Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Round and around Rome in 2 days

First, let me explain that map-reading is not one of the hub's special skills. It's normally allotted to me to undertake the task of navigation, which is usually conducted from the safety of a passenger seat with him driving. This usually prevents us from getting lost, but it does provoke some rather surreal scenes as I don't know my left from my right (yes, it was quite hard work passing my driving test), and indicate directions something like this: 'You need to turn that way. No, that way, not this way.' Accompanied by various 'pointed' hand signals.

With him not driving, he had to have something to do with his hands, like hold the map. He's a self-confessed ex-scout, so you'd think he'd have picked up something about map-reading, like how to hold it the right way round, but alas I think his badges were for fire-lighting and sewing, not map-reading.

Thus it was that we found ourselves being conducted the long way round, the wrong way round to the hotel on the first night, with him reading the map. Oh, he said after about an hour, this city is quite small. That came after our first foray from the hotel into the darkness on Friday night to find a) somewhere to eat, and b) the Trevi fountain. Ah yes, toss a coin in the Trevi and you'll always come back, but in our case we skipped waiting for another trip to Rome and came back to the Trevi a grand total of four times - always just tripping across it the way you do a stubborn doorstep

Similarily with the roman ruins at the Palatine and the Colosseo, as it has become ingrained in my mind. I'm not being ungrateful - it was fabulous to see it in Saturday morning's soft rain, Saturday evening's luminescence and again in Sunday morning's sunlit glow. Thank goodness the Vatican is closed on Sundays doing the other sort of business - Lord alone knows how many times we might have strayed that way too, only for it being a bit further away from us than every where else.

On the Sunday, we went to the Villa Borghese, which is this really massive park containing a fair few museums and galleries where Romans like to hang out when it's sunny. Not satisfied with trying to lose me a good few times, hub decided to hire one of these side-by-side bicycles, of which only one side is the controller, and kill me by refusing to break until the last minute; driving it off very high kerbs and making it go fast down hills... and finally getting it out on a main road and trying to get us run over. My nerves couldn't take any more and I refused to get back on after about an hour. He said it was the best fun he's ever had, the highlight of the weekend and worth every euro he paid - evil sod.

There will be pictures, just as soon as I get the camera to talk nicely to me.

4 comments:

chiefbiscuit said...

Oh it does sound funny and fun! Glad you had a great time - well, of course you did! It was Rome after all ... must've been amazing. Can't wait for the photos.

apprentice said...

Sounds good fun. They should change the saying to, "all roads lead to the Trevi!"

I take my hat off to you on the bike thing!

Jan said...

Rome...
The 1st time I went was in a minibus when I was 18 ( YRS AGO!) with a crowd of us driving round Europe, finally to work for a few wks in S Italy...
It was my 1st trip abroad; I'll never forget arriving in Rome... early morning, driving round quiet streets....gradually watching as its hustle/bustle rustled in...

Colin Will said...

Funnily enough, although I've got a very good sense of direction, Rome is the only city in the world where I got lost. Eventually I just had to flag down a taxi to get us back to St Peter's on time.