Rome, Italy 20 November, 2010 9pm CET
“When in Rome, do as the Romans do” goes the saying. To be honest, I have no idea how the Romans do whatever they do, so instead I spent the day being a tourist.
The amount I walked with Niall yesterday was nothing compared to today, plus it chucked it down from morning until mid afternoon, which also meant it was cold. Luckily my three-country travel in this trip meant I was prepared and had layers and a leather jacket. However, it got soaked through on one side, my grey suede trainers were wet throughout too (and now mucky), and my jeans were totally soaked at end of the legs up to the knees because of the rain.
If there was something I was not prepared for, it was walking in the heavy rain! By the time I got back to my hotel room this evening, I was all dry. ð
Rome is a very interesting city… you walk around and at every corner there is some remnant of the past… of the ancient past. Nowhere else have I experienced this. Walking along and suddenly a pillar or a wall, standing in isolation whereas at one time it would have been an integral part of a building or structure.
One cannot comprehend how old these structures are… how long ago they were built. One can only wonder in awe at how much the Romans from that time contributed to things we now take for granted. Their legacy, their influence survived through the centuries.
Now, I have travelled to many countries in my lifetime, and have survived being a pedestrian and have survived the traffic. Rome is an experience I will not forget in a hurry. One of the things I was told was to always use a pedestrian crossing to cross the road in Rome. I kept to this diligently. However the driver and riders on the roads do not seem to take notice of this!
You wait for the road to be clear, start walking across the pedestrian crossing and out of nowhere a car or scooter or bus comes speeding along and it seems like they will not stop at all. My experience from today: they will either stop while you are crossing.. or they will not, or they may swerve around you while you are crossing. All a bit of pot luck there!
One thing that struck me today, whilst in the Piazza next to Basilica San Pietro in Vatican City… the crowds, the groups of people there from around the world, many with smiles on their faces. Some groups full of joy and singing – like the Catholic Women Organisation from Zambia. And I wondered what it was that gave them happiness. Was it the religion itself or was it the true and deep belief in something, or was it the certainty in being part of a belief system that gave them structure and purpose?
In that regard, the question I have is whether one does need to follow a religion to be happy and attain a level of certainty and guidance, or can those tenets be followed and those needs be gained without religion? Does anyone have any comments on this?
I did not take that many photos in Rome today… for me, a lot of times the beauty of sights is captured and appreciated in the mind rather than in the camera. That said, here are a few glimpses of Rome from today:
Today’s Mo pic was take a few minutes ago… I need to tidy it up with scissors, which I will do this week when I am back at home.
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