By Ben |

[Note: this post was written as captions for a series of photos. The photos are now in an album but the captions are still here.]

On Sunday (May 31) we faced the prospect of another day without our luggage. We bought some clothes from roadside vendors, washed our traveling clothes, and hung them out the courtyard window.

When exited the Colosseum Metro station, we found that the whole area had been prepared for a bicycle race. At first it was just a curiosity, but later in the day it became a major obstacle to sightseeing!

The bleachers for the bike race were put up right in front of historic, ancient Roman statues, which are about as common as light poles.

Our tour guide provided a lot of useful information that we wouldn't have learned otherwise.

We also enjoyed her classic-a Italian-a accent-a.

A seagull was sporting around inside, for some reason.

The Colosseum is very impressive, not least because it was designed for heavy tourist traffic and has stood up to it for millennia! The upper level is still structurally sound and in active use, currently for a special exhibit about the Flavian dynasty, which was very interesting.

When we got to the Pantheon, a choir was performing inside. The Pantheon is astounding for a number of reasons:

  1. It was built in 27 BC and has been in continuous use since then. We just don't build 'em like that anymore.
  2. It has a big hole in the roof that lets the rain in, and no drain in the floor, yet there's no sign of water damage. We think we know better than to build 'em like that anymore, yet this building has lasted for millennia while millions of buildings without holes in the roof have crumbled away.
  3. Its name was officially changed some 1300 years ago, but everybody still calls it the Pantheon. Let that be a caution to anyone who wants to change a name.

Trevi Fountain is a popular place for tourists. It was very crowded.

We happened to pass a woodworker's shop that had an entire wall of pendulum clocks made to look like various cartoon animals. The pendula were purely decorative -- the clocks were all quartz movement -- but kind of creepy.

There's lots more to the story, in the photos below. That evening the luggage arrived!