Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Rest of the Day

After the Vatican the day began to stretch into an never ending urban hike. First off was the Catle Sant' Angelo, which was impressive, and all – but I've seen castles, thank you very much, and I have no desire to wander through another. Next was the Palazzo di Glustizia – a building whose massive size would not be revealed until much later. A little tired at this point, after wandering through Vatican City for so long, a brief stop was proposed across the bridge at P.zza Navona. Here there were all number of people selling paintings, and just sitting around relaxing, enjoying the day. I remember sitting around relaxing. Spain wasn't that long ago. But Rome would afford no such luxury.

Apparently this area used to be flooded and used as a public pool hundreds of years ago. The things you learn when you stand around large tour group. There also happens to be an obelisk here. You may feel deja vu, back to this moment.

Next up was the Pantheon, which is fantastic if only for the fact that no one knows how it was created. Technology at the time, didn't allow for the dome to be created. A lot of people also are buried there – so says lonely planet. I saw no evidence of this when I walked around and around the circle. But, hey, I'm sure they're there somewhere.

Then the walk went up to Palazzon Montecitorio, which is a great big impressive building. There was also an Egyptian obelisk out front.

At this point a normal person would head back, congratulating themselves for a day well spent. But no, there was more daylight, and thus more wandering. Past some more buildings, on the way to Area Sacra, which is a bunch of ancient ruins. It also acts as a cat sanctuary, which I didn't learn until much later. This explained why there were dozens and dozens of cats crawling around there.

I then went through a market, just closing up, at Campo de Flori, and made my way across Ponte Sisto, to find a fountain turned off. There were some more churches, and some more arches – and then the hill. There was a great big hill at the end of a long days walk. But at the top of the hill there was a horse statue. It was on my map, all three dimensional. That alone must mean it's the greatest horse statue of all time. So up the hill, up the stairs, around the other hill, and there I was – at a fountain. Not a horse statue, but it was a start. It also provided a lovely view over the city.

But there was no time to stop and chat with the armed guards posted there. No – for there was another hill to climb! And there – there it was. The horse statue! M'eh, it was alright. But the view was even better from this point There was also a lighthouse here. On a hill. With no water around. I have no idea.

The problem with walking out this far, of course, is that you must walk all the way back. There was no metro here – the closest was an hour away at the Vatican. So that's where we headed. Back down the hill, past streets full of cars that wanted us dead, and by the first bit of pro-nazi graffiti I've even seen.

And then it was onto the metro (this was not as quick and pleasant a walk as I make it out to be here. There would be some grumbling along the way.)

After a long day, a well deserved bowl of brocolli pasta was ordered at a restaurant near my hostel, and followed with some adult beverages brewed right here, in the fine country of Italy.

For a moment we almost picked up a third person – but when he saw our drinks, he headed out to buy some of his own. He returned ten minutes later with a bottle of wine, crushed to discover no one had a bottle opener. He then headed out to find an opener. He was never seen again. Presumed dead.

Slept like a baby, that night, I did.

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