On Day Two we visited the Vatican Museum... we had gone online and ordered our tickets in advance, which allowed us to skip the line for tickets. (Apparently, that line can be quite long, and on the day we visited it looked to be very long, so it was nice to be able to breeze through)... Note to self, however, the walk from the Spanish Steps to the Vatican Museum is long.... take a cab! ;)
Once we got there we were told that we had missed our guided tour and that the next one wasn't until 2pm, but we could, if we wanted to, walk around by ourselves. Done! No waiting in line and not having to be on the guided tour-- works for us!
Now, the next funny thing is all throughout the Vatican Museums there are billboards with pictures of the Sistine Chapel and information about it. Not just a few, there were at least twenty or thirty of these scattered about the premises. Each one would have a tour group in front of it and a tour guide describing the chapel. The Husband said this was happening because the chapel was so small there wouldn't be room enough for any of the describing to take place inside the chapel. Ironically, one of the tour guides was telling his group the reason that they were discussing the chapel outside of the chapel was because it is still used as a chapel and one needs to be quiet once you're inside. Yeah, okay.
FYI, here's a picture of the Vatican Gift Shop. I just thought it was funny.
So, we walked around and around looking for the Egyptian wing and the infamous chapel (you'll recall from my earlier post that the museum doesn't give you a map...) and we walked through the pine cone courtyard about seventeen times.
The Husband asked a security guard whether there was any way that we could get to the chapel without going up any stairs since we had the Maclaren in tow... we were quickly re-directed to walk through the exhibits backwards. We passed lots and lots of people. They all looked a little miffed. The Husband said that it was sure proof that these folks had all already seen the Sistine Chapel.
We get there. Finally. It was PACKED! And about the size of our family room (with higher ceilings, of course). There was no way that the tour guides were explaining the ceiling outside of the chapel because it's "still used", no, the people had to describe the chapel outside of the chapel because there's no room to breathe, let alone hold a seminar on Michaelangelo! I managed to step into the center of the room and quickly take a couple of pictures, right before a security guard said: "No Photos", "NO Photos!"
Why no photos? Because the poster of this photo is 10 euros out in the gift shop!
Afterwards we had some scary pizza in the cafe in the basement of the Vatican, visited the Vatican post office for some commemorative stamps and had to walk back through the courtyard to get to the damn Egyptian rooms!
Here's a neat picture of a fellow photographer in the courtyard...
Check this out.... hieroglyphs!
Neat statue... (but it could use some dry cleaning)...
We tried to take the stroller down here but were quickly directed to the "ascensore"...
Afterwards we walked from the Vatican City to the Gianicolo... there are nuns everywhere!
Once there, we went to the botanical gardens... a bit shabby, but still pretty neat, and we found a really cool lookout point in a bamboo forest that looked out over the Roman cityscape...
Then we walked through the Trastevere... and back across the Tiber.