Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Vatican

Today we had booked a tour of the Vatican and Sistene Chapel. The boys were excited about being able to stand in two countries at the same time. We got to skip the very long queues and walk right in. It is definitely worth booking an official guide. However, you still don't get to pick the actual guide and ours was very melodramatic and overly interested in the minute detail of her favorite pieces. As a result we nearly missed the Sistene chapel which was closing at 12:30 for some reason which was very well sign posted around the museum but she seemed to miss. At 12:20 we decided to make a point of asking her why we weren't running like everyone else to make the closing time and she rang a friend to find out we were right and we had better run. However we did make it and it is spectacular. It was very crowded but the paintings are amazing. It was slightly weird having loud speakers every couple of minutes reminding you tombe silent as this was a church!
After the chapel we went to the crypt of the popes and then to the basilica. It was a huge morning of walking, and we needed lunch - it was about 1:30 when we came out.
We also went to the castle of saint Angelo which is connected to the Vatican apparently by a secret tunnel but alas for Ryan, we were not allowed to use this. It is quite an impressive little castle with a spectacular view.
Now we are home, with our washing being done at a laundromat sort of, he is putting it in the dryer for us and tomorrow we head for Nice.
If anyone has suggestions of major things we have missed that we could see tomorrow morning, feel free to comment.
We sent a couple of postcards from the Vatican. It seemed like a good idea to,get postmarks from there. The lady that we bought the cards from gave us our change in special Vatican 50 cent pieces.
The weather has been beautiful. We have not had to wear our big coats in Rome. Very warm. Also wanted to write about parking. Every space seems to be a parking space and smart cars are kept in business in Rome. Did you know that you can park a smart car perpendicular to the kerb and it doesn't stick out past the other cars. In fact you can park one anywhere you want, it seems!

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