Roman Holiday

Well, I’m back after a great Reading Week. I’m glad to be back, and just need to unpack/clean my room/do laundry, buy groceries, etc, and prepare for the week ahead. Because we did so much during Reading Week, here is our week in sum, and if you wish to hear more on any particular point, just leave a comment. Photos forthcoming.

Saturday, 8 November
Took the train down to London, approximately 8 hours. Found hostel. Ate dinner at Wagamama’s. Mm, Wagamama’s.

Sunday, 9 November
Breakfast from Starbucks. Attended the Remembrance Sunday ceremony at the Cenotaph. Wore poppies. Saw the Queen. Went to Camden Market, twice, and bought locket watches.Tea at Costa.

Monday, 10 November
Breakfast from Coffee Republic. Spent nearly four hours in the Tower of London. Attempted to see Westminster Abbey, it was closed. Arrived at St Paul’s Cathedral in time for evensong. Beauty and truth. Tea at Cafe Nero.

Tuesday, 11 November
Breakfast from nearby bakery. Searched Picadilly Circus and Oxford Circus for electronic stores. Felicity buys a new camera. Were asked if we were Londoners. Take the Gatwick Express to LGW. Fly to Rome. Find hotel.

Wednesday, 12 November
Walked from hotel to the Colosseum. Two hours in the Colosseum. Lunch at a cafe. The Roman Forum and Palatine Hill:  3-1/2 hours of “sheer delight”. Felicity proves to be an archaeology nerd. It rained. Undaunted, we run from arch to arch to continue. Had the park to ourselves. Were personally escorted to an exit by a guard. Were asked for directions, in Italian, twice.

Thursday, 13 November
Vatican City. Chera’s turn to be a nerd. Sheer excitement. Spent 5-1/2 hours in the Vatican Museums, waiting out a thunderstorm. Saw everything, even the stamp collection, yet somehow missed the library. Saw the Sistine Chapel twice. St Peter’s Basilica: pure, indescribable beauty. Solomon’s Temple of Christendom. Prayed in a chapel. Outside, Felicity flirts with Swiss guards and Chera imitates Margery Kempe. Observations made on Swiss guard uniforms. Dinner at a cafe. Buy souvenirs.

Friday, 14 November
Roman Holiday. Breakfast at an English tea room. Chera gets to be an English nerd at the Keats & Shelley museum. Eat gelato on the Spanish steps. Attempt to get a picture of me throwing pennies into the Trevi Fountain, in the process, guarantee my return to Rome. Walk to the Pantheon, more gelato. Stroll down the Tiber River. Test our veracity in the Mouth of Truth. Observations made about the cheerfulness of nuns. Take a jog around the Circus Maximus. Wander around the Aventine. Explore Castel Sant’Angel (Hadrian’s Tomb) at dusk, fail to find Hadrian and his successors in the room they are reported to be in. Walk past the Vatican again. Dinner at a restaurant near our hotel.

Saturday, 15 November
Wander around the Villa Borghese. Find the Temple to Diana. Assist three middle-aged American tourists and escort them to the Spanish Steps. Return to Castel Sant’Angel to take photos in the daylight. Walk around St Peter’s again. Were saluted by the Swiss guards. Eat more gelato. Figure out how to get back to the airport. Bus to airport, plane to Glasgow, car to the University. Wonder what the scenery looks like from Glasgow, having only seen silohuettes under a near-full moon. In bed by 2 AM.

8 thoughts on “Roman Holiday

  1. Priscilla says:

    WOW!! Sounds like an amazing week!! I’m almost speechless reading this entry…Thursday’s entry takes my breath away (you had me at ‘spent 5 1/2 hours in the Vatican Museums’…I think my head almost exploded with jealousy ;D) I should’ve thought to mail you a Loonie (Canadian $1.00 coin) to throw in so that I could be guaranteed to actually *come* to Rome one day! ;D

    On another note, I love the way this is written….somehow it reminds me of ‘To Say Nothing of the Dog’ (I think it’s the subtle bits of humour you put into it)

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  2. Melinda says:

    I’m a little confused. When did you have time to read? Or was that not the point?…Sounds like you had a lot of fun! I would love to go to Rome.

    Also, Bradley LOVED his pirate birthday card. We have it high up on a shelf so it doesn’t get wrecked. Thanks!

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  3. Chera says:

    Pris & Kelly: Haha, didn’t realize I was imitating Connie Willis.

    Melinda: We usually were “boring” and went back to the hotel at around 5-6 PM, because we were so tired of walking by then. We’d spend the rest of the evening reading or writing. I’m glad Bradley loved his card! It took a long time to find something just right and I’m glad I was successful. 🙂

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  4. Sarah says:

    Oh Chera! Lovely 😀 Now I’d like to take another “real” trip to Rome…perhaps with you? and read Willis!
    I want to hear more about the pocket watches (oh, and go to London…or just travel anywhere outside of NM and OK!)

    Let me know when/if you’ll be available to talk this week…if you’re too busy that’s okay!

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  5. Chera says:

    Sarah: Not pocket watches, locket watches! They’re watches you wear on a necklace and open like a locket. When Hanna Howard came to visit, I asked for directions to the shop where she and Ashley Walker bought theirs when they were in London.

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  6. Sarah says:

    I meant Locket 😀 basically I want to see a picture because I think they are so lovely and fun! Next time I’m in London I’ll have to go get one

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