Ciao from Rome! Currently typing away at an internet point in a laundromat in Rome. My clothes are happily getting thoroughly cleaned by the washing machine as we speak. I am now an expert in exactly what kinds of stains and grime will not come out of clothes that are washed in a sink with Woolite. One particular problem involves the sorts of things that cling to your pants seat after you spend much of the day sitting on pillars, curbs, and pretty much any flat surface that's in the shade. Dan, Dave and I have noticed our luggage getting heavier and heavier, despite the fact that we're not picking up any souvenirs to speak of. My theory is that each of us are now carrying around several pounds of dust, dirt, and (ick) dried sweat.
It's still really hot here. I've taken to using my umbrella as a parasol, which makes me look like a colossal dork (no Rome pun intended), but keeps me from getting sunburned. We have officially given up any pretense of pretending not to be tourists. Bring on the camera, the map, and the matching "I <HEART> Rome" T-shirts.
So we've seen the Pantheon (only slightly crumbly), the Colosseum (very crumbly), and the Forums (totally crumbled). We've spent some quality time looking at dead people, as we saw the Etruscan necropolis in Tarquinia and the necropolis under St. Peter's. We met up with Carey for a couple of days, which was much fun, but resulted in a couple of mild hangovers. We took pilgrimages to the Vatican museums, which were closed, and to the Baths of Caracalla, which was closed. One would hope that we would eventually learn to check the times for these attractions before trekking halfway across Rome, but we haven't yet. Maybe because it's too hot to think properly.
Tomorrow, we're taking on Pompeii. Wednesday, Dave and I part ways with Dan and head off to Switzerland (refer to appropriate dot movement on the goofy Flash movie below). Dave and I are harboring some hopes that Lucerne will be a little cooler than Italy has been, but Carey says that it's currently experiencing the hottest June in 50 years. Ick. I suppose we'll have to spend a little more time in what my father in law refers to as a "free 24 hour sauna".
Ciao for now. Will try to blog again from Lucerne or Munich.