Italy Day 8 and 9

Day 8           Rome                     HOT

 After a leisurely start to the morning, we caught a taxi about 9.00am and headed for the Pantheon, which we were not able to get into last weekend.  We were pleased that we did get to see it as it is an amazing building, which is round with a domed roof, which was a single casting, with a whole in the middle to allow the dome to move and absorb the affects of minor earth tremors.  It was particularly nice to be able to see this building without the huge crowds of tourists that had been present at all the major attractions last weekend.  Rome appears to be fairly quiet – maybe it is just the changeover between one set of tourists going home and the next lot arriving today.

We took this opportunity to revisit The Trevi Fountain, to take more photos and to buy Richard two silk ties from Beny, the place that Katharine bought some for him on her visit to Rome with Tim and Rach a few years ago.

Then with a map in our hand, we through caution to the wind and headed off through the winding streets with long Italian names, to find the river Tiber, which we did.  As it flows through Rome, it is not a very wide river.  By now it was approaching the middle of the day and siesta time (for the Italians) and it was getting very hot and humid, so we decided it was time to return to the hotel Albani to get out of the sun. 

The plan was to have lunch here at the hotel, but on arrival just after 12.00, we discovered that, no, the lunch area and bar are closed between 12.00 and 3.00 every day – nice to see that serving the tourist guests doesn’t interfere with their siesta time!  We raided the mini bar and found some chips and a cold drink to tide us over until 3.00 when we were able to get a sandwich.

After uploading our blog and photos we headed off on foot to explore the area around the hotel and to see if we could find an entrance to the adjoining park and maybe some shops.  We walked around the perimeter of the park, but unfortunately, we were not able to find an unlocked gate.  We did however, find, several blocks away, the equivalent of a David Jones/Myer department store and with the aid of a helpful shop attendant, were able to find a grocery store where we purchased some essential supplies like cashew nuts and bottled water.

Around 7.30pm we met up with Dennis and Lauree, as previously arranged, and headed of to a local restaurant for dinner.  When we arrived there, we were surprised to discover two of our other fellow tour group, Cal and Diane, so we sat next to them and the six of us enjoyed a leisurely meal and some drinks, laughed and chatted about nothing in particular, but just enjoyed each others’ company.   We headed back to the hotel for a nightcap with Cal and Diane.  A lovely night was had!

 Day 9           Rome                     Hot

 With no definite plans in mind, we had a leisurely 8.30 breakfast, and ran into Tom and Laurel in the dining room – they were going to catch a train later in the morning to take them to their ship for a cruise. 

After checking the map for interesting places that we had not previously visited and also trying to find somewhere that would keep us away from the main tourist population, we discovered the Villa Borghese, a large parkland area reasonably close to our hotel.  Borghese also houses Rome’s Zoo, so we called a taxi and off we went.  The Zoo was interesting – a little run down – but the animals seemed to be well cared for. 

We visited the giraffes, zebras, said g’day to a wallaby who was more interested in preening itself than saying g’day to us, elephants, brown bears frolicking in the water.  We even found some interesting cats for Janet to add to her collection of cats from Greece – a tiger and some lemur cats, Madagascar style.

Here Kitty kitty....

Here Kitty kitty....

Cats Madagascar style

Cats Madagascar style

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were disappointed that we couldn’t get any really close photos of the tigers or lions but by the time we got to their areas, it was getting on towards mid-day and they were resting in semi-concealed, shady places.

We concluded our visit to the zoo with a sandwich and cold drink and decided that our hotel looked close enough for us to walk, which we did.  We walked past the Galleria Borghese and the Borghese gardens. The walk back to the hotel only took us about 20 minutes and we were able to walk on the shady side of the streets, so we were quite pleased with ourselves.

The next couple of hours were taken up with reading and resting and listening to books.  Richard is enjoying being able to listen to his talking books on his Ipod.

We are planning to just hover about now until dinner time, when we will probably catch up with Dennis and Lauree again for dinner in a local restaurant.


One Response to “Italy Day 8 and 9”

  1. Katharine says:

    Hi Mum and Daddio
    Glad to see you two are having a great time and your photos are great too. Glad to see that Dad has been able to hand the camera over to you mum and he’s actually in some! Keep enjoying yourselves, you deserve it.
    Lots of love
    Katharine/Smooch

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