Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Give me Gay Paree!

Our third day was not pleasant. It was to rain all day but we were scheduled to tour the Vatican. A Vatican tour guide boarded our bus to take us to meet up with our guide who had purchased our tickets "in advance."

We arrived at the entrance after walking past massive lines waiting in the rain. To make a long story short, our guide, in an attempt to save herself a lot of money I guess, went in the early morning and bought 33 general admission tickets, the kind all those people waiting would eventually purchase.

When we tried to go to the entrance to meet her, we were stopped and told we had to go back to the end of that l-o-n-g line to use our general admission tickets. Those cost 15 euros, the "don't stand in line" tickets cost 33 euros and is what we told our guide long ago were what we wanted. Her little scheme didn't work. I was fit to be tied but Ted said we were in Rome and he wanted to see the Vatican so we stood in the rain for about an hour and a half before getting in.

It was the 500th anniversary of the opening of the Sistine Chapel so the museums were closing at 1 pm for a Papal Mass that would be said in the Sistine Chapel in the afternoon. We had a whirlwind tour of a scant part that included the Sistine Chapel and we were out the door.

The really sad thing is people were still standing in those long lines. I saw one small sign advising people they were closing at 1:00 pm but no one bothered to bring it to their attention. The attendants were "snarly and snarky" and most unhelpful and unpleasant. I doubt I will ever return.

We next had lunch at a place different than what was listed in our itinerary but it was fine. Our next stop was the Capuchin Crypts where bones of all the monks have been decoratively displayed. It was a great place to spend Halloween. I am not sure many in our group understood the artifacts displayed in the museum because they all pertained to this Catholic order of monks.

Last, in a driving rain, we visited the Trevi Fountain which is beautiful and impressive. Legend has it if you turn around, place your right hand over your heart and toss a coin with your left hand over your left shoulder, you will return to Rome. Obviously I was in no mood to even contemplate that so I gave my friend Jacque's coin to Ted and had him throw it. He will have to come back without me!

We all gathered in the hotel bar and after a bit of letting off steam and unwinding, we had a fun night. Instead of visiting Tivoli today we joined ranks and requested we spend the day in Rome to see more of the famous sites. I'll let you know how that goes!

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