Damien Hirst Spot Challenge: Geneva to Rome (9 down, 2 to go!)
|I nearly dropped my camera when I saw this. Do they really think a "NEW!" starburst will attract American tourists? Hang on, it works for toasters and hamburger helper!|
|In case you weren't sure you've landed in Italy, there are plenty of clues right at the airport ..|
|The wonderful patina of old Rome ...|
The $US160 flight was fast and the hot chocolate was better than watery Swiss Miss or Hersheys syrup that usually passes for same in the USA. Rome, the land of good food, is nigh! At 4.40pm we touched down, and in an in 1 hour I was at Roma Termini, the main bus/train interchange. I knew it was ambitious to get to Gagosian Gallery at Via Francesco Crispi before it closed at 7pm, so I'd allowed for two nights in Rome.
|The main transit hub of Rome, and just a stone's throw from a bunch of hostels.|
A local CouchSurfer who wasn't able to host me had suggested the Yellow Hostel. Without bothering to scroll down and read the find print, I'd made an online booking.
Now I had the chance to read it, and saw that it had an age restriction - you had to be younger than 40. (I guess that's no worse than the Electronic Music Appreciation Society I'd started in Eugene, which had a tongue-in-cheek age restriction: you had to be older than 40.)
Further, the text made no bones about it: "if this rule is not respected, a full night's accommodation would be charged."
|A shoe shop in Rome with a courtesy bar!|
Yuli let me call and cancel the Yellow Hostel from reception. "I'll refund your deposit as a courtesy, but normally we'd charge you for the first night," came the business-like reply.
The Gagosian Gallery Rome
I set off on the half hour walk to the gallery and didn't make it until late afternoon, distracted by pizza and tourist vortexes like the Trevi fountain.
The Gagosian Rome is the most impressive I've seen - a classically ornate, carved building with tall glass doors.
|Gagosian Gallery in Rome|
|Showing my only piece of luggage on this global trip - my Traffic Cone Bag - in cycling (orange) mode.|
|The Gagosian Gallery Rome|
|Oh my ... I look like death warmed up after all this running around - put a bit of that red ink on my lips and cheeks, please!|
|Three views of the Spanish Steps at sundown|
|A curious glitch in the Blogger photo upload produced this two-tone shot of the Trevi Fountain by night. I'm going to say it's been Rothkoed!|
|No-one does pizza like the Italians - in Italy. This scrumptious roasted pepper and eggplant slice from a hole in the wall called Fior de Pizza.|
No boat to China
Rome was my last chance to see if I could get a visa to China, specifically, Beijing. If I had beat it to the consulate I might have been able to plead with them to process it same day, but I basically gave up on the idea, and decided to just enjoy Rome. It was all too hard. China visas are incompatible with spontaneous travel, they must be arranged in your home country.
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