I'm finally getting around to sharing our European adventures with you all.
Day 1 was Colosseum
We arrived in Rome around 11:00 AM local time and had scheduled a tour for the Colosseum a few hours later. So after finding our room, thanks to the help of a tall, dark and handsome Roman (with a smart phone), we set off towards the monument. I was really not feeling well (can you tell from my face in the pics?) what with jet lag and poor mealtime planning, not to mention not having showered in 2 days, but weathered through the 2 hour tour nibbling granola bars and sitting whenever I could. As we exited the metro station and saw the huge structure immediately across the street from us we were reeeeeaaaaallllly glad we had scheduled and payed for our tour ahead of time. The lines for getting in were absolutely Ridiculous, throngs and throngs and throngs of people. I'd hate to see it in high tourism season. Plus with the payed tour we got to explore some of the "dungeons" in the basement, off limits to the non-tour-guided public.
This was our first view of the inside. We're standing at what would have been ground level in the arena, behind where we're standing would have all been covered with a wooden floor and lots of sand, and like 30 trap doors or so for letting out the tigers and fighting animals and clean up. This is where the gladiators fought. It really is Huuuuge. The people you see waaaay in the background of the photo are standing at the other end of the arena.
These are photos from the basement. Above is a view of the labyrinth like halls and rooms underneath the floor of the arena. This is where slaves, gladiators, and animals were kept. Below is a hallway built of gigantic stones underneath the seating part of the structure.
Standing just inside one of the 80 doorways leading into the Colosseum.These doors at the ground level (76 of which were used by regular civilians) and many hallways like below on each floor of the structure allowed the Colosseum to be seated and exited in a matter of minutes.
View from one of the upper floors. I never realized how oval shaped it was, it always looked so round in the pictures.
This is a view of the ancient Roman Forum (marketplace) from the top of the Colosseum. This is the oldest part of the city.
Where we Finally ate lunch after the tour, right across the street (just outside of the metro station). It's pretty incredible how these huge monuments dot the city and are part of the daily views people see here.
A triumphal arch right next to the Colosseum
Details in the stone carving of the archway. Such beautiful work.