Father of All Heritage Sights, Rome
Day XXIII: We’ve kept the best for the last, Roma
We got super tired from yesterday's train journey. Also, Our main plan was to visit the pre-booked early morning guided tour of Vatican City. But It got cancelled because the pope of the Vatican City had organized a last-minute private event which was why entry to the Sistine Chapel was prohibited for the common people for at least 24 hours. Hence there wasn't any point in getting up early 😜 During the entire tour, the only thing that was open for us was the Vatican City Museum. As we weren’t the museum people that’s why we skipped the Vatican City museum tour and went for the Hop on Hop Off bus tour. It was the only experience we didn't have on this trip.
There was an interesting story behind the Hop On Hop Off Bus tour. While randomly roaming in Vatican City a Bangladeshi vendor approached us and offered us the Hop On Hop Off bus passes at a 25% discount. Tough to believe right? For us too it felt too good to be a true deal. So, we performed several authenticity checks around the passes and the tour company. As everything looked authentic we took a risk and bought the passes.
upon reaching the nearest entry point of the route, we came to know that there were multiple travel company providers. Though the route of all of them were same. After waiting for 10 minutes the first bus came and we ran towards the entrance. That was when we came to know there was a long queue and we had to wait for our turn 😃. A few of the fallow travellers who did the same mistakes a while ago started making fun of us but in a good way. They also pointed us the way to the queue and it was insanely far from the start of the queue. We couldn’t get the seats on a few buses and then came the bus where we got a seat but at downstairs. bus came. luckily we didn't need to wait longer to get the seat at the top where the real fun happened. Another Info, The Bus stopped at the 8th Point where it would stop for 2 hours before beginning the next round. It was 1:00 pm and the ticket was valid for the day and it would take approx 90 minutes to complete one cycle. On top of that we were getting late for our next and best part of the Euro trip, The segway ride across Rome. So we headed towards its meeting point."
As we skipped breakfast, we were hungry and on the way, we found a good cafe at one of the famous locations of Rome, the Queen Margarita Palace. The other day while walking towards our Airbnb, we saw almost everyone was having an orange drink which was called the Spritz. So we went by public opinion and ordered not one but two, assuming it would be amazing. Because If it wouldn't then why the hell everyone was drinking it? Unfortunately, it tasted like a cough Cyrup and we weren't big fans of it. Aayushi gave up as soon as she took a sip thought I completed it because it was costly and I was thirsty 😉 As we were running late, we quickly paid the bill and headed towards the meeting point.
The name of our guide for this adventure was Krish and he was the coolest guide amongst all whom we met till now. He explained to us how it would be operated such as how to move our bodies to turn to our left, right, forward and backwards. Also, how to apply break, accelerator and park it. He asked me to hop on it and the moment I got onto it, I got scared. with that, my leg started shaking which made the segway more imbalanced. So the most important thing to ride the segway was to control our nerves and in a few minutes, I got familiar with the controls and was able to ride the segway the way I wanted. After initial struggles, even Aayushi became good at it and there we go! on our way towards the best adventure of Eurotrip. Though for those initial struggles, I had to abide by Aayushi's anger 😜.
Krish was leading the way and we were following him in a single queue. we stopped by the First signal and when it turned Green, we crossed the road and with that, our confidence grew sky-high. We stopped by multiple places where he explained the History of these places. Some of the interesting ones were the place where “Ceasor” was executed, Roma excavation sights, the Palatine Hill and at the end the Colosseo, one of the seven wonders of the world. Details on the Colosseo would come in the next day's blog. When we came to the end of the tour, we became pros at it and did all sorts of stunts 😃. On our way, we climbed up as well as climbed down the several hills of Roma. Though the best feeling I got was when I was riding on a straight road in front of Colosseo. I even called my mom and demonstrated our segway skills 😜
The tour ended at 6:00 pm. We went to a nearby Hop on Hop off bus stop and got in the bus and explored the remaining of the Hop on Hop off Route. We got down, at the last stop at Roma Termini and took the Metro line B towards Colloseum. We heard the sunsets from there would be magical. Even though the sun had already set, we could see the sunset colours of the evening and Indeed, it looked beautiful. Especially, when the sun's rays were coming from the doors of Colosseo!
Trevi fountain was another famous thing that we wanted to see hence we took a direct bus to it. The streets of Trevi fountain were insanely crowded yet amazing! We enjoyed the live street music, spray paintings and watercolour drawings. They were making unimaginable paintings within 10 minutes and there were incredibly detailed and beautiful. I even bought one! It was also, heaven for street shopping. Aayushi bought a few purses and begs for as less as 20 €. She literally, apply her bargaining skills which was fun to watch!
After some time we reached the most crowded place in Rome, the Trevi Fountain. It was beautiful and justifying all the hype created around it. After enjoying trevi vibes it was time to visit the Colosseum one last time for the day 😜. As I heard under the lights it looked completely different but equally amazing! When you visit heritage sites of that calibre, you had to do crazy things, for us, it was the couple dance 😜
We thought we had seen everything Rome had to offer and nothing would surprise us anymore. But we forgot we were living in of the most happening place in Rome and the place would be wild, especially during the weekends! Even though it was 9 pm, the bus was full. we could barely able to enter the bus. Thanks to our experience in travelling on Mumbai local trains.
Everyone got down at our bus stop. The streets were insanely crowded. live music was being played everywhere, everyone was dancing and drinking spritz. it was the craziest and wild place of our Euro adventure. Every small shop turned into a bar and filled with people. My Iwatch warned me that "At this decibel, you would experience temporary deafness!" And, Indeed I couldn't able to hear anything for a while even after reaching inside our Airbnb 😜. We wanted to be part of this madness hence the moment we entered the room, we dropped the luggage and went back downstairs. At around midnight, we found a place in a restaurant and had dinner. we got out of it and roamed for an hour before calling it a day!
What a Day we had! Thank god it was our last and not the first night of the Eurotrip. Because nothing would beat this day and we end up comparing the entire trip with Rome 😃
Day XXIV : Alvida Europe
The 25 days trip would come to an end tonight when we would be flying home via Emirates at 10:30 pm. We went to the Roma Termini and dropped our luggage in the cloakroom and headed towards the Colosseo for the final tour of the trip.
On our way to the excavation sights, we saw some sort of Parade where everyone was dressed up in Roman attire!
After completing basic security checks, we entered the excavation sights where our guide explained to us all the history associated with the places. Even if, I wasn’t knowing much about Roman History I was getting goosebumps while walking through these 2000 years of ruins of the ancient Roman Empire! I would suggest everyone who would visit this place to watch the “The Roman Empire” series on Netflix. As it was based on the ancient Roman empire and it would help you to establish a connection with the place!
We spent around an hour at the ruins before heading towards the Palatine hill. It was where Roman Kings used to live in their Palaces. We found only the base of the palace, as everything else was destroyed. From Palatine Hill, I could able to see the entire excavation sights including the Colosseum. It was one of the most pleasant views of Rome. They also planted kinds of trees that existed in the ancient Roman empire to create the ancient Roman vibes! If you would visit it, please do not pluck and eat these oranges. As they are not edible! at least, that was what our guide had informed us. Also, changing ancient buildings' appearance from the outside such as painting them was prohibited by the government to preserve these excavation sights. Also, nobody was allowed to dig holes apart from the excavation sights. As more often than not you would end up finding ancient bricks or sculptures!
Finally, it was time for the Colosseum. We scanned our tickets and stood in the queue. in a while, our turn came and there we were inside the Colosseum. I was very excited about it because I was a big fan of Maximus & the movie Gladiator. I was surprised as soon as I entered the Colosseum. I was imagining, a normal round-shaped ground but what I saw was this.
Let me provide you with the details of it and the reason why it was one of the world's wonders. There were 28 lifts underground and each of them would need at least 4 slaves to operate. Imagine having so many slaves in such a tiny space where even breathing was very difficult. Also, from every lift either a gladiator or wild animal like Lion, tiger, or Leopard could pop up. It would surprise everyone including the fighting gladiators and more importantly the crowd. According to our guide, there were sixty random spots! Wouldn't you be thrilled by it? I would for sure! Imagine Romans had built such a stadium that could accommodate 80000 people 2000 years ago. Indeed! They were genius and it was the real reason why the Colosseum was named one of the world's wonders.
All the Magic happened There...
Unlike the movies, most of the warriors who were lost in the fight were saved by the king if the crowd thought the gladiator fought bravely. Only under circumstances, where the warrior got injured badly, they would kill him to make him free from the pain. Also, If a king and crowd would think, the warrior fought cowardly, he would be ordered to be killed by the winning gladiator. According to our guide, only 20% of the losing warriors were killed while others would be saved. This cruel yet thrilling sport wasn't supposed to be a sport. In ancient times, these fights were conducted to honour the deaths of noble Roman men. Because it became popular, the king turned it into Sports.
Our tour ended at 3:30 pm and we book a cab to visit our last country of ongoing Euro adventure, the Vatican City. Imagine a country surrounded from all sides by the capital of another country 😜 As we didn't have much time, we reached Vatican City walked towards the Vatican City museum and clicked some pictures of ours with it for the memory. Throughout the trip, we were complaining about rainy & cloudy weather but our last day in Rome made us realise how lucky we were to get such weather. As we were completely exhausted just by spending a few hours on a sunny afternoon in Rome. It was time to cool ourselves down by having ice cream before heading towards Rome Termini.
on our way, we found countless wanders, selling stuff at cheap prices. Remember if your wife accompanied you on any trip, you had to do shopping. Even if it resulted in missing your flights or trains 😜
Finally, Our 25-day trip came to an end. We collected our luggage and took a bus to the airport from where our tiring return journey took place including seven hours of layover in Dubai.