Oh, the Places You'll Go: Rome
|Through the looking glass.|
So basically I went to Europe for about three weeks and I discovered a lot and learned a lot and walked even more and stuff happened. (The end. (Kidding!))
Prepare yourselves for long posts with lots of pictures. (I warned you.)
We went to a whole bunch of different countries, but the first place we went was Rome. I got to spend my birthday at the Colosseum (WHICH WAS SO DARN COOL!) We got a taxi to the hotel when we landed and the ride was alright. You know, the usual. Buildings, people, cars, people driving cars like madmen, trees, whatever. Then, all of the sudden, BAM! The Colosseum was right in our faces. It was huge and old and awesome and amazing. The next day we got to go inside and it just blew my mind that they built this thing about 2,000 years ago... and it's still standing. (Granted they've renovated it and stuff, but still.) According to my audioguide, it was built in only 10 years with the help of 40,000 slaves. This thing is 189m (615ft) long and 156m (510ft) wide. THAT IS HUGE. *brain explodes* We took lots and lots of pictures and selfies and panoramas and photobombed each other, which was a lot of fun.
|They were doing restoration work while we were |
there, which you can't really see in this picture.
I would like to take a moment to discuss the tall, intimidating statues everywhere. It's like they stand there and stare at you, trying to make you feel bad about yourself or something because you're not made of marble and they are. (Or maybe that's just me.) The statues were beautiful, in any case.
Other things of mild significance: The letters S.P.Q.R. were everywhere, which puzzled me to no end. (I didn't take history in senior, ok? Don't judge.) As it turned out, it's a Latin phrase that's a symbol of the Ancient Roman government and now of the city of Rome.
Also, I pretty much walked around Rome saying "NO I DO NOT WANT TO BUY A %Q$!@TH^ SELFIE STICK!!" There were street vendors selling them everywhere. I have never seen so many selfie sticks in my entire life.
|Another tall, imposing statue.|
We saw the speech at the Vatican, and soon after the crowds thinned we headed to St. Peter's Basilica. (St. PB+J for short.) This is actually the biggest church in the entire world. I measure the height of buildings by how dead you are if you jump off the top. (Stay with me here.) At our current church, you'll be fine but you might break a leg if you land wrong. At our old church in Canada, you would probably die and you'd definitely break both legs if you were lucky. At St. PB+J you would be strawberry jam. (Morbid, I know.)
|The outside of St. PB+J. (See those people? |
Yeah, that's how big this church was.)
First of all, it was a beautiful, huge and opulent basilica. There was obviously a huge budget behind it and the end result showed it. However, it made me just a little angry. There were people begging outside, so we (Christians/Catholics) built a ginormous basilica? I'd much rather belong to the religion who puts people before a building.
Also, beneath almost every monument there was a Pope buried. Now, I happen to know that the Pope lives in the Vatican, where St. PB+J is. If I were him, I'd get really upset because you'd be literally living across the street from your tomb. It's not like you can ignore it, either, because the thing is so massive. How would that be for a wake-up call? Good morning, world, BAM! The place where you'd be buried. It would not be a great start to my day.
The food in Rome was utterly amazing, and we had pizza and gelato all the time. (It probably wasn't the greatest for our health, but whatever. When in Rome, right?)
It was also kind of scary. There have been lots of terrorist attacks/threats in Europe lately, so in response security had been stepped up. Soldiers with giant guns were everywhere, and any tourist attraction we went in had a security check of some sort. It put me on edge, to say the least.
|This is the Trevi Fountain. |
It was so relaxing to sit and watch it.
Rome was probably my least favourite city we visited. While it was amazing with beautiful architecture, history and food (oh, the food), the atmosphere was really difficult to deal with. We had a taxi driver abandon us in the rain because there were five of us and not four... And we had a train to catch. None of us speak any Italian (yeah, I know, that was our fault and not theirs but it still made things difficult. Most of them spoke English, anyways) so that was hard, and we found for every nice Roman there was a jerk to be found. (See the taxi driver above.) Plus, the soldiers set me on edge (even though I was glad they were there). So yeah. I'm glad we went but I don't know if we'd be going back.
Well, jabberwockies, that's it for this week. Have you ever been to Rome? Would you like to go? If you could see only one major tourist attraction in Rome, which one would it be? Next week, I'll talk about visiting the Floating City...