Roman Restoration

When one of my computers crashed a couple years ago, I thought I lost a whole set of pictures from trips to Istanbul and Rome, as well as a good many Warsaw photos.    Well … I did back them up on a disk, which I came across today.   I have been having a good time looking through the slide show. 

When I thought I lost the pictures, I tried to write up the lost memory.   The text is below, but now I have included some of the formerly lost pictures.

Roman Forum

We lost the computer memory that included my pictures of the trip Alex and I took to Rome in February 2002.  I enjoyed looking at them from time to time.  I had a really good time with Alex that time.  He was interested in learning and enthusiastic about Rome. 

Maybe a picture is worth a thousand words and I can write that much about it.

The flight down was not bad except that we sat next to a woman who seemed to have a cold.  We did not get sick, but it was unpleasant to sit next to her.  Coming down into the airport, the thing you notice is umbrella pines.  I was hoping to see a little of Rome, but the airport is far away.

It was hard to find our way around from the Rome airport.  We finally got our bearing and took the train to Rome.  I remember the train was very comfortable.  We went past a lot of rural slums.  Lots of gypsies lived along the tracks.   They had little trailer villages surrounded by garbage.   I was surprised how warm and kind of desert like it was.  It was a little like S. California or maybe even some of the less arid parts of Arizona.

German barbarian on Arch of Constantine

Our hotel was out of town.  We took the train and then a taxi.  It was a Holiday Inn Express and it had a free shuttle to the subway.  Next door was a big supermarket, which was good to have for coke and snacks. 

On the first night, we walked to this commercial area where there were shops and restaurants.  It was very lively and the weather was warm, very different from February in Poland. Restaurants were not open in the early evening.  Italians don’t eat until late.  As I recall, we had to eat at a Chinese place, since that was all that was open.

We got up early the next day and caught the subway into town.  It was dreary and gray. The subway was depressing and crowded.  It seems like the start of a bad day.  It wasn’t.  As we came out of the subway station, the sun came out with that fresh look after a rain and we saw the Coliseum, behind was the Forum. It was a magic moment.  Alex was excited.  I had pictures of him at the Coliseum and in various places in the Forum.   He is skinny and wearing my red coat. It is too big for him.

That day we also went to the Circus Maximus and the Palatine and Capitoline Hill.  The Palatine is where the emperors had their homes.  Now it is park like around ruins.  We walked a lot that day. 

The next day we went along the Adrian wall and downtown.  The most interesting was the Pantheon.  I had a picture of the sunlight coming in though the hole in the top of the roof.  We also saw Hadrian’s column.  There was a nice picture of Alex in front of it.   The Tiber is a small river, but it is nice nearby.  Lots of sycamore trees.

We walked all along and came to the Vatican.  It is very clean and neat.  There are lots of things to see.  The Vatican museum has many of those famous works of art that you always see in books.  We also saw the Sistine Chapel.  There were big crowds.  We went to St. Peters.  I had various pictures.  It is an impressive place.   It rained hard that day.  My Goretex did okay.  Poor Alex was soaked worse, but he didn’t complain. 

The next day we went to outskirts of town.  Very nice gardens.  We also went to the Via Appia.  It is very pretty with interesting ruins all along.  This was the major highway to and from Rome and the the road where Jesus met St Peter as he was fleeing Rome during Nero’s pogrom.  Peter asks Jesus Quo Vadis (where are you going).  Jesus said he was going to Rome to be with his people. Peter went back to Rome where he was martyred by being crucified upside down.  A large part of the Roman road is a park available only to foot traffic.  Unfortunately, it is truly scary getting there on foot. The road is narrow and cars zoom along.  It scared the crap out of us.  Never again should we do something like that.  But once you get out of town, it is quiet and quaint.  One thing I like about Euro cities is that they end.  In the U.S. you would have endless suburbs.

We caught a bus back to town.  That was our last day in Rome.  I really don’t recall much about catching the train back to the airport.  I remember passing the Gypsy village again.

I am sad to lose the pictures of Alex in Rome.  It was one of the happy times of my life and I hope of his.  

Oh yeah.  We shared a room.  That boy can snore.  I had to stuff rags into my ears to be able to sleep.