Thursday, 19 June 2014

Travel Blog No4 - The Day We Knew We Are But A Second In Time

G's photo - one of many!

Today was a day like no other - mind you, the past 8 days have been days like no other, but today was different because we were made to feel like we were but a second in time ....... it wasn't done deliberately, but one can't help feel that way after spending a few hours in and around The Flavian Amphitheatre, aka The Roman Colosseum.

Commissioned in 72AD (did you see that date?) it's been part of Rome for yep, that long!

That's the reason why, as we walked around in 2014 we knew we were but a second in time.

The millions of feet that have walked here before you, and one hopes that will walk here after you makes you the tiniest dot of a human being there could be.

Volumes have been written about the place.

Goodness knows how many movies have made about anything and everything related to it.

As in evidence today, they are still finding things as excavations take place to build a new train station just a few metres down from the existing one.

Today's Rome is sitting on top of the original city, so one can assume there's something under everything!

Experts have just uncovered, in the middle of todays road, what they believe to be Rome's first university, making it older than Oxford and Cambridge.

MissM studied Ancient Rome at school in the UK and was so excited to know she could 'actually see the real thing' (to quote her) and as you know, it's been a bucket list item of mine for years. Not sure what G thought about it before we started planning the trip, but he was in awe of every aspect today as we walked around with our guide, Gastone.

I searched the web for a private guide to escort us around here and The Vatican City as there is just so much to take in that I didn't want to be lost in a crowd, not being able to hear the guide, with G and MissM getting fidgety.

As when looking for hotels, I went to trip to check on reviews before making initial enquiries.

New Rome Free Tours came up trumps.

From the moment they emailed me back with information, I knew we had found a very reputable organisation.

We confirmed two tours, with two different guides; we were instructed to only pay for the tickets they would pre purchase on our behalf into venues via PayPal and received receipts and confirmation emails with a reminder the balance to be paid to the guide at the conclusion of the tour.

Also advertised, a FREE Walking Tour of Rome, at 5.30pm starting at the Spanish Steps. G and I decided we'd do that on our first day as we were arriving early afternoon and thought that would be a good introduction and enough for our first day.

As fortune would have it, Flaminia (our confirmed guide for Vatican) was the guide on this tour! She was brilliant, which made us even  more excited for Friday.

Gastone was our guide today. A charming man, who engaged MissM from the moment he met us. He listened to her questions, he answered her with passion and enthusiasm, which only encouraged her more.

I doubt there's anyone who knows more about this city and it's history. He kept us enthralled for nearly 4 hours.

Over a coffee, he asked us where else we'd been and were going and when we mentioned our tour with Flaminia, he gave us a quick lesson about the Sistine Chapel. We hung onto his every word.

MissM has kept chatting off and on about today; it's incredible what she's picked up these past few days and recalled from MrMac in her ancient history class in the UK.

We are shattered, but in a good way.

Our feet hurt.

Our heads are swimming with information.

G took amazing photos which are calling me to make an album.

We had an early dinner, showered and once I sign off from here will be going to bed early in readiness for tomorrow.

We all know we are here for a short time. That it's what we do with our lives, the people who's lives we touch, and the legacy we leave that's important.

Today just reminded us, that we are but a second in time,

Have you been here?
How did it affect you?
What was your favourite bit of information?

With friendship

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