i decided my first destination point for my tourist stops would be the Vatican.
i wanted to make sure it went off without a hitch and so i put in an early morning wake up call, had my continental breakfast at 7:30 and began my first trek on Roma's metro to Vatican City.
being that i am not a public transportation user in Philadelphia, it is always a challenge (and one that i actually enjoy) to take trains in other cities. it started out fairly easy, someone was helping out at the token machine, (possibly because it must have been rush hour). i caught the train, then realized i was heading in the wrong direction. off the train and back on i arrived at my stop and looked for the signs that pointed to the pope's house.
and there it is. as i'm approaching it, there are tons of tour guides selling tickets to get a tour with this, that and the other group. my usual way lets me pass these people with ease, but as i near, i open up to talk to a woman. thing is, there are specifics i want to see and i want to make sure i see them. and i'm pretty nervous about getting lost in the mix of a huge, 1000 gallery museum equipped with cathedral and of course, the brilliance of Michelangelo. so i sign up for a tour.
she leads me to a group and i meet our guide, an enthusiastic roman woman with a lot of moxy. and while i am annoyed by the traits of this type of leader, i'm also relieved to have someone show me the way.
and it takes FOREVER to get going.
i'm thinking...enough with the jargon and the history, are we actually going to see this joint?
yes, i'm at my first stop and i'm getting impatient, nervous & annoyed. i realize i've studied a lot of this stuff so it seems a bit redundant but, this is what tours are about & i think i've made a mistake but, i persevere and i make it in and i'm glad i did it this way.
not with out realizing my mac card won't work (to get cash and pay)and i'm left with some nerves about that as well. (this is my second try at a cash with drawl & i only went there with 17 euro) but, i digress.
so, we finally go in and it's wonderful. i mean wonderful. sculpture heaven. and i just can't take in enough of it. this is history, this is art. this is craftsmanship. this is what i came for. and i listen to the tour guide with one ear and move my senses all over the place, and i don't care that she thinks i'm not paying enough attention.
this is MY vacation and i'm taking it ALL in.