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  • Day5

    What we do in life echoes in eternity

    September 25, 2018 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    The Nightjet sleeper train between Vienna and Rome left Vienna on time, to the second, at 7.23pm. The Austrians are doing nothing to help dispel cultural cliches about Germanic peoples being sticklers for punctuality. It was great for us though, as we got settled into our sleeper cabin and soon had the beds down and ready to sleep our way south through Austria and onwards to the Eternal City. I even got to sleep within minutes and was sleeping the sleep of the just until being jolted awake around midnight in Villach Austria. They must have been changing some wagons. No problem, I just rolled over and dozed off for another couple of hours until we stopped again near Venice. The final two stops were Florence and Bologna, before the guard served our breakfast about 90 minutes out of Rome. Naturally being a train out of Austria the breakfast was meat and cheese heavy. The Austrians/Germans, a people after my own cholesterol.

    Around 9.35am, only 13 minutes behind schedule, which was pretty good after a 14 hour trip, we pulled into Roma Termini. The first clue I had that I'd like Rome was the giant transparent video screen at the end of the station concourse showing football highlights. I may have found my people!

    Being the frugal fellow I am I decided we'd walk to the hotel, seeing the 50 metre long taxi queue helped with that decision. 20 minutes later, dodging Italian drivers and seeing more scooters in ten minutes than the rest of my life we arrived at our hotel. It is located on the fifth floor of an old apartment building and has a historically protected lift, which is serviced once a week. That filled Jean with confidence about riding in it.

    We dumped our bags and headed out to catch an Uber to the Colosseum. It took a while for it to arrive and after being in it for five minutes I realised why. Italian drivers seem to regard rules and regulations as suggestions. We did get to see more of this incredible city while watching the madness though. It's so different from Vienna. They are both staggeringly old, but Vienna looks very planned and structured, whereas Rome seems to have grown and aged organically.

    We got to the Colosseum about 25 minutes before our scheduled entry time and boy was I glad I had booked. I think most of Asia and 25 percent of the American population had decided to descend on the Colosseum for the day. Once our pre-assigned time arrived we marched through the entry and up the stairs to the first floor. I fought the urge to bust out my Maximus Decimus Meridius impressions, mostly. We spent a good hour taking in this incredible structure and yes, we were entertained.

    Leaving the Colosseum we decided to take a Hop On Hop Off bus tour, which would also eventually stop near our hotel. We passed the Vatican, the Spanish Steps, Trevi fountain, Circo Massimo, Villa Borghesi and a few others. This was a scouting trip to see what we will go back to tomorrow. Until then, arriverderci.
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