Thursday, April 9, 2009

dia Dos

Well I guess this really wasn't day two. Kinda. Truth be told, I arrived in Rome a day before the Girl. Got in at about 5pm or so, and she arrived early the following (Friday the 13th!) morning.

So, after I picked up the Girl, off we went to the hotel to drop off luggage and such. She was tired, because she hadn't slept on the plane ride over, but I insisted she needed to stay up. I mean, how else do you get rid of jet lag? Exactamundo. I promised we would go to sleep early.

After looking at the options, we decided a trip to the Vatican was in good order. We wouldn't need to take any public transportation, as it seemed close enough. Per some reviews we had read prior, it was about 20 minutes away via foot. And well, it looked close enough on paper.

Off we went, but, needless to say, the Girl saw a gelato shop and HAD to have some.

Now let me preface this part with a little travel tidbit about myself. I have been to a few places, so I dont mind at all if I don't know exactly where I am. We started at the hotel, I looked at the map, and knew the general direction we were going. If it seems like we're not going in the right general direction, I'll take a look at the 'ol map.

Off we went, away from the gelato shop and I knew the general direction we were going.

Well. If you didn't know, the Vatican has a huge wall around it. We were essentially on the side WITHOUT the opening. Had to walk around. Well, after walking a little bit, all we saw were peoples' homes with the HUGE wall behind them. Surely there has to be a shortcut.

We came to some stairs.

Needless to say, they were deceptive. We trucked up them, not knowing the winded around a bit.

The view from the top was pretty amazing though, and the weather was so nice a t-shirt and shorts was perfect.

After we reached the top of the stairs we knew we were close, as we could walk directly along the side of the wall.

On the way, as we followed the wall, we found... an outdoor office?

And, there were some places where there was no sidewalk at all, and you couldn’t see around the corner. I happily approached, and peered around to make sure there was no oncoming traffic. The Girl, however, along with her little neurosis, chose to cross the street and make the blind corner not so blind.

We got there and there wasn't very many people. Wasn't sure why, but we later found out that it was just a little early. No biggie for us! Less lines! While in line to go to St. Peters, we humbly recognized that it was ok to bring umbrellas in, but not knives.

From there we visited the Papal Tombs, which are actually underground. Neat huh? There are 91 popes under there. Some have pretty elaborate tombs, others... not so much. Even if you were a pope for a short amount of time you'd probably be down there.

From there, outside.

This little boy was pretty excited to have his picture taken with the guards there. Can't you tell? I think the funniest part is how he's holding his bear, who is obviously pretty excited also.

Onto the Basilica, where it is said St. Peter is buried. We decided to make the trek up to the top of the dome, which was pretty amazing in and of itself. Here we start towards the bottom, not how roomy and tall the passageway is? Well, don't get used to it.

You basically reach the bottom of the cupola, and then have the opportunity to walk around the walkway that surrounds the bottom of it. It’s pretty amazing, but there is a fence that’s about 10 feet high that prevents any good pictures. BUT, what’s amazing is that it’s here that you realize how detailed the walls are, made of tiny little stones, that have been arranged to make the elaborate designs they represent.

It’s pretty high to get to the top of the cupola, so it’s a trek up there. It is the tallest dome in the world at almost 450ft, and you could imagine how difficult this would be to built hundreds of years ago.

When you walk towards the top, you are essentially climbing inside an internal walkway. So, you have the outside wall (exposed to weather), then a walkway, then the inside wall (exposed to inside of church). Well, as you get higher up, the wall gets more narrow, and more curved. It was kinda weird feeling, and a long way up. (Nope, the camera isn't crooked)

The view at the top, outside, pretty amazing.

From there, back down the cupola and into the main part of the church.

Sitting around St. Peter's Square ensued.

Followed by some walking around things that were close.

Back to the hotel for a nap, then off to dinner. Where, we were met by a pusher. Not one of drugs, but of food.


LiLu said...

Awesome pictures! I'm so jealous... oh how I miss it there!

The Ambiguous Blob said...

That's a lotta walking!

Farrell said...

Rome is one of my most favorite cities in the whole entire world. and Gelato? YUMMMMM!!!!!

Fluffycat said...

Uhoh, now I feel like I need to get on the ball with my travel pics and putting them online.

OK Chick said...

The last picture is awesome. I love Rome! When I went to Rome I was only there 12 hours. I crammed alot of sight seeing in 12 hours. Hopefully, you were there longer. 12 hours for Rome is not long enough.

Scotty said...

LiLu - More to come!

Tabbie - Yes, yes it is. How's the 'ol foot?

Farrell - Exactly. Could not get enough of it!

Fluffycat - Yes you do

OK Chick - Definitely not long enough. Must go back!

TC said...

Oh man, I loved that last pic!!! Gorgeous!

I haven't been to Rome. It's for sure on my list of must visit!