Char, the Pope & John Howard...
Vatican City Travel Blog› entry 24 of 42 › view all entries
From Naples I sped up to Rome, and had the great pleasure of catching up with Char - one of my friends from camp. It's always just cool to see a familiar face, and we spent the afternoon wandering around Rome chatting about anything & everything (and occasionally remembering to look at the buildings around us). We hung out at Char's apartment in the evening & she cooked me a little pesto pasta for dinner, which was quite delicious (pesto really does taste better in Italy).
At the hostel I stayed at there were actually four people from the hostel in Naples staying, so it was fun to continue hanging out.
The collection of 'stuff' they have at the Vatican is really rather extensive! There was just room after room of statues & paintings & tapestries & all manner of things. Plus the rooms themselves usually had impressive ceilings & floors & decorations. Things start to blur together and look the same after a while, and then of course you come to the Sistine Chapel. After all the ceilings & frescoes we'd seen along the way, it could easily blend right in, but it was seriously impressive. It was absolutely packed full of people, and the guards up the front kept clapping & yelling out "shhhh! No photo!" (and everyone kept talking & taking photos). But there was just so much to gaze upon & it was beautiful & after a while my neck was getting very sore!
Afterwards I headed into St Peter's Basilica, which is just huge on the inside, and quite impressive. I was actually most fascinated by the tombs of all the Popes downstairs - specifically that of the fairly-recently-deceased John Paul, where a lot of people were just standing there praying or crying or contemplating.
THEN (almost more exciting than the rest of the day) another Aussie girl and I trekked all the way across Rome (I don't remember why we decided to walk instead of taking the metro…) from the Vatican to the Australian Embassy. Yes, that's right, it was time to exercise our democratic rights from the other side of the world. So we voted in the Federal Election, and now have to wait an excrutiating week and a half for the results.