Eurotrip 2006 - Day 6

(Friday, 8/11/06)

This was another early morning: wake-up call at 6:00, departed for Vatican at 7:00. We took a bus to the Metro station, then the Metro to the Vatican. We were in line by 7:55 and waited until the museum/chapel opened at 8:45. We got in within 10-15 minutes of it opening and took a guided tour through the museum and the Sistine Chapel. I think my expectations were too high for the chapel, as I was a little underwhelmed. It is quite impressive, though, especially since it was all painted by one person. After the chapel Emily, Megan, and I went to St. Peter's Basilica - BEST...CHURCH...EVER. When we left the church we saw that it had begun to rain. I speculated that this was God's way of showing displeasure at having a blasphemer in His house. The rain soon subsided and we walked around St. Peter's Square for a bit.

Waiting in the Vatican line.

An entrance.

A courtyard.

That's a big head.

A big pine cone.

An interesting sculpture.

One of many cool statues.

A hall full of them.

Nice decoration.

I took too many shots of statues.

One of my favorites (Laocoön and his Sons).

A cool room.

Even the ceilings were awesome.

This room had some nice ones.

Some stairs.

Another nice hallway.

A ceiling portrait.

That's painted, not a relief.

One of my favorite hallways.

A close-up in that hallway.

Yet another ceiling.

A fresco.

Another fresco.

Yet another.

St. Peter's Basilica from the front door.

The dome from inside.

These pictures didn't come out well...

...but these statues were awesome.

More statues inside.

A gold thingy.

An altar?

One of my faves.

This one too.


If only I was a Christian...

...I would probably be in tears.

A section in use.

Another statue.

A famous statue - couldn't get a good pic.

Moments before God smote the blasphemer.

Looking towards the city from the square ...

...and back towards the church.

A view towards the Pope's quarters.

A nice shot.

After that, we walked up the street to a little pizza bar and had lunch. This was the best pizza I had tasted in Italy, and also in a long time. I had 3 pieces each of four-cheese with mushroom, ham, and "raw prosciutto." Belinda and Katie joined us to head to the Colosseum, where we were convinced outside to do a guided tour. The additional €9 per person over the admission price (€11) not only gave us a guide, but it also allowed us to skip the 45-minute queue. A few other Contikiers, including Matt and Adam (brothers from Iowa) went with us.

Outside the Colosseum.

An arch nextdoor.

Inside the first wall.

Inside the second wall.

All the way in.

Better than the Savvis Center.

Repin' Juve.

The elevator shafts.

Up at the stands.

Megan and Emily with the Forum in the background.

Megan, Katie, Emily, Belinda.

View from higher up.

Better view of the floor.

Me and Emily.

Back outside.

After the Colosseum Emily, Megan, Katie, Belinda, and I walked through the Roman Forum then went in search of "the keyhole," where, Emma told us, we could find the best view of the city. We did not find the keyhole and gave up after about an hour of walking. We then headed to the nearest Metro station, with a stop-off for ice cream and watermelon. We said goodbye to Belinda and Katie, who weren't going to the group dinner later, on the Metro as they got off before we did. We took it to the Vatican area, where we stopped in a little bakery which was relatively inexpensive and had an amazing selection. Next, Megan and Emily dragged me to a ladies underwear store, which was a little uncomfortable. After that we went to the bus stop, where we waited for an excruciating 45 minutes before our bus came and took us to the hotel. The lone highlight of the wait for the bus was when a man came up to me and complimented, hopefully genuinely, my Del Piero Juventus jersey. This was in stark contrast to the two men who had on separate occasions this morning threatened to burn my jersey. I also had comments such as "Serie B," "Roma," and "Juve sucks" throughout the day.

Arch entering the Forum.

Some ruins.

More ruins.

Better preserved ruins.

Not as well preserved.

Arch in Forum.

More ruins.

And some more.

Looking back over the Forum.

The "fake colosseum."

The Tiber River.

A statue across from...

...the Circus Maximus.

The girls resting for a bit.

Me and Emma.

At the hotel I found that my suitcase had finally arrived. I had time to wash my feet and change clothes before meeting the group for the coach ride to dinner. Dinner was pretty good: salad and cooked vegetables, two kinds of pasta (one with red sauce and the other with white), marinated beef and potatoes, tiramisu. After dinner the coach took us back to the hotel, with a stop off to say goodbye to those going out, which was most of the group. Back at the hotel I said more good-byes, including to Megan and Emily, and then headed to bed by 23:30.


Eurotrip 2006