I knew I would have to visit the Vatican. As much as I dislike the catholic church and the pope, and really don’t want to give them money, I felt like I needed to see the place. So I did my best to ignore the abuses of the catholic church (here is but one example) and gave them my 13 euros by pretending to still be a student (take that Benedict!). Throughout my time there I couldn’t get Tim Minchin’s song about the pope out of my head so I constantly hummed it to myself. If you don’t know that song already, you will probably find it offensive so don’t look it up.
The Vatican Museum was quite interesting. Lots of statues, frescoes, paintings and other things spread across a huge museum. In fact, it is actually a bunch of smaller museums. Despite everyone’s warning, I didn’t even have to wait in much of a line. I’m not sure if I just got lucky or if it is because I went around noon rather than in the morning. At the end of the museum you enter the Sistine Chapel. It was basically torture. Because of the number of people in there, it is hard to move, and the sounds of everyone mumbling quickly drives you crazy. It’s too packed to see anything.
After the Vatican Museum I went to Saint Peter’s Square which wasn’t as cool as I pictured it. That’s not to say that it is not impressive, but I always pictured it differently. Saint Peter’s Basilica was better than I imagined. It is massive and manages so somewhat standout from the other cathedrals I have seen. Other than La Segrada Familia which is still easily my favourite. After walking through the basilica, I climbed about 500 stairs up to the top of the dome. It is one of the tallest viewpoints in Rome so You can see pretty much everything and it was the perfect day for it. If you go to Rome, you definitely need to walk up to the top. Although as a warning the staircase gets really tight so if you are claustrophobic it is probably best to stay away.
Then I wandered down to Castel Sant Angelo, a fort near the Vatican along the Tiber. It did not seem worth 7 euros so I only looked at it from the outside but it’s quite impressive. After I crossed the river I found a little restaurant a few blocks off of the main streets and ate some delicious lasagna as well as some sort of ham dish. Between those two dishes and the bread they gave me, I ate way too much.
I ended up going out with a few people from my hostel last night. We had a bit of a “Commonwealth” party with two Canadians, one Australian, one New Zealander, and a Brit. The other Canadian is a French Canadian from Montreal who has the stereotypical Canadian accent that basically no Canadian has. I still find it hilarious.
Today I am going to check out the Coliseum and the Roman Forum.