Thursday, January 10, 2008

Rome Post... Finally!

Like I said, our trip to Rome could have been a little better. I was pretty much not feeling good from day 1 and soon after, I was in pain the rest of the time. So, poor Tony had to deal with Carlee the entire time, AND deal with me. He was great though. So, we didn't take too many pictures, and a lot of the ones we took (especially in St. Peter's Basilica) came out really dark.

We flew into Rome on Saturday the 22nd, and immediately started touring. The first day we took a Church tour on the bus. We first went to Church of St. Paul. I loved the front of this church. You can't really see it in the pictures, but the background of the paintings were this shimmering gold. It was so awesome.
We were amazed at the sight of statues like this one. I mean seriously, how do they get stone to look like flesh or fabric? It was so awesome to see.
On Sunday, we hit the Coliseum and the ancient Roman ruins nearby. We also saw some other sites, including some churches and the Pantheon. I think this was honestly my favorite tour. It was so awesome to walk through the ruins, and the Coliseum is so enormous and incredible. It helped that I was only mildly feeling bad by then, the pain was still tolerable.

(if I remember right) This is the arch of Constantine, and everything was recycled from other places to make it.

Where Julius Caesar was actually murdered. It's now become the local cat haven. :)
Monday we toured the Vatican. We stood in line F..O..R..E..V..E..R.. to get to the museum. I was feeling horrible from the start of the day. I probably should have stayed at the hotel, but I didn't want to miss it. Honestly, I didn't enjoy the museum at all. Not one bit. Why? Well, for one I was hurting. Two, we stood in line for hours before finally making it in, and then the people who were shoving in line for those few hours were still shoving and hurrying through the museum. So imagine being shoulder to shoulder with people (who aren't in your tour group) forcing you to go faster than you want and being hit and shoved (which each time it happened sent a sharp pain through your back,) not letting you look at anything for more than 2 seconds. It sucked. After making it through the museum like a huge pack of fish trying to make it up a tiny stream, we arrived at the Sistine Chapel, which was even more packed with people, shoving you around. Never again, no thank you, I'll buy a book and actually enjoy the paintings.

I don't have any pictures of the museum, because cameras were not allowed, but here is the line we were standing in. Triple this, because as soon as we turned that corner in the middle of the picture, it was this long all over again, and when we took this picture, we had just waited through a portion of line that was this long as well. And the tour guide said this was a normal line. Awesome.
After the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel, we went to St. Peter's Basilica. I really wish I had been feeling better, because I would have liked to enjoy the Basilica more. If I go back to Rome, I'm definitely going back to it. It is enormous, and so beautiful and elaborate. Did I mention it was huge? I wish more of our pictures would have come out better, but it was so dark.

St. Peter's Basilica is filled with so many beautiful statues. I hoping on finding a book on St. Peter's and hopefully see what everything was and meant, because I couldn't concentrate much on what the tour guide was saying. Neither could Tony as he was trying to keep Carlee happy; she decided to act up at this point.
The reason you can take as many pictures as you want in the Basilica: the "paintings" are actually all mosaics. It's incredible! I couldn't believe it until I got up close to this one:
A view of the Vatican after coming out of St. Peter's Basilica. I had to go get Carlee's stroller from where they made me check it in, so I missed where the tour guide said the Pope lives. :(
And those are our best pictures. After leaving the Vatican we went to a little gift shop, where Carlee couldn't touch ANYTHING! haha. Then we headed back to the hotel on the city bus. The city bus is an adventure all on its own, it was constantly packed. The first time we had used it before, we got on it toward the middle of the bus run and were crammed in by the door. Each time the door opened, Tony and Carlee were flung around, and this poor Italian kid kept trying not to be pinched by the door's spring. This time, however, we got on at the very beginning of the run, so we were able to get seats. We went to the hotel, Tony and Carlee rested up, while I tried to, but only went downhill.

We were supposed to be going to Christmas Eve dinner at the hotel's restaurant at 7 pm and then, we were supposed to head to Midnight Mass at 9 pm. Neither happened, because at 6:30 pm I was in so much pain we had to call a cab to the ER. And from then on, the last two days (our free days) I spent taking pain killers 3 more times than I was supposed to, and waiting for Wednesday, when we would head home.

And that, ladies and gentlemen was our trip to Rome. :)


Angela said...

i'm glad you got to see some of the highlights before you got really sick. you'll have to go back again someday.