John Edward Cooper’s Notes

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Tuesday 13 May 2014

[Monday 12 May 2014]

Hotel Milton Roma, Via Emanuele Filiberto 155, 00185 Rome
After breakfast your journey will lead you to discover ‘Ancient Rome’. You will enjoy a guided walking tour and you will see many of the main places of interest such as the Colosseum. The tour will also include a visit to the magnificent Forum. You will be able to feel the atmosphere and history around you as you walk around the heart of the ancient Roman Empire. During your free time this afternoon you can continue to explore the city at your leisure

Day 133 Judges 20-21; 2 Peter 3
I became aware of the trams ca.4am this morning. Don’t know whether I slept after that. Janet said she had no sleep at all. Janet’s plan was to go for breakfast as soon as the breakfast room opened, so she was up at 6am. I hadn’t made any plan, whether to get up with her or whether to lie in bed longer; but I was wide awake, so did the former. Left the dressings on elbows and feet. We both went down for breakfast at 7am. Instead of having the insipid juice that was in jugs, Janet prepared freshly squeezed blood-orange juice for us from the supply that was available elsewhere in the room. I had corn flakes again, bacon (but not the sausage), etc. I left Janet to it when I’d finished and went back to the room. Janet came back later, before we went down again to start the day’s activities. I saw Daniella in the hotel lobby, and gave her the receipt for the radio with which I’d been issued outside the Musei Vaticani, lest she be called to account for the shortfall of one in the number of radios she’d handed back. It hardly seemed worth boarding the coach (ca.8.40am), for we were off it again after a few minutes in Via di San Gregorio just south of the Colosseum.

Tuesday 13 May 2014 — 08:48:22
Wedding party outside the Colosseum

Tuesday 13 May 2014 — 08:48:22
Wedding party outside the Colosseum — detail

Tuesday 13 May 2014 — 08:48:54
Arch of Constantine (left) and Colosseum (right)

Tuesday 13 May 2014 — 08:57:30

Daniella told us about the structure of the Colosseum before we went in; and when we were inside and upstairs to the first level, she spoke to us again, leading us here and there and pointing out features. It had begun to rain. Some of the showers were heavy. When we were given free time, Janet and I went upstairs to the second level and walked all the way round it. Although these levels are now in the open air, they would originally have been access tunnels with stairways to the mostly now-collapsed terraces of seats.

Tuesday 13 May 2014 — 09:02:02
Colosseum — screen-capture from movie

Tuesday 13 May 2014 — 09:12:24

Tuesday 13 May 2014 — 09:49:26
Ca.17th century depiction of Jerusalem above an arch inside the Colosseum

Tuesday 13 May 2014 — 09:49:26
Detail from the previous photo, straightened up. Note the crucifixion scene at the bottom left of the picture.

Tuesday 13 May 2014 — 09:52:54
Temple of Venus and Roma, seen from the Colosseum

Tuesday 13 May 2014 — 09:53:54
View from the upper level of the Colosseum

Tuesday 13 May 2014 — 09:59:04
View from the upper level of the Colosseum

Then the party entered through a turnstile to the Forum area — through the barrier we encountered on our first “explore” of 11 May 2014, so I got my wish. Daniella stopped and pointed out things as we went along. One of the first was the Temple of Venus and Roma, the two chambers of which were arranged back-to-back so that the apses pointed toward each other.

Tuesday 13 May 2014 — 10:48:56
Where the apses of the Temple of Venus (right) and of Roma (left) meet

Tuesday 13 May 2014 — 10:49:18
Arch of Titus from the east

Tuesday 13 May 2014 — 10:52:50
Scene from the Triumph, with the Menorah captured from the Temple in Jerusalem held aloft

Tuesday 13 May 2014 — 10:52:50
Detail from the previous photo, straightened up

Tuesday 13 May 2014 — 10:53:12
Arch of Titus, east side

Tuesday 13 May 2014 — 10:56:38
Scene from the Triumph, opposite the one in “10:52:50”

Tuesday 13 May 2014 — 10:56:38
Detail from the previous photo, straightened up

Tuesday 13 May 2014 — 10:57:32
Looking up within the Arch of Titus

Tuesday 13 May 2014 — 10:57:32
Detail from the previous photo, straightened up and rotated 180º

Tuesday 13 May 2014 — 11:00:42
Façade of the church of Santa Francesca Romana

Tuesday 13 May 2014 — 11:01:42
West side of the Arch of Titus

Tuesday 13 May 2014 — 11:08:40
Basilica of Santi Cosma e Damiano, originally the Temple of Romulus

Tuesday 13 May 2014 — 11:12:54
Church of San Lorenzo in Miranda, originally the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina

Tuesday 13 May 2014 — 11:18:10
Temple of Vesta

Tuesday 13 May 2014 — 11:20:38
House of the Vestals

Tuesday 13 May 2014 — 11:21:44
House of the Vestals: pools in the atrium

Tuesday 13 May 2014 — 11:22:04
Statues of Vestal Virgins lining the atrium. Background, right: Church of Santa Francesca Romana. Background, left: Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine

Tuesday 13 May 2014 — 11:23:30
Statue of a Vestal Virgin with head (though not right arm) intact

Tuesday 13 May 2014 — 11:32:50
Temple of Julius Caesar

Tuesday 13 May 2014 — 11:31:48
Altar, supposedly the site of the cremation of Julius Caesar

Tuesday 13 May 2014 — 11:34:08
Arch of Septimus Severus

Tuesday 13 May 2014 — 11:34:26
West end of the Forum

As we queued for the “out” turnstile, it was raining quite heavily. It was there that we said our goodbyes to Daniella, so I gave her €20. Janet wanted to get a taxi back to the hotel but we failed to hail any. She was concerned, not so much for the rain, but that she was wearing white trousers that she didn’t want splashed. When she thought of hitching them up out of harm’s way, she wasn’t so bothered, and we walked back to the hotel. The rain eased off and almost stopped as we did so. Janet had a “wash and brush-up”, and changed her trousers; and I had a couple of glasses of the Schweppes Limone that we’d bought at the convenience shop yesterday. Copied the photos and movies from my camera to the WD Elements HDD (12:25–12:26). I started to feel rather ill — a bit nauseous — but I went along with Janet to “our” restaurant, not wanting to disappoint her. I didn’t order any food, though, just a beer. Janet ordered a Fanta (it was her “pig out” day, as she calls the one day per week that she breaks her calorie-controlled diet) and a pasta dish. We were served drinks, but as we were waiting for her food, I felt worse, so took the tripod stool and went outside, round the street corner from the front of the restaurant, and sat on it on the sidewalk. Several minutes passed. I didn’t feel much better when I went back inside, and the smell of food being prepared there, and the couple eating mussels at the next table, made me feel worse again. So I decided to abandon the beer and go back to the hotel. Janet had been served with her food, but was willing to go back with me; I assured her that I’d be able to get back on my own unassisted and unaccompanied. So that’s what happened. The chambermaid was in the room when I got back, but she’d done the room, and was finishing up in the bathroom, so I entered, removed my shoes and lay on the bed. When she’d gone I took my trousers and socks off. I was asleep and dreaming when Janet knocked on the door, and I let her in. After using the loo she went out again in search of gelato.… Again Janet came back and went out again for more refreshments, to look in delicatessens, etc. Meanwhile, I was doing Day 131’s Bible reading (to 15:59), and went on to do Day 132’s (to 16:21), and Day 133’s (to 16:39), using the Asus tablet. Janet came back later with a couple of postcards and stamps, and a few sweet items. I did some diary update on the “big feller”. I was feeling better later, and ca.6.15pm we set out to go for something to eat at a place in Via Labicana that Janet had noticed earlier. It was furnished with fixed high tables and high stools on which one perched with one’s feet on a rung. It was reminiscent of McDonalds in that there were no dishes and cutlery to wash up: food was served on disposable plates; and the knife and fork were plastic, supplied with a paper napkin in a clear plastic wrapper. We had deep-fried olives as a starter. I had a “Pizza Diavola” and a large beer; Janet had ravioli with tomato sauce. Then we went to a gelateria in Via Merulana, next door to the little shop we found on the first day. I had two flavours in a paper tub: pistacchio and fragoli. Janet had a dish of fresh fruits, then perhaps three flavours of ice cream. Then we went to a bar across the road from the hotel, one that Janet had been to earlier while she was out alone. The man and woman running it were Chinese. I had a bottle of Danish Ceres Strong Ale, 7.7% a.b.v., and Janet had a coffee. It was ca.8.30pm when we returned to the hotel. Janet showered, etc. Because of the early start tomorrow (7.55am) I went to bed a bit before 10pm, and Janet followed shortly after I did so.

[Wednesday 14 May 2014]

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