A Roman holiday: day 1

It took us a while to find our feet in Rome. The signage at Fiumicino airport was a bit confusing. We kept walking through long, empty corridors that looked like they would terminate into a wall but when we’d get there there’d be another long stretch on our left or on our right. We eventually made it to the train station at the airport, bought tickets for a ride to Tiburtina station and waited for the train at the desolate platform.

The platform at FiumicinoThe platform at Fiumicino

Although we were carrying a printout of the map showing the route from Tiburtina station to our hotel, it took us a while to get to our hotel. I guess that bit of rear-view mirror wisdom, with a little change, can be applied to maps too - routes on maps are longer than they appear. It was just half past five in the evening, but this being November, the sun was already setting. The top floors of an apartment building close to our hotel caught the last of its golden-orange rays. The cluster of delicate, quaint TV antennas on the building’s roof reminded me a lot of India of my childhood (I am sure that the rundown/ramshackle footpaths did their bit too).

An apartment building in RomeAn apartment building in Rome

We were eager to make the most of whatever little was left of the day. We dumped our suitcase at our hotel and walked back to Tiburtina station. From here we caught the metro to the Colosseum. You see the Colosseum the moment you step out of the station. For a building of that size to be merely standing there after thousands of years is nothing short of a miracle. It’s beautifully lit up at night - a sight that’ll stay with me for a very long time.

We picked a detailed map of Rome from a souvenir shop close to the Colosseum. Emboldened by our latest possession, we spent close to an hour wandering around the Colosseum but only managed to find another Metro station for a ride back to the hotel. While I tried to sleep, the wife studied the map and chalked out our route for the next day. I could tell that there’d be no purposeless dawdling the next day.

December 10, 2011