Sunday, April 16, 2006

Walking in the sunshine

I love it when I have enough time in a place to wander somewhat aimlessly. I seem to see more snippets of the 'real' city that way. Rome is certainly a city that rewards this kind of 'getting lost' as there are little surprises to be found just around little corners.
My main aim this morning was just to clarify my foot route from the hostel (near Termini) to St Peter's. The Pope gives his Easter address in the Square tomorrow morning at 10.30am which doesn't leave me time to get lost, and I doubt that the metro will be working.
But that aim left me plenty of space for little deviations!
I called in at the 'local' St Maria Maggiore's first. What struck me this morning as I walked in was the sheer variety and exuberance in the mosaic patterns under my feet. Their slight uneveness was testament to their age and how many people had walked over them before. The office was being said up the front and then a psalm was sung. Beautiful sound.
I passed another church en route where people were putting flowers inside for Easter, an absolute riot of white blooms. Seemed to be a well used local church - certainly had many people working on the floral arrangements and cleaning. Near there, just uphill a little, I saw a little fountain with the sun just playing on the water. Near it was a local flower stall with the sun just touching and brightening all the blooms.
I walked past the Imperial Forums where they have been excavating. The huge engraved column of Trajan took my eye here, and proved to be a useful direction finder here where I had to 'change roads'. Always a place I had walked unneecessarily long ways before!
One other nice thing that happened today. I was buying a sandwich. As I bent to get my money, my nose started bleeding ( grr). The lady serving me was instantly offering me ice. I was not a tourist who was a problem: - I was a human being who needed some help.
Time to go. Hope you all find those little suprise 'flower markets' to brighten your worlds over Easter.

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