Dec. 4 Rome
My friend Mayu from Japan was spending her 30 birthday in Rome. This is the main reason I went to Rome at this time. I met up with Mayu and her friend Genya (also Japanese but works in Germany) around 11:00 and we started exploring. I heard there is a keyhole you can look through to see St. Peters Basilica in the Vatican. Well we found it. There is a door on a building that is owned by the "Knights of Malta" It is a sovereign nation within Rome. Rome actually has 3 separate countries. The Vatican City, Italy and The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta. You look through the key hole and about a mile away you see the St. Peters framed perfectly in a garden and the key hole. Definitively a cool place that is not in the tour books. After that we walked to the Pantheon and went inside. Its one of the oldest places of worship in Europe and preserved amazing. Next was lunch time. I ordered 1/2 liter of wine before I realized my Japanese friends don't drink. Oh well... more for me. We ate Japanese beef and potatoes that Mayu cooked.
|Fitting into stereotypes. This was actually a joke.|
|That white thing is a kayak. I don't like all the trash..|
|"we found it" face.|
|The "Vatican keyhole view"|
|Trying to take a good picture.|
|The same after being told not to lay on the floor.|
|She didn't want to go over by them for a pic.|
|I liked the way this shop looked.|
Dec. 5 Rome
I didn't do much except try to get caught up on some writing. I also did laundry (much needed) and glued my mirrors because the glass was rattling in the plastic and making me think something was actually wrong with the bike. A false positive if you will. That evening I went to a "couch surfer" party in Trastavere part of town. I met people from Brazil, Russia, France, Mexico, US, Italy and Turkey. I am really starting to like the CS community. You show up. Have some drinks. Talk about travel. Trade stories and Recommendations.
|American, not sure, Russian.|
|French and... I'm not sure..|
|2 Americans and a Mexican|
|That will buff out?|
Dec. 6 Rome
Slept in. It was raining so I didn't venture to far. Had pizza with Mayu and Genya then went to bed early.
Dec. 7 Rome
Woke up early and went to the Vatican around 8 to see it before the crowds get there. St. Peter's Square and the Bacilica are very interesting (and free) to see. Even for someone who is not religious, it is awe inspiring. I wanted to see the Sistine Chapel also. They make you pay 16 euro and walk through the Vatican Museum to get to it. The museum was filled with artifacts from Egypt and I remember thinking "This is bullshit. This stuff should be in Egypt". The chapel itself was smaller the I expected and there are NO PHOTOS ALLOWED. Was it worth the 16 Euro? Sure. Later in the Museum you see old maps, globes, star charts and navigation instruments That was very cool and made it worth while. When I was in Berlin I met a guy named Jacopo from Rome. He said to give him a call if I am ever in Rome. He and I met for a drink and the plan was to eat dinner after 1 or 2. He had just finished his thesis paper on the effects of parasites in the brain of whales. So long story short, A few beers later on an empty stomach and we stumble out of the bar a 10:30. I had pizza and lasagna on the way back to my hotel.
|Getting ready for Christmas|
|Airport quality security.|
|SexTVs in the Vatican|
|Old school maps|
|Very cool old clock with dates.|
|The back of it.|
|Everything is for sale.|
I was supposed to leave for Florence but didn't feel like riding in the rain. It had nothing to do with my hangover. So I stayed one more night. I had pizza at the first restaurant I ate at in Rome. After I went to a bar and watched the Rome vs Florence football match. I'm not much of a soccer fan but its fun to watch the crazies go crazy in the pub when there is a goooooooooooaaaaaaaaaal!