The Vatican and more
But before we get to that, let me re-cap the rest of my day on teh 22nd. So thunderstorming made touring close to impossible. Instead I went to a little cafe near here where there was a chess game going on. I ordered an espresso (awesome) and the one guy was beating the heck out of another and I was watching. After he lost, the guy who won gestured me over. I was like I dont speak Italian and he kept gesturing and the guy who lost said in a thick italian accent "he said you want to play chess?" Looking at the weather and figuring this was the chance for me to expose myself to some real italian lifestyle, I said yes.
It was a good match, but I Got the upper hand with some better positioning moves. I didnt really get to do much until I pinned his rook to his king and then took it with my knight. He looked at the board, looked at his friend and started speaking Italian, he spoke back, they started yelling at each other, while gesturing to the board, me, each other and just about everything in the room. I guess I looked white as a ghost cause they finally looked at me after about a solid 30 seconds of yelling and then the guy who lost the last game said "he says, you make very good move." After that I wasnt sure whether to throw the game or just go for it. Ultimatley we drawed, which was FINE by me.
Anyway after that I met the other people in my room, a cool couple from San Francisco and a Japaneese guy. We hung out for the rest of the night and I actually showed the Japaneese guy where the korean youth hostel was... he had a reservation there the following night...
So onto the 23rd...yesterday...my supposed last day in Rome before Venice. It was up and out early and I pretty much went touring all day with the couple, their names were Cody and Brenda. Very nice people. We went to the Vatican, got there about noon and the line to get in was UNBELIEVABLE. Of course, I figured if there was one spot in the world where I shouldnt start cursin about the line and show a little patience, I was there. So I bit my tongue and about two hours later we got into Saint Peters. Wowowow. ITS HUGE. We got a free english tour and this guy really knew his stuff. He was promoting a later tour for that evening. St. Peters is decieving, because it doesnt seem that big until you start to realize that other cathedrals in the world can fit in it... and further that the statue of liberty could be stood up inside of the center of it. In addition the sculptures by Michalangelo, Bernini and others are HUGE and stunning. Breathtaking actually. We wondered around there for a good two hours...till about four...which was our mistake because the Sisteen chapel CLOSED at 3:10. I couldnt believe it, that I was here in Rome and wasnt going to get to see it. But fate, it would appear, would be on my side (depening on your perspectve).
So we left the Vatican and did a little shopping for postcards, etc. Then it was time for a little nap...we walked EVERYWHERE in Rome and Termini to the Vatican...is quite the hike. Then it was on to this walking tour which ended up going very long, but was very very good. Same tour guide, this time we had to pay, but we saw everything, the pantheon, the fountain of Tranini (sp?), through the ruins again, the spanish stairs, where Musallini got wrecked, the column to Marcus Aurelieuous (sorry bout the spelling again). It was a great tour that just took a long time. By the time we ate (ordering in Spanish with an italian accent...comical) and got back to the hostel it was 12:30 and I had to be up to get to Venice at 4:00 AM.
WRONG! So it is a hike to where I had to go to get to Venice. About a 45 minute bus ride. So I was up at 4, all ready to go. I get there, and theyve over booked. The best they can do is put me on tomorrow...nothing else for the rest of the day. What are the odds of that?? So its back to the hostel where I have checked in for another night and will get another day in Rome and a chance to see the chapel, all be it on 3 and then 4 hours of sleep with a two hour break in between. Also Ill have one less day in Venice, but I can live with that.
So my Roman advventure continues here, and again, sorry for not posting sooner, Its been tough getting internet here for a long period of time. Ill do my best to post again tonight
Miss you all very much