseum from Forum
Roman Forum
Roman Forum
Basilica Di S. Francesca Romana
Basilica Di S. Francesca Romana
Sunning at the Forum
Sunning at the Forum
Roman Forum from inside
Roman Forum from inside
Forums main square
Forum's main square
Ceasars burning mound
Ceasar's burning mound
Wedding photos on Capitoline Hill
Wedding photos on Capitoline Hill
The Forum and Colosseum from Capit…
The Forum and Colosseum from Capi…
Trevi Fountain by day
Trevi Fountain by day
Finally the Trevi Fountain with no…
Finally the Trevi Fountain with n…
Exhausted after running to catch o…
Exhausted after running to catch …
Rome
photo by: vulindlela