SPQR

My 4 bed dorm is full of Canadians. 3 from B.C., and one from Ontario. So many Canadians.

Last night after posting my previous post, I walked down to the Trevi Fountain. Even at 10 or so it was packed. While it is definitely beautiful, there are too many people around to really enjoy it.

Trevi Fountain – too many people, otherwise nice

This morning, after eating some free breakfast, I went on a walking tour provided by my hostel. We walked by many of the main sites. It was hot. Really hot. I think it got up to about 35 celsius, which for a Vancouverite is about oven temperature. I think I got mildly burnt for the first time this trip, which is honestly some kind of miracle with how easily I usually burn. I’m not sure if I have been lucky or if my skin is getting a bit more resilient.

Spanish steps – underwhelming and surrounded by high-end shopping

Fountain of four rivers

The Pantheon – probably the highlight for me, I love this building

The Colosseum – also a highlight, wish I could have gone in

After the walking tour I spent some time cooling down in my hostel. Then I went out and ate some pizza with mozzarella, anchovies, ham and mushrooms. It was pretty good. Then I spent close to an hour at the train station making reservations for upcoming trains. The good news is my trains are booked for the next week so I don’t have to worry about it. However, I would highly recommend doing your best to spend as little time in the Roma Termini station as possible.

My original plan was to go to the Colosseum and the Roman Forum after the walking tour, but apparently there was a general strike all day. It shut down the metro and buses for most of the day, and a lot of the main tourist attractions including the Colosseum. Supposedly this has been happening once a month for quite some time and there aren’t really any demands and no one is negotiating anything so I have no idea what the purpose of the strike is. I’ve been told that “they just want a day off” but I hold that comment at about the same level as “those Quebec students already have the lowest tuition in the country, they are just whiners”.

Later I wandered along the ruins of the wall from near the train station to a park in the north. This park, situated on a hill with a beautiful view of western Rome is the perfect place to be around sunset.

Porta Pia

West Rome

After that I continued along to the Tiber river. After walking down that for a few hundred metres I headed back to my hostel. Altogether I walked a lot today. In incredible heat. I’ve probably had 4 litres of water today and I still constantly feel thirsty. Finishing this blog post is actually difficult. I just want to sleep…

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