Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Ancient Cities: Rome & Pisa


After some good responses to my last entry...am back here to write one more about my trip this weekend.
Friday was republic day in Italy so I had a three day long weekend and this time the destinations were roma(rome) and Pisa...I left on thursday night from my place at 6.30 in the evening for roma..
Just when I got down at roma station, at that very moment i got a call from maddy saying that they(5 of them out of our group of 7) cant come to roma because they are not getting train tickets....here I was alone in this new city at 11 in the night....but thanks to my contingency plan, I had the address of a guy of IITB who was interning in roma itself. At midnight, I started searching for his place in a city I knew nothing about not even the language!! After a lot of tough work, I reached some place within the radius of 1 km of his apartment...I knew it was near some hospital and I reached that hospital. After goind around d hospital twice loooking into each n every narrow street for its name...I went into a ristorante(restaurant) and luckily there I met a guy who told me where the street I wanted was...and instantaneously I started moving again powered by the thought of getting a good night's sleep there. Finally i reached his apartment at 2.30 after having walked for more than 4 kms....
Next morning the seventh guy of our touring group reached roma station n called me up...so i met him around 11 and started our roma campaign...we bought a day-pass valid for travelling by metro n bus and took a metro to go to Colloseo(colloseum, pic 6 & 10)....but tragedically d metro didn't stop at colloseo and we reached one station ahead of colloseo...we started walking back to colloseo wen on our way we saw a republica di italia parade...This was nothing compared to what we have in India and was quite boring. Worst part was that the Colloseum was closed because of this. So we visted some other places in that time like foro romano(pic 2 & 5),capitol square(designed by Michaelangelo, pic no. 2). while we were inside the musem at vittoria emauele building(pic 8), it started raining with drops as big as those in india( normally raindrops are much smaller here) so we had to stay in longer. This building was completed in just 26 years and believe me its a magnificent piece of art all the way. After rains subsided, we went to Colloseum to find out that the entry was free thanks to it being Republic Day. Lucky us, saved our 13 euros entry!!!

At this place, gladiators used to fight long back. Thanks to an english guide(who I obviously overheard), I can tell you all about this place. The whole aura of being there was as exciting as it was frightening. It had a capacity of 80000 people at its peak and 100 years before, it must have been a place surely ahead of its time.
After colloseo, we went to fontana di trevi(pic 4)...its a fountain for which people say that u put a coin in it and you'll be able to come back to this place again in life and obviously enuough i didnt put any coin coz I hardly had any extra cash...followed by pantheon(pic 3),wich was a pagan temple converted to a church after the victory of christianity over pagans..This was our last visit for the day. So again the question of dinner n place to sleep came to haunt us....As we couldnt afford to spend around 20 euros for sleeping, we decided to spend our night in waiting room of the railway station. We went there but as in Venice, found out that this too will close at midnight. We had dinner there and remained there till 12. Luckily we showed our tickets and passports to the policemen there and they allowed us to remain inside. This time I was fully prepared. I also had a blanket with me so i rolled myself into that on the platform's floor till morning when we woke up at 6. Trust me it was a sound sleep there after having walked whole day before that.
Next morning, remaining five guys of our group arrived and we went to Vatican today...The queue for Sistine Chapel was more than a km long...at first, we stood in d queue as law-abiding people do, then after realising the actual length of the queue, started jumping it with many Europeans looking at us wid disgrace...but all we cared for was to get into the Capello Sistina....Finally inside, we soon realized that this piece of Michaelangelo's work was more brilliant than what we had heard...He painted the ceiling with ultimate perfection when he was in 30s and though its totally on a plane surface, you can clearly feel the 3-d effect...then came the last supper, painted by him in his 60s and even more brilliant work of art. Thanks to another english guide who we overheard obviously, we were able to appreciate his work with greater understanding. There were also some paintings by Raphael, which were again mesmerizing!!!
Next, we went to St. Peter's basillica(pic 1). This is the place where pope gives mass....but on our way we found roads blocked by the crowd as there was some festival going on at that time and pope was to come there. Hence we couldn't get into the basillica and went to few other places, finally reaching railway station again in the night..this time to take a train to Pisa wich was our destination for next day....
Our train departed from roma at 12.15 in the night. Without any reservation, the result was a few more hours on the floor, thankfully this time inside the warm train compartment...Finally we reached pisa at 3.30 and again went to the waitin room. Even though there were vaccant seats here but its always better to lie down to sleep so we lied on the floor for one more night.....In the morning, we reached  leaning tower of pisa at 8 itself and it was more tilted than it seems in pics... distance between the actual top and the top which exists is 4.5 m and the height of the tower is 52 m...Entry was 13 euros to go to the top and it was more than worth it...At the top,  the floor is tilted in one direction...one can even fall down in case of rain if there were no railings..This truly deserves to be among the wonders of the world!!
Next we went to a beach. As I had only seen sandy beaches in movies and this was the first I saw, I was surprised to see just rocks on the beach with hardly any sand spot. It being a sunny day, many many people were sunbathing there. As this was my first beach visit, immediately I jumped into the sea only to realize that the water was quite cold and the salt in it made me quite uncomfortable and I came out almost as quickly as I had gone in.
Then, I started my journey back to my place in hoping to sleep in a proper bed after a long time. As always, I goofed up and ended up oversleeping in the train resulting in reaching ahead of my destination. Final result: One more night on the floor!!!



8 comments:

arpit maheshwari said...

sahi hai aise hi machaate rah.. im feeling jealous yaar
get all the pics definitely ti the insti..

Mukul Modani said...

good going sachin...lagta hai mazey kar raha hai..aake prof ko kya bataye ga..ki colloseum ko kaise theek karna hai...and dats gud ki tera emegency plan kaam kar gaya...also dont piss off at those saaf places yaar..india nahi hai..

Sunil said...

sahi hai beta..enjoyinnnnn
mujhhe bhi italy aana hai :(
nice blog...keep it up

Phoenix said...

not bad...
very cool i mean,lovely place and nice trip...
achha hai chill mar enjoy

devesh gautam said...

good one yaar...but last waal jaada accha tha be....n two things abt this blog which i like most...first,that one hour...maje aa gaye honge...2nd,facts abt piza...abe itne tilt hain ki one can even fall in case of rain?...abey ek baat to maan ni padegi ki tu kaafi brave...itni raat ko ek anjaan country mein akele....n last pics kab bhej raha hain....enjoy dude....

Simran said...

oye dada italy seems to be a cool place.hmmmmmm saale poori info leta hoon tere se india aa ke.

SushIM GuPtA said...

beta topless gals...brunttes..blondes...chal divya ko batata hun...saara khel aur teri trip ho jaye aaj to...waise achha hai...u pissed at the platform...we had to search for bushes in paris....aur haga kahan par..yeh nahin likha tune

Phoenix said...

my name is phoenix
spell it T-A-R-U.
http://apublicdiary.blogspot.com

and if u need that poem, take it
no probs