Monday, June 20, 2016

Rome - Part 2

Day 2 in Rome and we're back on the bus at 10am.  Charlie is back staring out the window. He loves riding on the bus!
On the way to our stop, I see a pyramid. What is a pyramid doing here in Rome? Well... I later find out that the Pyramid of Cestius is the only surviving pyramid within the city following the ancient Rome conquest of Egypt.  Wow... that's like "In your face!".
Eventually I would like to visit Egypt to see the pyramids but I guess this will have to do for now. And oh, centuries of city construction have actually raised the city streets by about 40 ft, so the true height of this pyramid is actually quite masked.  Amazing!  Didn't matter to the boys because yup, one down!
And Graham decides to fall asleep too, right before our stop!
Nothing gelato can't fix!  Funny enough, we went back to the same gelato store.  I'm starting to know my way around this city. Yeah!
Ok, off to see the Palatino, one of the most ancient parts of the Roman city.
How is it that we're always looking at these ruins from the other side of the fence??!?
We find our way through a sea of tourist. YIKES!
We did finally find the entrance into the Palatino but at this point, I figured while the boys were still holding their interest, we would go see the Colosseum instead.  And there it is!
Oh no, I did actually forget to purchase our tickets online.  It probably took us about 45 minutes to stand in line, go through the metal detector, stand back in line to finally get to the ticket counter.
Phew! Ok, 12 later (the boys' tickets were free), it was time to climb up some steep steps!
Definitely worth the wait in line. Spectacular! Hence, the new Pandora charm :-)
A choir started to sing as we were walking along the upper floor. Pretty neat! Alrighty, selfie time!
After the Colosseum, Charlie kept insisting on wanting to ride on the train.  But first, time to fill up our water bottles. I love these taps in and around the city. So convenient!  I'm guessing the water is safe to drink:
After struggling a little with the ticket machine (the first one only took loose change and I obviously didn't have 21 worth!).  When I finally did manage to get our tickets, Charlie was super excited. What is it with boys and trains??!?
We took the Blue line to the main terminal where we had some lunch. It's been really tough with Graham when it comes to food.  He had a chocolate muffin where as Charlie had granola with yogurt.
Once finding our way to the Red Line and going through two stops (thankfully only two because it was so crowded!), we make our way towards the Trevi Fountain.  Oh wait... gelato stop!!! Anything to keep these boys going!
This time, 3 scoops of watermelon for Charlie and 3 scoops of berries for Graham or what was left of it. It was like he was wearing bad lipstick when he was done. LOL!
More sights and photo ops on the way to the Trevi Fountain.  Awwww... Charlie is so sad:
Okay, happy now that he is able to stand next to the lego character.  Charlie is definitely a strange bird!
You could almost hear the water fountain as you got closer and then, ta da!!! It's like a really nice swimming pool! Except no one can actually go into it.  Look at all those people!
The Fontana di Trevi is MAGNIFICENT!  I think it's the sheer size of these structures that make it so amazing:
The boys toss their coins into the fountain and we are off again!  Only less than an hour to spare before our bus leaves and so we quickly make our way to the Pantheon.  Oh wait, another photo op! I love how the boys pose for this one :-)
Some other sights along the way - this one really amused the boys. It was a guy who had tucked himself under a shirt and it seems like the character had an invisible head:
And another distraction along the way.  A whole Pinocchio store! The boys insisted on putting their face through this one for a photo:
Too funny!
We finally make it to the Pantheon!  But oh no, another line???! Thankfully it was a quick one:
So you ask what is the Pantheon? Well, basically the Pantheon is a building with a hole in its dome. See what I mean???
Okay, perhaps that photo was a bit unfair.  The lighting on the camera didn't work so well there.  Here's the hole in the dome. To be exact, it is still the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome.  To be honest, it was quite impressive:
Actually learned a new word tonight - "oculus" which is this central opening to the sky.  That and the entry door are the only natural sources of light in the interior. Impressive! Too bad it wasn't raining. It would have been neat to watch the rain come through the hole :-)

The boys were a bit thrown off by the "creepy" music when we were stepping in, but it was actually a guy singing!
Quick photo op before having to leave. If we don't catch this hotel bus at 5pm, we would have to wait another 2 hours for the next one. I don' think the boys would last another 2 hours in the city!
And we make it to the bus stop on time. And actually, it was 30 minutes late! It didn't take long for Charlie to be completely knock out once we got on:
 I know, lots of pictures of the boys sleeping on the bus!
Once I finally did manage to drag them out of the bus, we headed into the airport terminal for dinner with Daddy. We bought a whole bunch of DVDs and some things/books from a bookstore to keep the boys occupied. This finger painting one was really cute:
How clever! Drawing out little crabs after making prints with their fingers:
Well, that takes care of Day 2 in Rome!  Another amazing day.  The boys' favorite was the Trevi Fountain and again, they complained about the city having too many steps. They were such good troopers though. Tomorrow, we are finally able to visit Rome as a family.  Daddy has a day off from work.  Hooray!

To be continued...

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