Friday, September 7, 2007

7.12.2007 Last Day in Europe

I had to go see the Boca della Verita (Mouth of Truth) because I absolutely love the movie Roman Holiday and had to stick my hand in the mouth and pretend to have it bitten off. Kyle wanted to get a little a Boca della Verita replica to use as a chip protector when playing poker. He thought it would be fitting to have the Mouth of Truth present while playing poker. He decided against buying one at the first place we went to because it seemed too expensive, but then we couldn’t find one the right size at any of the ten stores we went to afterwards. Sadness!

I also had to eat this amazing pizza at the Doner Kebap place on our street before we left forever. Their cherry tomato and mozzarella pizza is the best pizza I have ever had in my life. Others might not agree because I have strange taste in pizzas. It only has cherry tomatoes, lettuce, and small chunks of mozzarella (not melted cheese) but it was seriously the best. I tried something slightly different this day because they were out of my favorite. Kyle was not as impressed. As I said, I have strange taste in pizza.

We walked around some more, and went to the Theater of Marcellus, and then the monument dedicated to the Unknown Soldier. From the top of the monument we had a view of the Column of Trajan, Trajan’s market, and the Colosseum.

We home, cooked, packed, drank our wine, and tried to sleep early because we had to wake up at 5am for our flight. However that didn’t work too well for some reason we couldn’t sleep. So we played cards for awhile after lying in bed for close to an hour and then still didn’t get to sleep till 1am for Kyle and 2:30 for Jenn. Needless to say, we were quite tired the next day for our 20 hour flight to SLC where Kyle’s parents picked us up to go to his family reunion in Yellowstone.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

7.11.2007 Pantheon and Other Sites

We wore our free shirts from the pub crawl because we were seriously running out of clean clothes. We were also both wearing black shorts so we were like twins.

We walked around and saw some random sites like Augustus’s Mausoleum, Piazza del Popolo and the Church of St. Ignatius. The Church of St. Ignatius was not much to my liking. It was gaudy (to a point beyond that of most churches) and the color scheme they had going on was terrible. Some areas of the church included green marble, gold sculptures, red tiles on the floor and other things that did not remotely complement each other.

We went to the Pantheon next, which has been converted to some shrine to St. Mary and other martyrs. The architecture was quite awesome and the inside was nice but we think we really have had an overload of religious buildings on this trip.

Our last stop was Piazza Navona, which was pretty, but there was not much to do. We wanted to get some coffee, but the prices were astronomical. It was about $4-7 for a small coffee at most places, which is extortion! We finally found a place about 50 ft. away from the others that had coffee for about $1 which was nice.

7.10.2007 Pub Crawl

I went shopping earlier in the day because Kyle was not feeling great.

We had a late start on our day, and went to see the Spanish steps in the early evening. There was a sea of people there, but it really was not much to see. The pretty building at the top of the steps was covered in scaffolding, and the fountain at the foot of the steps had trash floating in it. Totally attractive.

We got a flyer for a pub crawl and decided to go on it. From 9-10 there was free beer and wine, but it was some god awful stuff. We still drank as much as possible anyway, since it was free. We had some free pizza, and went on to other bars. The second bar we went to was Highlander. Kyle did a body shot off me, and I ordered a Jack on the rocks that was expensive as hell but it was like 4-5 shots. All in all, we had good time, and we had an AMAZING Kebab on the way home. It was probably the best we have tried. It had corn, some really good spicy sauce, various vegetables, and fresh grilled meat.

7.09.2007 Vatican City

We took the metro to Vatican City and stood in line for about an hour to get in. It was the longest and biggest line we have ever seen. It was probably 10 feet wide and half a mile long! Luckily it was just a security check line, and moved pretty fast.

Once we got in, we saw a bunch of Roman statues and listened about them on our audio guides. There are about 20 museums in Vatican City, and we were not able to see all of them. The three coolest things we saw were probably the Hall of Maps, the Raphael Rooms, and the Sistine Chapel.

We saw St. Peter’s Basilica afterwards, which was enormous and spectacular. It was a long day, and we went home to blog, eat, and drink. We decided to go out to an Irish pub at night. They advertised live Irish music which started at 10pm. We arrived at 12:15, and they said the music had stopped. We asked them what time it stopped, and they said it stopped….3 weeks ago…(???) We ended up going to another Irish pub where there were a bunch of 14-16 year old kids drinking Guiness.

7.08.2007 Trevi Fountain

We made our way to Quirinale. We didn’t know exactly what it was, but figured it was something dedicated to the Pope. It’s a nice plaza area with nice architecture, which is typical in Rome.

We went to the Trevi Fountain right afterwards, which is pretty huge and magnificent. We couldn’t take many pictures because the camera ran out of batteries, so we headed home for a quick shower and went to see Transformers at the theater.

We came back, cooked, drank, and lounged for the rest of the night. Actually Kyle got his nerd on by automating the process of adding captions to the bottom of our photos so that the captions are there when we print them out.

7.07.2007 The Colosseum and the Roman Forum

We walked toward the Colosseum, and stopped at various sites on the way. We saw the Santa Maria Maggiore cathedral, but Jenn could not get in because her shorts were too short. Kyle went in and took some pictures of the inside. Beautiful cathedral, but we have seen so many at this point.

We stopped by a sanctuary dedicated to Madonna next, which Jenn was allowed to go into because no one was enforcing dress code there.

We walked through Domus Aurea next, which is the ruins of some emperor’s palace. Interesting, but not nearly as impressive as what we saw later.

When we got to the Colosseum, we decided to take a tour because the tour guide promised that we could skip the line if we did. And on our walk there we saw various sites. The tour was pretty cool, but the Colosseum itself was much cooler than the tour. The tour was worth it because it was pretty cheap, we skipped the line, and we got a free tour of the Roman Forum.

The Roman Forum is a bunch of ruins that was buried under sewage and crap until farily recently in history. It took about 120 years to fully excavate it. We saw the temple of Romulus (founder of Rome) and other stuff. It was definitely interesting. We proceeded up the Palatine Hill after that to get a great view of the Roman Forum and see some other sites. It was odd that there was much more to see in the Roman Forum, but it was free while the Palatine cost money. The entrance fee was included with the Colosseum entrance fee, but it still seemed odd.

All in all, a good day. We cooked some amazing Mediterranean pesto pasta with shrimp. We went out again later that evening to see Triton’s fountain and the national museum. We tried to go out at night, but all the bars were more like cafes or restaurants.

7.06.2007 Arriving in Rome

We arrived in Rome late afternoon. Alex’s B&B is a decent place, and Alex is pretty nice and helpful. Of course the internet did not work, standard. However, unlike other places Alex got it fixed that night. There was no wireless as usual… is it that hard to buy a router?

We visited Repubblica square, and walked by some sites. Did not do much because it was late in the day and we were tired. The McDonald’s at the square had marble floors and was quite luxurious indeed.