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Rotterdam 11 days in the Med trip review w/photos


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Across the bridge





Our first glimpse of the Vatican.




The second window from the right is the Pope's window they told us



So glad we are with a tour group as this is the line just to get into the basilica, not even the Vatican museums! This is St Peter's square.


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It took about 10 minutes to get through security as everyone had to go through xray just like the airport.


Then I started snapping photos like crazy!








It was so crowded it was hard to keep together. There was a lot of pushing and jostling to get through the door to enter the basilica. Once inside, it was a little better but there were almost 100 people trying to get close to Michaelangelo's Pieta. Thank goodness for telephoto lenses. I got great shots from the back and actually it cleared out about 10 min later as several large tour groups moved on.





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The tour was going to get on the bus and head back to the center of Rome where we would have to walk or catch a taxi back to the hotel. We elected to leave the tour on the steps of the basilica and walk back to our hotel on our own.


The walk back.


I don't know why I got such a kick out of these but we past several stores that catered to the clergy.












Back in Trastevere we stopped for lunch and I tried spinach gnocchi with blue cheese cream sauce - very heavy but very good!



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After lunch, we had more gelato from Old Bridge, then back to the hotel for a nap.


For dinner, we went to the place the hotel had recommended the night before (when we didn't listen to them). It was just down the street. The receipt has the name listed as Marco G. The last time we sat inside at a restaurant, it was very hot. Air Conditioning isn't as common I think. This time we opted for one of the outside tables even though the patio area was very small, the street was quiet and it was wonderful.


We ordered a pasta trio for two which is three different pastas. It was served on separate plates and we dug in!




The pumpkin ravioli which was hand made by our waiter was so good, I'm still having dreams about it. The truffle porcini pasta was excellent and of course the rigatoni was the best we've had anywhere.


We also had dessert and it was good, but not exceptional like the pasta.






This was our last night in Rome and even though we had dessert with dinner, we went back for one last gelato and sat on our church bench trying to savor every moment of the evening, the atmosphere and the joys of the Italian lifestyle.






We finally went back to the hotel to try and pack. Somehow my suitcase got smaller for the return trip home.



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The next morning we had a car pick us up at 3:30 am again as we had a 0600 flight.


FLying home on TAP executive class was OK. The flight from Rome to Lisbon was Ok, although I got stuck in a middle seat. Apparently TAP doe that to the short and mid length Europe flights up front. Oh well, not the worst.


We had a 4 hour layover in Portugal where I found a great pastry shop in he airport to bring back pastries for my co workers. Then we boarded the next TAP flight for Newark. I can say... I will NEVER fly TAP again. Even in First class, the service wasn't great. My seat was broken and wouldn't recline. The first flight attendant said she would get someone else to help 20 min later I went back up front to ask. They were chatting in the galley and a different flight attendant said he'd have to reset the electronics. I waited in my seat for another 30 min while they were preparing meals. I ate my meal, then after they collected the trays, I asked again and was told they had reset the electronics in the seat, I should try now. I tried and still no recline. I gave up and figured it was only 8 hours total before we got to Newark.


BTW... this is the breakfast they served, not bad actually.




Our 2 hour layover in Newark turned into a mad dash to make the connections.


If we didn't have Global Entry which included the TSA pre-check lane, we would never have had a chance of making the flight.


We got there just in time and yes... my seat did recline. I think I slept most of the trip home, but we made it. Happy, exhausted with many good memories to hold us over until our next great adventure.

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We will board the Rotterdam on Nov 30th for 11 nights, Athens to Rome. Thanks so much for this--I can't imagine how much time and effort it took! We were looking forward to our cruise--and even more so now after reading and enjoying your illustrated review!!


Great stuff!

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I loved your review, and your pictures brought back happy memories! Thanks for taking the time! On ohter note, your new haircut looks fab!!


Thanks, now I wsh I had gotten it cut before the trip.


I also kept all the daily activity papers but not sure if those would be of interest.

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Your trip photos are outstanding! Thank you so much for taking the time to post your trip report. We are boarding the Rotterdam on Nov 30 and ending in Rome on Dec 11. I am experiencing severe back issues (a first for me) so the trip may not happen. I will say that your pics of Rome have inspired me to keep my chin up.

Looks like you had an amazing time! Thanks again.


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