Our friend was rather proud of his creative picture. This is St. Peter's Square. The Pope spoke in this square in the morning. He speaks on Wednesdays. We hadn't gone earlier because our bus driver said the Vatican would be closed until 1 because of the Pope's speach. We didn't realize how open the square is and those that went earlier actually got to see the Pope. The lines were very long to get in to the Sistine Chapel and whatever else was inside and one couple in our group found some friends to cut in line with and managed to get in. It was interesting to see the place that we have seen on television occasionally. We could even see where the smoke comes out when they are choosing a new Pope and the window he sometimes waves from. The actual Vatican is behind the square and we didn't have time to wait in line and pay to get in. If you ever get to go to Rome try to arrange to stay there for at least two days!
Derek and I left our exhausted group after that and walked back to the Plazza Barberini.
On the way back we saw the "Castel S. Angelo". Somehow the headless statue guarding the door struck my funny bone -- especially since it was so near Halloween. We walked around the castle and then across the river that we had crossed before on the bus and on the subway.
This is "Fiume Tevere" -- can you tell that I'm looking at an Italian map?
In trying to follow the map back to the Plazza Barberini we went a little off course and accidentally ended up at the Pantheon (above). It was a nice kind of accident. We did go in but didn't have time to do more than snap a couple of pictures and walk back out. We found the Trevi fountain again after that and it was running this time. We made it to the Barberini Plaza in enough time that we stopped to get a drink.
Back on the bus we listened to the ladies behind us giggle uncontrollably for the entire hour and a half ride back to the ship while another group talked about their gambling exploits and another couple talked about herbal tinctures. It was dark by then and so there was nothing to see out the window except that rain had started. It seemed like a long ride. Once off the bus and in line to get back on the ship the clouds really let loose of their water and the wind turned people's umbrellas inside out. Security wasn't fast and we were drenched to the skin before we got in -- but at least the rain was not cold. We were happy to get dry and to sit down for a while. It was an exhausting day but visiting Rome was probably the day I enjoyed the most.