3rd Day Lucky!
We had booked a Vatican tour for Monday and there was no way in the world we were going to miss this! Sarah had actually set an alarm for 7am when the tour wasn't meeting 'til 11 lol. We got ready slowly, very slowly for me as I have contracted some awful throat thing. I am pretty sure this is from; Diet 100% alcohol, Health 0% sleep and the fact that everyone on the buses are sick.
So anyway I feel that my blogs are getting a little bit 'I drank a beer, and then another' rather than what I have seen so hopefully today will be a pleasant surprise for all. We left at 9am to go on the Vatican Tour. We actually found the meeting place relatively easy, for some reason they make them all so far away for you to find! We did get there an hour early, was still happy to be there a hour early rather than miss it! So we started at a church made entirely of brick in Piazza Republique. When everyone had arrived we split as there was so many people. We then had to catch a bus to Vatican city which was an experience in itself! My god. People are smushed us so badly that often the doors will be unable to shut, so they squeeze a little tighter! So basically you are squished into this little bus with someone's stinky armpit against your cheek yum. It was 33 degrees so not exactly what you want to be doing! We were so relieved to finally get off and have a square metre of personal space and air!
We walked over a bridge, had a look at St Peters Basilica got the full information pack about it etc etc. The Bridge was cool, it is called 'The bridge of angels' and has the most amazing statues on angels all along it. The St Peters church is the holiest church in the world which is suprising seeing as the romans used to hate the catholics back in the day! It is made out of something crazy like 9 million tons of gold etc. Nero made them build him a lake which has a boat which is pulled by 1000 swans if I didn't mention that little fact already! It has been built over the body of St Peter - guess that's how the name came about hey? I could supply much more info but it is good to read up on so I would advise this as I am sure that I am recalling my information slightly incorrectly.
So I don't recall a lot of what was said as I had to hang back a little to get some air, it was soo hot that I thought I was going to pass out. I have decided that I am not good with heat and crowds - I go light headed very swiftly. The highlight was the Cathedral where Michaelangelo painted the roof..only took him 4 years of hanging from the roof on his back! It is so amazing. He didn't even want to paint it but was pretty much summoned to by the pope. The pope loved it after 4 years (phheww) and said he would do anything for Michaelangelo - his wish? Never to have to paint anything EVER again unless by choice. Pretty sure the pope broke this anyway and made him do another painting years later. It was so bad, because this cathedral is so strictly religious that you have to have knees and shoulders covered at all times. Which is fine. Except when you have been sweating like a beast all day, nice image springs to mind I know! Most of the girls didn't have anything to cover their knees so had to wear leggings. I was way too hot so wore a maxi dress and only wrapped a shawl around me when required. Oh yeah, our first stop was for gelato and panini - one or the other or both in most cases. I went straight to gelato as the heat was doing nothing for my appetite. I got 3 scoops - coconut, nutella and banana hmmmm. Pretty sure the guy serving me just mimicked my voice the whole time! I didn't get a panini even though it is meant to be 'the best sandwhich shop in the world' but tried some of Molly's and it was pretty damn good. All the gourmet stuff. Just don't go to the toilet there - it had flooded out the bathroom when Molly and I went down there!
To get into the Vatican we had to buy tickets, apparently not included in the 20 euro tour charge. The guide said it was only 8 for students but 'You know Italian men, work it girls', apparently there is one guy there that will give the discount to any girl! Luckily I did not have to do any eye lid fluttering as I had mine on me. Molly didn't and she was going to try it, didn't work very well as he was the most evil guy behind the window. Had no time for anyone! Molly said 'Can you tell his wife just left him yesterday?' and I think he must have heard as she was getting some hell stares from him!
oooh ooh I almost forgot the best news of the day. The guy had done the walking tour the previous day and had spoken about it. As soon as we started walking I did a power walk to the front and started chatting to him. 'So ummm we we were meant to be on the tour yesterday but didn't quite make it on time'... He was like oh yeah, your the guys that got stuck in the traffic and I was like 'ummm yerr'. He said we could do it the next day as he would be giving it again and just to bring our old tickets. Yay, no more wasted 20 euros and we get to go and see everything. Better get the bus 3 hours early today... actually I think we are going to go shopping first. That could be dangerous.
Back to yesterday - by like 4pm when it finished we were so sweaty/grimey/unmotivated/disgusting that all I could think about was getting back to the camping grounds so we could jump in the pool. You should have seen our feet - they were like black! Rome is pretty cool but not a city full of cleanliness. We got a powerade on the way back which only set us back a cool 4 euro (thats like $6!) and it was from a stand. We found the Metro, got our train and got off to get on the 246 bus which I could see was already in the bay when we walked up the stairs :( We started to walk fast but it pulled out straight away. We tried to flag it down but the driver was having none of that. We saw it pulling in down the road and bolted to the next stop! We actually made it on that bus which was super convenient.
When we got back to the campsite Sarah and I went to put on bikinis, get towels and wash our feet! Then we went and jumped in the nice refreshing pool. I may or may not have got a beer to have beside it! Beej had met us there a bit later and ran into some other friends so he chatted to them for ages. We ended up planning a BBQ, our bus driver Carlos had already invited us to his BBQ as they had a private one but we thought we would take the more social option. We also ran into Chloe and Sam who were meant to join. So we went to the supermarket and got enough sausages, steak, salad and bread for about 15 people! Oh yeah, and possibly some more beers for the BBQ :)
Sarah and I were sent on the mission of finding a steak knife; no luck in the bar, restaurant or internal supermarket so we went to ask our handy little driver Carlos. He gave us a knife and we went back to join the fun. Craig, you will be very happy to know that one of the guys had his girlfriend and sister there so we just chatted to them all night. Very nice girl. From Batemans Bay - I actually knew where this was as I generally have a Hospital in most of the areas that people mention! They had just arrived so were feeling the heat and jet lag a bit. It would have been awful to fly into Rome - at least the heat built gradually for us. It was another 'reasonaly' early night (1am has suddenly become a very average hour to go to bed!). Once again I decided to steal Brent and Adam's charcoal chicken and for some reason put jam on it??? Pretty sure they are hating their theiving neighbours.
So off to bed and hopefully I will have my proper voice back in the AM, am currently sounding slightly manly. Which actually worked well for me as the theme of the party at the bar was a Gender Bender - dress as the opposite sex. They really do have some tragic party themes here. Also saw some tragic sights!