Wow, I cannot believe it has been a week since my last post. I do sincerely apologise for my absence. The last few days of the holiday were pretty busy, then when I returned home from my trip I got very ill. Not sure what the illness was, all I know is that my head has never felt such pain in all my life. I still have the headache now, but it is at least bearable. Pain killers will suffice if it starts to act a little wild. But anyway. I am back from Rome and feel both happy and sad at the same time. Happy because I am back on English soil, and do love my country even though I constantly complain about it (that’s us English for you). Sad because the beautiful hot weather and interesting places to visit will be no more until I see Rome again. So my holiday is over, I will be back to work tomorrow (14 hour shift ouch!), thus let me share with you my final days of Rome. Enable me to dream again of the wonderful place before I return to blood sweat and tears.
Friday 30th September – Beach day
On Friday we had the pleasure of relaxing and bathing in the lovely sun. I got up early, made us some packed lunch, got everyone else up. We washed, dressed, and was all out of the house, a little late, at around 1pm. I was actually feeling a little moody, mostly because the weather was looking grim, I thought it would be too late to enjoy a swim in the sea, and too cold to sun bath. I was wrong of course, by the time we made it to the beach the clouds were clearing, the sun was beaming and the water was glistening, calling us to take a dip. We decided to take the train to Ostia Lido which was not supposed to be a spectacular beach but is the closest to Rome. That way we could still use our travel passes without the need to spend money on another ticket. Nonetheless, the beach was absolutely lovely which makes me wonder how wonderful the other beaches must be. Luckily for us it wasn’t crowded, probably because it was low season, and it was very clean.
After getting changed and relaxing on our sun beds, me and my bf decided to take a dip. My mother forgot her swimming costume so just relaxed on the beach. Now I am not sure if I have told you guys before, but I have a very irrational fear of the sea. It all steams from a stupid dream I had when I was younger, so when I go in the sea, firstly it takes me a while to get in (mostly because it always feels so cold when you first get in), then once I get in shoulders deep, I get very anxious and panicky, specially if the sea bed feels uneven, slimy or very rocky (which is pretty much every see floor). Thirdly, if I go too far out I get really panicky. Honest I can swim but this is just an irrational fear that is all in my head which has gotten worse over time. My bf being the saviour he is always reassures me, he lets me hold onto him if I start to get too scared, but sometimes he can be a little cruel and takes me further out than I’d like.
But putting my slight fear aside, I truly do enjoy being in the sea, and once we got in, it was really warm, the sun was shining on us, and the water was pretty clear which made me feel a lot better. After we had our swim, we relaxed on the beach before getting ready and heading back to our apartment. Beach day was a lovely day.
Saturday 1st October – Market and Catacombs
On Saturday, we went to the market called Campo De’ Fiori which is based in Trastevere. It is a very well know fruit and veg market full of both tourists and Italians. If we had known, we probably would have done our shopping here to save a bit of money (with regards to fruit and veg). It also had lots of selections of oils, pasta, cheese, meats and pastes. Perfect if you wanted to gift family and friends back home. with regards to the cheeses and the pasta, it is a little expensive, but as a tourist, you should be able to get a little something. For instance, you could get interesting flavours of pasta for 3euros. Not bad. I actually bought some basil and garlic flavoured pasta and cooked for my dinner yesterday. I didn’t like it haha, but I am not sure if that is because my taste buds are a bit off from being unwell, or because it was generally vile. My bf seemed to enjoy it so it must have been respectable.
After the market we went to the catacombs and the mouth of truth. Both of which were pleasant time passing experiences. We didn’t go to the kind of catacombs where lots of skulls and bones were on show, but more an underground grave for Christians, Martyrs and a few Popes. It was pretty huge and there were many graves; sadly they were all empty, but was still a nice little history lesson. The basic gist was that they wanted to be buried there, and have paintings of the gospel all around them so when family members go to visit, they are reminded that they are waiting for the Lord, not dead, but asleep. They left oil there as a reminder of eternity, and the paintings there to minister to those that may not believe. The mouth of truth after that was a little bit of fun, but I warn you, the queue to get in and take a photo was pretty huge. Luckily we were able to get in before it closed for the day.
Sunday 2nd October – Colosseum
The final day of our holiday was a pretty amazing one as we went on a tour to see the great Colosseum! Every first Sunday of the month, you can see the Colosseum for free. And we was going to just head in, but was convinced to take the tour which cost us 25euros per head. At first I was thinking that I didn’t want to pay the money, but after some careful consideration, or rather sense-talking from the bf and mother, I realised that a guided tour would be much better as we would get a real understanding of what we were looking at. So while we waited for our tour slot, we went to a café to grab a quick snack and a drink. The snack was mediocre, and the prices were astonishing. My bf could stop laughing at the fact that my mother, bless her, ended up paying 6euros for hot water and a teabag; no milk, no sugar, just a small mug of hot water and a fruit tea bag. The teabag probably cost the 20 cents but they felt it totally normal to charge 6euros. I’m not talking a really fancy cup with special hand crafted, fair trade teabags. It was literally your bog standard, value packet teabag, and a small mug of hot water. I was going to get some hot water for itself, but the man said we would still be charged for tea. Thank God I said no because I would have had to pay 6euros for some hot water! She also paid 4.50 euros for half a sandwich. Honestly I am not joking. It was half a sandwich. You know when you make a sandwich with two pieces of bread, toast it and cut it into triangles. Well they gave her one of those triangles! They literally gave her one piece of bread, toasted with cheese and tomato, At least with bruschetta the bread is crunchy and tasty and the tomatoes are seasoned. This was just plain white bread with cold sliced tomato and warmish cheese. 😮 When we left that place we all had to laugh because I am sure we were just duped. Oh well it was our last day and we needed something to laugh about!
So yes, back to the tour. It was amazing. The Colesseum is truly just phenomenal. How they built it in 22 years with just their hands, I will never know. And even though it is just shell of what it used to be, you can imagine how beautiful it must have looked. The Italians at that time must have been really excited to go in and watch all the games in such a grand place. We also toured the remains of what used to be a palace. It was huge, can’t imagine why someone would need such large living quarters. Tis probably why they eventually had markets run in parts of it. So yes, the tour was worth it, and I highly recommend if you know nothing of the history of the Colesseum.
Monday 3rd October – Bye bye Rome
Yes this was the day we returned to England. My mother took the morning flight which was nice. Me and my beloved on the other hand took the night flight so had the day to relax. Because we was so tired we didn’t feel like looking around, so we went to find an internet café to print of our shuttle bus ticket. In the process we stumbled across a lovely little area with many restaurants and a gorgeous fountain. We decided to head back to the airport early, thank God that they let us get on an earlier shuttle bus; that’s something the Romans do much better than us (we wouldn’t allow you on an earlier coach usually, nor on a later one if you missed your bus). Once we got on our plane, which was supposed to board at 2150, we didn’t actually fly until around 2245. Then when we got back to England we had to wait in the airport until round 0215 for our shuttle bus, and finally made it back to the beloveds at around 5am Tuesday. It was a very long day!
So that was the remaining days of our holiday, and I am sad to see it finished, but hopefully we will be travelling again some time next year. I hope I didn’t bore you to tears with this humongous post, and if you have any questions at all, please contact me. Check out my Instagram, like and subscribe.
And finally thank you for reading.