... hopefully, I will have photos up to accompanying these posts. As I types, 345 photos are being uploaded to my photobucket account. For your viewing pleasure, well for the pleasure of my female readers, there a quite a few nice shots of the motlo bello Swiss Guard and Italian military in various ranks. Momma mia!
For my second day in Rome I took the train to stazione San Piedro... Frist stop, The Vatican. Navigating the streets is fairly if you remember Roma Rule #2 Always Look Up! From there you can follow various landmarks around to your destination. That, and there are some amazing frescoes and stone to behold on just about every building.
I didn't come into St. Peter's Square the traditional route. I sort of stumbled in through the side. This had a profound effect. Instead of coming up the main route and having St. Peter's slowly rise before my eyes I was gobsmacked with a simple turn of the corner. I practically tripped into the Square and there it was...
The most extraordinary thing happened. I sat down and wept. While I sat there like a blubbering fanatic a group of French Fransican nuns came pouring in beside me. They were all laughter and girlish chatter until they stopped and realized where they were... like me, they stumbled in the side street. Immediately they started hugging while simultaneously laughing and crying. They sat down and joined me for a good cry. It was a good ten minutes before we noticed the line quickly growing longer by the second and we jumped in finding our place.
It was the shortest three hours I ever stood in line.
There was just too much to take in. The sights; children chasing pigeons, nuns and priests harrying too and fro, the Square itself and the media buzzing about. The sounds were just as multifaceted. There were choirs of chanting youth, people blowing horns [yes, even a vuvuzela for good measure], singing seminarians and people praying the rosary in every language.
The excitement was not just your typical tourist excitement, but pilgrim excitement. A huge universal family reunion of all Catholics coming home.
I have to stop here, but will pick up with the experience of St. Peter's itself and the Vatican museum... and some funny anecdotes about Roman transit and things that don't quite translate. And Rome Rule #3... it's a special one that has served me quite well.