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at Gatwick at 11.15 and made our way to
the check in desk. 1 we had some free time, so everyone
went to the arcade, ate at Burger King or
looked around the shops. The flight was
quiet and almost all of us played games.
Not many of us had been to Rome and so we
saw a very different environment from the
one we live in. The houses were yellow,
there were terracotta tiles on the floor
outside the cafes and the most common transport
was the moped. We got to our hotel, sorted
out our rooms, unpacked and went out to
dinner. The pasta was exquisite!
Lovely sunshine and comfortable temperatures
were the norm and very nice it all was too,
2 but then we were warm and dry
in the coach, 3 . The weather was important
as most of our visits were to Roman remains.
The real Roman bit started with the trips
round the Forum, Palatine Hill and the Colosseum
4 . On our way back to our hotel
we were given a guided tour of the
Church of San Clemente, whose remains, 5 , took us back to the level
Nero's Rome with its streets, alleys and
the best preserved temple to Mithras in
We spent time in Ostia, the port of Rome.
During the 3rd century BC, the town was
primarily used as a naval base and played
an important part in various wars. The remains
of the town itself are in excellent condition,
Everything we had learned about, or seen
in pictures, suddenly came to life. We hadn't
been there before but we felt that we knew
reaching down 50 metres below the modern
street B. considering that it
was on at least one occasion partially destroyed
by pirates C. which would have made
the group gasp in awe. D. After we had confirmed
everything E. where the cruel world
of Roman entertainment was mixed with the
amazing technology below stage F. so it didn't matter G. except for the coach
drive from Rome to Sorrento