Sunday, 21 February 2010

First guy I met in Rome tried to rip me off

Someone had given me a less than glowing impression of what this city is like, and I guess I got it firsthand quite quickly . . . someone tried to charge me 60 euros for a 15 minute cab ride. It's highly unfortunate that I met them first before getting to any of the airport's official taxis. Otherwise it would've been a pretty quick 20 euro cab ride to my hotel.

Instead, being the unknowing tourist that I am, I took a shuttle bus into the centre of the city, only to be told by the tourist information service person I found that I'd gone past my hotel and I'd have to turn around and head back in the opposite direction.

It happens, I guess. I got there in the end and the hotel is nice (an near public transport, which is always a plus).

I've also noticed that Italians are insane drivers . . . lines are merely suggestions and if your car can physically fit there, then you might as well drive it there :P I have this fear however, that having been taught to drive in an ex British Empire country that one day I'll die in a head on collision (or being run over because I was looking the wrong way) in a more civilised nation.

I've had two days to walk around Rome. On the first day, I checked out the Vatican . . . very impressive. I think the funniest moment for me was walking into San Pietro's Basilica and saying to myself "Fucking Holy Shit". It's ironic that the blasphemy was brought about by the sheer size and grandeur of the church. It's probably 10 storeys high in it's internal dimensions . . . here's a photo (excuse the iPhone camera . . . my good camera's sitting on my desk at work back in Sydney):

On the second day I went to check out some ancient ruins. First stop was the Colosseum. It's impressive that they built such a gigantic stadium with no machinery . . . Supposedly it could have held about 40,000 people.


Here's a picture I took from the inside. They had a complete underground area that could be used to store gargantuan sets and wild animals for hunting and all kinds of craziness. It seems like it was home to massive and brutal spectacles . . . both impressive and shocking at the same time (I heard of an emperor celebrating a military victory by slaughtering 10,000 beasts in a "hunt".

Anyways, more of Rome soon . . . Hope Sydney's warm, this place isn't nearly as cold as I expected :P

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