Vatican City – check

Good evening… long day today… started off very wet with pretty heavy rain this morning until about noon. I got a bit of a late start, not out of the building until around 9:15am. Caught the number 64 bus right across the street which got me to Vatican City – I made the cheap decision not to buy an umbrella from the guy at the train station as I left it, and regretted it about a block later as I was being soaked inside and out. Wound up buying one along the way for 2 euro, though the damage was already done. Note to self – might need a better rain jacket.

Anyway I reached Vatican City in good time for the Pope’s General Audience which is held every Wednesday. I’m quite confident that had the weather been better or had this been a summer month it would have been packed, but as it was I obtained a free invitation from the Swiss Guards as directed and made my way into the Pope John VI Audience Hall, sitting about 10 rows back from the front.

The address was mostly in Italian, with only a few english speaking parts, so while it was a bit of a thrill to see the Pope up close, the address itself wasn’t terribly interesting once you got past the initial thrill. It was only about an hour though, so well worth the visit.

After that I made my way back into the rain and visited the Basilica, a beautiful building, followed by lunch nearby, a hot chocolate at a cafe to warm up and do some reading, and then finally the Vatican Museum where I spent a couple hours looking over some of the artistic wonders that the Vatican as acquired over the years.

By this time it was about 4pm, things were starting to shut down, but the sun had come out (thankfully) – I took some pictures from St. Peters Square and caught the 64 back to the hotel. Can I just say – PACKED! Totally, jam, packed. Like you could not move on this bus. And that seems to happen a lot on busses in Rome. Packed.

Got back to the Hotel a little worn out so I continued reading – Shauna convinced me to get a book called Night Circus ages ago and had been bugging me to read it for a while, so I finally gave in and dug in this morning. What an amazing book. I can’t believe I haven’t read it up until now – if you get a chance, it’s a really fantastic book… Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Finished it off this evening after going out for dinner at a new pizza place (followed by a lovely gelato) – it took me for a wonderful ride.

That’s one nice thing about traveling, I have a little time to do some reading – which I love.

Anyway I’m tired, and I still have some planning to do… I haven’t really decided what to do after Rome. And tomorrow is my last full day. So I’ve got to sort that out. Soon. We’ll see if that happens tonight. I have a feeling it might get put off. Tomorrow I’m going to try to hit up some museums in the area. Before I forget – the wifi here SUCKS!!!!! It’s driving me crazy.

OK that’s it. Have a good night.