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Fleur Tonkin

Miss Pole Dance UK and Rome - Day 1

UNITED KINGDOM | Sunday, 3 June 2012 | Views [801]

St Peters Basilica

St Peters Basilica

I have a week off work this week as it's the 'half term' break for the kids, so their parents are taking them up to Wales to visit their grandparents and my friend Joan and I are going to Rome! Joan took the train from Ipswich on Saturday and then we drove to Brighton to see the “Miss Pole Dance UK” championships. Unfortunately I'm not sure the 90minute drive was worth it! As some of you may know; the WA heats for Miss Pole Dance Australia have been held at Burswood Entertainment centre and usually attract more than a thousand people (I'm estimating here). The heats for the whole of the UK were held at the back of a bar without any seating, and a crowd of around 150 people. There were a couple of quite good performers (and also a few who had never even performed on stage before!) but considering that the winner will be representing their whole country at the World Championships, I wasn't too impressed!


Joan and I flew from Heathrow to Rome Fumicino (aka Leonardo Da Vinci) airport on Sunday night, arriving at 7:10pm as scheduled. We rang our accommodation to request a shuttle pick up (advertised on their website for 11 Euros pp), only to find out that all bookings have to be made 48 hours in advance (which was NOT advertised on the site!). After several laps of the airport, trying to find out the best way to get to the accommodation, and finding all of the information and tourist centres closed, we eventually paid 20 Euros each to get a private shuttle from the airport to our accomodation; “The Camping Village Roma” which is 20min outside Vatican City.


Once we arrived, things went more smoothly. We checked in (to our small twin bungalow with ensuite), walked down to the Supermarket to get a few things, and had tea at the restaurant (all part of the 'Camping Village'), but didn't make use of the pool, or bar (all open until 11pm every night).


Today we went to the Vatican City. We took a shuttle from the Camping Village Roma (CVR) which dropped us off near the Vatican for only 2 Euros return pp (and it didn't require 48 hours notice for booking)! We were approached by various touts trying to sell us guided tours and tickets which allowed us to skip the lines, however apparently they are not all licensed and have reputation for selling tickets which are not valid! I was considering taking the risk when I saw the size of the line to get in to the Vatican Museum, but the lines moved quickly and we were inside within 20 minutes.


We took our time looking around and taking lots of photos, looking at galleries, sculptures, The Vatican Gardens, endless amazing ceilings, tapestries and paintings. We went through the Sistine Chapel looking up in awe (and finishing with rather stiff necks)! And walked up and down hundreds of steps. After a couple of souvenir purchases, we headed to the cafeteria for lunch (and to rest our feet).


We spent about an hour in St Peter's Cathedral taking lots of photos and watching a procession of people led by priests in white robes; all singing Hallelujah in mournful tones. We had some gelato and walked to St Angelo's Castle (which unfortunately turned out to be closed on Mondays). We walked along and found some markets (leading to more souvenir and personal purchases!), and decided to walk the rest of the way around the walls of the Vatican City for a change of scenery. However, we were not able to walk in a very direct path, and ended up doing much more walking than we had bargained for, so we decided to catch an earlier shuttle back to CVR and find somewhere local for tonight's tea.


Tomorrow we have plans to see the Colosseum, The Roman Forum, The Palatine, The Pantheon, Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps...however we may go back on Wednesday if we don't get around to it all!!


Arrividerci :)

Tags: miss pole dance uk, rome, the vatican city

 

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