We have been moving so fast, seeing so much, tiring ourselves out for almost 2 weeks now that I think the lack of sleep is catching up to us. We rested late, but kept worrying if we were gonna over sleep the pope. It is Sunday and I want to see the Pope give his blessing at noon from the Vatican. I figure, I am in Rome, its a Sunday, there aren’t too many of these opportunities in life.
It was super hot again today. We had a 20 minute walk to St. Peter’s Cathederal. It was actually really pretty weather and we took many pictures along the way, along the Tiber River. I love the Bridge of Angels and the way Bernini depicted them. Its a beautiful walk.
We arrived at the cathederal around 11:30 and there was a LONG line of people wrapping around the square to get in for the Sunday Mass. We huddled under the symmetric collonade so that we could be in the shade. Noon arrived, and we went out into the square so that we could peer up to the window where he makes his blessing.
However, today he was out of town, and was giving his blessing via CTV, the pope television video boards that now are in strategic locations around the square. We watch for about 20 minutes and then decide its time to get out of the scorching heat and go eat some lunch.
We walked thru Vatican city and found our way to an italian restraunt-go figure. A pizza, ravioli and frizzante lunch hit the spot. The air-conditioning felt good. At one moment during lunch, a family came in with about 10 people, including what must have been their priest. It was cute to see them taking their priest to lunch. I felt badly that he had to wear all black in this heat.
We walked back towards our neck of town, and stopped at the internet cafe. I was feeling really grossed out about our apartment, and really worried about it serving the needs of my parents when they arrived. So we spent about 90 minutes searching the internet for an alternative place to stay. JeanE and Kathie are coming to town and they reserved a place so they could be nearby us. We couldn’t book a place now the other side of town. But did I feel comfortable staying in our place one more night? Did I feel comfortable hosting my parents with that disgusting bathroom? We researched many different possibilities. We looked into renting a room(s) at a hotel that was nearby, and renting rooms for all, somewhere else. But there was barely any vacancy anywhere.
We are in Rome the week of a large, Super Bowl type event. It is the UEFA Champions League Finale on the 27th and rooms are all booked as people have come to Rome to cheer on either Barcelona or Manchester United.
When it came down to it, I decided that we were “stuck” in our situation and we just needed to grit our teeth and get thru it.
We left the internet cafe and started walking up the street, when across the street we saw a storefront window that read “Traditional Thai Massage.” We decided to give it a shot. I have a hard time turning down any massage as I find them very beneficial and relaxing.
So we walked in, and there is a crew of Thai women sitting around. We try to talk to them in English, but their language is Italian and Thai. We finally get them to realize that we want a massage, we don’t have an appointment and we are wondering if there is availability.
There were four types of massage on the menu: Traditional, Oil, Foot, and Cellulite. I decided to go for the Traditional–which I was told was stronger, and Lisa ordered the Oil massage–which we were told is more relaxing.
We were led back to our rooms, and the rooms had showers in them. The lady left these weird clothing items on the bed and then left. I sat there wondering, “Am I supposed to take a shower first?,”
I decided to just put on the clothing they left out. It was these thin, light, white cotton shirt and short combo. It was kind of like a mini scrubs, but a much thinner, more see-thru (without being see-thru) version. It was very comfortable. I lied down on the bed, unsure if I had done the right thing by not showering, if I was supposed to lie down yet and all other questions that occur when its your first time visiting a new masseuse.
The traditional Thai Massage was an interesting massage. It was less of a massage, and more of a stretching, contortion sort of exercise. The lady would bend me and pull me in random directions. At one time, she was up on the table with me, locking my legs in a weird position with her hands arms and her own leg, and then using one of her feet to push against my butt to pull and stretch my legs. As odd as it all was, I found it very beneficial. I felt my muscles stretched, my circulation improved and much more limber. Since they had not used any oil on me, and was merely yoga type exercises, the shower must have just been for show, or for the other types. Lisa wrote about it as well.
We then went and tried the hop-on hop-off bus tour. We were told that the best way was to just buy a ticket on the bus. There was a stop for the Green bus company right across from where we were, so we stood in line. They are supposed to come every 10 minutes. About 45 minutes later, we decide to skip it, since it hadn’t arrived. We had seen many of the Red bus company drive by, so we tried to go find a Red stop. We found one not too far away. We waited there for about 15 minutes, and it finally came.
We got on board, and the bus started moving. Went to pay, but they were cash only, and we didn’t have the proper amount. Darn. Since the bus already started, we had to wait till the next stop, St. Peters, to get off. We exited the bus, and got some cash out of the third ATM we saw (stupid Rome ATM’s that don’t work), and then went to the bus stop to get on and take the tour, and enjoy the breeze in the strong heat and humidity.
However, it was too late in the day. The bus was halfway through its final leg, and would not be making it back to the stop near our place. And now we are a long 25 minute walk away from our place, its scorching hot, and we are tuckered out and frustrated.
Rome has been very frustrating. We are towards the end of our trip, and we are tired, emotional, and just need something easy. But Rome has been extremely crowded, extremely hot and kind of a drag. Don’t get me wrong, I love this city. I love the art, the architecture, the food, and the people. It is just this particular time, this part of the trip, just nothing seems to be going perfect.
We got back to the general area of our hotel and decide to try and eat dinner at this rooftop restraunt that we had passed by the day before. Finding it again, would be tricky. Like most nights out, as previously mentioned, finding our dinner restraunt can be fun, yet sometimes gets frustrating and lost. This was no exception. We wandered trying to retrace steps and find it. Finally after some direction asking (Dove Il…)we found it. However it was reserved and booked full for the night. So we kept walking.
We found this charming restraunt, that was really quaint and pretty. Each table faced the alley way, and was covered with yellow table cloths and had vases of fresh cut flowers and lit candles. It was really romantic.
We had a cheese appetizer that had a cheese that had pistachios in it. It was tasty.
After heading back to our apartment for a short break, we decide to go look for a cookie, so we headed out to Piazza Navona. I love this square. It’s so pretty. We enjoyed the nightlife there, but alas, could not find a cookie.
Went back to the apartment, I took a shower to wash off the heat, and then fell asleep.