Day 5 - morning
Well, someone up there must have been listening to me because as the motor coach came to a complete stop on top of a hill just one block away from the Colosseum, the rain had stopped! Yeahhh, I cheerfully yelled inside of me even though I still held in my hand my small folded black umbrella as we walked! I can't say that the street vendors were as enthusiastic as me as they appeared quite disappointed in their desperate attempts in selling to us their overpriced umbrellas!
We followed Ernesta downhill and then under an underground metro tunnel before finally standing ten minutes later right in front of the Colosseum! The grey clouds had slowly dispersed showing bit by bit a magnificent blue color sky right behind them! Now, ask me how happy that made me! Yeahhh!
Side by side, we followed our guide and within seconds, stood inside the world’s largest Roman arena. I was finally inside the Colosseum, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World! Wow! I quickly glanced at my watch to memorize this unique and special moment! It was close to 12:00pm!
After providing us with details about getting around this huge arena plus telling us the best places to take pictures, we all split up and went in separate directions all eager to explore in our very own ways the interior of this Colosseum’s structure!
Knowing immediately where I wanted to go plus being much faster than most of the people in the group, I quickly made a mad rush for it straight up those gigantic stone steps, way up to the very top of the Colosseum where I was rewarded with a fantastic panoramic view right in front of me! And no, I didn’t leave Michel behind! He beat me to it and was the first one up there! Ha, ha, ha!
Even though there were several other people already standing on the top floor, I was able to take wonderful pictures from many angles without any of them being in my way. I soon realized that up here, the wind was a little bit on the cooler side but the blue sky and big white clouds pretty much made me forget about it. See, mind over matter!
We had an hour and a half of explorations to do and you bet, every single minute of it was done in doing so. From the very top floor where we stood, we proceeded to walk all around the Colosseum’s interior but soon discovered that we could do so only halfway due to restorations being made on one side. After all, this little baby wasn’t as young as you’d think! It was 2000 years old. Still, I was quite happy just to be exploring it and having all of the thrills and excitement of being here, inside of it!
In the middle of the Colosseum, underground passages and tunnels could be seen as well as dark green grass growing on the ground right next to the greyish stones. You see, the interior’s main floor or street level floor as you may call it probably collapsed many centuries ago leaving these underground passages and tunnels all open to the sky above them for us to see. But rest assured, a wooden floor probably constructed this century from the look of it, covered at least a good 25 percent of these underground tunnels. It certainly did the trick because it achieved in giving me an idea as to how the entire place must have looked 2000 years ago with a floor. Unfortunately, we couldn’t walk on this wooden platform.
Looking straight ahead of me, again my imagination did wonders as I pictured gladiator fights, theatrical pieces and many, so many other things and events that took place right here in the middle of this Roman arena. And to think, we were now in 2012, 2000 years later: so much had transpired since then…… Sighhhhh! I was really thrilled to be here and reliving history plus in a way, leaving my footprints behind or germs as Michel had put it!
From the huge Colosseum’s arches, magnificent views of the Roman Forum and Constantine’s Arch could be seen as I gazed out. Many people or tourists were out there walking around and admiring the Colosseum in which I was inside of. I even waved and smiled at them as they took pictures of this New Seven Wonders of the World! Ha,ha, ha!
Having done everything we wanted to do here, it was 1:00pm when we exited the arena and briefly circled all around it before slowly making our way back to the motor coach.
Since we had brought with us a small meal like yogurt, croissants and apples (gratuity of the hotel this morning), we ate it while sitting on rocks in a nearby park just before getting onboard the bus. Others from the group must have had the same idea as us because we weren’t alone. Well to be quite frank, it was just one other cheap couple from the group as Michel jokingly said, the others probably having gone to the restaurants or maybe not eating at all! Ha, ha, ha!
Those of us who had paid for the afternoon’s optional excursion, that’s exactly where we were now heading to, the remainder staying behind to either walk back to the hotel or continue enjoying the Colosseum. We were around twenty people now, all anxiously heading to our next paid attraction!
Oh well! You’ll just have to patiently wait for my next blog entry to find out where exactly we were heading to! Ha, ha, ha!Monique :-)