Monday in Rome

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Today, I had a typical Belgian breakfast in Rome. It was a sandwich of ham and cheese, orange juice and another sandwich of ham only.  I wanted one of Nutella but the ham was really good.

After breakfast my Mom and Dad needed to do paperwork in the “arcade” which has a center for computers and a printer.  It also has a tabletop gamer with PacMan, Donkey Kong, Space Invaders and 55 others.  I love to play PacMan and Donkey Kong since it was the games my Dad played but he doesn’t do so good with them anymore.

We left for the Colosseo or Colosseum of Rome and the Palantine and Forum.  It was awesome.  Here are some photos.  I am in a hurry to go to dinner so no captions.  Ciao!

IMG_3211IMG_3212IMG_3221IMG_3224IMG_3228IMG_3229IMG_3232This is Frederick and tomorrow we go to the Vatican Museum, pick up our tickets to the Papal Audience and pack for our Wednesday departure to Firenze but after our visit to St. Peter’s to hear Pope Francis.

 

 

Sunday in Rome

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Today we took a taxi to Borgo Spirito Santo for the 10:00am English mass at Santo Spirito in Sassia Church near St. Peters.

I am standing in front of Spirito Santo with St. Peter's in the background.

I am standing in front of Spirito Santo with St. Peter’s in the background.

Inside Spirito Santo in Sassia after the 10:00am English mass.  It was pretty crowded.  The church dates from the 15th century.

Inside Spirito Santo in Sassia after the 10:00am English mass. It was pretty crowded. The church dates from the 15th century.

After mass we walked up to St. Peter’s Square and went into one of the religious shops where I booght some little items to remind me on my stay in Rome and the Vatican.

I am holding up the sign we made to show we are from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic School.  The Square is beginning to crowd for the Pope's Sunday address and Angelus.

I am holding up the sign we made to show we are from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic School. The Square is beginning to crowd for the Pope’s Sunday address and Angelus.

 

We then walked into the square as it was filling up with other pilgrims to hear from our Pope and say the Angelus with him.

Up in the window is the Pope addressing the crowd of 150,000 in St. Peter's Square.  He spoke in Italian.

Up in the window is the Pope addressing the crowd of 150,000 in St. Peter’s Square. He spoke in Italian.

After the Angelus we joined the crowd to visit the church itself.  It is fantastic, large and very beautiful. My Mom took lots of photos but down in the crypt where St. Peter and other Pope’s are buried there are no photos.

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Inside St. Peter’s church. The most incredible church I have ever been in. Even St. Patrick’s can’t compare. it is huge, full of art and statues and architecture.

After touring the church we walked outside and met these Swiss Guards.

Leaving St. Peter's we came upon these Swiss Guards at their watch stations.  These guys protect the Pope and are very impressive and colorful.

Leaving St. Peter’s we came upon these Swiss Guards at their watch stations. These guys protect the Pope and are very impressive and colorful.

Because there is something wrong with my Dad’s iPhone battery, he began to run out of power and this was the last photo of me standing on the bridge with the Castelli San Angelo in the background.

On a bridge over the Tiber with the Castelli San Angelo in the background.  On our way back to Via Arcenio via the Piazza Navona area where we will have lunch.

On a bridge over the Tiber with the Castelli San Angelo in the background. On our way back to Via Arcenio via the Piazza Navona area where we will have lunch.

We walked toward Piazza Navona and had lunch alfresco at the Le Pace di Palata where everyone was local and I had to speak Italian.  They all applauded when I orderd my Fanta in Italian.

This is Frederick and tomorrow we go to the Colloseo of Roma.

Oh, by the way, Go Red Devils, Beat Russia!

 

Rome by Mauro Lucentini

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Some have asked about the guide book I reference.

It is called “Rome” by Mauro, Paola, Eric and Jack Lucentini.  Mauro is in his 90’s and a very successful and prominent journalist.  Rome is his hometown, as he calls it.

The book is highly detailed in history, art, archaeology and customs.  It is not something you can stick in your back pocket and refer to during your walk.  You must read it before hand.  However, it is broke up into 5 different sections of exploration:

1.  Roma Romantica – 2 walks

2.  Ancient Rome – 2 walks

3.  Rome of the Popes – 2 walks

4.  Renaissance Rome – 2 walks

5.  Trastevre – 2 walks

There is also a section on “outside the walls”.

My Dad had to buy it online from Waterstones in the UK and have my uncle Jonathan bring it to Paris with him.  You can buy it on Amazon but they source it in the UK and it takes a long time to get to the USA.

My First Day in Rome

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After leaving our ship, the Noordam, we took a car and driver from Citivecchia to central Rome around the Trevi Fountain.  We have a nice apartment on Via Arcenio but funny WiFi.  Allora! We go to the sidewalk café outside or to The White Hotel and I am able to post.

We had lunch on the street in the small café and later that evening dinner alfresco on a small square near our apartment.

Today, we woke had breakfast and went for a morning to lunch walk.  First up to the Spanish Steps and Piazza Spagna which was, like Trevi, closed for cleaning and repair.

The Spanish Steps at Piazza di Spagna which is under repair just like the Trevi Fountain.

The Spanish Steps at Piazza di Spagna which is under repair just like the Trevi Fountain.

I am on the middle part of the Spanish Steps. Above me on the left is the Hassler Hotel where my Dad has stayed.  He says it is a very special place to have breakfast and watch Rome wake up from its rooftop restaurant.

I am on the middle part of the Spanish Steps. Above me on the left is the Hassler Hotel where my Dad has stayed. He says it is a very special place to have breakfast and watch Rome wake up from its rooftop restaurant.

We then walked up to the Villa Borghese and its beautiful park.  We needed the shade and peace and quite before walking back down to Rome at the Piazza di Popolo.

Up in the park is the Villa Borghese now used for special functions and weddings.

Up in the park is the Villa Borghese now used for special functions and weddings.

I was hungry and in the park there are many snack trucks.  I got a ham and cheese pizza sandwich from one of them.

I was hungry and in the park there are many snack trucks. I got a ham and cheese pizza sandwich from one of them.

Here I am dropping off a tip to a guy playing the same song over and over again in a Soprano Saxophone in Borghese Park.

Here I am dropping off a tip to a guy playing the same song over and over again in a Soprano Saxophone in Borghese Park.

Looking down one of the streets below Borghese toward St. Peter's in the far background.

Looking down one of the streets below Borghese toward St. Peter’s in the far background.

Here is Fred Hollywood on location at the overlook from Villa Borghese down to the Piazza di Popolo where according to Mauro Lucentini, Rome begins.

Here is Fred Hollywood on location at the overlook from Villa Borghese down to the Piazza di Popolo where according to Mauro Lucentini, Rome begins.

We walked down the steps to the Piazza di Popolo and the DaVinci Museum.

Standing in front of the DaVinci Museum on Piazza di Popolo

Standing in front of the DaVinci Museum on Piazza di Popolo

Its pretty neat inside the museum because they took his sketches and notebooks and replicated a lot of his inventions, contraptions, and imagination.  I like DaVinci since he was way ahead of his time.  We are just now catching up with him.

One of DaVinci's inventions that they have reproduced in the museum

One of DaVinci’s inventions that they have reproduced in the museum

Then we went over to the Café Rosati for lunch.  Our waiter asked me what whiskey I wanted with my lunch.  He was funny.

Getting ready to order lunch at the Café Rosati on Piazza di Popolo

Getting ready to order lunch at the Café Rosati on Piazza di Popolo

After lunch, we walked down the Via Corso to window shop and stop in the churches for prayers and candle lighting.

The main street down from the Piazza di Popolo is Via dei Corso that is open to traffic but also walkers.  Lots of shops and churches.

The main street down from the Piazza di Popolo is Via dei Corso that is open to traffic but also walkers. Lots of shops and churches.

On the Corso is the Church of Jesus and Mary where we went inside to pray and light a candle to Santo Giovanni Paulus II for my deceased grandmothers.

On the Corso is the Church of Jesus and Mary where we went inside to pray and light a candle to Santo Giovanni Paulus II for my deceased grandmothers.

At the corner of Condotti and Corso we found these 3 headless street performers.

Behind me are 3 street performers without heads.

Behind me are 3 street performers without heads.

We like to have lunch then walk for awhile then have dulci (desert) at another place.  This time we went down the famous shopping street Via Condotti to the Antico Café Greco where my Dad had been before.  He had a Café Viennese and my Mom a Macchiato coffe and Napoliane pastry but I had a special lemon sorbet.

In the café were an older couple who were regulars and sat at the same little corner everyday and had their drink and little bites to eat.  My mom said it was a special slice of life in Rome.

This is a "regular" couple in the Antico Caffé Greco on the Condotti.  Drinks, some olives and bread.  A little conversation.  Very roman!

This is a “regular” couple in the Antico Caffé Greco on the Condotti. Drinks, some olives and bread. A little conversation. Very roman!

This is Frederick back on the Arcenio and enjoying all of the eternal city. Tomorrow is mass at Spirto Santo near the Vatican at 10am then the Angelus at St. Peter’s with the Pope. Look for it.

 

Pompeii

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Back to my travels and our visit to Pompeii when we docked in Naples on June 19th.

It is so incredible that after surviving the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 A. D. so much of it is still around and preserved for us to see.  Here are some photos of my visit to Pompeii.

The main theater of Pompei.

The main theater of Pompeii.

This was one of the main shopping streets in Pompei.

This was one of the main shopping streets in Pompeii.

The baths of Pompei in terrific shape considering they were buried under 6 meters of pumice and ash.

The baths of Pompeii in terrific shape considering they were buried under 6 meters of pumice and ash.

A molded copy of one of the intact bodies found under the ashes when excavating Pompei.

A molded copy of one of the intact bodies found under the ashes when excavating Pompeii.

This is the most visited site in Pompei - The "love" House.

This is the most visited site in Pompeii – The “love” House.

In the "love" house in Pompei, the beds were not so comfortable.

In the “love” house in Pompeii, the beds were not so comfortable.

Not a footprint but a genital symbol used to point the way to the "love" house in Pompei.

Not a footprint but a genital symbol used to point the way to the “love” house in Pompeii.

Inside the "love" house, are these wall paintings of love scenes which survived the eruption and ash.

Inside the “love” house, are these wall paintings of love scenes which survived the eruption and ash.

The main square of Pompei - The Forum.

The main square of Pompeii – The Forum.

One of the main streets in Pompei

One of the main streets in Pompeii

The main square of Pompei - The Forum.

The main square of Pompeii – The Forum.

The north wall of Pompei as you walk out of the ruins.

The north wall of Pompeii as you walk out of the ruins.

This is Frederick.  I am in Rome and today we walked up to the Spanish Steps, climbed them to the Villa Borghese, walked through the park down to the Da Vinci Museum on Piazza de Popolo where we had lunch.  More on all that later.

 

Santorini (Thira)

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I am now in Rome using my apartment’s WiFi.  It was very frustrating on the Noordam trying to post photos and text to my blog our trip.

On the 17th of June we arrived in Santorini (Thira).  It is an old volcano that exploded back in 1625 B.C. deesstroying the island and leaving a crescent shaped mass with some outlying small crags of rocks.  On this mis-shapen island they built the small villages of Fira and Oia.  We took a cable car to Fira from the harbor and rented a car and driver.

Going up to Fira, Santorini by cable car with our ship in the harbor.

Going up to Fira, Santorini by cable car with our ship in the harbor.

We rented a car and driver, in Fira, from Pegasus and the owner asked for a dollar to nail to his currency wall.  Lots of different money but mine was the only dollar.

We rented a car and driver, in Fira, from Pegasus and the owner asked for a dollar to nail to his currency wall. Lots of different money but mine was the only dollar.

On the way to Ammoudi and Oia we stopped at an overlook.

On the way to Ammoudi and Oia we stopped at an overlook.  Below is the eastern coast of Santorini and the numerous vineyards.  We drove back to Fira using that road.

On the way to Ammoudi and Oia we stopped at an overlook. Below is the eastern coast of Santorini and the numerous vineyards. We drove back to Fira using that road.et

Then in the small fishing village of Ammoudi we walked around the sea wall to see if we could get to St. Nicholas Church but we weren’t able to find it.

We drove down to the Ammoudi under the cliffs of Oia and saw this group of kayakers getting ready for a tour.

We drove down to the Ammoudi under the cliffs of Oia and saw this group of kayakers getting ready for a tour.

This is an old crane in the Ammoudi harbor that was used to lift baskets of fish from the boats when they came in.

This is an old crane in the Ammoudi harbor that was used to lift baskets of fish from the boats when they came in.

Walking a narrow sea wall to get to St. Nicholas Church on the rocks off of Ammoudi.

Walking a narrow sea wall to get to St. Nicholas Church on the rocks off of Ammoudi.

Then we drove up to Oia which is a very pretty little village with lots of tourists, shops, restaurants and beautiful buildings like the blue domed churches.

 

Here I am on the street where Pelekanos restaurant is located in Oia.

Here I am on the street where Pelekanos restaurant is located in Oia.

Only the churches have blue domes.  Here are two in Oia.

Only the churches have blue domes. Here are two in Oia.

 

Oia is a very pretty village in the north on Santorini.  I loved the streets, steps, churches and old white washed buildings.

Oia is a very pretty village in the north on Santorini. I loved the streets, steps, churches and old white washed buildings.

The main square of Oia and its beautiful church.

The main square of Oia and its beautiful church.

At Fira my Mom and I decided to go back to the harbor  and our ship by mule.

My Mom and I decided to go back down on mules while my Dad took the cable car.  Good decision, Dad:)

My Mom and I decided to go back down on mules while my Dad took the cable car. Good decision, Dad:)

The ride down was very steep.

The ride down was very steep.

Leaving Santorini.  I will be back.

The view from our balcony on leaving Santorini.  What a beautiful place.

The view from our balcony on leaving Santorini. What a beautiful place.

This is Frederick and my next post is about Pompei.

 

 

Rhodes, Greece

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Yesterday, we were in Rhodes, the fourth largest island in Greece.  It is also an old walled City due to the Knights of St. John’s who came here in 1306 on their way to Jerusalem and the Crusades.  The built the Old City and walled it in with a huge moat.  The lasted here until the Turks invaded in 1519.

Coming into Rhodes harbor.

Coming into Rhodes harbor.

The Walled City of Old Rhodes founded and built by the Knights of St. John Jerusalem in 1306 on their way to the Crusades against Saladin.

The Walled City of Old Rhodes founded and built by the Knights of St. John Jerusalem in 1306 on their way to the Crusades against Saladin.

The castle of Rhodes in the Walled City

The castle of Rhodes in the Walled City

 

There are impressive castles and other medieval buildings and churches inside the walls including 3 Greek style windmills.

First we took a bus down the east coast to Lindos and the Acropolis.  But once there we decided to take a donkey and ride around the old town while my dad found an English pub named the Sunburnt Arms Bar and had a coffee.  We joined him there later and had drinks while talking to Cliff and his wife Reina, originally from Southeast London.  They were really nice and have been in Rhodes for 23 years.  Lots of ex-pat people are in Rhodes because it is very popular with Brits and other Europeans as a holiday get-away.

Walking down the road from the bus parking to Lindos Town we saw this sail boat anchored in the bay.

Walking down the road from the bus parking to Lindos Town we saw this sail boat anchored in the bay.

I and my Mom take a Donkey ride in Lindos Old Town.

I and my Mom take a Donkey ride in Lindos Old Town.

Me and My Donkey:)

Me and My Donkey:)

My Mom and I in one of the many alleys on our Donkeys.

My Mom and I in one of the many alleys on our Donkeys.

This is Cliff, the landlord of the Sunburnt Arms Bar, in Lindos, Rhodes where my dad went for a café kir while my Mom and I rode the donkeys around the alleys and up to the church.

This is Cliff, the landlord of the Sunburnt Arms Bar, in Lindos, Rhodes where my dad went for a café kir while my Mom and I rode the donkeys around the alleys and up to the church.

The Bell Tower of the main Greek Orthodox Church in Lindos.

The Bell Tower of the main Greek Orthodox Church in Lindos.

It can get crowded in Lindos.

It can get crowded in Lindos.

A Dr. Seuss qoute on a sign outside a wedding shop in Lindos: " You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams."  My dad said he felt that way when he met my Mom.

A Dr. Seuss qoute on a sign outside a wedding shop in Lindos: ” You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” My dad said he felt that way when he met my Mom.

See how happy I am by the Dr. Seuss sign?

See how happy I am by the Dr. Seuss sign?

This is Frederick, in Santorini.  So far, I have 2 favorites in Greece – Ephesus and Santorini.  I am coming back.  Watch out!