Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Cruisin' Cabes: Part 2

So apparently me blogging 'tomorrow' turned into 'next week'.  Things have just been too hectic to sit down and blog.  But, I have about 30 minutes, so let's see if I can recap a few more of our days at sea.

To review:
Day 1:  Left from Barcelona
Day 2:  (or is that officially Day 1?)  Monaco
Day 3: Rome

Rome in a day...hmmm... we knew this was impossible, but it was either hit it for one day on the cruise or not get to see it at all.  From the minute we found out we were moving to France and started daydreaming trips and vacations in Europe, Rome was at the very top of Matthew's list.  The Coliseum more specifically.  I did a ton of research and planning to maximize our day in Rome.  Matters weren't helped by the fact that the ship docks over an hour from Rome.  That is a huge chunk of time taken out of the day.  Add on the crowds, the July heat, and taking a 7 month with us... our day in Rome was going to be anything but relaxing.  I pre-booked train tickets, and knew that we needed to be in line to get off the ship as soon as we docked at 8am to make sure we got on the port shuttle bus and to the train station in time.

Tuesday morning we woke up early and took advantage of the {free!} room service and had breakfast brought to the room, so we could eat and get ready at the same time.  We were almost ready when Matthew pulled back the curtains to our balcony.  I couldn't believe my eyes.  It was pitch black outside and pouring down rain.  I am talking- torrential downpours.  My heart sank.  What were we going to do?  Walking around Rome in the rain all day with a baby would be miserable!  Just as I am contemplating how we could keep Jacob dry, the sky lit up with lightning, followed by huge booms of thunder.  That sealed the deal.  There was no way I was taking my baby out into lightning.  I was so disappointed.  We started talking about Matthew going by himself, so at least the day wouldn't be a complete loss.  But before we could even make a decision, the rain slowed, the sky began clearing, and we decided to go for it.  At this point, we were already behind "schedule".  By the time we got off the ship, the shuttle buses were packed and with our big all-terrain stroller there was no way we could get on one.  So we started walking.  It was about a three mile walk for us to the train station, and I was really worried that we would miss our train.  Luckily, the train was delayed, and we got there with just minutes to spare.  We found our little train "cabin" and as luck would have it, all the way in Civitavecchia, Italy, we get stuck in a train car with USC Gamecock fans! :)  It was really nice to be with people from "home", and they were actually on the Carnival Magic too (after that day we saw them everywhere we went on the ship!).  We arrived in Rome and the sightseeing marathon began!

Waiting for the train to Rome.

Rome was the day of stairs.  Everywhere we went there were TONS of stairs.  
Stairs + Big Stroller +Long Day of Sightseeing = Exhausted Parents!
Our first stop was Basilica Di San Pietro in VincoliThis church was first built in 432-440 to house the chains that bound Saint Peter when he was imprisoned in Jerusalem.  According to legend, when Pope Leo compared those chains to the chains of St. Peter's final imprisonment in the Mamertine Prison in Rome, the two chains miraculously fused together.  There is also a Michelangelo sculpture of Moses in the church.  


From there, we walked to the Coliseum.  We had already toured the inside of the Coliseum in Nimes, France, which is in much better condition (although it is smaller).  We just took enough time to walk around a little and take some pictures.  Oh, and by the way, by this time the sun was shining!  Thank goodness we took the risk and didn't waste the whole day sitting on the ship!

Next, it was back to the metro, to grab a train over to the Vatican.  We stopped for lunch at this place Matthew had been told about called Pizzarium.  It is the tiniest place.  You go in to order, pay for your pizza by weight, but there is no place to sit inside and eat.  We got there just before the rush and were able to grab a park bench outside.  This pizza is like nothing I have ever seen, and the dough is made using live yeast that the owner traveled all over Italy collecting from little villages.  It was amazing!  

Re-energized, we headed to the Vatican Museum.  Again, I had pre-bought tickets online for the museum, and when we saw the line that wrapped around the building, I was so glad!  We still had to wait in line to go through security, but we probably saved ourselves an hour of waiting in line by buying the tickets online.  Rick Steves suggests allowing at least 2-3 hours for the museum.  We did the speedy gonzales version, and were in and out in an hour and a half!  Luckily, Jacob slept through most of it.  It was definitely worth the trip to see in person the Sistine Chapel!

It was SO hot!
We have pictures of Jacob sleeping his way through Italy.

After the museum, we had a few other places we wanted to see, but Jacob was getting tired of being in the stroller, and we were pretty tired as well.  We decided to go ahead and head back to the ship.  We were already a little nervous that we wouldn't make it back to the ship in time.  (and they will leave you!)  We were really glad that we made that decision, because by the time we got back to the ship Jacob was really tired.  

Ok, Rome was a big day, so I will blog more later.  Hopefully this time it won't take me a full week to find time again! 

1 comment:

Monica said...

Oh man! That is such a dream of mine! I'm so glad the weather cleared up for yall!