The Amazing Race Meets National Lampoon’s Vacation

Andrew’s Day 10

Posted by madtrippin on April 17, 2008

Today was our first full day in Rome.  We’ve found the food here in the Rome hotel to be considerably better than the ones in Israel.  It’s just croissants, meats, cheeses, fruit and strong coffee vs. the weird tomato-based hash and peanut-flavored scrambled eggs in Israel.


We headed off to Vatican City, which took about 30 minutes.  Traffic in Rome is insane.  There are just as many scooters as cars and there appear to be no rules for them in regards to lanes, speed or general safety.  There are scooters parked just about everywhere – even today when there was an 80% chance of rain.


The Vatican museum was awesome from an artistic standpoint, but it started off poorly.  Gabe got his camera stolen at the security check-point.  That’s right… AT the security check-point.  You can read his account of the whole ordeal in his day 10 entry – I haven’t read his post yet, but I’m guessing there may be some cursing.   He didn’t care as much about the camera, as the hundreds of pictures he lost.  Needless to say, I offloaded all my pictures to the computer as soon as we got back to the hotel.  Here’s a shot of Gabe with one of his Italian friends and a shot of the ceiling of one of the galleries.


Here’s a pic of the streets just outside of Vatican City:

I got busted at the Sistine chapel taking pictures.  For those of you who don’t know this, there are no pics allowed in the chapel because a company owns the rights to the images.  I knew this, but saw tons of people taking pictures, including some from my group.  I snapped a few shots discretely from waste level that were all really blurry, so I took one from above my head like everyone else.  Apparently, the picture police saw me, tapped me on the shoulder and made me erase the shots while he watched me erase them… seriously. 


After the Sistine chapel you snake over to St. Peter’s Basilica.  That place is gigantic and filled with different colored marble surfaces, statues, gold, mosaics and several dead popes in glass coffins, whose bodies appear to have been miraculously preserved.  I’m not Catholic and I’m not into the icon worship, but the artwork was amazing.  There was a mosaic reproduction of Rafael’s Resurrection of Christ.  You’d never know it wasn’t a painting unless got right up on it.

Final location of the day was the Catacombs of San Callisto – Very cool, but no pics, as it wasn’t allowed and I didn’t want to get in trouble again.  This is the largest of the 60 known locations in Italy – 20 kilometers of tunnels.


Because of the goof up with the itinerary, we now have a full free day in Rome, so I guess we’re going to some area that has shopping and wine tasting.  Gabe and I are also talking about doing a night walk through the heart of Rome we saw in a book by Rick Steves (thanks for the book Megan).  No one else in the groups seems to be as keen on it as us.  I think they’re just afraid of public transit.

One Response to “Andrew’s Day 10”

  1. DFJ said

    yeah! i think it’s about time you take some time away from the group to explore… it seems like nearly every second of your trip was pretty well planned out. It sounds a lot different than the time gabe went to greece with the church group. didn’t he just start jumping on busses as soon as the group got to the hotel for naptime?

    take care, Jake

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <pre> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>