After sunset on Saturday, the Lamberts and I headed into the city to see the forum and eat in Trastevere, across the Tiber.
Forum! It looks really ghostly in the twilight. The stone is really red.
So different from the Roman ruins in Israel.
This is where the chariot races were!
Does anyone else have the soundtrack of Ben Hur running through their head?
We finally got down to the River. It was so beautiful!
This is a picture from one of the bridges across the Tiber. The funny square dome is the synagogue! It was really moving to see it like that, among lots of Catholic buildings with crosses on their domes and roofs. Then the synagogue with its square dome and no cross. It's a very proud building, right on the bank of the river. I went to tour it on Sunday, but they don't allow pictures for security reasons.
The Lamberts contemplating the intricacies of the map.
We were lucky enough to go on a day of a festival. There were shops and booths and restaurants set up along the river.
Lambert fashion shot!
I tried on a big hat. It would have been like a parasol for me. I should have bought it.
This one's for DS, in Israel. He insisted that I eat tiramisu. So I did. Delicious!
Then we walked back the same way we came on the river, until we crossed over a different bridge.
We went up to one of the buildings and saw a poster of Gilad Shalit. The poster says:
"Rome wants its citizen free"
Gilad has been held in captivity by Hamas for more than five years without any Red Cross visits or humanitarian aid. Hamas said that they are willing to release him in return for more an a thousand Hamas and Fatakh members that are held in Israeli prisons. Many of them are self-proclaimed terrorists who have vowed to continue attacking Israel if released. The movement to free Gilad Shalit is led by his brave and resolute parents.
Back on the forum! The think that's Constantine, but we aren't sure.
Then, over to the Colosseum!
G and YGirl, Gladiators! With purses.
Now I am a kindly hostess showing off my new Colosseum:
YGirl: Isn't it lovely?
G: Oh, I simply adore it!
YGirl: We paid extra for the aging and weathering. It look more authentic that way!
G: Divine, darling!
Lamberts! Again with the map, making sure we don't get lost.
We ended up wandering around until we found a taxi to take us home to the hostel. Lovely time!
On the Friday morning of my trip, G and I took the train to Rome.
As usual, there were some hilariously well-timed occurrences that turned the trip into a comedy of errors. The main example was that my suitcase's tall handle (used for the convenient rolling function of the suitcase) broke as we started on our way to the train station. I ended up lugging the damned thing through the street of Naples.
In the end, we bought a roll of medical tape in the Termini station in Rome and fixed the handle. Hilarious.
In any case, This is a photo of chez Lambert.
And Lady Henry Lambert. She's the snuggliest cat ever!
On the train as we left Naples. Next to us were a pack of older Italian men with really crazy regional accents, chatting away as G and I filled the trip with religious conversation. It's so wonderful to have someone to chat with all the time! Though out the trip I didn't use my MP3 player because G and J and I were talking all the time.
Italian countryside! I was so struck by how green it was. I didn't realize how used to the Israeli color palate I am!
G and I arrived in Rome and had lots of trouble finding the God forsaken metro to take us to the hostel. We were staying in Northeastern Rome. An area that is fairly residential. There are few tourists, and we liked it like that!
Here is G doing her best Joanie pose in the hostel.
Oasis lyrics on the sidewalk.
G took me into the city to see some tourist sites like the Spanish Steps. There were vendors trying to sell flowers and other random things. I should have bought a parasol there. It would have come in handy in sweltering, searingly bright Rome.
I decide not to schlep up the stairs. It didn't appeal.
We wandered over to the Trevi Fountain, but on our way, I needed sustenance. We stopped for zucchini pizza. BEST. THING. EVER. Simple and delicious.
Then we walked up to the Villa Barbarini - a beautiful building with a good museum. We didn't have time to go in, but we admired the building.
Then we walked up to the Four Seasons piazza. There are statues in each corner of the intersection representing the seasons. Sadly, most of them were covered in grime from the cars.
After that we went back to the hostel to get ready for Shabbat.
We went to a lovely family's house for a delicious dinner, good company and in my case, getting flirted with by handsome Italian Jewish man. I had no idea that he was flirting with me until G and J clued me in after dinner. I'm oblivious!
The next day we went to the other family's house that I mentioned in a previous ranting post.
Then we had a lovely siesta and went into the city to watch sunset over the Roman Forum.
Many changes are easy, they just roll off my back. I think it is because a lot of the sacrifices are accompanied by huge benefits.
The pay off for losing Trader Joe's and Whole Foods as grocery stores is going to the Shuk HaCarmel and meeting the farmers and shopkeepers.
By losing my favorite clothing stores, I have learned to shop carefully, with an eye for detail. I have also started crafting more and remixing my existing clothes in new ways. My new rule is that a new item of clothing must be worth taking back to the States in a suitcase AND that it must have at least five potential outfit possibilities.
Now that I have long (for me) hair, I am frustrated by the weight and heat-retention while enjoying the new updos and not having to wash it before leaving the house.
And the trade off for giving up some independence and solitude is the lovely companionship that comes from being with people. The trouble comes when I have to go back to the way I was after having togetherness. It hurts and I don't see a pay off.