Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Getting ready for our trip abroad - Rome!

Getting ready for this trip was quite nerve wracking just because I had so much going on at work. As mentioned in the previous post, I had a lot of packing to accomplish before leaving school. And, I had to figure out what to do with my students since I was going to miss the last week of school. Can we say hectic? But I'm happy to report I managed to pack all that I needed for the trip.

On Sunday afternoon, May 27, my son, my mom and I set out for Grapevine where we spent the night. The next morning, we visited my uncle who suffers from Alzheimers. He was in great spirits and glad to see us though I'm not sure if he really knew who we were. At 4:00 PM we boarded Lufthansa Flight 439. We had to take a connecting flight from Frankfurt to Rome. Needless to say, we were on the one plane for eleven hours and the other for almost two hours. Had the worst meal ever on that last flight. Iggg.

We arrived in Rome at 2:00 PM  on May 29.  Keep in mind the time difference.

Our first excursion was a sightseeing tour of Rome via bus followed by a stop at the colosseum. What a fabulous way to start the tour. You can't imagine just how large this place is. The photos just don't do it justice.

Our guide was very informative. The area where the colosseum was built was originally a lake. Instead of digging a hole for the structure, the Romans drained the lake. To manage the huge rocks, iron stakes were driven into the stones thus allowing an easier grip. Imagine building this around 70 AD without our modern technology. Much later these iron stakes were removed so they could be recycled. Unfortunately, removing them made the structure less sound when the earthquake of 1349 came which is what ruined the massive building. After that, the Medieval folks used the marble to build some of their churches and other important buildings. Talk about recycling.

She talked about the people and those that came to the colloseum. She pointed at this arch and said that information was written on the walls to show the crowds where to go during intermission so they could take care of needs, perhaps eat a bite, etc. This wall supposedly shows an arrow that points to the "red light" district where a man could occupy his time with a woman but though I snapped the picture, I still don't see the markings she alluded to. Maybe you can see it.

Afterwards, we traveled to our hotel where we enjoyed a three-course meal and much needed sleep.

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