Yo! Sigh, the ‘surprise!’ element has started to run off. Last week ( 25th of June), we went to Rome. Yep, the same Rome of the Cesar, Brutus et al.
As usual, we started on Friday night, and expected to reach by Saturday morning, 9:30 a.m sharp. We wanted to be on time, as our itinerary was packed. But guess what? We arrive 1 whole hour late.
Doesn’t matter, let’s rush to the Colosseum first- our plans are well in place, after all! But, wait, what’s the temperature? 35 0 C. Yep, that’s almost Chennai, just replace all Roman architecture with Chola/Pandya style. And what do we find here? A long queue, and Karthik is already tired (*sigh. No one else was enthu to come, and Rajat cupped at the last moment). We somehow manage to get in, with a ticket of 12 eur, and see the Colosseum- broken structure radiating off heat, and people taking selfies everywhere. We find it is okay-ish, and move over to Palatino hill and the Roman forum. Pretty impressive , and would have loved it, if the temperature had been lower; if we had stayed for one more day, and if we had arrived a bit early.
With some quick thinking, we plan to go to the Vatican city (Wassup, dear Pope!) (Just kidding; no offence), and find free water available near every major tourist spot. We keep walking and after having lunch ( maggie, yay!), finally find St.Peter’s Basilica.
Now, I would like to take a moment to tell this: We were impressed by Notre dame, and couldn’t think of anything better. But we were mistaken- St. Peters was not just good; it was outstanding. I can’t think of words to describe the sheer size and architecture of the place! We roam around the basilica for a long time, gazing at the awesome sculptures and the grandeur of the place. Apparently, Vatican also has a post office! I was thoroughly impressed the neatness and maintenance of the place. Christians, regardless of their faults, do one thing very well- they maintain their buildings, at least churches, very well. After more than an hour of awestruckness, we leave Vatican to go to the Pantheon.
Pantheon was a Roman temple, which was later converted into a church. I wanted to see the panels, etc kept for Roman gods, which we studied (no points for guesses! :P) in History of Art- but sadly, some event was going on inside, and we would have to wait another hour for going in. We packed, kept walking, and then, we got a brainwave.
We boarded a random tram (Prague-ish), and set out to find a Saravana Bhavan. Sounds crazy, but we did manage to find an Indian locality. We were thinking of eating something Indian, but then we find this Pizzeria. Think: what is the probability of eating Italian pizza again with respect to eating Masala dosa again? So, we go in.
Me: Ma’am, how much is the Margarita?
The lady: 13 eur, 1 Margarita
Me: WHAT!!??? That’s too much.
Karthik: Dei 1 Kg is 13 euro. Look here.
Me: Damn. My heart just came out.
Lady (kindly: shows a piece of pizza): This 2 euro.
We: Peace! Give us for 2 euro each!
We eat the most delicious pizza of our life. I have never eaten such a pizza before- the sauce, the cheese, everything was just perfect. We (read I) thank her, and leave for the bus station, for our way back to Munich.
One thing that I must mention is Rome had a pretty bad impression on us- Graffiti graffiti everywhere, and living in Munich has somehow increased our sense of cleanliness. Dunno what’s gonna happen in hostel in the semester!
The path to Munich is worth going though. Italian, Austrian and Bavarian alps is a feast to the eyes. We got the front seats, and they were worth it. There were huge mountains, with castles on top, but they all looked like some animation from Disney. One side there were mountains, and the other side some river was flowing- it was almost like a paradise. How would you react if your bus is actually going through the clouds?
And the pizza. Worth it. Totally. Never even think of missing it- you will definitely miss it.
And yes, the Vatican. Was freaking awesome, though we would place the tour through Alps on top 😛
The final part of the trip is what will make us cherish this memory forever, though. As I say, its not just the destination- but it’s also the path taken that matters!