Hardly had we finished the shooting of the 1916 Rising before we found ourselves busy packing. One of our humans was going to Rome to attend a conference and we were invited for a weekend in the eternal city.
Roger had got a brand new backpack for future travels.
"I shall carry our Travelling Bears business cards," Roger pointed out, "I am sure we will be handing out loads of cards..."
"Just make sure to have room for the alarm clock!" McBear reminded him.
Click each photo to enlarge
We had seats on an early Aer Lingus flight to the Leonardo Da Vinci airport and took the train to the huge Termini building.
We would be staying at the Ateneo Garden Palace near the Termini. Roger
noticed the four stars next to the name of the hotel.
"Now, I prefer five stars, however, it might turn out that this hotel is appropriate..."
While we were waiting for our luggage to be brought up, we enjoyed the lounge.
"I was hoping to get some coffee," McBear said.
Roger went out to the reception and asked if we could get some coffee.
"Of course!" the girl behind the counter responded.
The waiter however seemed a bit hesitant, but the girl then proved to be made of 100 % Italian fiery blood and promptly sent him off to the bar!
We got our coffee!
We only had little time, so we immediately went on sightseeing. Here
we are at the River Tiber with the Castel San Angelo in the background. There
are many buildings left from ancient Rome, and the castle is one of them. It
was built around 135 CE. Today, it's a museum.
"Wow, it's built around the times of the great Roman emperors. Imagine me, Roger Augustus, or me as a Roman general leading great armies to victories everywhere..."
Not far from Castel San Angelo is the St. Peter's Basilica. It's a huge square. The guards noticed us. Maybe they recognized The Travelling Bears!
We went for coffee at Anni 70 at Piazza del Risorgimento. As you can see on the photo, we got a warm welcome and of course we felt very welcome! Maybe it was general Italian hospitality - or maybe she simply recognized The Travelling Bears...
Anyway, the coffee was lovely.
To get around, we toook a bus or like here, the tram. Somebody asked if we
wanted a window seat.
"A window seat?" asked Tom. "Looking around there seems to be nothing but window seats..."
We wished to see the Colosseum. It's a huge amphitheatre built in ancient times. It could hold crowds of up to an estimated 50,000 people.
We walked around the Colosseum. It's huge.
"This would be the perfect arena for I, Roger, to perform as an unbeaten gladiator," Roger pointed out.
"Yawn, yawn," said McBear. "Your confidence is larger than the Colosseum!"
We also went to see the ancient race course, Circus Maximus.
"Wow," said Roger, "imagine I, Roger, racing down the course in a carriage behind 6 wild horses, cheered by the excited crowds and beating all competitors! McBear, do me a favour: take a photo..."
Roger started to pose in front of the camera. McBear however had certain issues getting the GoPro to work.
"C'mon, McBear!" Roger was getting impatient . "How long does it take one bear to click one button? You've been fiddling with it for hours!"
After Circus Maximum we took a bus to the city centre and had lunch.
"Nothing beats pizza, pasta nor lasagna!" McBear stated.
"Nothing beats Vino Italiano!" Tom stated.
No visit to Rome without visiting the Trevi Fountain. It became famous when
Anita Ekberg enjoyed the fountain water in the 1960 film by Fellini.
The place however was jam packed and it was difficult to find a vacant spot.
And constantly, we saw people with cameras on long sticks.
We managed to find a spot at the water.
"Really!" Roger pointed out, "People taking selfies means nothing to me at all!"
"Wha'? But, what about us?" Tom asked a bit surprised. "We get our photo taken constantly..."
"That's different." Roger reasoned. "We have a photographer..."
We went to see the famous Pantheon. It was built around the same time as Castel San Angelo - 130 CE - and it has a huge dome with a 9 meter hole in the top. It was very impressive. Our photographer complained about the conditions: it was crowded, too dark, too difficult...
We also went to Piazza Navona. Here, Roger walked around and came back stating
he had done the bargain of the year: A bearsized 2016 calendar of Rome by night.
"Wow," said McBear. "That's awesome. Now, we have a bear sized calendar with images of famous buildings in Rome and later this year we are getting a human sized calendar with images of the famous Travelling Bears in Rome..."
Here we are at the Piazza del Popolo. In ancient times it was the northern gate into the city. The Egyptian obelisk in the centre of the square was surrounded by fences and scaffolding. The same was the Spanish Steps not far away as was part of the Colosseum. It seemed half the city was wrapped in scaffolding...
It was almost time to go home, but we had a look at the Vittorio Emanuelle Monument.
Some say it's ugly, some say it's impressive. But one thing is for sure: it looks