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Berlin is becoming, Paris ‘is’, Rome.. was?

It turns out the ‘Roman Winter’ is pretty similar to ‘German Summer’ at least in terms of light and colour.

Andy and I, whose eyes have become small and molelike in desperate adaptation to our natural cloudy Berlin habitat, were confused and overwhelmed by this bright shiny glowfullness.
Nonetheless, we decided to brave the outside world in an attempt to stockpile Vit.D and of course see the sites.
Mother, who has seen and done it all, went to a museum.

We spent a fairly decent amount of time just wandering around, poking our heads into museums and glancing at the sights.

Rome (made up) Fact 1: The trees are super odd little things, which are probably so twisted and warped because of the pure weight of birds continuously alighting, departing in swarms, and returning to roost.

Here’s Andy in front of some ruins. Note the extra birds scattered on top of the building. Possibly it is only in ruins because of the excessive bird usage.

Not a bird:

Some more ruins, with magical ‘Godzilla’ tree in the background. In Rome, trees have to take the shape of vicious beasts to protect themselves from the many birds.

It’s a selfie. But you’ll have to bear with me, because my hair just looks so darn glowy! And for those of you who only come here for the Andy:

We eventually arrived at our quasi-destination. Tada!

We decided to go with a guided tour option, which I would highly recommend.
Firstly, because there is barely any information within the Colosseum, so if you haven’t read the history before you go you’ll find the whole thing a bit lacking (this happened to me last time I went in 2009).
Secondly, because you get to skip the line.
Thirdly because you might end up with this beautiful old Italian man.

Who was strange, but in the most endearing way. Look at the love Andy’s giving him:

We ended up taking the tour with a group of 10 aisan-americans, who were great. The two mothers of the families kept up a hilarious dialogue with the guide, answering every time he asked ‘do you follow me?’ (once with ‘no, actually you lost me a bit’), and grimacing appropriately when he became overly enthusiastic about how amazing all the death and destruction of the Colloseum was.

(It’s a horse!)

Tall Andy is Tall!

Rome fact 2: This kid’s parents love him more than yours love you.

We took a coffee/cioccolato break, and then headed to Palatine Hill, across the way from the Colosseum and included as part of the ticket/tour combo.

Here is the entrance to the hill (above), and here is us (below) waiting for all the other (*coughidiotscough*) in our tour group to work out how to use the ticket scanning machine at the entrance.

And we’re off!

Andy being amused by our guide (a new, less awesome one), and behind him, the chariot racing arena built inside the grand house of some self important emperor (I think this is Domus Augustana?). Apparently everything was scaled down, with small chariots and slave children used as drivers. Lovely those Romans.

Our new guide:

Tall Andy.. etc.


We met up with some of those Roman birds, who seemed pretty keen to pose for a couple of shots.

Roman gulls are Hard Core.

And..some more fabulous ruins, all part of the Palatine Hills area.

That’s probably plenty of pictures for now. As an endnote: last time I went to the Colosseum and Palatine Hill I found the whole experience a little lacking. This time around it was super enjoyable, and I think it’s down to both the weather (it was miserable and grey last time), and having the guided tours in both places. I will note however, that it if you’re really into the history and want a very detailed and accurate tour you might want to shop around a bit, or also do some reading on your own.

What’s that, you want one more fancy building?

Here you go then:

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