And then, there it was. The Pantheon. No, not the "Parthenon" like in Athens, but the amazing, simply beautiful, Pantheon. It's famous for its dome and is home to the tomb of the painter Raphael. For going to Europe in the supposed "off season" it was crowded with tourists and locals alike. I took a few pictures of the dome opening. Joel even told us, "I find this even more amazing than the Colosseum" it's just unbelieveable its stood the test of time after all these years.
And this, is when I had to use the bathroom. Bad.
"I gotta go to the bathroom," I told Jay, once outside in the square. "Didnt you already go when we
were at lunch?" "Yes, but I gotta go again." I ran to the McDonalds across from the Pantheon.
(Isnt it funny? Super old buildings in churches 400+ years old, and an American style McDonalds!)
No, I was not there to get food at McDonalds, but to use their bathroom.
The bathroom was downstairs and, I counted, 12 people deep. Our group was to meet outside
the Pantheon to continue our walking tour to the Spanish Steps in 10 minuets. I did
not have time to wait.
So I walked back outside with Jay standing there starring at me like, "did you go?" I shook my head.
As we waited for our group to reassemble I people watched, and crossed my legs. This was another tourist location with "beggars" and people trying to sell you things. Today, some guys were selling some weird rocks that vibrate once you toss them in the air. "Who'd want to buy that crap?" I asked Jay. Just as I said that, some kid maybe 10 years old walked up to buy it.
As Joel and a few group members approached us to continue the walking tour, several people began to poop out. Two people decided to catch a cab and go back to the hotel because they were so tired. Another girl and her mom weren't feeling well so they left to go catch a cab also. And I might have done the same thing, because I was literally dead tired, feeling sick and had to pee. But, I really wanted to see the Spanish Steps. My relief would have to wait. Besides, how often are we in Rome?
As we walked through
the Pantheon is a building in Rome which was originally built as a temple to all the gods of Ancient Rome.
more streets and passed more old churches, I began to conjure up an image in my mind. I would pee on myself right in the middle of Rome with 20 other people there to witness it. I'd run away crying, never to show my face in public again, I'd be the laughing stock of the entire tour group. "You can do it," I encouraged myself. "If I can just hold it a little longer...." Joel kept stopping us every few blocks to point out a Gucci or Prada store, all increadibly expensive. Jay asked me "do you want to look in any of those shops?" "If they have purses in a display window," I pointed out, "I probably cant afford it."
Finally, we'd reached our destination. The Spanish Steps. And....the Egyptian Obelisk was under construction!! It was another crowded area with people selling those weird vibrating rocks. Joel stopped us and gave us a brief history on the steps. It was a beautiful area with an amazing fountain that is shaped like an upside down boat. (you dont see any pictures of this fountain in my blog because I took a picture w/ my disposable camera and not the
the fascade of the Pantheon
one of the most fascinating buildings of ancient Rome, is located in the Piazza della Rotonda.
digital) Anyway, I could not take it any longer. I wanted Joel to hurry up and dismiss us already!! As soon as he did he asked "any questions about anything?" I marched right up to him and said, "where is there a bathroom?!" he pointed me in the right direction; relief was a short run away. I thanked him and took off to the public bathrooms.
And finally....FINALLY, I could enjoy Rome again, without my nagging bladder. Jay and I, couldnt figure out how we'd get back to the hotel. Cab? or Metro? It was one euro to ride the metro and about 15 euro (or more) for a cab ride.....so Metro it was. But not before I could walk around and take pictures. For months prior I'd had an image in my mind that I would sit among the Italians (and tourists) on the famous steps sipping a capuccino watching the world go by.
Only....I didnt think it would be that crowded, and I didnt think I'd be that tired. I could have fallen asleep standing up. 10 nights of getting 5 hours of sleep or less, was catching up to me.
So....we walked back to the
the inside dome
Made entirely of concrete, it was the largest dome built, before the 20th century.
Metro station. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. The inside of the subways themselves were clean. Well, cleaner than Paris' Metro anyways. Except the outside of the trains were all covered with ugly graffiti.
And then, finally, the hotel. And a bed. I slept for about 2 and a half hours. So did Jay. Sleep never felt so good.
When we awoke, Jay wasnt feeling well, I was just tired and groggy, but I decided to walk to a resturant nearby to get food. Then we were to meet Joel and the rest of the gang inside the hotel lobby for one last drink. Jay didnt accompany me to the resturant, but I ran into Tony and Delia and had dinner w/ them.
In the hotel lobby, Joel had bought us all champagne. It was our last night. Our LAST NIGHT, in Rome. And Europe. And so, the adventure had come to an abrupt ending. Joel basically gave us our flight information for the next day. ALL of us were on the same flight from Rome to Newark, except 4 other people. As Joel was getting ready to dismiss us for the night, one woman
Black & white view
There is no glass that covers this roof, it is designed to drain water from rain because it is on a slant.
The interior of the roof was possibly intended to symbolize the arched vault of the heavens.
spoke up in front of the group (I think her name was Tina) and told Joel what a wonderful time she'd had and "I owe it all to you," she said. Everyone nodded in agreement. Joel stopped her from going on. "Yes, well, we'll have our good-byes tomorrow," he said. I suppose he didnt want the entire group getting teary eyed. Or maybe he was too modest to hear the compliment??
So, everyone went their seperate ways, which was going to dinner. A few people invited me along w/ them but I'd already eaten. Tony, Delia, and I, and two other nice ladies from Pennsylvania stayed in the lobby just chit chatting..... for about 4 hours. Jay stayed in the room cause he was feeling sick. Little by little, the other group members came back into the lobby,
Joel included and about 10 of us in all stayed up for a while, ordering more drinks from the bar.
For being the last night in Rome, we had a lot of fun just hanging out in the bar getting to know each other. By the end of the night I'd exchanged e-mail information with several others, including Delia, Tony,
Alisen and the two ladies from PA. It's kind of funny to think about it now, I'd come on this trip 10 days ago not knowing a single soul, all the other group members were strangers to me
and here we were saying our last good-byes and hugging each other.
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