Tuesday, May 10th 2011 ~ Rome, Italy (Civitavecchia)
Another 6AM wake up call this morning *help Jesus*, but this time we planned ahead and ordered room service to be delivered between 6:30AM-7:00AM. We were up and ready to go, but our room service was nowhere to be found. At 7:00AM we called and they assured us that our food was on the way. By 7:10AM (mind you, we needed to meet our tour at 7:20AM) we decided to run to the Windjammer cafe and grab what we could. Imagine this: I am at the elevators with the up button pushed when hubby hears wheels squeaking down the hallway. He goes to check and it is our room service! #FAIL.URE. We ate at lightning speed, ran to meet out tour, were told we were late (duh ), then ran down to the gangway, off the ship and onto bus #9 just before it pulled away from the port of Civitavecchia (Rome).
This is the same port as ancient Rome. There were beautiful buildings before we got away from the cruise ship! Everywhere we turned I said ‘wow’ then ‘wow’ then ‘wow’ and finally turned to hubby and said “I think I’m going to be saying ‘wow’ a lot today” LOL.
After a brief drive, our bus stopped at a gas station and the women got off and formed the traditional OMG-WHY-IS-THIS-SO-GOD-FORSAKEN-LONG line for the free restrooms. Yes “free”, as opposed to paid restrooms. Most of the restrooms (that are few and far in between) are for a price (a minimal one: €0,50 – €0,80, generally to tip the attendant). I decided to pass on the potty line and go have me a coffee in the Roman countryside :). I walked into the service station, ordered “un caffe espresso” (for €0,95) and was handed the smallest, most potent cup of coffee I’ve ever had in my life … and soooooo good!
Hubby tasted it (even though he’s not a coffee drinker) and let’s just say, neither of us felt the need to sleep the rest of the day HA!
After leaving the service station, the tour guide provided bottled water and we went straight to pick up our local tour guide.
The drivers in Rome are assertive. So much so, that both tour guides kept commenting on it to us. We soon got to experience this assertive driving firsthand when a nice Italian lady drove her tiny European car into the front of our bus.
We spent the next 20 minutes parked in the middle of a busy intersection watching the police deal with her and the bus driver, her wagging her hand in the police officer’s faces and general “spirited Italianism”.
Needless to say, it was entertaining.
Finally back on our way after the bureaucracy and shenanigans, we drove over to the Colosseum and got off the bus to walk. The Colosseum was amazing! The archetype for every athletic stadium in the world and breathtaking even in its current state (walls fallen, time weathered and worn).
The stage had long since collapsed leaving only a view of the rooms and cages below that housed the animals and gladiators for the fight.
There were men dressed as gladiators outside that looked like (as hubby put it) “the real deal” lol. Impressive.
After the Colosseum, we reboarded out bus and were off to Trevi Fountain.
We did the traditional “toss the coin over your left shoulder for good luck” after muscling out way down through the extremely thick crowd. I had to circumvent some “timid American walkers” who were in my way but I made it HA! After Trevi, it was lunch then Vatican time…a.maz.ing.
We saw the halls of maps, animal statues, interior courtyard, tapestries, right into the Sistine Chapel (amazing), the Creation of Man, the Last Judgement (amazing), followed by St. Peter’s Basilica, the tomb of Pope John Paul II and the exterior courtyard.
A.MAZ.ING. After purchasing postcards, rosaries, pins and a miniature roman soldier’s helmet we were back on our way to the ship.
After a long drive (and unnecessary nap due to the aforementioned espresso) we were back to the ship. After getting ready we attended out our first show on the ship since we’d gotten on, Gromney Todd, a British variety show, and then to dinner. Adima and I went up to the Starquest club at the very top of the ship to listen to the DJ and do mild dancing. The bar spins! We didn’t know that. My legs and feet were soooooo tired after 3 days of all-day walking, so we did more sitting and talking then dancing, then back to the room where I did absolutely nothing except get in my b.e.d.