This morning was the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday in Scotland, “God Save the Queen”. There were more celebrations planned all throughout the United Kingdom, although more common down England way. Sadly “the 96-year-old earlier pulled out of Friday’s Jubilee thanksgiving service after experiencing “discomfort” during Thursday’s events”.
The family had a 04:30 start to the day, another normal morning for Lachnado. We jumped in the car and set off on our biggest family adventure yet. First stop, Edinburgh Airport. As Eloise would say it was “new home day”. Lachnado probably thinks we are still in Adelaide?
It is hard to know how long it takes to get through airports with COVID-19 checks these days, 1, 2, 3 hours? Eloise had plenty of time to shop for some Tartan.
We had been a wee worried all week as the UK airports have been mental, with many flights cancelled as “airlines and operators have “seriously oversold flights and holidays” relative to their capacity to deliver, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said”. Fortunately, an aircraft turned up.
After a three hour flight, with an additional hour time zone change, we touched down in Rome.
It turned out to be a perfectly timed entry into Italy as they had dropped almost all COVID-19 restrictions at the start of June. Entry requirements for Italy are now the same for all travellers regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status. It was our first flight since the pandemic kicked off that no one even mentioned COVID-19. The only “requirement” was the need to wear an FFP2 mask on flights and in certain buildings.
First observation of Italy, it was hot! 33°C! Climbing to 36°C on Sunday! This will be a bit of a shock to the system.
We caught a questionable cab, we don’t think it was actually even a cab. But after a thrilling journey for Lachnado, we arrived dehydrated at our “new home”.
Eloise was quick to test the bed out before the two of them tried to dial room service to bring some gelati up veloce!
After speaking to a lot of Italians in English with our Italian accent put on, we managed to train and tram into the city centre and were blown away by what we saw.
It was almost 15:00, well overdue for lunch. Thankfully on almost every corner, you can buy pizza through a window.
We made our way along the cobble Roman paths which put both the children to sleep. There was incredible architecture everywhere you looked. We arrived at the Pantheon. We could not believe it was free to enter on weekdays. The line was a few hundred metres long but was moving steadily. It is difficult to imagine how old these Roman buildings are.
By the way, prepare for a lot of Angels and Demons videos.
The Pantheon is a former Roman temple and since 609 AD, a Catholic church (Basilica di Santa Maria ad Martyres or Basilica of St. Mary and the Martyrs), in Rome, Italy, on the site of an earlier temple commissioned by Marcus Agrippa during the reign of Augustus (27 BC – 14 AD). It was rebuilt by the emperor Hadrian and probably dedicated c. 126 AD. Its date of construction is uncertain, because Hadrian chose not to inscribe the new temple but rather to retain the inscription of Agrippa’s older temple, which had burned down… It is one of the best-preserved of all Ancient Roman buildings, in large part because it has been in continuous use throughout its history: since the 7th century, it has been a church dedicated to St. Mary and the Martyrs (Latin: Sancta Maria ad Martyres) but informally known as “Santa Maria Rotonda.
We continued wandering the streets and passed through an incredible supermarket, the Italians definitely do supermarkets right.
After a solid nap, fair enough, she was up early. Eloise finally woke up with one thing on her mind “ice cream”, we had promised her gelati. The kids had been incredible getting this far. What better place for gelati than at Piazza Navona, “built in the 1st century AD”.
We made our way past the Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola at Campus Martius with Lachlan still asleep until we reached the famous Trevi Fountain.
Eloise stepped up to the plate with the FIK Trevi Fountain coin toss.
The Trevi Fountain (Italian: Fontana di Trevi) is an 18th-century fountain in the Trevi district in Rome, Italy, designed by Italian architect Nicola Salvi and completed by Giuseppe Pannini and several others. Standing 26.3 metres (86 ft) high and 49.15 metres (161.3 ft) wide, it is the largest Baroque fountain in the city and one of the most famous fountains in the world… In 19 BC, supposedly with the help of a virgin, Roman technicians located a source of pure water some 13 km (8.1 mi) from the city. (This scene is presented on the present fountain’s façade.)
While we are running down this rabbit hole…
One of the many big disadvantages of Brexit is that some UK mobile companies are starting to charge Global Roaming fees for UK mobiles in Europe. Soph’s being one of them, we will see how long this blog will last. If you don’t hear from us for a while, we have either ran out of data or been hit by a Fiat 500 or James Bond.
Interestingly (/or not), Bond starts that scene driving out of Blenheim Castle near Oxford, England and then manages to take a left turn into Rome.
I digress… We were all stinking hot at this point, Eloise being the thoughtful big sister was quick to chuck some water over her lil bro.
Exhausted after a day of travelling and a sun that actually works, we had some delicious pasta for dinner.
On the way back to the hotel we passed the incredible Victor Emmanuel II Monument, the buildings keep getting bigger and bigger. There were people at the top, but it did not look pram friendly.
Once back at the hotel, the kids were happy for a quick swim before bed and a big day tomorrow.