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“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” Joshua 1:9

August 3, 2016

Day 7 - Rome

 12th July - written in the past tense

So, today was our final day in Italy: The final day we could actually tour around and see things. Tomorrow we were heading on the plane, early in the morning, so we would not be able to really SEE anything ;) As per usual, our feet were tired, but our minds were excited to see the most famous city for "Asterix and Obelix" comics fans in the world: Rome or Roma. 

The day began at around 7 a.m. with a lovely buffet breakfast, and then a quick tour of the hotel gardens. We had been looking on it for a while, and finally had some time to do it!! 
Harri eating his exquisitely made sandwich for breakfast
Awesome views from nearby the breakfast area
Heading to the gardens
Dad pretending to be the sculpture behind him ;) 
Here dad wanted me to take a picture of the lion sculptures that they have all over the garden. I don't know why they have them all over the place. I guess the lions mean strength: the strength of Italy? ;) 

After cleaning our room, we got in the car and, for the last time, winded down the narrow roads of the mountain. Sad, really :(

Onto the highway to Naples, and we were all making the most of the views of mountains and the coast. 

At Naples we handed in our dear car that had been through SO MUCH with us in the last three days, was it really three days? 

They were really nice at Hertz, and did not say anything about the scratch on the side mirror of the car from those narrow roads. I guess because there was already scratches there from before we got the car... 

We then got a free shuttle to the airport, and a taxi from there to the central railway station. The first shop we passed in the train station was a lovely bakery shop, where we got some sandwiches for the train, a tea towel for our grandmother, and (after I asked for one) gelato.

 I got two flavours, as it was the same price as one: Salerno gelato, which was a mixture of walnuts, lemon and orange; and coconut gelato. Just to rub it in, these were both mouth-watering amazing!! I don't know why they don't make coconut ice-cream anywhere else ?? ;) 

Getting the train from Naples to Rome was not difficult at all, and it was definitely worth booking our seat numbers, as the train quickly filled up! 

Off we went, and we were seeing scenery after scenery of lovely Italian countryside. I was looking up the history of Rome on my laptop, and trying to memorise the tourist map so that we wouldn't have to look like tourists while walking around the touristy streets... I guess that it doesn't really make sense, as we would be on the touristy streets to BE tourists anyway ;) 

The train arrived in Rome, and we were all getting tired ;) haha. The train was very lulling. 

And getting off the train in Rome was HOT! It hit you like a plank of wood, straight in the face. Hot, humid and sticky. We followed everyone else to get out of the station. 

As we were walking along we saw on a screen that there had been some kind of train accident, which we thought (for some reason) was in Greece. I guess cause it looked very hot. I don't know ;) We didn't know until we got back to Helsinki, but that had been the train crash in Southern Italy which we fortunately missed on our train journeys.

Getting out of the train station was a relief in one way, because we had made it to Rome, the famous capital, but a drag at the same time, because it was just so humid. I mean, I was fine because I had on my new blue shorts from the Amalfi coast town, but mum had on a singlet AND a shirt over it, and the others had longer shorts on. Oh, and to make it worse ...

Our hotel booking was all mixed up! 

We had been told previously that our hotel had no working air-conditioning, and so they had kindly booked us in to another hotel with air-conditioning for no extra charge. Which was lovely. 

So we found the new hotel, which seemed like a step up from the one we were going to stay in, but apparently we were not booked in there. They were FULLY BOOKED!! 

So we went out searching for our original hotel to ask when happened, and then we realised that no-one was in the office because they had gone to get parts for the air-conditioning. So, we ended up just waiting outside in the humid hotness for twenty minutes, just waiting for someone to come from the hotel so that we could ask them what happened. We weren't just waiting aimlessly, we HAD called them numerous times ...

In the end Harri and I went back into the hotel that we were booked in to with the air-conditioning, and they found our reservation under the name of the manager of the original hotel!! 

So, to cut a long story short, we wasted an hour of our day in Rome waiting around for our hotel. (It was pure bliss getting into our hotel room: a.k.a. into the air-conditioning). 

Out we went, following the trail of the tourist bus. 

While chasing the shaded paths ;) 

This was the first church we saw, which is one of four of these special churches called "Basilicas", which represent the four corners of the earth where the Catholic faith has reached. See, the research on the train DID help me ;)
A little short cut we found. 
Mum and Harri enjoying the shade 
We found some amazing original paintings! We ended up buying the one on the top right corner, after looking into ALL the other pictures ;) 
Here is Dad with the artist, who signed the painting.

Our next stop was the Colosseum, where we stopped under a water vaporiser in one of the restaurants ;) 


Family selfie :)
Next to the Colosseum was the Plaza, which is ruins of the old hub of Rome. It was built in the 7th Century B.C. But then in the Middle Ages it was know as the 'Cow Field', because everyone was stealing marble and stone from the area. 

Anyway, we didn't go in. For one, you had to pay for it, and two, it looked too hot because there was no shade.

A panorama shot of the road we were walking along

Continuing along the road
These trees were pretty amazing!! They look like trees that would be found in a desert.
The Roman Forum
Mum was getting tired of stopping to look at the map :D Or she was staring in awe at the road. Either way ;)
Harri and a Roman soldier. He then asked for money from us, so we quickly blended into the crowd :)
At the end of this long road was a palace of some sort. It is apparently called Piazza Venezia, which is the modern hub of Rome. There was a monument (huge palace looking thing) here dedicated to King Victor Emmanuel II, who was the first king of Italy. 


There was two huge water fountains either side on the palace, and this is one of them
Here we had a lunch/afternoon tea. I had a lovely waffle of coconut gelato. However, it is super pricey in these touristy regions, especially because we decided to sit in. We found out the hard way ...

We headed up to the Trevi Fountain next!

When we arrived there were hoards of people sitting and staring all around the fountain. Not how I remembered it be in the 'Lizzie McGuire movie' at all really ...

Nevertheless, Harri and I barged through the crowd to at least get a glimpse of the fountain without staring into the backs of people, and (of course) to throw our coins (in this case a useless 2 cent coin on my part ;)) into the fountain. Apparently, this signifies that you are going to be coming back to Rome. So ... Why not ;) haha. Now I am singing the 'Why Not' song sung by 'Lizzie McGuire' ;)

The water is so turquoise!! They must paint the bottom of the fountains this colour ;) 
Throwing my 2-cent coin into the fountain. I didn't plan this too well ... I was meant to get the coin on the camera, not my hand ;) 
Where did my coin go? 
We then turned in to a cobbled road, and followed a group of tourists for a while. We supposed they were all going to one of the touristy places, so we didn't have to look at the map for a change :)

Cobbled-stone streets
Pretty ceramics!!
All along the touristy sections there were shops selling paintings. This one was lovely with the frame around it :)
We found Herbie's descendant

The Pantheon! That horse was in the right place at the right time. Just to be in one of MY photos :D How privileged that horse must feel!! ;)


The inside roof of the Pantheon. Apparently, this now Christian church used to be a pagan church where a flame was constantly burning, and that is why there is a hole in the roof. Somewhere for the flames to get out. Now it is a catholic faith church
Outside the Pantheon there was an Opera singer. He was very good!! He looked so proud after he finished a song. It was very cute ;)
There was a little shop selling marble slabs with latin sayings on them, so Harri and I get one each saying: 'Veni, vidi, vici', 'I came, I saw, I conquered', which Julius Caesar said to refer to a swift, conclusive victory. When in Rome ... ;)  This one had a lovely saying as well 
Cute little alley way


Now we began heading across to the Vatican city!! I was really unsure whether we needed a visa, or not, but apparently we don't ;) The gates were open, so off we went.

Mum looking like a model putting her sunglasses on ;)
Over the magnificent bridge
Bunny ears!!
Ahh, that's better :) Family selfie at the pope's place. 
Here is the pope's post office truck ;) It's cute!!
After this we decided to head back the same way. As you can see, it was getting to the late afternoon when we were at the Vatican City. So I was getting quite hungry.  

Dad showing us how to eat our pasta (I showed him first) ;)
After dinner we retraced our steps back to the hotel. What we found was at this time of night, around 8 pm, all the locals came out. Therefore it was so much more crowded than it was during the day time!! 
It was exhilarating :D 
Piazza Nevona. There were so many paintings being sold in this square!! My dad and mum were very tempted to get one, but they were a bit out of out price range. Especially considering we had already bought a painting that day ;)  

Here I am at the Trevi Fountain. The colour seems to come alive at night!!

After getting back to the hotel we attempted to use the wifi in the hotel lobby to download our plane tickets for the next day, without success, and had a lovely shower in the bath without a shower curtain. So we had to kinda sit in the bath and use the shower head. I enjoyed it, as I filled the bath, but Harri and Mum didn't enjoy it because they didn't fill the bath ;) 

So, that was our day in Rome!! 

Now you are uptodate!

Laura 

xoxo
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