Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Going to Church

Sunday 17 August
It's Sunday so we went to church! Quite an important church apparently. Our host Maria supplied breakfast of cereal and yoghurt, warms rolls, toast and coffee and then we were off at about 9.00 via the subway to Vatican City.

We arrived into St Peter's Square and saw a line so we joined it! It was very hot, even at this time of the morning. The line moved quite quickly, however, and within 15 minutes we were filing through the Tomb of Popes. Jimmy the Third is also buried there. I was surprised by the intensity of reverence, especially in front of the tomb of the most recent pope.

We then went into St Peter's Church which is huge in an almost unimaginable way. It is also very opulent. I know Terry was quite moved by the experience and that was cool. Obviously, it doesn't mean the same to me, but I have learned a lot from him by asking stupid questions.

This is a very wealthy church/religion!

We walked from there to the St Angelo Bridge and boarded a boat cruise of the Tiber River where we learned a lot about the bridges that cross the river. St Angelo's Bridge which connects at the tomb of Hadrian at the Cassel del Angelo was started in 27 BC and is the only bridge to survive the many floods of The Tiber.

We then headed off walking to the Tervi Fountain, but diverted to the Campidoglio and Pantheon on the way. The Pantheon appears to be another old church. About now my back was beginning its daily throb from walking and standing so I start to lose a little motivation.

However, we soon came across the Tervi Fountain which was a spectacular tumble of water over and amongst statues into a pool which was thronged by hundreds of people. We managed to make our way to the pool and I even dunked my head under to cool off. We also filled our water bottles. Throughout Italy there are many sources of drinkable water available for people. This is much appreciated at this time of the year.

After walking home and getting a little lost near the end Terry and I headed off in search of an internet cafe to check emails and update blogs. I have been using my phone to regularly check the Herald for Olympics news. I hope this is not too expensive, Joc!

It has been good to hear of our Olympians' successes and the awesome win by the AllBlacks, but frustrating not to see any of it. We only see Olympic events in which Italians feature! I am sure it is not like this in NZ.

It was great to receive an email, though very brief, from Lea and another from Alison, all of which I appreciate.


We're about to go out for our second dinner in Rome. It was a very hot night last night so not everyone slept well and Dallas, in particular, is very tired.

We metroed to Plaza del Popolo and walked amongst the streets looking for a restaurant with an outside table. As we approached Redegliamici a group left their table and with a “You couldn't fit four of us in there could ya mate?” we connected with our waiter, Paulo, who was a star.

We started with a complimentary glass of champagne and when he arrived to take our orders he started with, “I am here to answer your questions.” He provided our wine and after he smelled the cork and swirled some from one glass to another he offered it for tasting. Very flamboyant.

The food was superb. Terry and I had spaghetti puttacetta (olives, tomatoes and anchovies), Leigh had Canneloni for Kings and Dallas had Rissotto in fish sauce. Whe4n we had finished Paulo provided us with a glass of liminchello.

Paulo really looked after us and his humour added to the enjoyment of the evening.

We then headed to the Metro via the Spanish Steps and crashed after another busy day.

1 comment:

Megan said...

Well if it makes you feel any better the BBC coverage of anything that they aren't in has been pretty abysmal... so they only showed Kili's (sp?) first shot put throw and that was it. And when NZ came 3rd in one of the rowing races they didn't even show us on the screen as GB was about to come second. Absolutely shocking.