Rome, Villefranche, Marseille, Barcelona, Teneife
18.11.2016 - 18.11.2016
I had booked this trip in May 1015. Would we like a Transatlantic??? Jim wanted to return to Rome and this trip started from there. October Monday 17th after Jim left work at 11am. We got subway sandwich and drove to Wally Park to park car for 19 days. Our flight left at 6 pm from Chicago.
This trip would have a few miscues right from the beginning. Would this trip be a disaster? The night before we left I heard Jim yell out from the shower oh NO!. Yes he had full blaze case of poison Ivy starting on his arm. Ok we will deal with this call and get prednisone pills from Dr. Only thing that helps him.
When going through airport security I unfastened my st John bracelet that had a charm. Key word here HAD a Gold charm. I forgot to fasten when finished and walked 100 yards when I noticed it gone. Jim stayed with luggage and I went back and searched for it with no avail. Ok I am not going to cry. Our fabulous trip is just starting.
Jim asked for charger for phone and ooops I brought charger for, computer, nook, Kindle, camera but not the right one for the phone. Jim loves his Sudoku and only has the one he likes on his phone. I thought the Amazon connector would work. Who knew. obviously everyone but me.
The electric converter did not work we had borrowed from our Son. Ok I will go with wet hair. No problem Hotel Maria has one we can borrow.
We downloaded offline maps for Rome and could not get it to work the first day. We get lost endless times the first day
Flight was uneventful except how could the seats get so hard in a 9 hour flight. We had a in flight supper and we gobbled it down like hungry kids, Tried to sleep but unable, listened to gently snoring of DH. Oh well I watched a couple movies and the picture of the plane inching across the Atlantic. I felt like I was doing yoga poses to get comfortable .Arrived and our bright suitcases were first to come off conveyor. Now to find hired guy our Hotel had sent for us. Looked one end of area to the other a couple times and finally the guard said most drivers are outside. Out we go and there is a sea of signs, Hundreds no less and finally we find a man with our name on a sign. Not the friendliest fellow or maybe it was because I had two carry on's , 1 large and 1 med suitcase. I heard him mutter under his breath Americans! To my defense I had everything packed in 2 carry on's and 1 large suitcase and then Jim said where are you going to put anything if you buy something. Good point hence the 4th suitcase. Well to say our ride to Hotel was quiet was understatement. He never said another word.
We arrived at Hotel Maria safely and fell in love. What a quiet place in such a busy city. It used to be a monastery and was converted into hotel in 2000. The hotel is located in a historical area of central Rome in the heart of one of the most ancient and characteristic neighborhoods of the city Trastevere It is a labyrinth of colorful and bright narrow streets.We arrived at 10 am and were pleased to find they had a room ready for us and had upgraded us to a room that had a bed and a extra single bed to place our suitcases on,
Ok I just don't get the European way of bidet. Is it just me? I gave it another try and just do not get IT! And Europe does not use wash clothes. I miss my wash clothes.
We started off with rain jackets in case of rain. We headed out of Trastevere and got lost. The phone GPS was not working..We found the river Tiber and were on our way for a quiet lunch at Mordi & Va ia gastronomia romanesca found in Testaccio market, The sandwiches are 450 E, Jim had a meatball and I had Americano. and a beer
Today is just a wondering day did I tell you we got lost again, checked out churches, and St Clement the one I really wanted to see I guess there are three churches built on top of each other was closed till 3. Went up and looked at Colosseum and vast area and hope tomorrow is better weather. Gloomy and drizzling today. I had a rain jacket and umbrella and at least 100 peddlers asked if I wanted to buy umbrella. Are they blind? Jim is usually very good with directions but with no sleep we got lost again. I had a meltdown my ankles were killing me the little cobblestone streets raked havoc on my arthritic ankles.
San Giovanni in Laterano Today it is one of the oldest surviving Christian structures in Rome
We hopped in a cab and was soon back over the Tiber River to Trastevere. I took a hot shower while my lovely husband went to seek out our restaurant so we can get there without getting lost. He also bought a phone charger. I love this guy!
We walked about mile and half to Da Enzo. A highly recommended restaurant by locals and trip advisor. In all the research I did it said to have several restaurants picked out and stick to researched list. Too many tourist have bad experiences getting sucked into a tourist trap
Da Enzo would end up being one of my favorites.
We got back and looked forward to getting a good night sleep. Jim said if I woke up early he was going out to wander around. I woke up at 0630 and went to breakfast area and had the best coffee of the trip. They had a barista that greeted you when you walked in I started with a Americana. I waited till about 745 and went back to room and asked my sleeping husband if he wanted to sleep more or get up. He was shocked he had slept in and jumped in the shower. We enjoyed the European breakfast of meats and cheese, fruit, croissants and pastries, scrambled eggs, toast, bagels, cereal and juice. Jim loved the jelly croissants. I liked the choc croissants.
Today is Colosseum overload. We had booked the hard to get in underground Colosseum on line. We got there early and walked around. What a difference a day can make the weather was beautiful.
The Colosseum or Coliseum also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre is an oval amphitheatre ... This name is still used in modern English, but generally the structure is better known as the Colosseum. ..... , covering an elaborate underground structure called the underground.
We had booked our underground tour online. It fills up because they only let 25 in at a time. Our underground tour was for 1140 we got in line at 1030 make sure you are in correct line to the far left. It took about a 1/2 hour to get through security. Then you need to trade voucher for ticket. The line for girls bathroom was huge. There were about 10 ladies in line at men's. I joined the line there and was in no time.
Shows how stones used as wedges to build and aqueduct system
Your pass from Colosseum gets you into forum and Palatine hill. This is a very vast area. The line to get through security was about a half a hour We could of benefited from a walking tour here to better understand what you are seeing. We spent a couple hours here
We walked back and took a cab to Amore to have our Michelin star restaurant with a view of the Colosseum
We wanted to try the tasting menu it would end up being an adventure good but not worth all the hipe of Michelin star. The view made it a once in lifetime experience.
Octopus served in a glass with foam
Iberian pork flavored with Gin Mare with fermented garlic and almonds
Ravioli filled with buffalo mozzarella and sea anchovies on carrot extract
Sauteed scallops on red swiss chard with vegetables and olives
Suckling pig with apricot compote and fennel potatoes
GUANAJA 70% CHOC brownies with wild berries,false lavender marshmallows
We had a great time visiting with couple next to us. We started at 0730 and finished at 1015. Bad ending to meal asked for bill 3 times finally paid at 11pm and walked back to hotel leisurely along Tiber. a Romantic ending to meal and arrived back at Midnight.
Thursday was the Vatican We are getting the hang of Rome and not getting lost anymore. We walked about 1/2 hour and arrived at the Vatican, You have to walk clear around for the entrance. Always get tickets ahead the line was already two hours to get in. We walked right up to security once through security you have to trade your voucher in. I got my purse off the conveyor and looked around and no Jim. It was a sea of people in there. It does not help being so short. I started looking for a white haired man but there were so many. After about 10 min I saw Jim walking towards me. He already had exchangedour voucher for ticket.
The Sistine chapel is an amazing piece of art by Michelangelo ,WE spent our time just being in the moment and taking it all in. We sat along the side to listen to audio guide then went out side to right with groups. WE could then get in line forthe cupola. it was 7 euro for the elevator and then only had to climb 320steps. Due to my sore ankles we took the elevator. What an opportunity to enjoy a fantastic city panorama all around Rome. When you get out you can go outside on middle area use restroom and there is a very nice souvenir shop there.Climbing the spiral staircase climb some narrower steps and sloping steps. At the top you are treated to spectacular 360 degree views.St Peters square and the gardens.
You then enter St Peters
When we were leaving we caught the changing of guard. We then walked through the square
Walking to Pantheon we passed
Stopped for some gallotto
WE walked back to the hotel along Tiber River
We asked girls for advice for someplace to eat locally, If you pay for a drink at the hotel they have nice appetizers. We only had them one night but enjoyed sitting outside in courtyard and talking to another couple who had been in Rome all week.
Perfect ending in Rome last night walked to local restaurant
Cruise port is about a hour from Rome. We were sharing van with Neil, someone I had met on line on Cruise Critic. We enjoyed our last breakfast at Hotel St Maria. I can not say enough about this place loved it. It felt like a quiet retreat in a bustling city after a busy day touring.
I loved walking in for breakfast and Barista would greet you with a big smile. The fresh juices and croissants and pastries were the best I have ever had. Cereal, European meats and cheese, fresh fruit scrambled eggs and we were set for the day.
This uneven cobblestone is everywhere in Rome. It caused me to have great pain in my ankles. I had pain with each step I will be prepared and get ankle splints for future travels.
Reflection here we come!!! This was our 25th cruise. We started cruising for our honeymoon in 1979, Cruising is such a easy way to see
When we got to ship at noon no long lines. We got up to desk and the girl could not find our room cards. We waited about 20 minutes while she got her supervisor and they searched and searched. Finally she came back and said your room has been changed, What???? when I book I always want a certain part of the ship. '''we were now on deck 7 and the upgrade fairy had upgraded us from inside to balcony!!!!!Sweet and what a surprise! Love hearing the ding of sea cards as enter ship. Makes me feel like we have returned home.