St. Peter's Square
Jenna and I had planned on going to Rome
about a week before the Pope even died. When we found out he died and his funeral would be that weekend we kept our plans and decided to go one day earlier so we could make it for the funeral.
We had no hostel the first night and so we stayed up all night outside Vatican City. Vatican City was completely blocked off and security would not be opening up the gates into St. Peter's Square until sunrise. We were luckily right up front near one of the barricades but there were so many people we could not even sit down the entire night!! we had to stand, we couldn't pee, and they were throwing brownies into the crowd to try and keep everyone happy.
jenna and i were the only two americans around except for this one other couple . turns out, one of the american guys went to the same college as i did. small world! everyone else around us was mainly polish.
anyways, once they opened up the barricades at sunrise it was madness. it was the scariest crowd i have ever been in. jenna and i were holding hands as tight as possible. since we were up front, we literally had hundreds of people pushing behind us. it was a free for all. after atleast an hour of moving at a snails pace towards st. peter's square we made it and had to go through metal detectors to get in. finally jenna and i found a comfortable spot before the funeral began. only a certain number of people were actually allowed through the metal detectors into st. peter's square. we were lucky enough to be in that crowd. everyone else was blocked off and had to stand behind st. peter's square watching on huge monitors.
it was an amazing experience. i really can't believe i was actually there. i'm so glad we went and stayed up all night outside vatican city. it probably was not necessary because we could have made it to the funeral if we arrived that morning but it added to the experience immensely. the polish people there had great spirit and stayed up the whole night singing songs.