The hostel breakfast left a little to be desired. They had the bread and jam and coffee. Enough to get the motor running. Headed out and got a bit more to eat near the station. Saw a suspicious set of train tracks running toward the Colosseum and found out that they did indeed go there. Bought a ticket hopped on. This was the day to start the Roma Pass. The 72 hours starts when the ticket is first used. Had heard that the wait at the Colosseum was hours long and the best way to go about getting in was to first go to Palatine hill where the lines were much smaller. Once there one could make a reservation for the “no wait” line to get in. It was 8:40 by the time they got to me. Already getting hot and sunny. Fortunately they gave me a reservation for 9:20am. By the time I got back to the Colosseum it was time to line up for the “no line” which in itself was long. Met an interesting fellow from the states waiting in line who also got the 9:20 reservation. We worked our way to the front of the like where there were metal detectors like the airport. Naturally I had a Leatherman multi-tool with me. They said I either had to throw it away or leave. Said farewell to my new friend and went back out. Stashed it under a rock and hoped it would be there when I got back. As I already had the reservation it was easy to slide back into the no wait line and in another 5 minutes made it through the metal detector without a hitch.
The Colosseum itself is amazing. To think that such a structure was constructed thousands of years ago is staggering. The history is so vast and detailed that it paints a picture of a time when battling to the death for the entertainment of the crowds was considered normal. Much like sports today without the mortality. There is really too much to delve into in this humble blog. Simply put, it was certainly fascinating from a stagehands perspective. Even then they even had an enormous canopy which was put up over the entire stadium to provide shade for the spectators. The audio/video tour which was rented from the venue was full of facts and not a few clips from movies like Spartacus. One could see how it might have been.
After a couple of hours went back over to Palatine to see how it might have been if you were one of the fortunate ones. Not bad. One of the cool things was how long man had been hanging out at this place. Remains have been found here dating back 130,000 years. Good spot I guess.
Again, there is so much here that this blog cannot hope to do justice to it so I will not try. Kind of a cop out I know but there it is. Marika called me when I was at the Palatine. We had agreed to meet at a nearby square. The Palatine area is so large that It took quite a while to finally negotiate the many paths to find the exit to meet her. Eventually we met up and wandered around a bit to the old city where she knew of a good local restaurant. Had the home made spaghetti which was quite good. She went for a large salad. Eventually we went back to her vehicle which was a scooter. A very practical way to get around these narrow streets. Hopped on and she headed for Jeans place. After a bit I told her we were headed away from my hotel. She had thought I was at Jeans already. She headed back toward the “Aladino” hotel where I still had to get the gear over to Jeans. On the way I was treated to the driving experience in Rome. The road rules seem to be a little different if you are a pretty blonde on a scooter. Her big smile got us into a lot of places I would not have tried to go had I been driving, but she got us there quickly. With many thanks for the tour we said our goodbyes.
Back at the hostel decided to try something different with the rolling backpack rig. As the normal wheels for a luggage carier were too small to roll over the coblestones, what if my pack were secured to my scooter with the 5 inch wheels? Wouldn’t that work? After some engineering the load was secured and off to Jean’s and the scooter trials. It seemed to be working except when steps were encountered. Had to secure the back of the pack to the scooter so it didn’t roll to the side. Once this was done it seemed to work much better. Made it to Jeans then took the scooter out for an extended tour of the city with marginal success. Other than the fact that it works well as a luggage carrier, I could not recommend taking it on a trip for it’s utilitarian value so far. As Jean’s place was near the river, walked over there later in the evening. Found a festive spot with good beer. Life was once again grand.