Day 1 ~ 27th March 2016 ~ All my bags are packed
– No ma’m, you can’t fly with it.
– Why not! It’s only toothpaste!
– Yes I know, but it is more than 100 ml.
– But it’s not a liquid!
– Yes but you can’t fly with it.
You must admit one thing. Nothing will give you more happiness than seeing your wife losing an argument, specially a nonsense one. And I am no exception.
So Jayee went into deep depression for a few minutes until she posed for some photo shoot. That was happening in gate 7, Heathrow terminal 5. And that’s how our trip started this time.
More the merrier, I strongly believe in this ideology, thanks to KFC’s chicken bucket and Netflix. This time I was planning for a trip with a bunch of imbecile souls like me. One fine January evening, after digesting few kilos of mutton, we thought of exploring Europe in April. But where to start? Iceland? Too cold. Switzerland? Too expensive (but all of us gave excuse of less snow in mountains, bull craps). Amsterdam? Too cliché. Then the Oracle spoken, she said- “Let’s go to Italy, it’s my childhood dream”. And so it happened after 3 months.
Avishek da was first to be on board, Ashish da said he would join too. Being the only bachelor in the group, Tanmoy was not given any choice. Whatsapp group was created; messages started flowing, along with “send this message to 10 of your friends and get 50 rupees talk time” kind of stuffs as well. Flights and trains got booked, Museum dates got reserved, on calls swapped, and the day finally came. Just like other days.
The BA flight to Rome was average, with stale homeopathic portions of sandwiches. Reached Fiumicino airport at 4.15 PM, were greeted by our Chauffeurs, Hugo and Sinton, who were kind enough to answer all of our silly questions on the way to the hotel.
The receptionist in the hotel could not speak or understand a syllable in English, so we mostly managed with guessing each others words. The rest of the evening were spent in exploring the neighborhood and ogling on pretty Italian ladies. In the mean time, Tanmoy was trying hard to learn Italian, so far he has reached up to ‘Uscita’ (exit) and ‘Grasi’ (thank you). He has also managed to piss off a Bangladeshi shop keeper when he asked the guy, “দাদা, বাংলাদেশ ইন্ডিয়ার ম্যাচটা দেখেছেন?! কেমন লাগল?”
That was for the starter, 9 more days of sumptuous meals are waiting for you guys! Now I need to sleep, see you on the other side of the night!
Day 2 ~ 28th March 2016 ~ Jaane kahan gaye woh din!
Rome will give you déjà-vu of Delhi, ancient relics are scattered throughout the city, perfectly mingling with modern skyscrapers. The city is not as clean as London, but just like Delhi it has its own charm, small alleys and streets, with graffiti adorning the building walls, it’s a spray painter’s paradise.
After finishing our breakfast with croissant and hot chocolate, we started walking for the Tram stop. Took tram number 19 which brought us to Flavian amphitheater, the most famous attraction of Rome. Never have heard of it right? OK, it’s Colosseum, does it ring a bell now? It got its popular name from the colossal statue of Nero, which used to be standing on its front gate, and was eventually removed by his successors, to wipe out the name of the notorious king. History is very cruel and unforgiving, but sometime it gives you immortality, as has happened with Colosseum.
Largest amphitheater of the world, which used to accommodate 75000 spectators (that’s more than that of our Eden Gardens!) at a time, was the city’s pride for more than 500 years. It was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on Greek and Roman mythology.
We bought advanced tickets, which would guaranty a speedy access to the site, but after reaching the place we realized that those 30 Euros of advanced booking fees has drained into Tiber. Visitors from all over the world have bought advanced tickets, so in reality the queue with and without a ticket is almost the same! If Colosseum is Victoria memorial, the last person in the queue was standing in the PTS crossing! It took us more than 1 hour to reach the entrance.
Within the site we spent around 2 hours. It is divided in 3 tiers, two of them are accessible to the visitors. Gladiators quarters are at the lower most, then the playing arena, and then the spaces for the spectators. If you are of the movie “Gladiator” or that famous chariot race in “Ben Hur”, then simply standing in the middle of the Colosseum is enough to give you goosebumps.
After that we visited San Clemente, just another church from outside but two stories below it was hiding the famous temple of the Mithras, of the long lost cult named pagans. I am a big fan of Da Vinci Code, so standing in the middle of the temple was like visiting the pages of the story for me.
The day ended with hot Kumpir (Jacket potatoes stuffed with fried chicken, cabbage, olives, mayo, lettuce and what not) and Durum (chicken wrap), and of course Gelato! Italian ice cream, its how heaven would taste like!
Author: Anirban Ghosh
Image Courtesy: Anirban Ghosh
Image Design & Copyrights: Anari Minds