The Sunset Selfie Stroll

A slow and easy morning was had by the pair of Tassie travellers. The plan for the day was to spend some evening time in the city, so we tootled about the apartment, got some jobs done and generally took it pretty easy first thing this morning.

Steve got to work doing some bike maintenance on my little steed. The trusty two-wheeler has been having some gear problems of late and has been leaving me without low gears (just the gears I need to climb hills) and the chain falls off regularly when I change gears (which also makes climbing hills a bit of a challenge, with no chain to actually turn the wheels!). So Steve set to work to try and rectify the problem. He did a sterling job, despite the apartment being filled with sounds of, “Why is that doing that!?”

“Uuuuuhhhh”

“Now it’s worse than it was before!”

“That shouldn’t be that loose!”

“Why isn’t that working!?”

“Grrrrrrr”

and so on! Despite the moments of frustration for the Big Fella, he clicked and cranked and twisted and turned and tightened and did all manner of things to the littlest two-wheeled team member and in the end, as much as could be fixed, was fixed. All I could do was hold the bike and click gears and turn the wheels, while he turned a screw here and tightened a cable there. He discovered that a particular part on the bike has worn out, which is really causing the problem and will require proper shop maintenance, but he got it working as best he could, to keep the little bike going until our return.

Working his maintenance magic
Working his maintenance magic

When we walked into the city a couple of days ago, and walked through that nice big park, I said to Steve that I would really like to have a picnic there, in the trees, in the sun. That was the other plan for today. After the morning of bike maintenance, we walked up the road and back into the park. It was lovely and hot and the sun was beating down and it was perfect for a picnic in the gardens. We found a lovely spot in a stand of trees, with their golden autumn leaves above us, the green of the park surrounding us and fountain to look down on. We lay out the tarp to sit on and just as we had put out our picnic fare and got ourselves seated…a big black cloud covered the park and rained on us! Then the thunder started. I kid you not. I do not jest. I am not joking. It’s actually beyond a joke now and is really quite disheartening, how the weather treats us. All around us, in the distance, was blue sky, but right over the park where we were, was a huge black cloud throwing rain and thunder at us. We packed up and left before we could get struck by lightning, because with the effect we seem to have on weather, this was a distinct possibility. I’d been so looking forward to the picnic; a nice lunch in the park, rather than a rushed bite to eat on the side of the road like it usually is. I made picnic food and everything, and then, the one thing, the very small thing, I wanted to do, just a simple little picnic, had to be spoiled by the weather. Not happy. Of course a couple of hours later, the sun came out again. The weather just had to spoil my longed for picnic, that’s all.

What a lovely place for a picnic, just before the cloud arrived
What a lovely place for a picnic, just before the cloud arrived
Picnicus Interruptus
Picnicus Interruptus

With one of today’s plans semi-thwarted, we set off in the afternoon to see if plan number two could be achieved, our roam of Rome by night. We took the Metro into the city and after receiving a tip off last night that the Trevi Fountain was back in action (thanks Gennie and Lou!), we put this first on our list of sites to revisit. Even though the crowds were about ten deep, we could still see this  famous and fabulous fountain and it was indeed very pretty and spectacular with water in it and without its shroud of industrial fencing! Time for a selfie!

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The city certainly had a whole different atmosphere after dark. We strolled the streets, which seemed to be even busier than in daylight, and took in the night time vibe. We’ve seen some terrific buskers with a whole range of talents in different places we’ve been and we saw another entertaining one tonight. A young man was performing with his puppets, which included John Lennon, Bob Marley, one I didn’t recognise and a piano playing clown. He was excellent and took the puppets into the audience too. He was a very talented man. We stood for quite a while being entertained by his musical friends on strings.

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Through the streets we roamed, back to the Pantheon, which had quite an ethereal air about it, lit up in the dark. Selfie time!

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A return to the Colosseum was a must, to see this grand structure under lights. We strolled through the ancient streets, taking in the sights round us, which all looked that extra bit special in this new light.

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The Colosseum still looked grand, but took on a quite a magical appearance in its golden glow. Well, we really should acknowledge our return visit with…a selfie!

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Time to find somewhere to eat, so we set off for a short stroll and found a bar that offered buffet style bar food that included vegan selections too. We settled in and made many return trips to the bar to restock our empty plates, until we’d had our fill of the delicious grilled vegetables, quinoa, bruschetta with roast pumpkin, roast potatoes and baked artichokes. It was all delicious and the path was well trodden between our table and the selection of these little vegan offerings.

Back to the Metro we went, along the cobbled streets, to join the other sardines crowding into the long metal can that hurtled along the track.

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Steve and I were sitting apart but we both noticed a particular passenger get on at a later stop because we both looked at each other at the same time and mouthed, “Rosie.” A man had got on with a little dog that looked just like our own dog, Rosie, from back home. It sat at the man’s feet and every now and again, the man would look up from the book he was reading and smile at the little dog and give it a reassuring rub on the ears. The dog just sat calmly among the forest of legs and feet, looking like a seasoned subway traveller. I’m glad it obliged by turning around so I could snap a discreet photo.

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Another day down. Plan number one didn’t exactly go to plan, but plan number two worked out just fine and we had a terrific stroll through the streets of Rome, seeing it in all its after-dark splendour. It was also a night that saw us add quite a few new entries into the Selfie Series! Tomorrow is our last full day here, so we have one more day to read the final chapter of this great epic that is the Rome Story. I’m sure we’ll find new streets to roam, new neighbourhoods to explore and maybe even some familiar sites to revisit once again. The city is ours for one more day, the story is ours to create, as we absorb the final pages of this riveting narrative. Let’s remove the bookmark, unfold the dogeared page, and off we go, into the next chapter…

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