April 8 – ROME!!!!!!!!!

We woke up at 7:30, went to the buffet for breakfast and coffee. Then we went to our cabin for our stuff and met Linda and Larry at the bus meeting point. Our bus was C-12 and the trip was called Rome Total Freedom! The guide pointed put a few interesting sights on the way. Mostly it was farmland and lots of sheep.

As we entered Rome I was very excited, to see such old buildings, to know that people of myth and real life stood by these building so many years ago. Walking the same roads as Plato and Aristotle and Socrates. WOW!

Our bus dropped us off by the Theatro Marchano (sorry about spelling). Our guide also sold us each a “hop on hop off” bus ticket for the yellow bus. We went straight across the street to a café to use the restroom, and of course buy something for the privilege. I got a capichano and a tiny 2017 calendar with Rome pictures for 1E.

We walked a short distance, with my camera snapping frantically. Old buildings everywhere I looked, the history is so amazing, I can’t get over it. I feel like a character in a book, not as if I am really here.

We caught the bus and went to the coliseum. I cannot adequately describe the sensations I felt as I looked at this massive structure. Long before America, long before England, long before everything, this was built with hand tools and abilities that hardly existed anywhere on the planet. After staring hard and taking many pictures, we got on the bus again and headed for the Tivoli (?) Fountain.

On the way, we stopped for a bite. Larry and Linda shared a pizza and Carolyn and I each had gelato. Mine was a HUGE sundae, for 14E. My sundae had chocolate, strawberry, chocolate chip, lemon, whip cream, 4 cookies and bits of chocolate. Carolyn had a massive cone for 12E. Oh yeah, worth every penny!

With happy tummys we continued to the fountain. It has been recently refurbished and was sparkling white. I gently pushed through the crowd and got my picture taken as I tossed a coin over my shoulder. I would dearly love to return. From there we walked to the Spanish Steps. They are currently undergoing refurbishment, so they are fenced off, but with clear plastic panels, so you could see them. More pictures and I happily remembered the car bouncing down those steps in the great old movie “The Great Race”.

By now we had walked a lot and still had to get back to the bus by 4:45. With the help of a map and a few kind Italians we began the trek back. It was pretty far. We stopped for a restroom and more gelato. I had a coffee flavor, Carolyn passed and the others got gelato also. Carolyn and I began to lag far behind as we continued to the bus. Larry assured us he would not let us be left behind. As it turned out we got to the bus on time, as did everyone else.

I know I saw other wonderful sights, but I need to see my pictures for descriptions. I also bought two packets, for 1E each, of bookmarks fixed together like a calendar, very cool. I now have 24 bookmarks!

The drive back was about 90 minutes. Lots of passengers slept. When we got to port we had to park far from the ship, it was no fun to walk far again and security did not even check us. We went straight into dinner, all of us about 30 minutes late. We talked hard to each other, all agreed that meeting each other was a high point of the trip and we hope to continue our friendships. We took a group picture, with everyone’s cameras and after many hugs, said good night.

In the room, we finished packing and put our suitcases in the hall. We must be out of the room by 8 tomorrow and our transfer to the Genoa airport is at 10:15. Our flight leaves Genoa at 5:45pm and we arrive at CDG at 7:20pm. The travel agency made us a reservation at the CDG Airport Marriott. The cost is $125 and we expect our insurance to reimburse us for it. There is also a free hotel shuttle. Sunday morning we leave CDG at 10:30 am and arrive at LAX at 1pm  on Sunday – home sweet home.

I will add pictures to this and update some things once I have had a chance to hug my husband and pet my dog and get some sleep. I have so enjoyed having you all with me on this wonderful journey.

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