The Forum

The forum was just amazing.  I love all the ancient marble and stone ruins.  I did find out why the heads are missing on a lot of the statues.  The heads were worth lots of money, so the rich would collect them.

The Roman Forum, also known by its Latin name Forum Romanum (Italian: Foro Romano), is a rectangular forum (plaza) surrounded by the ruins of several important ancient government buildings at the center of the city of Rome. Citizens of the ancient city referred to this space, originally a marketplace, as the Forum Magnum, or simply the Forum.

For centuries the Forum was the center of day-to-day life in Rome: the site of triumphal processions and elections; the venue for public speeches, criminal trials, and gladiatorial matches; and the nucleus of commercial affairs. Here statues and monuments commemorated the city’s great men. The teeming heart of ancient Rome, it has been called the most celebrated meeting place in the world, and in all history.[1] Located in the small valley between the Palatine and Capitoline Hills, the Forum today is a sprawling ruin of architectural fragments and intermittent archaeological excavations attracting 4.5 million or more sightseers yearly.[2]
Many of the oldest and most important structures of the ancient city were located on or near the Forum. The Roman Kingdom’s earliest shrines and temples were located on the southeastern edge. These included the ancient former royal residence, the Regia (8th century BC), and the Temple of Vesta (7th century BC), as well as the surrounding complex of the Vestal Virgins, all of which were rebuilt after the rise of imperial Rome.
Other archaic shrines to the northwest, such as the Umbilicus Urbis and the Vulcanal (Shrine of Vulcan), developed into the Republic’s formal Comitium (assembly area). This is where the Senate—as well as Republican government itself—began. The Senate House, government offices, tribunals, temples, memorials and statues gradually cluttered the area.
Over time the archaic Comitium was replaced by the larger adjacent Forum and the focus of judicial activity moved to the new Basilica Aemilia (179 BC). Some 130 years later, Julius Caesar built the Basilica Julia, along with the new Curia Julia, refocusing both the judicial offices and the Senate itself. This new Forum, in what proved to be its final form, then served as a revitalized city square where the people of Rome could gather for commercial, political, judicial and religious pursuits in ever greater numbers.
Eventually much economic and judicial business would transfer away from the Forum Romanum to the larger and more extravagant structures (Trajan’s Forum and the Basilica Ulpia) to the north. The reign of Constantine the Great saw the construction of the last major expansion of the Forum complex—the Basilica of Maxentius (312 AD). This returned the political center to the Forum until the fall of the Western Roman Empire almost two centuries later.

 

I hope you enjoy the photos.

Vatican Museum

Today we left the hotel around 8 and headed to the Vatican.  Where we went to the museum which is actually like 11 or more museums.  We didn’t do all of them because of the time.  It would have taken days. We went into the Sistine Chapel but you cannot take pictures there.  It was amazing.  We then went to St Peter’s where the Concert Chorus will be singing in on Saturday.  The place was packed.  David and I just had to get out.  I figured while they are rehearsing and doing their sound check I can take photos then.  After that we had a short time to go to the restroom or to the shop before we left for the town center.  We had a meeting place and when we started walking to the bus winding this way and that way. Then down to underground parking we notice that our friends were not on the bus.  Their was actually 5 people not on the bus and one of them was one of the camera crew who was doing a documentary on our trip.  We kept telling the tour guide people were missing.  They tried to find them but said they had to get moving.  When we were almost where we were going Roland got a phone call.  They trying to get a taxi and wanted to know where to meet us.  The guide told them the name of the restaurant, but that wasn’t enough.  They wanted the address, so while they were trying to get that information I guess one taxi driver got pissed off at them and said they could not ride with them.  Finally, they got a taxi driver to take them to our meet up place.  While Janet, David and I are waiting for our lost friends the camera man shows up that was with them.  We ask where the rest are and he says around the corner on the next block.  We hurry to go try to find them.  There they are sitting at a table getting ready to order food.  We tell them we have been waiting for them.  At least, they were ok.  We then got a table and sat down to eat some lunch too.  I am sitting across from Janet who all of a sudden says, “OH, CRAP!”.  She brushes something off her arm which then lands on my arm.  She was not kidding about the crap.  A pigeon shit on her and she flung it on me, so we both got crapped on at lunch.  After lunch we went to the Spanish Steps, visited a couple more churches, sat by a fountain and visited with some very nice nuns.  We headed back to where we started for dinner and then back to the hotel.  It was a long day but lots of fun.  I am putting some of the pictures up now but you will have to wait for rest when I have more time to explain what is in the photos.  Ready for bed now.

 

The Church Palace Hotel

You drive down a tree-lined lane to get to the front of the hotel.

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You arrive at the front door.  The building looks smaller from the outside, but inside it is much bigger.

 

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There are many different places to sit outside and in with art work everywhere.  As I walked into one of the little outside sitting areas the smell of the gardenia was amazing.

 

 

While we waited for the rest of the Anchorage Concert Chorus to arrive we listened and watched some green parrots.  They were flying around gathering food for their babies.  I had to laugh because at one point both parents left a nest and the babies started calling them.  It reminded my of our twin granddaughters.

 

 

There is a beautiful church right in the center of the hotel.  The hotel has quite the history.  It was built in 1926 by a pope.  The first news on the building dates back to 1948 when the building was designed as Home for Holidays of Women’s Youth, a branch of Catholic Action. Denitively inaugurated on the 8th of may 1955. The church and the historic apartments of the Hotel offered hospitality to the bishops during the Synods, the Second Ecumenical Council and various Episcopal Conferences. Cardinal Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli stayed here before the opening of the conclave that elected him Pope John XXIII. From a convent to a pilgrims’ house, the hotel’s vocation for the hospitality grew from year to year up to now, transforming itself into an eclectic 4 star Superior Hotel thanks to a creative and intrepid Entrepreneur.  It still to this day belongs to the church.

 

The rest of our group arrived and we all had dinner together, including the Flat Ole Hippies.

 

For those of you that are watching for the traveling, green short shorts David did wear them the first day in Rome.

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Well that is all for tonight.  It is time for bed.

 

 

Flat Ole Hippies First Day in Rome

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I don’t have much time to tell you about the Flat Ole Hippies adventures because their day is not over yet.  We will be heading down to meet the rest of the Anchorage Concert Chorus as they arrive.

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I will tell you about the photos real quick though.  Last night when they got in they were very happy to see their bed.  Breakfast this morning was really good.  After that they wondered around this extremely cool Church Palace Hotel.  They had their picture taken in front of a piece of art work called Selfie.  They also rode a lion.  They then went for a nice walk and when they got back they had a beer.  After that they returned to their room for a nap.

Well I will have to tell you more about their trip later because it is time to head down to meet everyone.

 

 

Rome

Well we made it to Rome and to The Church Palace.  When they got there they told us that we did not have to move tomorrow when the rest of the chorus got here.  They were giving us a free upgrade.  I wonder if it is because I told them I wanted to write an article about them.  We are getting shown around tomorrow.

https://www.thechurchpalace.com/en

We didn’t have too much trouble.  The plane was a little late leaving Iceland but we had plenty of time at Heathrow, so that was fine.  We did have to go through immigration there and then check in and get rid of our luggage with Alitalia Airlines.  Then we had to go through security again.  I set off all the bells and whistles with my new knees and the metal in my back.  After being scanned and patted down I was let through.  Then I notice my backpack on the inspection side.  I am told I have a flask with fluid in it.  I totally forgot I had David’s water bottle.  They just let us drink the water real fast and then I was let go.  It was bringing back memories from when I got deported from England.

We still had plenty of time so we went to have a sit down meal.  We decided on fish and chips along with a local beer.  One thing I didn’t miss from there was mushy peas. David commented that they were a pretty color.  They were included with the meal.  I did not eat them.

We then walked around to stretch our legs.  I had to keep pulling up my shorts, so they wouldn’t fall off.  Our gate finally came up, so we headed there.  The plane was already a little late but when we got on we were delayed about a half hour before we could leave.  Still no big deal because we just took a nap. The only thing I was worried about was that the hotel had sent a car for us and we were late.  David said they keep track of this stuff, so they will know.  I have to say he was right because they were waiting on us.  I hate having to tell him he was right.

Well anyway we made it.  We have washed all the grime of the day off and are heading to bed now.

Alice the Chicken Dog

When I say chicken dog I don’t mean that she herds the chickens together or that she eats chickens.  I mean she is afraid of everything.  She is a 100 pounds and is scared of everything.  If you change something in the house she is afraid of it.  She won’t go in the kitchen because that scares her.  She hates going to my daughter’s because of the wood floors also scare her.  We were camping one time and this tiny dog came running out of the grass barking at her and she took off running.  I was out walking her one day in the winter and some other dogs came up to take a sniff.  She took off running and it was icy, so try to guess what happened.  I slide on the ice and fall on the road.  I hit my butt and head.  My glasses go flying off my face which I didn’t know until I got to the park and couldn’t read something. When I got back to the place I fell they had been run over.  She is getting better since she has been out hiking, as far as other dogs are concerned.  We were going down all these steps to go look at the Yukon river and she got halfway down the steps turned, ran back to the van.  On the same trip we stopped at a place to get a closer look at the Yukon River.  There was a really cool bridge you had to walk across.  She didn’t think so, but with David pushing the back-end and me pulling the front end we got her across.  Then going back across she was fine.  Anyway she is still the best dog ever.  I am glad my son, Dusty, is staying at the house to take care of her while we are gone.

 

5 HOURS AND COUNTING

We Are Packed!

I finally got David to decide what carry on he was taking, so I could pack my backpack.  He needed to figure out what camera equipment he was bringing.  I already knew what I was bringing.  Once I got him moving it didn’t take long.  You would think after he thought we missed our flight he would be in a hurry to pack.  We got are pills in our sorter and packed the rest of them.  All I need now is to put my laptop and tablet in my backpack tomorrow.  Oh yea, the hair brushes will have to go in tomorrow too.

TWENTY HOURS AND COUNTING!