Rome Day 3 and 4 (05/06 September 2013)

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Hurray! I have finished my final blogpost on Rome… after 17 months, oops. Anyway, here is the rest of my trip to Rome.

On day 3 I started the day by visiting Fontana di Trevi. I wasn’t really thrilled going there because I knew it was going to be buzzing with tourists and I didn’t expect it to be that impressing. We all know the famous scene from La Dolce Vita so no wonder that there’s a rather aggressive looking security lady overlooking the fountain to make sure no one tries to recreate the scene. Whenever anyone came too close to the water she furiously started to blow an extremely annoying high pitched whistle.

On my way to the Trevi fountain I found this cute little restaurant, it looked so colourful and pretty I had to take a picture of it:
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La Dolce Vita / Trevi fountain scene:

I have to admit that I liked seeing the fountain with my own eyes more than expected and I of course did the whole touristy ‘throwing-a-coin-into-the-fountain-to-assure-I-would-come-back-to-Rome-one-day’ ritual.

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I did feel a bit overwhelmed with the amount of people hovering over this touristic phenomenon and it was ridiculously hot again so I quickly took my pictures, took in the scenery and went on my way again.

Slideshow:

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From the Trevi fountain I continued my way to Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini. Unfortunately it was not allowed to take pictures inside :(

This church contains six crypts that display a bizarre piece of artwork out of previous friar’s bones as a way of remembering/celebrating them. I visited the catacombs in Paris a couple of years back where you can also find some art displays out of human skulls and bones but that doesn’t even come close to what the Capuchin friars did in here. It was beautiful, chilling, creepy, amazing, fascinating and horrific at the same time. The message that they are portraying in here is: “Death closes the gates of time, and opens those of eternity.” Because of this you can find many hourglasses made out of bones in these crypts.

I bought a card on the way out that shows one of the crypts just to give you a bit of an impression and if you look closely you can see one of those hourglasses in the middle:
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The entrance of Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini:
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My final visit of the day was one I discovered by accident. The metro-station I had to use was Repubblica and right opposite of that was a crumbling looking wall. I had been looking at it the days before and decided to see what was behind it at the end of this day. I am so happy I did because what was behind that wall was something breathtaking!

The wall and entrance of Basilica Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri:
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The Basilica is built in the previous Roman baths of Diocletian and was a project of none other than Michelangelo. He worked on the basilica from 1653 till his death in 1654. After his death several adaptations to his original design took place, under which the very fascinating Linea Clementina, a meridian solar line, made by Francesco Bianchini in 1702.

Slideshow of the meridian line:

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I was mostly fascinated by the colours in this church, so soothing and relaxing, I ended up spending 1,5 hours in here.

Some of my favourite pictures I took in this basilica:
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Day 4, and my final day in Rome, I started with a visit to Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, the largest Catholic Maria church in Rome. Although impressive and beautiful, to me it didn’t even come close to what I saw in the Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere and Santa Maria Degli Angeli e dei Martiri.

Some of my favourite pictures I took here:

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Although beautiful, the zombie-eyes kinda freaked me out :|

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There wasn’t much time left after Santa Maria Maggiore so I ended up walking back towards the hotel and decided to follow the Via Nazionale towards Piazza Foro Traiano.

On my way towards Piazza Foro Traiano I came across this lovely little church but unfortunately it wasn’t open for public:

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Close to Piazza Foro Traiano I stumbled upon an awesome little ice-cream shop and since I hadn’t had the chance yet to have some Italian ice-cream I thought it was the perfect opportunity since it was incredibly hot…!

20130906_135142After the well deserved Ice-cream I continued my route to Piazza Foro Traiano.

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Trajan’s Forum (Forum Traiani):

[001712] [001711] [001708] [001703] [001701] [001697]View from Piazza Foro Traiano:

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In the distance you can see Foro Romano and the front view of the Basilica of Constantine of which I showed the back view on day two, see https://somedaysoonart.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/001241.jpg:

[001750]You also have a good view of the Vittorio Emmanuel II Monument from this square:

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By now it was nearly time to go back to the hotel and gather my stuff and go to the airport so I started my walk back up hill.

Halfway through Via Nazionale I heard lots of noise in front of the Banca Italia, I also heard it on the way down to Piazza Foro Traiano but didn’t really pay attention to it. However, I got a bit curious and peered up to see where the sound came from. Within 2 minutes more people gathered around me to see what I was looking at so I guess it’s true, people do follow each other’s gaze, it kinda made me giggle since there really was nothing special going on. Anyway, after some searching I found these little fellows up there, twittering away, can you spot them?

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With about 45 minutes left before I had to return to the hotel I decided to visit the little church that was right in front of the hotel. It looked, compared to most buildings in Rome, quite modern from the outside and I didn’t expect much but was pleasantly surprised with the inside:

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It’s an American Episcopal Church called St. Paul’s within the Walls and the first Protestant church to be build in Rome, completed in 1880. I was very lucky, when I entered the building there was absolutely no one and I could roam around free in silence.

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[001783][001775][001792][001771][001777]The church has gorgeous mosaics by English Pre-Raphaelite artist Edward Burne-Jones (1833-1898).

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Underneath Christ Enthroned you find the following mosaic:[001787] [001786] [001785]Photo 1: Against the background of the Heavenly City, we find five groups of persons representing the various classes or functions which have historically made up Christendom. On the extreme left are the ascetics, the prophetic element in the Church’s life; among these, only St. Francis of Assisi receiving the stigmata is clearly recognizable. Next comes a group of matrons, representing the service of God in ordinary life. Among them can be seen Martha with her keys and Mary Magdalene with the box of ointment.

Photo 2: The major group in the center represents the great ecclesiastical figures of the Church’s past, five fathers of the Eastern Church and five of the Western, with St. Paul in the front dressed in a chasuble (in his day a man’s evening coat; worn today throughout the Catholic Church for the celebration of the Holy Communion.

Photo 3: To the right of this group we find the Virgin and Saints, among them the martyrs St. Catherine, St. Barbara, St. Cecilia, St. Dorothea and St. Agnes. Finally, on the right, come the Christian warriors representing the bulwark of peace and stable government. Here we find representations of the patron saints of many countries: St. George of England, St. James of Spain, St. Patrick of Ireland, St. Andrew of Scotland and St. Denis of France.

(Source: explanation mosaics)

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And so I have come to the end of my Rome adventure. It’s been a while now since I visited but I fondly look back on my days there. I cannot wait to go back there and since my boyfriend has never been to Rome I’d say it’s a good excuse to visit again soon… after all, I did flip a coin in the Trevi Fountain ;)

As I left St. Paul’s within the Walls I noticed these tiles and they are kinda fitting to end this blog with. So Pax Vobis, Peace to you :)

Love,

M.[001793]

Love-Lock Bridge, Paris.

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The love-lock bridge, a symbol of love they say…
Yet, the bridge is crumbling under the weight of all those locks. June this year a part of the bridge even collapsed under the heavy burden of all those locks to keep love alive. Oh the irony… Right??

I’ve been on that bridge many many times, looking at those declarations of love.
And I always wondered, would they still be together? Are they still in love?

I didn’t believe in love.

I saw it all around me but figured it must be fake, it had to be. It were just people pretending or making themselves believe they were in love.

I remembered the last time I was in love, felt the butterflies, the warmth floating through my body when he looked at me… I was 19 or 20.

As I turned into a 30er I figured it must have been something hormonal as a puberty side-effect. I had ‘crushes’ in the past 10 years but they went as quickly as they came, within days and if lucky, within some weeks. I stepped into relationships knowing I didn’t love them, knowing they wouldn’t last, but hoping I might be wrong.

Of course I wasn’t… they were doomed to fail.

My last one was the worst. I disliked this guy from day one. He was everything I did not want in a life partner (I hope you never get to read this, if you do, I’m sorry, it was not your fault but mine). His personality, intellect, life-goals, physical appearance and interests didn’t match what I was looking for at all. I disliked his character, his friends and my friends wondered what the hell I was doing with this guy.

We stayed together for some time, fought constantly, and I felt miserable, never able to be at ease, to be me, and to be accepted as me. I felt I had to fake everything (and with everything I mean EVERYTHING…), me, the person I was wasn’t good enough, pretty enough, funny enough and so on. This had nothing to do with him but with how I saw the world and how I saw love and thus relationships. I knew love wasn’t real, couldn’t be real.

The last time I stood on that love-lock bridge was some time after the bomb between us burst on New Year’s eve 2010/2011. At midnight he wanted to kiss me and I just couldn’t. I couldn’t pretend anymore, I was exhausted. I looked at those locks and felt this intense sadness for all those poor fools thinking that love was real, that they found ‘it’… Those locks symbolised idiocy and naivety to me. Nevertheless, I took photos of them as I always did since they do give pretty shots and walked away.

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I stayed single for almost 3 years after that last disaster. I was so tired of the faking, the lies, and was convinced that I was better off alone anyway. I thought I just wasn’t cut out for relationships, was probably unlovable, maybe even cursed.

At the beginning of 2013, however, I started to feel that intense loneliness again and carefully started dating again. My friends subtly pushed me a bit there, encouraged me to go, it would be good for me to get out they said…

The dates were a failure, horrible and only made me feel even more miserable and lonely. By mid-summer, after going on 4 or 5 dates I felt it was enough. “Fuck this” I thought, “no more dates. Just leave me alone”!

… And then a (Snow)man walked into my life on October 20th 2013… A month later on November the 16th we started dating and now after dating for a while we are still together and happy, madly in love…

Who knew?

Whenever I look into his eyes, those amazing dark mysterious eyes, I can feel the butterflies roaming around in my stomach, and often, out of nowhere, I feel this warm rush of love floating through my body. I didn’t know I had it in me, I didn’t know I could love this deeply.

I feel free, safe and at peace. Everything is effortless with him. I can be me, and me is perfect to him. No more faking, no more feeling uneasy, I am good enough, I am me, just me. He is everything I’ve ever wanted, he is the love of my life.

Yes, it is true what people say; you will know it once you see it, it is real, love is possible, love is real.

I was the fool, the naïve idiot, for not believing in love. That bridge didn’t collapse because of irony, it collapsed to prove how much love there is out here in the world.

But I don’t need to hang a heart/love-lock on that bridge in Paris, it’s our hearts that are already locked, linked with a much stronger lock than I could ever imagine.

Love is our lock, love locked our hearts together and I hope that love will lock our hearts together till our final days.

I love you my Snowman, I love you with all my heart, my dear sweet Nuno.

M.

 

The traveller.

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Take me with you wherever you go,
through narrow alleys and the streets you roam.

I’ll follow you anywhere I promise my dear,
to nations far away or countries that are near.

I don’t need much in life but just the guarantee,
of a bed to sleep in and your arms tightly wrapped around me.

With you by my side I am protected and safe,
You make me feel desired and encourage me to be brave.

Whatever you do or wish to achieve,
together we can make it, this I truly believe.

I know our future is uncertain and mostly undefined,
but wherever you travel to, please don’t leave me behind.

M.

Video

Love of my life.

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Sometimes you just need a reminder that no matter how tough things will get, Love, when pure and true, should and will always prevail.

“So just take my hand, you know that I will never leave your side
You’re the love of my life, you know that I will never leave your side”.

“The Gambler”

Slow down, we’ve got time left to be lazy
All the kids have bloomed from babies into flowers in our eyes
We’ve got fifty good years left to spend out in the garden
I don’t care to beg your pardon, we should live until we die

We were barely eighteen when we crossed collective hearts
It was cold, but it got warm when you barely crossed my eye
And then you turned, put out your hand, and you asked me to dance
I knew nothing of romance, but it was love at second sight

I swear when I grow up I won’t just buy you a rose
I will buy the flower shop, and you will never be lonely
For even if the sun stops waking up over the fields
I will not leave, I will not leave ’til it’s our time
So just take my hand, you know that I will never leave your side

It was the winter of ’86, all the fields had frozen over
So we moved to Arizona to save our only son
And now he’s turned into a man, though he thinks just like his mother
He believes we’re all just lovers, he sees hope in everyone

And even though she moved away, we always get calls from our daughter
She has eyes just like her father’s, they are blue when skies are gray
And just like him she never stops, never takes the day for granted
Works for everything that’s handed to her, never once complains

You think that I nearly lost you when the doctors tried to take you away
Like the night you took my hand beside the fire thirty years ago to this day,
You swore you’d be here ’til we decide that it’s our time
But it’s not time, you never quit in all your life
So just take my hand, you know that I will never leave your side
You’re the love of my life, you know that I will never leave your side

You come home from work, and you kiss me on the eye
You curse the dog, you say that I should never feed them what is ours
So we move out to the garden, look at everything we’ve grown
And the kids are coming home so I’ll set the table; you can make the fire

Ode to hearts broken…

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Oh, glorious glow that glides over water,
a wrinkle appears where tiny tears touch the surface.

Oh, wonderful crescent moon that watches over wounded souls,
the unbearable moaning of crushed spirits and lost dreams faintly in the distance.

Oh, mysterious willow tree that sadly bows its leaves for those who cannot hear,
the melody and rhythm of a song which a broken heart beats.

Oh, eternal flickering flame please don’t you ever die,
for love’s crooked smile is never ever a lie.

M.

(May all broken hearts find that one true connection)

Rome Day 2 (04 September 2013)

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Day two of my Rome trip was warm, very very warm! Phew!

I started the day off by visiting a small antique market at ‘Mercato della Stampe’. It literally contained 9 booths with old junk. I would hardly call it an antique market, but oh well, it did direct me past ‘Scalinata della Trinità dei Monti’ the Spanish Steps and they were on my list for day 3 so I could tick that one off my list earlier than expected.

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Because of the disappointment at the antique market I decided to have a nice stroll through the neighbourhood and met some of the local exotic species.

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Very exotic pigeon right? ;)

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My next stop was the Chiesa Basilica di San Clemente al Laterano and this became one of the most impressive things I saw during my trip! Unfortunately it was not allowed to take pictures inside the excavation area but I did take pictures of the outside of the Basilica, and sneakily took a couple inside the main Basilica.

You can find some pictures of the excavation area here though: http://www.basilicasanclemente.com/

What’s so special about this Basilica is that it basically consists of three tiers of buildings stretching over centuries. The lowest level is a house built somewhere in the 1st century, the middle level is a Basilica and a Mithraeum dating from the 4th century and the top level is the Basilica that is still used today dating from just before 1100. If you ever visit Rome, I highly recommend visiting San Clemente!

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Slideshow San Clemente:

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After San Clemente I continued my way to the Colosseum and the Roman Forum (Foro Romano). I ended up spending about 3,5 hours around the Forum and visited some of the major highlights such as the Basilica of Constantine, the Arch of Titus, the Temple of Venus and Roma, House of the Vestal Virgins, Stadium of Domus Augustiana at Palatino, etc.

The Colosseum:

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Hi… jup, that’s me :)

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Slideshow Colosseum:

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Foro Romano:

The route I walked is in purple.

The route I walked is in purple.

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Colosseum seen from Foro Romano

Colosseum seen from Foro Romano

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Basilica of Constatine

Basilica of Constatine

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Foro Romano

Foro Romano

Foro Romano

Foro Romano

Basilica of Constantine

Basilica of Constantine

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Slideshow Foro Romano:

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I was so tired after all of this I went back to the hotel to get changed and searched for a nice restaurant to have a pizza, and of course some ice-cream! :D

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I’ll try to upload the rest of my trip asap!

Love,

M.

Windmill-magic

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It’s a rainy and windy Autumn-day today and I know many of you don’t like them but once in a while I really do enjoy them!

I like to snuggle up on the couch with a nice hot cup of tea, a good book and some relaxing music in the background.

I’ve been meaning to post day 2 of my Rome adventure but I couldn’t help myself, I’ve been caught up in this book all day and barely managed to put it down to get something to eat.

I have been working on another post though so I thought I’ll surprise you with some windmill-magic instead. I’ve been taking a lot of windmill pictures again this spring and summer. I know I’ve done a similar post but oh well… what can I say, they do make a nice picture.

For those out there who are ‘stuck’ in the same weather as I am, lean back, relax and enjoy. There’s beauty in everything, and if you look closely especially in Autumn!

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They’ve been working on this one all summer:

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One of my favourites, took this one on a foggy spring morning:

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So… now you know what it feels like to walk in my shoes, so to speak… :) Not really though, I don’t actually wear these ;)

Have a good evening (or day, depending on where you are)!

Love,

M.

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