Bohemian Rhapsody

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May 12th 2017
Published: May 12th 2017
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It's getting to the end of our journey and we are both very tired. Still so much to see but day by day we have less energy to see it with. This epistle begins with our day trip to Pompeii. An early start to get to Termini station by 8.30 meant the quickest of breakfasts before a morning walk past the Colosseum (nice to see it without masses of people and dudes relentlessly trying to sell you a selfie stick. Honestly, if I was a selfie stick kind of girl and was going to Rome, I would have brought one with me and really don't need 15 guys within a 500 metre radius chanting selfieselfieselfie). The train from Rome to Naples was ridiculously fast, which made up for the trip from Naples to Pompeii - on a local and entirely separate trainline called the CircumVesuviana, choccas with very loud locals. We ended up at Pompeii itself rather than Pompeii Scavi (which is the closest to the ruins) so walked through the Modern town as it happened while a HUGE outdoor mass at the Catholic church (not surprisingly, Our lady of Pompeii) was going on. Finding the entrance was a lot harder than we expected so our feet were already well worn before we ever started! Due to a number of collapses in 2010 there was a lot of restoration going on in the ruins, so areas that were roped off or unreachable. All the "artefacts" had been moved into cage in the main "square" which was, as you would expect crammed with people. The remainder of pompeii so a lot of open structures, clearly indicating a large and thriving community. I enjoyed seeing evidence of society - public baths, communcal toilet areas, brothels, temples and paintings. It made a lot more sense once we had seen a 3D reconctruction in a film playing in the museum section - brought everything to life somehow. I dwelt for a time on the idea of how we would deal with an impending and unavoidable disaster. We left and rested our feet, having a gelato before we headed back to Naples, and then back to Rome. It was a huge day, so we were only prepared to go a short distance for dinner - finding the local upmarket "hostario" as recommended by our host - which to be honest, while very nice, cost twice as much as your average pizza and pasta joint, and less food. Tuesday we walked forever and ever. Started by finding our way in the opposite direction to normal and got the metro to Spagna, and saw the Spanish steps. Had a coffee and the walked back towards the Roman forum then home for lunch. In the afternoon we walked mre and went to the Time Elevator - a touristy thing but educational all the same - history of rome in a "4D ride/movie" type format where you get chucked about while watching a large screen. Fun and intertesing. From there we walked to the Trevi Fountain and on through the fashionable areas of Rome to the Hard Rock Cafe -where we were served by an Aussie from Jindabyne called always a great fun time. Got massively lost coming home and the phone dies which was our map so...that was tricky. Finally made it, 24000 steps for the day! To make up for it , Wednesday we didn't leave the house till 1.30 - metro to the Vatican and saw the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. I kind of expected it to be bigger for some reason. Sadly no photos from there, but appreciated Michelangelos work. Thursday was our travel day - so packed up and got our transoirt to the airport. I was told that my cabin bag would not fit on the plane so I was to check it in at ni extra cost - which was fine but then realised after going through security that it was unlocked and had my wallet with all ID, cards, money etc in it, causing me to freak out and checking my internet banking every 2 minutes to make sure everything was still where it was meant to be. The kind people from Vuelling airlines radio'd the ground crew who grabbed by bag out from the freight thingy it was on so I could get my wallet while on the tarmac before boarding. This also meant we had money to eat lunch on the plane. Landing in Prague we first noticed how quiet it was. Landing at 3pm we only had 2 planes of people getting luggage, and no customs whatsoever - just gran your luggage and your out in the world. We learnt from our driver that Prague only has 1.5 million people and Czeck Republic itself only 10 million total - so its quiet, its easy and it feels very relaxed. Landscape quite similar to southern England and a beautiful temperature. We checked in to our apartment meeting Lucia, our host - a tall nordic woman who was effortless in her general feminine grace, while I am there in layers of clothes (having entirely underestimated the warmth), with fuzzy hair and clothes that do nothing for my better features. Sigh, Ahhwell. The apartment itself is lovely, so I do my thing and ventrue out to a supermarket ( TESCO!) locating snacks, drinks and breakky things for ourstay. As we are not in the European Union, I am using the local currency - the Koruna, which is about 17 to the dollar - so spending 99 on a bottle of wine was actually pretty good value We found closeby a local microbrewery where we had dinner - my second beer of the trip - and ate the most ridiculous amount of meat you could possibly imagine. It was great fun though. 1 more entry to go before we head home - 2 days in Prague and 2 days in Amsterdam!

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