01 January 2009

Roma - Day 6 & 7


A spice stand at a local market


The holy door which we mentioned in a previous post.



The original nativity scene mentioned in a previous post. The Mary and Jesus sculpture is a replacement for one destroyed in a building collapse, but it is still the oldest nativity scene.


We began our last day in Rome by returning to the church where we attended Christmas service for a second look around and a chance to go to our coffee shop again. What caught us by total surprise was that we ran into my friend from Wageningen at the Piazza in front of the church! In a city the size of Rome with so many tourists in town for Christmas, I can't imagine the odds of running into the one person I know; it's truly a small world. He and his family were there for a tour of the church given by a Dutch priest that they knew. Amanda and I joined the group and with translation from my friend we learned a lot about the church (see a couple posts ago).

Following the tour we walked around again, saw a few stores, and a few more churches. We took our time with our last day in Rome, but the time went quickly and soon enough it was time for our last Italian dinner. We went back to Trastevere for dinner and it was good, though not quite as good as the night before.

So we saw everything that we had come to see and despite a few nights in a poor hostel room, we had a great time. A few things surprised us - the transportation system is quite poor and there was more graffiti than we had thought - but all told we enjoyed our time in Rome and will cherish our memories of it.

The next morning we set off by bus for Paris before taking a train to Sarlat; we left Rome at 11:30 Sunday morning and arrived in Sarlat at 4:00 Monday afternoon. The trip was a good chance to see some Italian countryside before dusk and even through the night we could see nice outlines of the Alps. We did have slightly different experience with passengers though. Amanda sat next to another student who is studying in Rotterdam and plans to visit her next time she comes to Netherlands, and I sat next to an Italian woman who insisted on sleeping on my shoulder throughout the trip; such is life.

We'll be taking it easy for the next few days before I return to Wageningen on the 5th and she starts school the same day. It's been a very pleasant break for us both.

Thanks for reading and have a joyous new year, Andrew

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