Posted by: M.J. Bolstad | October 22, 2012

A Roman Segue in an Ode to a Grecian Urn: Day Seventeen

Note: So this is where my laptop stopped drawing power and I assumed the cord had broken (though it was a logic board issue instead).  I wrote my journal out by hand, and am now typing it out as it was, complete with erroneous lamenting over a broken cord.  I hope I don’t come across as too crazy: the “mosquito” (bedbug) bites, no computer (the horror!), and homesickness had started to get to me.  And on with the show… or rant that turn pointless, as it were…

The beautiful Trevi Fountain.

I am writing this by hand to type up later, because the cord to my Mac has given out.  This is the second time it has happened to me since I purchased my Mac.  In fact, I can’t recall exactly, but I believe this cord is barely a year old. I was near tears earlier, I was so frustrated. The cords are not cheap, and I expect greater longevity for what they cost.  I won’t be able to replace the cord until I am in Toronto, so must do all by hand lest I need to turn the computer on at security. I believe I can replace the cord at the Toronto Airport.  I hope the Apple Store I googled on my iPhone is on the side I can access.  Either way, Apple can expect an angry letter on my return. Note: Sorry, Apple.  Your cords are fine.  

Though this is colouring my day with a negative cast, until I came home to write (and found I couldn’t without risking my battery), I actually had quite a nice day. I began by getting up so I could catch an earlier Metro, then changed my mind and sat in the park awhile to check my email and avoid the work-bound crowd. I boarded shortly after nine and while I wouldn’t call the Metro empty, it wasn’t too bad. My first stop was Barberini, from which I walked to the Trevi Fountain. I had seen the copy (on a much smaller scale) in Las Vegas for my birthday. The real thing is much more fantastic. After tossing my coin over my shoulder so I might return, I went around the corner for a latte and pastry, since I only had yogurt for breakfast. By the time I was done, the crowd at the fountain had doubled. My guidebook was right about how many tourists drift there during the day. Tomorrow, Evelin doesn’t work late, so are going to go out into the town together. Perhaps I’ll get a quieter night view of this particular monument.

Some Roman scenery.

From the Trevi Fountain, I walked to Hadrian’s Library, then to the Panthenon, a gorgeous church. I went in (yay for free things!).  The architecture and art was amazing. I also found a small museum. The collection is a little more unknown, a slice of Italian life and worth checking out. Afterward, I wandered about in hopes of crossing the River. I did eventually find my way to a bridge. My plan was to eat on the other side. I looked for a restaurant, and imagine my surprise to drift along and find myself near St. Peter’s Basilica. I had walked clear to the Vatican City again.  Since I was somewhat familiar with the area, I made my way bad to the Metro and took it as far as “Spagna”, the stop next to the Spanish Steps.  I had wanted to see that anyway.  My guidebook had mentioned a tea house near the Spanish steps, and since it was now going on 2 pm and I was hungry, I wen there for lunch. It is called Babington’s, and is an English style tea house, complete with the offering of high tea. It is also quite expensive.  Once in, though, I was committed. I ordered a lunch deal.  I had the Caesar salad since I had promised myself to eat a salad after all the carb-loading. Of course, it came with bread, as well as iced tea (or coffee), wine (or mineral water), and cakes (or ice cream).  The brackets are the things I didn’t choose.  It was all very good, especially the assortment of cakes. I probably shouldn’t have eaten it all.


I stumbled upon this Piazza on the way from the Spanish Steps.

After lunch, I walked up the Spanish steps, then sort of followed the crowd and ended up in a lovely park. It was called something like Piazza de Napoleon. From there, I followed signs down (literally down) to the Piazza del Poppollo, where I knew there was a Metro station. There, I saw a museum dedication to “The Genius of Leonardo Da Vinci”.  It didn’t have any of da Vinci’s works, but instead copies.  The neatest thing, though, was the the museum had taken da Vinci’s sketches of machines and inventions and built them, from flying machines to machine gums to inventions that demonstrated ball bearings to reduce friction. This was actually pretty neat, because many of his improvements on inventions or inventions were there for hands-on trying.

After the museum, I made my way to the Piazza, and ended up going into another church, this one dedicated to the annunciation of Maria. Apparently, many miracles had occurred there.  It was certainly beautiful. I lit a candle for my Nana there. After that, I went to the Metro station as I was ready to go home. It was close to four-thirty when I boarded on my three-day ticket. If I thought yesterday was crowded, I was in for a surprise. Holy moly, this time my car was packed like sardines for much of the ride.  I breathed easier after Termini when more people got out than on.

One of the flying machine prototypes da Vinci sketched, built and hung on the roof of this small museum near the Piazza del Poppolo.

When I finally arrived at my stop, I decided that deserved gelato (but what doesn’t deserve gelato?) and tried out the chocolate and frotti de latte, or something like that. It was just a sweet cream, but I actually liked that best. Vanilla is a favourite ice cream flavour of mine as well.  I took it to the park where I checked email and ate the gelato, though I couldn’t finish. I killed time on the internet, then came home to write only to make my disappointing discovery about the laptop cord. I honestly feel sick.  I tried to straighten it, wiggle it, but to no avail.  I have now shut my computer down until I’m through security at the airport, at which time I will switch it on to charge my Kindle for the flight.  I paced a little, then went to dinner at the pub.  I tried the pasta selection, and chose something “limone” because I thought I might like the lemon. It wasn’t terrible, but honestly the taste wasn’t to mine. The two glasses of wine did go a long way to making me feel better though.  The lovely waitress offered me free dessert, a creme caramel, which was tempting, but I couldn’t manage another bite after the pasta and the gelato from earlier. Plus all the tea cakes.  Instead, I took the bill, then came home to do an unexpected load of laundry (this is what happens when you drip gelato on your capris). Now I’m waiting for the load to finish so I can go to bed. Tomorrow is the Cappitoline museums after the Colloseum, then an evening adventure with Evelin. Until then!

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