Mama is now in Manila and so sorry I wasn’t able to do some more updates.
It has been very busy the last few days. Ma’s last week here in Germany was spent together with my in laws- we went to Paris for a few days and the rest was spent here at home. Luckily, the weather turned out really well and on her last day here we could have a barbeque in our garden. Also there was an open air Strauss concert in the evening at the park (walking distance from our house) with fantastic fireworks ending to it accopanied by music. Ma enjoyed all of this and indeed this is really a wonderful ending to her holiday here in Germany.
She had a wonderful and a very relaxing flight. Ma enjoyed her holiday up the last minute – she said she could not sleep in the airplane so she watched about 3 movies, listened to music and had some wine and or course lots of food! -she enjoyed the buffet snack offered by cathay pacific 😉
Thank you very much for being a part of Ma ‘s holiday and reading this blog as she goes through her journey in Germany and in some parts of Germany. We are thankful for this opportunity that God has given us to be all together in this special time and have some amazing and wonderful experiences for the last 3 months.
My in laws are here and we are all going to Paris for a few days. Mama’s blog has a lot of backlog – so sory about that. We will be back on Thursday evening and after that Mama’s flight is on Sunday. the 17th.. time flies indeed. Thank you very much for reading this blog throughout her entire journey here.
I will be updating the blog when we get back so see you all soon!
After experiencing culture and heat at the Colosseum we decided to have a siesta in our hotel. Oh how we enjoyed the cool breeze of the aircon and some time to rest and have a nap. Of course before that we had to have some snack.
We woke up fully charged and ready the day
(pictures just from the courtyard of the hotel)
Our third day was designated to see Ancient Rome including Colosseum, Forum and the Palatine Hill but we had to change our plan a bit because the heat was just too overwhelming in the end! If you have a choice when coming here – avoid summer not only is it crowded but it is just too hot especially when you stand in the middle of it supposedly admiring such old relics and piece of history.
It was crowded once again but we did not have to line up thank goodness to get in because we have the so called Roma Pass which entitles you to get around Rome with the public transportation and entrance to 2 museums of your choice.
A stage has been put up to show the people how the chambers for the animals and the gladiators/prisoners used to be, just under it.
There’s a good view of the Forum and Palatine Hill up the Colosseum.In the end we decided to have a siesta after Colosseum.
..to be continued….
After the long day we we felt we deserved to have a wonderful meal – we went back to the hotel to rest for a few minutes and went to find some good food in Trastevere just on the other side of the river. There were numerous restaurants so you just have to look for the perfect deal for you according to your budget.
It was a bit full but we found a place outside. The cool breeze is much nicer than being in an airconditioned room – this is also one thing we noticed. The evenings are very nice because of the cool breeze.
The appetizers – the salad was actually for everyone and the first course was ravioli, and seafood pasta for me and also pasta with some kind of Italian sausage for Vlado which ended up on the next collage. yummy! 2nd course was of course shrimp for me, chicken stew for ma and a pork stew for Vlado. They were all so good.. this is an example of a Menu Turistico (meals for tourists) which comes in set with a drink (water and wine), 1st and 2nd course and dessert.. we felt we’ve earned this meal after such a long day.
Panna cotta for dessert and creme caramel- After such a wonderful meal we decided to take a bit of a walk till the bus stop instead of taking the tram.
There’s lot of shopping going down there along the river banks but it was almost midnight and we needed to catch our bus. The metro is not functioning after 9 pm the last few days because of repairs but you could take the buses which we really were not keen on taking because we have seen the long que of people wanting to get on it.
The river is beautiful and it has been such a wonderful day – we headed home to get ready for the next part of the trip – The Colosseum.
Finally the last of our basilica tour – we headed to the Basilica of Saint Paul or Basilica di San Paolo fuori le Mura. First we saw this on the way, some ruins then the long wall around the church. I didn’t really know what awaits us on this last cathedral… I almost thought we could not make it anymore because the guide book says that big churches close at 5 p.m… it was almost 5 p.m.
When we got in, there was a mass a sort of music going on – I thought first that this was from the choir but when we got nearer this was from the monks …singing or chanting the bible.. it was really nice – the church was so big so there was a wonderful acoustic and it’s almost listening to a concert/cd and the monks really sang well. We decided to sit there and just enjoy the mass – unfortunately I wasn’t able to take pictures because I don’t want to be moving so much and distract the people. Mama was so happy again because she could end the day with a beautiful mass and even officiated by the Bishop who had such a wonderful, angelic voice he could be a professional singer.
It was a wonderful experience- the monks actually live here because it is as well as Monastery and the basilica is part of it. We were just fortunate to hear them sing. It was actually a pity that not many people were there as you could see on this picture with Mama. Also just about a tenth of the church is being used – the rest is just left empty like this. Such a big space!!! This is just the middle lane… so you could just imagine how big it is.. Vlado thinks you could put 3 football fields here (soccer fields)
After seing so many churches for the day, I just wanted to enjoy this church and listen to the wonderful music from the monks.
I took a picture of the walls – these are all so big in real life and so beautiful.
Here you can see what I am telling you about the church not being used and occupied – just the part where the dome is mostly being used with benches..This Basilica also has the tomb of Saint Paul – it has a very long history dating back as far as the first century AD where Saint Paul’s followers erected a shrine (cella memoriae) over the grave. Early Christians frequently visited the site to honor the great Apostle to the Gentiles. The first church on the site was a small one, founded by Emperor Constantine and consecrated on November 18, 324. Of course there has been numerous renovations/extensions plus the great fire which damaged the basilica in 1823
lots of people writing prayers to Saint Paul to be prayed over by the Monks.
I was fascinatedwith this big sculpture – made in the 12th century it is almost like a big candle with lots of figures around it. We were very impressed with all that we saw and glad to see the other famous Basilicas of Rome – please don’t miss them when you get the chance to go to Rome because they are all beautiful and each has a story to tell.
We continued with our journey. There is no stopping us despite the heat but before that time for some refreshments.
Italian pastries and some kind of iced coffee/ice cream.. really good especially for such a hot weather. We had to take the Metro to get to the next church and while inside the train we got some entertainment. The singer was so good, we felt a little bit sad that we needed to get out for our stop.
Presenting to you – San Giovani
The floorand ceiling are both beautiful
There were lots of statues all over the church – especially of all the apostles.. I managed to take some pictures but not everyone.In real life they are really, really big. However it is not much visited like the Saint Peter’s and is not really crowded as you can see from the pictures. Here you are really feel to wander without bumping to anybody.
The church is really beautiful, very big and majestic. This is because it is the official cathedral and ecclesiastical seat of the Bishop or Rome, who is the Pope.
I think the following picturesexactly shows how big and magnificent the church interior of the church is.
The candle is just an electric one, otherwise the soot from the candles will darken the church’s interior. This is one of the many chapels found in the cathedral. I think I saw about 4 (but could be more), they are open and you could come in to pray. Picture taking inside is not allowed so as not to disturb those who are praying.
There are so many beautiful things to see and admire. I think you can really spend a few hours here if you want to. Get one of the audio guides to help you out. All the basilicas are actually for free – you just need to give a few hours if you are interested to go in the treasury of the church.
And goodbye for now and see you in the next church.