Nothing terribly exciting to get the old juice of excitement flowing. Nevertheless, I shall post something anyway, to keep up the momentum of this trip and force myself to be disciplined.
Last night Barry and I were truly comatose. And I mean dead to the world. I was practically delirious with fatigue. Never before in my life had I gone fifty-one hours with such a small amount of sleep—two and a half hours. When I laid on the bed, I was out almost immediately. I remember burbling a little joke asking Barry if he’s ever been so exhausted that he had to rally to die.
Barry, strongman that he is, had determined that he was still going to go out and hit the Colloseum. I was more than willing to let him go without me. He got to the lobby and his body told his mind to piss off. He was back in the room in no time. I vaguely remember him entering the room as I slipped into unconsciousness. Interestingly enough, I was up, bright and shining, this morning at 7:30 a.m. Of course, I had slept nearly twelve hours.
Upon waking up, we showered off the gunk, crust and stench from so much travel and humidity from a day that included a downpour of Noahic proportions, then had breakfast in the hotel’s dining room. Any of you who have traveled to Europe know that the hotels here—even the small, independently-owned boutique hotels–put on a spread bigger than Kim Kardashian’s ass. There were hams and cheeses, cereal, orange juice, cranberry juice, pineapple juice, hard-boiled eggs, pastries, yogurt, coffee, cappuccino, breads, jams and jellies. In many of the hotels I’ve visited, there has also been scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages, potatoes and desserts from here to eternity. No dry Costco muffins and swamp bilge obliquely resembling coffee here!
After breakfast, we walked to Vatican City where we got in line for the Vatican Museum. In case you didn’t know, Vatican City is actually a separate nation, independent. The line wasn’t very long, fortunately, so we got into the museum quite quickly after they opened the doors at 9:00 a.m. A word to the wise…if you ever visit the Vatican Museum, buy your tickets online and print them up so you can bypass the line. This is especially crucial if you get to the Vatican later in the day, say, late morning. You could easily wait in the hot sun for 1-2 hours. I do not believe the price is any different.
Now, I’ve been in the Vatican Museum several times so I let Barry determine where we would go because I am frightfully generous and I felt I should maintain that reputation. He wanted to see the Sistine Chapel first. So the Sistine Chapel we saw. From there we visited areas that had incredibly HUGE tapestries which were utterly fascinating. Some were probably seventy feet long and ten feet high depicting many different aspects of the New Testament. If you ever see them, you MUST look closely at them and observe the threads which can also be upwards of seventy FEET long.
We saw statuary and paintings galore. But what REALLY overwhelmed us were the frescoes which were everywhere. It seemed as though every inch of every wall and ceiling were painted in frescoes—or covered in carvings. Some ceilings had both. These particular corridors were spellbinding and you could see them as you approached.
Once you entered, neck-craning was the order of the day. Pre-plan an appointment with your chiropractor.
The Vatican Museum tour is as long as you’d like it to be. Cost is roughly 16 euros, or roughly $22. If you visit the museum, be prepared. Virtually no places to rest are found. Throughout the museum you find little detours to a cafeteria or souvenir shop (think Pope on a Rope, Popesicles and the “Poop on the Pope”). So be ready to kill your feet. Fortunately, though, someone had the foresight to place bathrooms strategically throughout the facility for the bladder and colon-deficient.
There are many different places to exit if you’d like to cut your stay short. It’s open from 9-6 p.m. (Do I sound like an advertisement yet?) One section seems to be devoted to papal history. Since neither Barry nor I are Catholic, we bypassed this area because it held no interest.
One thing I found very interesting in the “Musei Vaticano” was the area with all the Greek and Egyptian items. Personally, I thought this was sacreligious to the nth degree. I mean, some of the rules of visiting the museum are that you must dress “modestly”. This means you cannot walk in wearing spandex mini-skirts. Caps and hats must be removed. Yet pagan artifacts are populating large sections of this “sacred” place. As a Christian, I found it vulgar and hypocritical. But that’s me because my spirituality is so unimaginably pristine and unimpeachable.
After the Vatican Museum, we walked a route I’d never followed and randomly chose to visit the Sant’ Angelo Castel. Considered to be a former prison from the 13th to 15th centuries, it seemed to be more historical than the Vatican in that it was so primitive and lacked so much of the precision of the Vatican Museum’s construction.
From there, I let Barry choose the way (remember my unnatural tendency towards generosity). He chose a rather roundabout way back to the hotel where we collapsed once again into slumber.
I know what some of you are thinking—“Post pictures, Bob!” I neglected to take my camera today, but Barry had his so I assumed I was golden. Unfortunately, we cannot hook Barry’s ancient Kodak (circa pre-WWII) to my hysterically modern MacBook Pro. I’m going to look for an attachment to upload his pics so I can include them.
We are preparing to visit the Colloseum tonight to see it in its nocturnal glory. Also checking out Trevi Fountain which is gloriously lit at night, along with the Spanish Steps which are…wait for it…actual steps!
I will take my camera and attempt to get some photos of these places since my camera was made after Roosevelt’s presidency and then upload them.
We are hitting these places tonight since we leave for Florence relatively early tomorrow. Apparently, the train ride to Florence is only about ninety minutes. This will give us ample time to experience the delights in this cradle of the Renaissance.