Day 9 (May 16): Rome Sightseeing
Today why not discover the ancient ruins of Rome with a local guide and in your free time leisurely discover the secrets of the Vatican City and the Sistine Chapel.
This morning was an early morning so we could get into the Vatican early, and out of the Vatican early. I was up at 5:45, breakfast was at 6:30 and the bus left at 7, ughhh! We took the overland train again, OMG it was crowded!!!! It was so crowded that you didn’t have to worry about falling over since your body couldn’t move. And it wasn’t just the section by the door, it was the aisle too! People here at home would whine and cry if they had to take a train like this. Then it was back on the Metro, which seemed empty compared to the last train. When we got off we had to practically run, well it felt like it after spending the last 7 days on a bus, to the Vatican to get on line. The first people to get on line got our spot and then everyone trickled in after, not much we could do about trickling in since we had to walk single file past the line. Well, the tour guide who had the group behind us had a fit that we were cutting the line, I hear she threatened to call the police. Apparently Mondays are busy, they were expecting 15,000 people.
After waiting an hour we finally got in and had a guided tour. The tour was ok, I didn’t love it. First, the ear pieces were painful after about 5 minutes. The tour guide was a little too detailed about the art, I was also tired and had trouble concentrating on what she was saying. She did give us some good info, but the tour was probably best for people who are into art work, which I’m not. When we finished the tour I made a quick stop at a store to buy some souvenirs. I didn’t get a chance to go to the top of the Vatican or mail postcards, such is life.
I headed out with Nicola, Anne, and Alberto for some sightseeing, we finally got on the bus, where we ran into Monica and Michael. We got off at the Wedding Cake and walked up to the Pantheon for lunch. I ate lunch across from the Pantheon, how cool is that?! After that Anne went off by herself to sight see and the rest of us went to an internet cafe to update friends and family about our travels. Then we took a slow walk, while shopping, to the Spanish Steps for our 4pm meeting time. We didn’t see much today, but it really was a nice day, not too much running around and I felt like I got a little more of a feel for Rome then if we had run around. Although it would have been nice to see more I have no regrets.
After meeting we took the Metro to the overland train and the bus took us back to the hotel by 5:00. I took a quick nap and shower as all the walking and heat left me exhausted. As much of a dump as the hotel was, the dinner was pretty decent. I took a walk out back with Michael (from Canada) where we saw the nicer part of the hotel, the outside. We ran into Steven, Anne and Maya out there too. Then it was back inside to the hotel bar, which had the worst bartender I have have ever met. Lets put it this way, I had to settle for my 4th choice of drink, a Sprite. But we had a good time hanging out. It was an early night, got to bed at 10:30.