Friday, November 27, 2009
Rome wasn’t seen in a day!
Bion Girono!! Today was our day to travel to Rome. We docked at Civitavecchia, a port first built around 200 AD. They’ve upgraded it since which is good for ships like the Voyager of the Seas. Some days they get as many as 7 cruise ships in port at the same time. Since we are very late in the season there were only two. Our driver met us at about 8 am for the 45 minute trip to Rome. Ivan was our driver and guide. His great-grandfather started the business of giving tours of Rome, and his son, and his son, and now Ivan. They’ve been around awhile.
We hit rush hour into Rome and made our way slowly to the “old city.” First stop was the Coliseum and it was fantastic. The whole surrounding area has been excavated so as to give you a feel for what it was like in the 1st century. It gave both of us chill bumps to walk the cobblestone steps up to where the “games” began. Unfortunately most of its original marble beauty was later “recycled” to build newer parts of Rome before there was archeology and tourism, but it’s breathtaking still the same. The stadium was to have held 58,000 people when it was built. We tried to imagine the Emperors, the officials, the chariots, the politicians and the people all gathered for such games. A large cross stands in one section of the place as a reminder of the many folks who paid with their lives for believing in the Christ.
Then we travelled to an important city square, saw dozens of other buildings, I can’t recall the names of, the Trevi Fountain, Placa Novay, the Pantheon, and on to Vatican City. The Vatican is the smallest country in the world. We toured the museum part of the city, made our way down for almost an hour in the Sistine Chapel. It was a place we could’ve stayed for hours. Part of our tour included our own guide for the Vatican. I really believe he could’ve talked for a month describing everything we were seeing. It was hard to take it all in. Then from there we went into St Peter’s Basilica. Boy, there just wasn’t enough time. We’re not Catholic but it was still amazing to actually stand where so many world people focus their faith. We just missed the Pope. He speaks at noon every Wednesday. Aaron, I didn’t get to tell him hi for you, sorry.
That’s all the time we had for today so it was back to the ship.
The weather has been just perfect so far, lows in the 60’s highs around 68 and no rain. “Rome wasn’t built in a day” they say. Well, I’ll tell you, you can’t see it in one either….but it’s certainly worthwhile to see all you can.
We pray for each you of a greater sense of Thanksgiving for each and every blessing the Lord gives us. I’m especially thankful for my bride of 30 years, come December.
De & ke