I Found God

Vatican City Travel Blog

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I woke up and had some breakfast and was determined not to be too downbeat from the previous night.  I was off to see Vatican City and the Sistine Chapel, something I've always planned on seeing, and that was making me very cheerful.

My plan was for an early start as everything I'd read suggested the queues for the Vatican Museum and St Peter's Basilica would be gigantic.  This didn't go totally according to plan thanks to the snooze option on my alarm, but I was up an about for a decent time.  I was confused when I got to Vatican City, I couldn't see any queuing anywhere and I was worried it my be closed.  Luckily for me, there was no queue to wait in and I was straight into the museum.

  This place is full of the most wonderful statues, pictures, and artefacts, so I would recommend going early and taking the most part of a day to explore it all.  I started in the Egyption rooms where you'll see preserved mummies, pottery and jewellery from those ages.  It's all very pretty and interesting, but it's not what people really come to see.  I moved on and followed the arrows to the Sistie Chapel.  These arrows follow a nice route through the museum which will take you through several rooms, all worthy of an appreciative, observatory break.  I particulary liked the Gallery of Animals and the adjacent Gallery of Statues.  There's just so many rooms and so much information to take in, that I found it best just to observe everything and take a little more time to read on the pieces I found most attractive.
  Moving along through these rooms, you are guided into the more religious rooms.  These places don't contain so many statues, but have so much outstanding wall paintings from world famous artists.  My favourite room (outside of the obvious two) was the Gallery of Maps.  This had map after map sewn into some fine fabrics, but what I really liked here was the beautiful ceiling.  The fine detail and all the pictures were simply perfect for the full length of the corridor (which must have been about 80-100m in length!).  I finally made it to Rafael's Room, which was pretty full unsurprisingly, and decided to spend a fair amount of time here to stare at the pictures and read the information.  This was one of the highlights and certainly deserves it's reputation.

My final stop on the route was in the Sistine Chapel.  Now I'm neither an atheist, nor a strongly religious believer, but let me tell you this, I was utterly blown away by this room.  I stayed here for the best part of an hour to look at all the pictures of biblical stories and the works by Michaelangelo.  You'll see pictures of the Bapism of Christ, the Crossing of the Red Sea, the Last Supper and so many more.  Of course, most famously, you'll look up at the front of the Chapel and see The Last Judgement.  This is the finest, most significant artwork I have ever seen and ever likely to see.  I can't recommend a visit to the museum more than enough - it is a MUST see place.

After the inspiring time in the museum, I still had plenty of time to see St Peter's Square and St Peter's Basilica.

  The first thing I noticed was the balcony where the Pope stands to address the people during his speaches.  I could just imagine this entire square being filled with devout Catholics crowding in to hear the words from their leader.  I kind of knew I was somewhere special by looking up at that. 

Once I entered the Basilica, I again took my time and strolled around peacefully and patiently so I could take in where I was and all that was around me.  It's such a pretty building with a beautiful interior.  I really, really enjoyed this visit.

It must have been getting on for 5pm when i finally left.  It was Steph's birthday on this day, and we had agreed to meet up for a nice meal and a few drinks, so I made my way back to the hostel.

  There was quite a nice and cheaper restaurante just across the road from where we were staying, so we opted for that and got some lovely food and copious amounts of red wine.  After dinner, we went back to the hostel bar as it was considerably cheaper than the other bars in Rome and we just wanted a few easy drinks to finish the trip off with.

The hostel bar was friendly and had lots of backpackers to mix with.  I found a games room, so we all went downstairs to play some fuse ball.  It didn't take long before we had the random factor included in.  It was all pretty good fun until we spotted the "Chuck Norris Roundhouse Kick to the Face" cocktail.  We thought, well, when in Rome.

... and all ordered one.  I can't remember exactly waht was in it, but I can remember the 'game over' the bar tender gave me when I ordered them.  It definitely contain absinthe and tobasco sauce (what the??) though and I did lose a mucosal layer of skin off my upper mouth.  Apart from that... it was quite nice.  I went to bed pretty soon after.

We had to up early again the next morning to catch the flight home.  It was a pain, but it was such a lovely weekend, I was happy to quietly reminisce in a dozey state of mind.

This was my second TB travel and a first international TB travel, so I have several people to thank for that, but none more so than Wayne.  Cheers buddy, and cheers to TB.  When I first joined, it wasn't to find people to travel with, it was to find information about my future plans.  That's all changed now, and that change is certainly for the better - I am extremely grateful for these opportunities, and all future opportunites that have (and continue) to come my way :D

matthew says:
Really? That's way better!
Posted on: Mar 15, 2009
hannah-lou says:
Haha, how psycho are the guards in the Chapel? The day I went in it was fairly busy and they were whispering at everyone to 'SSSHH!!' Thats all you could hear echoing around the room. I wish I knew something of religion as, even though I loved the artistry, I wouldnt have had a clue what it was depicting. Im probably too non-religious for my own good.
Posted on: Jan 26, 2009
wayneollerenshaw says:
Awesome blog mate! :D I'm such a lazyass nowadays, haven't made one yet...Hopefully Steph will make one, then i can just copy and paste, haha!
Posted on: Jan 26, 2009
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The Egyption Rooms
The Egyption Rooms
St Peters Basilica
St Peter's Basilica
St Peters Basilica
St Peter's Basilica
St Peters Basilica
St Peter's Basilica
St Peters Basilica
St Peter's Basilica
St Peters Basilica
St Peter's Basilica
St Peters Basilica
St Peter's Basilica
St Peters Basilica
St Peter's Basilica
St Peters Basilica
St Peter's Basilica
Whoops.  How did Big Dunc get in t…
Whoops. How did Big Dunc get in …
Vatican City
photo by: EmyG