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Sunday, 25 August 2013

Zoo marine

Rome in August is hot... very hot. In fact many Romans leave the city and take their holidays during August and we decided we'd join the Romans and take a break a little way out of the city at a water park called Zoo Marine - it only takes so long until you are sick to death of looking at ruins. 


We clambered onto a free shuttle coach in Rome that Zoo Marine offered after we took the metro to the pick up point. It was rather stiflingly hot and full of Asians who'd had the same idea as us. It was also full of Romans, all of whom seemed to have great issues in queuing. So much so that one family shoved their little boy to the very front where he proceeded to save about 20 seats - we took great delight in sitting in these saved seats and pretending not to know what he was on about when he explained they were saved. The Asians genuinely didn't know what he was on about and also sat in the saved seats. Mwahaha. 


First we went to a high diving show, which was rather good. 


Then a lovely dolphin show, the animals all seemed very well cared for and were very cuddly with the trainers. 


Also there was a baby dolphin that followed its mum about during the show, I liked that they didn't try to separate them. You can see him in the water on the photo below. 


Then we took a much needed dip in the pool area which was large but as it was full of Romans the boyfriend and I could spot each other a mile off because we were so very white. Being pasty does have it's advantages. 


The pool session was briefly interrupted by a well greased muscley Italian in his 50s in tight speedos with hair like Rachel from Friends (which he shook round as he posed) standing on the island in the middle of the pool area and started to lead aqua aerobics. He was soon joined by three girls in Zoo Marine bikinis young enough to be his daughters and they lead the enthused pool people in a nice gym session. The boyfriend asked if I wanted to join in; I did not, I was getting enough exercise by laughing. Coincidentally around this time we decided to get out of the pool and go to the seal and sea lion show which was very pleasant. 


We sat and had an iced coffee before it was back on the hot coach with the pushy Italians. 


To read more about my holiday click the August tab on the right hand side and see my posts or click the "Rome" tag below. 

Food

Italy is favourite for food but the food in Rome can be pretty hit or miss. Firstly you have to find somewhere that's not so touristy that all your food is cooked in a microwave, secondly you have battles against somewhere too Italian where you can't guess what the menu items are and you pay for thimbles full of coffee. 


We found food, pretty much wherever you went, was very reasonably priced. Drinks however were not and you have to really pick where you went. 


Water that you could buy in the supermarket for 30 cents was available for 4 euros... err... no? We walked out of one restaurant because they wanted something ridiculous like 6 euros for a can of coke. The trick is to find places to eat that are a little further away from the tourist spots. 


I've never eaten so much tiramisu and gelato in my life!


To read more about my holiday click the August tab on the right hand side and see my posts or click the "Rome" tag below. 

Trevi Fountain

There comes a time in the life of every tourist in Rome when you visit the Trevi Fountain, and it was just lovely. 


The little square it was in was jam packed with tourists, police, traders and it's surroundings weren't as spacious as you'd expect. You turn down a few alleyways and BAM it suddenly appears. 


It looked even better at night but just as packed with tourists and people trying to sell tat


To read more about my holiday click the August tab on the right hand side and see my posts or click the "Rome" tag below. 

Friday, 23 August 2013

The Colosseum

Well chums I was looking forward to the Colosseum and we set off to it full of promise, headed to the front of the queue with our online tickets. 


We got inside and.... well I won't lie, I was bored. We got an audio tour thinking a bit of bloody thirsty history about gladiators etc might liven things up but no... no.


The main arena floor was stripped back and you could see the all the parts where they stored animals and gladiators and stuff before they fought and controlled trap doors and all that jazz. 


The Colosseum is named after a huge statue of Colossus, this looks small below but it was like the size of a sofa.


My highlight of our trip to the Colosseum was a skinny look alike of my cat, awww. 


To read more about my holiday click the August tab on the right hand side and see my posts or click the "Rome" tag below. 

Tat

All over Rome in the Tourist spots there are make shift stalls, I actually really enjoyed browsing them, especially with a gelato.


Some were pretty good.


The boyfriend was mystified by this one.


There were so many souvenir stands around with lovely pope memorabilia, hats, models, rosaries, umbrellas, masks, fans, weird squishy plastic alien things.  


To read more about my holiday click the August tab on the right hand side and see my posts or click the "Rome" tag below. 

Gelato

We had the most glorious gelato whilst in Rome, there were so many artisan gelato parlours (or artigianale as the Italians say).


The best flavours were fruity ones, they really tasted like the fruit.


This gelato parlour (above) was open and commandeered by American troops during the second world war to supply all their gelato needs.


This menu made ordering easier in Italian!


Yummmm


Some of them were so decorative too


To read more about my holiday click the August tab on the right hand side and see my posts or click the "Rome" tag below. 

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Pompeii

After Vesuvius we went on to Pompeii and we had a guided tour there which was great but it was so unbelievably hot out and there was very little shade. There are a lot of photos in this post so if that's not your thing you might want to skip ahead to Pompeii X Rated


We started off looking at some public places like this amphitheatre and then went through a rich persons house where you could still see their wall frescos. 


All the streets had pictures instead of names which I thought was nice. 




They also had pavements with stepping stones so their residents didn't have to walk in the dirty street. 


There were some fountains around the place, some had been made to work again but some were just decorative. 


This was a bakery.


A mosaic in the porch of someone's house.


This was the main forum area, kinda like their version of the village square, you can see Vesuvius looming ominously in the background. 


This was a room in the baths which were apparently free for the citizens to use. 


All the decorations were well preserved still so it didn't take a lot of imagination to see how things used to be. 


This was a fast food place, food was kept in bowls that went in the holes you see on the counter, both hot and cold, there were tons of fast food places around which was kind of funny to think of all the ancient citizens of Pompeii loving the fast food. 


A little dog mosaic I enjoyed. 


There were only three bodies we could see and you couldn't see them closely.


They were plaster casts.


I would have liked more people to look at.


All in all it was really nice to look round and it must have looked great in its hay day... you know... before the horrific deaths. 


The boyfriend and I decided to have an icy lemon slushy to cool off as it's the region of limoncello. 


Outside there was a portly gladiator strutting his stuff, smoking, making calls on his mobile and trying to convince tourists to pay to have their photo with him round all the souvenir stalls. 


To read more about my holiday click the August tab on the right hand side and see my posts or click the "Rome" tag below. 

Pompeii X Rated

So I put this in a different post from the main Pompeii post because it's mainly focussing on prostitutes. This is the red light district. 


This is the house of a self employed prostitute complete with decorative phallus over the doorway. 


This is her comfy looking bed (I assume her?).


Marginally more spacious than the brothel rooms


This was a sign post in the street to the brothel, I think it conveys the message in a fairly obvious way. 


Here's some of the brothel menu, the prostitute looks a bit manly I think, and it's a drawing so you'd think they'd use artistic licence and pretty her up a bit wouldn't you?


Interesting to know they had boob tubes back then though


To read more about my holiday click the August tab on the right hand side and see my posts or click the "Rome" tag below.