Friday, April 23, 2010

Day 1 & Day 2 - A Roman Holiday

As we landed in Rome after a long journey from Doha (Qatar) ... the first thing that came into my mind was 'land of Julius Ceaser!', this is what I whispered in Srinath's ear and he smiled. He always knew my favorite historic personality was Julius Ceaser ... who battled, conquered, ruled and even romanced. It was definitely in my mind to visit Rome some day, to even see the ruins left by these warriors of history chapters I once read.

To me, it was the same feeling I experienced 10 years ago when I first landed in Europe in 2000 ... it was just the same ... lot of landscape and very few people on road. Rome appeared very interesting even with just a glimpse outside the airport. Why so? Something that I did not understand then ... but as soon as we approached our Hotel on the outskirts of Rome, a feast for my eyes ... 3 fat cats near trash :-)
As soon as I got down I rushed to the spot to capture them in my camera. That was lovely.

More interesting sightings from our compact room (it was compact in true sense!), I watch out from the window curtains to see extremely fat, oversized hens in a farm house behind the hotel. This farm house had even sheeps and goose. I guess my day was made...

This day was all about driving through Rome to visit Colosseum and end with Indian dinner in a Punjabi restaurant. Colosseum appeared so beautiful to my eyes that my entire travel stress had vanished. I was all ready to photograph and be photographed. Colosseum represents ancient Roman architecture, an elliptical open theatre meant to accommodate thousands of audience. The structure is better known as the Colosseum. In antiquity, Romans may have referred to the Colosseum by the unofficial name Amphitheatrum Caesareum; this name could have been strictly poetic. Unlike earlier Greek theatres that were built into hillsides, the Colosseum is an entirely free-standing structure.

It's very much known how much Italians loved art, theatre and architecture but what is interesting to know that even today Italians are the same ... loving life, trying to conquer something and creative in all the aspects, be it in art or in the art of conning someone or art of making delicious food. What I could connect to instantly was their fascination for cats, cats are very special for Italians and harming a cat can cost someone term in jail!! This is simply superb, a land where there are laws for rights of cats, and for once I walked on the streets of Rome and felt like a Roman. It reminded me what my Mom always told me when I was a kid in certain contexts where people are expected to align with situations ... 'when you are in Rome, be a Roman'. I missed my Mom a lot; if she was alive I would have called her to share these moments. In a group tour the tour manager always tells us certain nuances of the country and culture here he told us only 2 things - beware of your valuables and be very careful with Italian cats. The latter need not be told to me, a born cat lover that I am.

The day ended with decent Punjabi cuisine and good sleep. The next day after visiting the Holy Vatican, we again got a chance to many places of Rome. Like the Trevi fountain, the state house, Cathedrals, Basilica di Santa Maria, Piazza Navona
Rome City Hall and a glimpse of Tiber River.

I loved many things about Rome, the history that it boosts ... Tuscany landscapes, fashionable and talented women, the Pizzas and the architectural wonders.

It was my Roman Holiday.

1 comment:

Sreekar said...

Wow! When i read about the farm houses.. Cats.. Goose and the hens!!! I felt I should plan to be there...
Well written.. and what a coincidence... You landing in the country of cat lovers!!
Very true... Be a Roman while in Rome!!!