Thursday, 2 February 2012

Rome a second time

We were happy to return to Rome after Venice to meet up with Chris's good friend, Colin, who is a pilot enroute to Rome, for 4 days. We bunkered in with him in the Hilton Hotel and all thanks to him, we got to enjoy breakfast & snacks at the lounge everyday! Colin also saved my life when he brought all those cup noodles from Taiwan for me. I was so sick of pastas and pizzas by then. (Chris's note:  I was in Pizza heaven and could easily have done another several weeks of the stuff)

Chris calls me a homing pigeon because I am always able to find back a street that we had been to or recognize the way back to our hostel. I, on the other hand, think that Colin is a walking map. He amazingly led us to places without ever needing to take a peek at the map! Once, we were in quite a bit of a rush to catch the Hilton bus back to the hotel and he led us on an entirely different route and magically transported us to the pick up point in half the time.

We managed to check out the Sistine chapel this time round. There was NO queue at all! Chris said he went 12 years ago and the queue was snake long and would have taken him 4 hours just to get inside, except that he cut queue after an hour in the 40 C heat.

The Sistine Chapel is the best-known site in Vatican City. It is famous for its architecture and its decoration that was frescoed throughout by Renaissance artists including Michelangelo. Central to the ceiling decoration are nine scenes from the Book of Genesis of which the famous 2 pieces are the Creation of Adam (is the best known - the hands of God and Adam almost touching each other) & The Last Judgement. We spent a great deal of time in the Sistine Chapel and I thought I saw Colin, who was still jetlag from his flight, dozing off at one point. I couldn't be sure as his transition lens glasses turned dark.  (Chris's note:  He WAS dozing.  I suggested he put on the shades so people wouldn't know).

A little tip when using the rail service in italy: during low season (winter), you can get 2 tickets for the price of 1 when traveling on Saturdays. do check out the trenitalia website for offers. Sometimes the ticket staffs might forget there is such a deal and will not offer that to you, hence you have to specifically ask for it when you buy at the ticket sales counter.

As per our usual Modus Operandi, we had several gelatos and revisted Blue Ice and a couple of its other outlets.  With so much cheap gelato around, who needed food? 

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