Sunday, January 1, 2012

Rome day 3

There is something to be learned from a rainstorm. When meeting with a sudden shower, you try not to get wet and run quickly along the road. But doing such things as passing under the eaves of houses, you still get wet. When you are resolved from the beginning, you will not be perplexed, though you will still get the same soaking. This understanding extends to everything
Tsunetomo Yamamoto

The Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II (National Monument to Victor Emmanuel II) or Altare della Patria (Altar of the Motherland) is a monument built to honour Victor Emmanuel, the first king of a unified Italy, located in Rome, Italy.

It was raining on day 3 as we perambulated around Rome with our brollies, we would not be put off by a little rain, we thought. By the time we arrived at the Victor Emmanuel monument it was raining heavily. After posing for a photo on the steps in front of the Eternal Flame (which burns in memory of the unknown soldiers who died during the Great War) some of needed to find a toilet. Kyle, Roarke, AriƩl and I braved the pouring rain, while Sarah, Tom and Gina went into the church.

The church is as magnificent as all the catholic Churches in Rome. Kyle and I wandered up to the altar and each lit candle, saying a little prayer. Part of prayer involved being shown a ‘sign’.  As I looked up I saw a bright blue window with three yellow bees. The day before just as we were entering the cupola walk, we had come across a lone bee relief sculpture at the entrance*

Outside the church we walked down some really slippery stairs and then came across an “Assassins Creed Statue” so had to take a picture.

By the time we reached the forum we were rather soaked. The ruins inspire contemplation of bygone centuries…

The coliseum dwarfed the enormous Christmas which stood smugly proclaiming a Christian celebration dating back to pagan times, with an ancient, wise superiority. A ‘gladiator’ chatted to Sarah and when he heard she was from South Africa, he exclaimed “Bafana Bafana!”

We took the Metro up to the capuchin crypts. We realised how fortunate we are to have the beautifully clean underground that we do in England! As we alighted from the train at our stop, three youths (!) shouted “Ciao Rossa!” to our red-haired Sarah.

The capuchin crypts which contain the skeletal remains of 4000 bodies believed to be Capuchin friars buried by their order. The Catholic order insists that the display is not meant to be macabre, but a silent reminder of the swift passage of life on Earth. I was superficially interested in the bones, until we reached the second last crypt which had a coat-of-arms… Suddenly my stomach lurched and I felt an overwhelming nausea take hold of me, I was repulsed and needed to get out in a hurry. I am not sure why…

*See next blog post

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