Saturday, June 12, 2010

Day 16: It Had to Wash Away Something

I'd been looking forward to Rome more than any other part of the trip. I kept saying to Jo that I thought all the rest of the trip so far was just getting us ready for the chaos and granduer of Rome. So far, Rome has undershot all my expectations.

I'm writing this at 4pm on our first day here, so there's still plenty of time for it to prove me wrong. We're back at the Oppenheim's. We just couldn't do it anymore. It's just too much rain. I'm sick. And we're soaked. Plus, Jo really got pushed around today. It was so crowded down by the Vatican that when some dude opened his umbrella and it knocked Jo's glasses off. When she knelt down to get them she got pushed over. And when the wind began to pick up, we just had to tuck tail and run.

We've been going out, kamikaze-tourist style, for a solid 16 days now. In the rain and cold. Walking. Just soaked to the bone. But we still got up today at 6am, got ready, and got to the Vatican Museum at 8am.

But, like I said, Rome has been rather unceremonious. You arrive in the graffittied train station. You walk around with millions of people (under umbrellas in our case) and the unattractive crowds are the first thing you see of this incredible monuments. But we did the Vatican Museum and skipped almost everything in it because it was out-of-control busy up to the Sistine Chapel. most likely the greatest piece of art we've seen on the trip. The 3D parts actually look like real columns, etc. And he did it back in 1512. Wow.

We did St. peter's, which was gaudy and ridiculous and awesome. The sheer size of it all was humbling, We climbed the dome in front of two wasted Americans that kept talking about how wasted they were and about going back to their room and screwing. Fun. The view from the dome was less inspiring than St. Paul's and Florence's Duomo. Kind of a let-down after being considered one of my "can't-miss" itinerary items. Oh well. We climbed down. More rain. Ate at a gross place across from the Vatican, then the glasses incident happened and now we're back at base camp.

view of St. peter's dome from the museum

inside st. peter's

the dome

the pieta

st. peter's square, which is an oval

another shot from another dome

the vatican gardens, where the pope and his boys chill

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