Monday, April 25, 2011

Back from Rome.

Well,  how can I sum up Rome in very few words?

"Amazing".  "Overwhelming"

But also,  "Pricey" comes to mind.

You have to understand,  we've been living in Europe now for what? three years?   So it's not like I somehow think twice about paying top buck for run of the mill things.  But we did go through a few Euros there.  I think the cheapest "meal" that we had was something like €33,  and that was a bowl of soup for me,  a beer,  a plate of these rather less than stellar mixed veggies for Travelling Companion along with a glass of wine.
 On the other end of things,  Saturday night we went to the Pantheon and ate at one of the restaurants around the square and were also treated to a very fine operatic singer for over an hour.  I don't even remember how much that meal was,  but it was worth every penny.  Had absolutely nothing to do with the restaurant.  It was simply a combination of the food,  a decent bottle of Chianti,  and this Opera Dude singing in the background.  Just one of those somewhat rare combinations that one doesn't get to experience all that often.  If ever.
He was good.  I have a reasonably good ear for just what a decent tenor should sound like,  and this fellow filled the bill.
All the other street musicians (some of whom were not too shabby either)  just simply stood around with their instruments to hear this guy.  I think their jaws were slightly slack the whole time too,  but I had my back to the square,  so I couldn't really tell. Didn't hurt that he was dressed in a tux,  and was singing the well known popular arias.

You also have to realise that,  even from the point of view of "Scrooge McDuck" here,  and I'm only speaking from the "miserly" point of view,  not the wealth, the whole experience was worth every penny.
 Rome is amazing.  I did say that,  didn't I?
I think if you were to ask each and every person getting on a plane or train when leaving,  they'd pretty much say the same.
 The other somewhat amazing thing was,  it was Easter!

In whatever little corner of the globe you're reading this from,  there's a very good chance that you may have seen something or other about the Pope giving the Easter mass?
Ya,  that one.   We were there.

What a crowd.  Pictures on TV don't really do it justice.

You'll also notice that clicking on that picture doesn't do a blessed thing?   Well,  there's a sad little tale there.
 Seems my camera went missing some time Saturday night between getting into the cab to take us to the Pantheon and when I checked on its whereabouts on the way.   It either tumbled out of my "man bag"  in the cab,  since I did get somewhat tangled up in the seatbelt,  or someone eased it out of said bag when we were under way.   Doesn't really matter which theory we go with,  it's gone.  Along with snippets of video and about 180 pictures.


Fortunately I'm not talking about the Nikon,  which is bigger and bulkier,  making it harder to misplace.  This was my sweet little Canon SD990IS.
But hey,  we're back safe and sound in Wienerland,  and I'm sure worse things could always happen.
I mean,  one of the TV channels we received in the hotel was CNN,  and I'm just glad I have a house to go home to,  after seeing the devastation in the Midwest of the USA.
It's all relative,  isn't it?
So,  no point dwelling on the camera thing.   Just have to figure out a replacement,  since it's handy having a small point and shoot when travelling.  I'm thinking we'll be doing a little more travelling before we're done.

 So Travelling Companion was mighty pleased with herself that she not only got to go to a mass on Friday afternoon at "Santa Maria Maggiore" ,  which was about two blocks from our hotel,  but there was also that whole getting to see the Pope on Sunday morning thing.
Of course,  in order to get to go to the mass at Santa Maria Maggiore,  she did have to put up a bit of a fight with one of the deacons,  or whatever he was,  since he wasn't going to let her in to the area where the faithful had gathered.   It's kinda too bad being a Catholic isn't like having a Union Card,  or belonging to the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks,  since then at least you could just whip out your membership card and that would be that.
He was going on about the Bishop being there,  and somehow that was going to be the reason for turning her away?  That wasn't going to be much of a deterrent.  I'm not even sure why you would try to use some such silly argument?  Wouldn't you want to be in attendance even more if the Bishop is there?   Maybe he was on a bit of a power trip.

I was just far enough behind her that I wisely decided I wasn't going to get into that particular fray,  since I wouldn't have a card even if there had been one issued.

I just stood at the back and watched as he would try and turn away others.  I guess it must have had to do with some sort of secret pass word or something,   since he did let certain ones through,   and I do see the point of turning away the silly tourists,  but Travelling Companion didn't exactly have a honkin' big camera dangling off her neck.
I recall once at Stephansdom I had to convince the deacon that we in fact were not tourists and had gone there for the Mass.   I don't remember when that was exactly,  but thankfully I knew enough of the details (and enough German)  that we got to go in.   Again,  pays to know the lingo.
AND stick to your guns when the situation calls for it.

 Anyway,  I'll happily go on about Rome some more tomorrow,  since I most definitely feel a nap coming on.

 Enjoy the rest of your Easter Monday.


1 comment:

  1. Hi Bob!

    Rome sounds like an amazing city to visit, and one that has always been on my list, yet I've never made it there. Seeing the Pope at Easter would definitely be a once-in-a-lifetime experience too, although I'm not sure I could handle the crowds too well. Sorry to hear about your camera, that's one of my worst fears while traveling! Glad it wasn't your Nikon though!

    I miss European meals like the one you described, with the nice bottle of wine and opera-singing (or accordion music in Amsterdam) in the background.

    Happy travels,



Well, I've been getting too many spam comments showing up. Just a drag, so we'll go another route and hope that helps. So, we won't be hearing anything more from Mr. Nony Moose.
I guess I'll just have to do without that Gucci purse.