Sunday, June 8, 2008

Rome, Day 15

Today, since it was a Sunday we decided to sleep in a bit before heading out to our brunch reservation at the restaurant Imago inside the Hotel Hassler at the top of the Spanish Steps.

So, we got dressed up to go to our fancy brunch; and wow was it fancy (and excellent)! Their brunch is done it the form of a buffet, but not a buffet like you would see at a normal restaurant; this buffet was so elaborate and beautiful that it was almost a shame to eat it! But it definitely was worth eating! ;-)

We then headed back to our hotel to change (so we could head out walking). We rode the Metro back to the Circus Maximus, and then walked to the Baths of Caracalla. These baths are the best preserved baths in Rome, and one look at the ruins will show you just how impressive they once were (and huge!). They were for anyone to use, rich and poor; but were only in use for about 200 years—when the barbarians cut the aqueduct that fed them during the siege of Rome in the 4th and 5th centuries.

After the baths we headed past the Circus Maximus again to the area known as Trastevere; which is a haven for expats (US, British, etc.) and has some very nice shopping areas—souvenirs and regular. After walking through part of Trastevere, we crossed back over the Tiber and headed for Campo de Fiori. Campo de Fiori is a square which has mostly locals in it, but some tourists as well; and is surrounded by restaurants.

Here’s where our worst food experience of the trip occurred….by far. This may gross you out, as it grosses me out just thinking about it again.

So, we decided to eat at this little place on the square, right? We both ordered lasagna and cokes; and the waitress brought us our cokes after a few minutes. We take our drinks, and both take a drink…but something isn’t right. To start with, they have lemons in them; no big deal. But, there’s something else…some weird taste…something that we cannot put our fingers on. So we look a closer look in our cups and find….cigarette butts. That’s right, cigarette butts. Right there I almost lost it; I almost got up and walked away from the place. But, I decided to just tell the waitress and see what she said. Well, she was even more surprised than us; and apparently scared of us because the owner brought us our new drinks.

We decided to stay, and eat our food. However I simply couldn’t get that taste out of my mouth nor my mind; so I didn’t eat much, but grabbed a loaf of warm bread and some water on the way back to the hotel (trying to beat the thunderstorm which was brewing above our heads).

So, tomorrow we head to the airport and back to London for a quick visit to Stonehenge before heading home! Pray that we are safe, and that this experience is better than the Paris to Venice one!!! ;-)

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