Monday, 3 May 2010

A day-trip

To Ostea Antica... a truly fabulous Roman town, abandoned in the 5th Century CE.  It's full of half-houses, arches, mosaics and bits of statues, and according to this website, large chunks of its remnants have ended up in museums, galleries and private collections all over the world.  See, the Goths are still with us.

One of the more interesting bits we found was the remnants of a temple to Mithras, the Persian Soldiers God:

Look familiar?

We also found these:

Gum trees.   How weird is that?  We're 10,000 miles from Australia, and yet, there they are.  And about 100 years old, from the looks.  It was a nice nostalgic moment, the smell of eucalyptus wafting around the 2,000 year old ruins... and Mr Golightly was highly amused... 

We also found a bath, albeit somewhat leaky:

And some fantastic mosaics:

And the occasional chunk of carving, just lying around:

and even the occasional building:

What did the Romans ever do for us, hey?

And then...

We had seven fabulous days in Rome, and I did a lot of happy snapping of doors, which are just fabulous in Rome, some of them are soooooooooooo old (d'oh) and some are just plain interesting - and these are a few of my favourites:

We also went into quite a lot of churches.  Mr Golightly perfected "sono atteo", which means "I'm an athiest", in case anybody thought he was there for anything except cultural worship, and the richness of what's hanging on the walls in those churches is just amazing - work by Titian, Raphael, Botticelli, Caravaggio, Michaelangelo, all available for you to view for free (mostly), once you get passed the crush.  I have to say that the crowds, for the most part, were extremely well mannered, the notable exception being The French.  I try not to generalise, generally, but when you get shoved out of the way by a woman leading a group of barbarians whilst using a tricoleur as her "we're over here" marker, it's a pretty safe bet she's French.  Also, her language was a bit of a give away.  French, I mean, not "bad"!

We didn't actually make it to the Worlds Biggest Church, firstly because it was Easter and jampacked with people celebrating some festival acquired, like almost all Christian rituals,
from other faiths, and secondly, because when we came back to Rome the second time, I said jokingly to Mr Golightly that we could take the opportunity to  visit the Vatican Museum , and a huge clap of thunder sounded, and the skies opened into a hailstorm.  Seriously.  The minute the words were out of my mouth, it was as though something was saying "oh no you don't".  Not that we're superstitious, you understand, that's why we're athiests.  However, we didn't go.  Maybe next time I'll go by myself & leave Mr G in a bar?

 And in a completely related, but slightly off-topic, topic, I'm not so sure that I'm all that happy about the changes to Blogger around photo uploads - I can't get the 'insert image' to find the photos, either in my web album or elsewhere on my PC.  So I'm going back to bed.  It is 3.12AM, after all.