Archive for October, 2014

Final blog

Good morning from our Rome Hotel.  I was thinking this morning at breakfast what would be in the last blog and when should I do it!  Well today is the day!  I am packed and waiting for David and Amelia to finish their packing.  Its always a little challenging.  You need to  think and  pack, in such a way, to meet the requirements of the airline.

So we are off to Hong Kong today before heading back home.   I will leave you with some wise words from Amelia.

Amelia’sl Shopping Questions:

Do I want it?

Do I need it?

Will I use it?

Will it help me with anything?

Can it make my life easier?

Is it good quality?

Will MUM buy it for me?

____________________

Her list made me smile.

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Rome Summary

As I look out the window from our hotel I see tour buses; walking tour groups; people rushing here and there; tourists looking at maps; motorbikes; push bikes; parked cars in every spot; local buses; police cars – everything that makes this a busy city.

Can you guess what we did with 30,000 other people today.  We have sore feet and are all happy to have some relaxing time. Have you guessed?  Yes we went to the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel (not the 16 Chapel someone in Amelias class said it was called),  St. Peter’s Basilica and St. Peter’s Square.  We went with a tour to skip the line entrance which was a long line when we got there.  After the tour we decided that we should take the opportunity to go up in the Dome.  Amelia was unimpressed with the time it took us to line up move forward.  The thought of walking up 320 steps after 3 solid hours of walking around was not exciting Amelia.  I promised the biggest gelato we could find at the end.

We found a nice restaruant for lunch and a refreshing glass of beer.  Arriving home to our hotel at 4.15 – a very full on day.

So packing, dinner and early night and we will be on our way to Hong Kong.  We will sleep well tonight even though I dislike the bed here. It is far to hard for my liking.

You might remember we were getting back here to the hotel in central Rome on Friday night.  So the weekend was full of walking with Margaret and visiting lots of sites.  So many photos were taken and there was lots of gazing at marble and granite and  battling thru 1/2 of the world’s population at places like Trevi fountain, the Pantheon & the Spanish Steps.  Both David and Margaret proved that their navigational skills need upgrading. Often walking in a direction other than where we ought to have been. Amelia to her credit just kept on walking and there was no complaints.

We bused to  our Saturday night dinner with Margaret’s familly.  Nigel cooked us a great meal of pasta with wild boar sauce, the meat with bitter broccoletti (didn’t enjoy that) and peas.  Isalena  had made pameir biscuits with fruit salad  and Amelia said homemade  ice cream was better than the expensive bought stuff.  Nigel took us high up on the roof and we saw all the major icons at night.  St Peters had singing and it was magical to hear it.

Sunday’s was another feast all cooked on the BBQ;  lamb, veal ribs, peppers,potatoes, and very long beans.  Isalena had been up early and  made lemon slice (we now have the receipe).  Phillipa (varsity mate of Nigel’s – lives in Perugia) brought pinenut biscuits.  As Margaret said we were still at the table at 5 pm; all quite memorable. It was a beautiful calm day,  perfect for sitting on the terrace.

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Rome – Naples – Pompeii — Sorrento – Capri – Positano – Rome

Good afternoon – message coming to you from our hotel in Sorrento.

We had our first day in Rome (Tuesday I think) with our own personal tour guide.  David’s cousin Margaret is visiting Rome to see her daughter and her family.  She had the day to be with us and it was amazing the things she could point outto us and the stories she could tell Amelia. Amelia is like a sponge soaking up the history and lucky we have a few more days in Rome as we have some biggies to do!

After four hours solid walking we stopped for lunch and then Margaret showed us whichbus stop to get off at for our hotel.  I had to push through many people to get off I did say excuse me but don’t think anyone understood.

So Wednesday morning with a 6.00am wakeup call we were checked out and waiting for the tour bus to collect us.

YES we were joining a tour for the first time on our trip and we were not sure how we would go with that.  By 7.15 David was back inside and asking reception of our hotel to ring and find outwhere they were.  They said they would send a taxi.  On arrival the taxi driver asked wherewe were going and we showed him the address.  He could not work out where to take us.Thankfully he was able to ring his office and we got on the bus and were on our way toNaples.  A highlight was seeing so many policemen and women around waiting forsomeone to come.  I asked who was coming but they didn’t have English and my Italianis not the best!

Next stop lunch and a drink before we toured Pompeii.  This buried city is  amazing and Ameliawas able to remember her year 4 learning.  If I remember correctly, 22,000 escaped and4000 were buried alive.  It was heart wrenching to see the Mother that laid over her baby for protection.  The ancient Roman city was destroyed by the eruption of ‘Mount Vesuvio in79 BC and buried it in stones and ash.  4-6 metres.

From Pompeii it was to our hotel in Sorrento.

Day two – picked up and taken to the ferry to Capri.

Marco our super Italian guide gave us instructions to be the first off the ferry.Stay down the back.  Following instructions. We all did what we were asked and thatenabled us to get on to our waiting boat and make our way to the Blue Grotto.We were going “grotting” – that is what David called it – a new word.Anyway, into little boats in fours we waited a short time and entered into a magicalplace.  This is very much a weather permitting activity and we learnt no one got through the next day.

Visited the Augustus Gardens and had free time to meet up again.The Spanish speaking people (3 in toal) ruined our guides day.  We waited forty-five minutes.  Missed our bus and had to get another one andmissed our lunch slot.  Got on the ferry to return and still no sign of the 3 people.Everyone knows Marco and he left heaps of messages trying to find them.

Day 3 – the 3 of us caught a local bus and went to  Positano, a town on the Amalfi coast. Spectacular road carved ito the cliffs.Caught the bus back and had lunch and cruised the shops of Sorrento,

Here we are waiting to do a few pickups of people and transfer back to Roma.

POSTSCRIPT – late into our hotel  9.15pm.

Long story.

 

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