After being on our feet for so long on Christmas day we both woke up with our feet feeling a little bit on the painful side. However, we had both been told that today was the best day to see the Colosseum because it would be quieter than normal therefore we were feeling excited as we put on our comfy shoes and made the now familiar walk to the centre of Rome. The sun was shining and warming up nicely and as we approached the Colosseum it became clear it wasn’t going to be as quiet as we first thought. Negotiating around the various ticket touts we finally found our place in the queue and settled in for the wait. Now I was getting my first close up view of the Colosseum and she didn’t disappoint, she looked glorious sat there so proud I couldn’t take my eyes off her and I was hopping with excitement.
With us being British the waiting in a queue really wasn’t bothering us, the sun was shining down on us and we were standing outside the world famous Colosseum. What was annoying us was the irritating people who kept trying to jump the queue, as soon as this was noticed we stuck our elbows out and made sure nobody was getting passed us. With us now guarding our place in the queue we moved forward at a decent rate of knots and after 30 minutes or so we were at the front ready to purchase our ticket. At this point all hell broke lose, we had no idea what was going on but everybody wanted to get their tickets and they all wanted them now. The surge of the crowd pushed us forward, Steph was now ready for war and working together like we do so well we managed to protect ourselves until we found ourselves at the ticket booth. As we walked in I began to shake, this place had been winking and smiling at me for two days and now I was here and terrified I had built it so much it was going to disappoint me.
It didn’t disappoint me, what it did do was take my breath away and with every turn I made there was something else that sent my excitement into over drive.
One of the things that took me by surprise was how prominently you could see the curve of the building from the inside, for some reason I wasn’t expecting that. As more and more people flooded in we made our way up the steps and to the highest point, for someone that’s still getting over pneumonia this was incredibly difficult but I was determined to make it to the top. Reaching the summit feeling a little bit out of breath I almost didn’t want to look just in case she took my breath away again. With this in mind I regained my composure then took a step out onto the higher level and yet again my breath was taken away from me Being in a build that at every angle blows your mind it’s very difficult to move around without bumping into everybody and fearing I was about to start a riot Steph guided me to a quieter part of the building. Again finding my composure we gingerly made our way around the building, we had noticed a balcony at the far end and this was our destination of choice. After exploring every nook and cranny we eventually arrived at the balcony, it was packed and if we were going to get the picture we wanted we were going to have to be patient. Luckily patience is one of my gifts, so we soaked up the December sun and waiting for our turn at the front to come around. Finally we were at the front and what a view, by far the best view of the day so far.
With the crowd growing bigger by the second we decided that it time for lunch and began to make our way outside, I had seen what had been teasing me for so long and it hadn’t disappointed me. In fact it had wowed me and the day had barely just begun!
Ok so there’s only there’s only two things I can remember about lunch; One: it was fantastic in every way possible, I have no idea what I had or what Steph had but it was so good! Two: I was with my favourite person in the word. So with lunch done we made our way to the Roman Forum; I had no expectations of what the Roman Forum would hold as I knew nothing of it so I went in with an open mind. My only worry was that it was going to be busy and I would end up banging into everybody again and end up starting a riot. I couldn’t of been more wrong if I tried, it was so peaceful and utterly stunning. It was like we had just walked into a little bit of heaven. We were a little torn as to what direction to go as there were paths leading in all directions and in the end we decided not to make a plan and just go with the flow.
It seemed like every corner we turned another thing was taking our breath away with Steph’s camera working overtime and my brain struggling to cope with everything I was seeing. I tried to contemplate where we were and the history that surrounded us but my brain couldn’t compute everything. We bought our walking pace down to try to allow my brain and our tired feet to catch up and we eventually found ourselves at Basilica Julia, at least I think it was and here we decided to take a break and soak up the view.
Scouting our surroundings I noticed that to our right there seemed to be some kind of outdoor balcony over looking the forum, it looked bloody high and I had to get up there. Steph wasn’t too impressed with this idea because she feared that after yesterday my lungs wouldn’t be able to cope with the walk. Me being me I managed to convince her that I was feeling dandy and we planned our route. It looked like we would need to weave through cave type buildings and then climb some steps. We again began to weave our way through the Forum and 15 minutes later we were walking into these cave type things underneath the balcony. Inside we had another boxing day treat, on the walls of some of the caves there were paintings and carving’s – which were a true delight to look at. Considering these pieces of artwork were hundreds of years old they were in amazing condition and as we admired them I developed tears in my eyes. Apart from some annoying child kicking these beautiful pieces of art, our moment inside the caves was a special one and one that will never be forgotten. Our climb to the top continued and apart from making one wrong turn it went surprisingly well. We found ourselves in a garden and at the top to what I now know to be Palatine Hill. Looking across the gardens we could see the balcony we had been aiming for, walking up I had goosebumps I had a feeling that the view we were about to see at the top would stay with us forever and I wasn’t wrong! The view was unbelievable! Yesterday I thought I was on the roof of Rome when we were in Borghese Gardens but that was merely the garden shed roof compared to this.
We stood in silence taking in the beauty of Rome, to be honest we could of stayed in this spot all day. My dream was to come to Rome but I never expected Rome to wow me as much as it was and we had only been here for three days!
Dragging ourselves away from the stunning view we decided to walk back through the gardens, the sun was shining and we were both feeling relaxed. Palatine hill still wasn’t finished with us though because the gardens suddenly opened up and before us stood a sea of ancient ruins and over our right shoulder was yet another stunning view across Rome all the way to Vatican City. I was loving today I felt warmth from within and felt totally relaxed and totally in Love. Turning our back on the view we continued to walk through the ruins of Palatine Hill, stopping every now and then to admire and take photos of the history we were seeing.
Continuing on our walk we eventually arrived at a huge archway with two small walls either side of the arch, we decided this was the perfect place to have a break. Admiring each other and taking in the sun we soon became aware that a couple we looking at us from a far. Not letting this bother us we continued too sit and soak up the last of the days sun, but we suddenly came aware that this couple were now taking our picture. Thinking this was hilarious I immediately struck a pose for them. However, Steph was feeling somewhat uneasy about this and so we decided to move on.. only for the couple to then approach us just to inform us they had taken our picture and wanted us to return the favour! With them posing in the same place we had just been, Steph took the photo and then exchanged pictures with them. The picture they had taken of us was truly amazing and now has prime spot in our living room. Today was awesome!
We then began our decent down Palatine hill, thinking there was nothing else it could show us that would wow us. How wrong we were! Palatine Hill gave us a parting gift, as we turned a corner and there in the distance in all her glory was the Colosseum. We had spent hours around the Colosseum today and I really wasn’t expecting it to wow me again, but today was the day for the unexpected and I was gobsmacked yet again.
Now we were at the bottom of Palatine Hill and with the sun fading in the sky we decided to have a slow walk back to our hotel. We had lots of information to process from today which had been special we both felt it and we both knew it. For me personally I have been through this day a thousand times in my head. Having short term memory issues I was genuinely worried today would be forgotten, but it hasn’t been as today was too special to be forgotten. Walking back my built in brain jukebox came on and started playing ‘Such a Perfect Day’ by Lou Reed which was very fitting. Today had been utterly perfect.