December 25th - 28th: Four days in Rome ... Surprise Present for Cynthia

As a surprise present on xmas eve (24th), Cynthia found out, that next morning, 25th, we had to quickly pack our stuff to get our 11:00-plane from Frankfurt to Rome! ... her first reaction was "oh shit" (!) ...
 

So we went to Frankfurt Airport on xmas day (25th) and - believe it or not - we just sat down in the plane at the gate ... Thomas heard a voice "where is Mrs. Kaercher?" ... so the pilot himself came to row 33, wished Cynthia a happy birthday and handed over a bottle of spumante and some gingerbread!!! What a start! ... we're now fans of Lufthansa again ;-)
 

Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). After an uneventful 1,5 hrs flight to Rome we finally arrived at our hotel, the Grand Hotel de la Minerve ... located absolutely in the middle of Rome ... just about everything you could explore by foot!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Checking in quickly and we had our first walk around the hotel ... here the amazing Pantheon (next to the hotel!) ... with the biggest cupola ever built (44 metres) ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Some days later, during our guided tour, we had a look inside ... amazing.
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Here some impressions from our first walk through Rome ... a lot of rooftop gardens everywhere ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). On our way back to the hotel, we saw this sign ... for non-Germans: it should be "Currywurst" ... as "Wurst" is the German word for "sausage"
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Back in the hotel we had Cynthia's birthday dinner there ... it was a wonderful meal with a good bottle of Italian red wine ... so we ended day 1 at the bar and ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... we had a first glimpse on the forum romanum ... ancient rests of the Roman empire ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... we had a first glimpse on the forum romanum ... ancient rests of the Roman empire ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... funny snack cars everywhere ... incl. hundreds of "umbrella" salesmen ... they were everywhere ... and they tried to sell you an umbrella even when they saw you had one ;-)
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Unfortunately this day we walked in the rain and in the middle of Trastevere we found this little bar, where we had a nice red grape juice in between ... very comfy and cosy ... or as you say in German: "gemuetlich"
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). We had dinner in a local restaurant (recommendation) which turned out to be not the very best according to our taste ... so we headed back to the hotel (here a picture at night) and had some drinks there ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Sunday morning, we booked a private guided walking tour for three hours ... which was fantastic ... one of the first stops was the famous fountain of Trevi, where we also threw a coin (right hand over left shoulder, with the back towards the fountain) ... and had a wish ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... next stop were the Spanish steps ... here with our tour guide Elena (from St. Petersburg) ... she was fantastic ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... here a nice scene on the Spanish steps ... cat on the lead ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). This is the view from the Spanish steps ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... and here a view over Rome from the very top of the Spanish Steps ... wonderful weather ... we were lucky ... although Rome was absolutely crowded with tourists and locals ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Yep, these two guys you know ... just to prove that we've been there ... ;-)
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Last stop was the Colosseum ... impressive from the outside ... but
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... even more impressive inside! Thomas always thought it was just a "wall shell" ... but have a look ... amazing construction ... they even found elevators to bring the wild animals from the cellars into the arena ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... and you could even book a "flat rate" in these times to come as often as you like ... just the prototype of modern stadiums ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). In the afternoon we continued our walk towards the Vatican ... here some beautiful impressions ... St. Peters dome in the sunlight ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... or the castel St. Angelo with the river Tiber in front ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Last day, Monday, we put our hands into the "boca de la verita", where - according to the legend - you hand is biten off, when you lie ... as you can see on the photo you know who was the one ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). We went on to the Vatican again, but unfortunately extremely long queues with hours of waiting time prevented us from going inside ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... so we had a nice last lunch in "Al Fortunato" ...

After that we headed back to the Airport, flew home and arrived safely at 22:15 in Weinheim. A great city, worth a visit, surprisingly friendly people ... and we defintely had a great time there!