Monday, May 2, 2011

The Canonization of Pope John Paul II and other happenings

May 2, 2011
Well that past two days have been quite an adventure! And this time they’ve definitely all been good adventures. Yesterday morning we ended up sleeping through our alarm which I’m not even mad about because we were both really tired and needed some extra sleep. We didn’t end up waking up until about 9:00 so we just packed up our stuff and checked out of our hotel. We walked out to the bus stop and as we were walking we realized that we should have asked what buses would take us downtown to the Vatican, but we decided that we would be able to handle it. Well we knew that there was a metro stop called Ottaviano that was near the Vatican and near our hostel. We soon saw a bus that said something like Stz. Ottavia or something. From what we could remember that was where we wanted to go, so we hopped and rode, and rode, and rode. Well after awhile we realized that we were definitely not going the right direction. We got off at Stz. Ottavia which was actually a train station way out at the edge of the city. Well we looked at the list of stops the train made and noticed that one of the stopped at St. Peter’s Square. All of this was in Italian and lots of it was abbreviated so we were partly guessing on everything we were doing. Well we hopped on and luckily our eurail pass covered the train. We got of at St. Peter’s square and followed a huge crowd of people that were all headed to the canonization mass of Pope John Paul II. We just followed them and there were soon people everywhere. Did I say that there were a lot of people? There were a lot of people.
                We pushed and shoved our way into the crowd with our big backpacks. We made it not even half a block from the river before we couldn’t get any further. If we wouldn’t have had our bags with us then we would have tried to get deeper in the crowd but it was just too tight with our bags. So that was the first part of our church for the day. Listening to the pope be canonized and all that. I actually had wanted to look up where an LDS church was the night before but we had run out of internet time before I got around to it. Back to the story. We chilled around there for a while, we actually heard them pray in English and Russian but other than that we didn’t understand a thing. After listening to Italian prayers until our hearts were full, we decided to go check our bags into the hostel. It didn’t take us long to find it once we got out of all the crowds because it was only a few blocks away from the Vatican.
                The hostel is closed for everyone from like 11-5 for cleaning and stuff but, they let us in and we dropped our bags off which was definitely a big weight off our shoulders. Feeling free and as if we were walking on air, we took back off to check out more of the city. By not it was almost noon so we decided it would be a good idea to go buy some breakfast/lunch. We found a grocery store and got some bread, meat, and cheese. Yum. It actually was pretty good…or I was hungry. Let’s settle on it being good and that I was hungry. I had a knife with me that has like a 5” folding blade on it that we used to cut the meat. This will come into play later. Feeling full and refreshed, we headed off for the Museum of Rome. That was actually really cool. It’s amazing that marble can be chiseled so perfectly into statues of people. I couldn’t help but notice that if the sculptors had used Bryan or I for their models, all of the statues would have been much bigger and stronger looking. So that was cool and we learned a lot about Rome’s history.  From there, we walked around the city more and saw some cool fountains. There are so many fountains. We also went into a church that was by near the museum in a square and prayed some more so that was the rest of our worship for the day.
                We then went down to the Museum Capitoliano and went through that whole thing. In order to go through, you had to go through a security checkpoint. Bryan went through first and the thing went ding ding ding so he took off his watch and it still went ding ding ding. He pulled up his shirt and pointed at his belt and they said that was fine and just let him go. Well I about peed myself because I just realized that I had a big knife in my pocket….I walked through and of course it went ding ding ding. What did I do? I pulled up my shirt, pointed at my belt, and said, “Do I have to take my belt off?” They said that I was fine and let me go. Phew! Museums take a really long time to go through but they sure are interesting. We saw a bunch more naked statues posing and trying to look cool. I’m pretty sure we took some photos of us that rival if not surpass their poses and chiseled features. Another thing that I realized, which I guess I just had never thought about before, is that Rome wasn’t just a place that was dug up, people have been living here for thousands of years. Emperors had been collecting art since thousands of years ago. I guess that’s obvious to everyone else but I hadn’t really given it too much thought. Well after that there was this really cool concert out on the square at the Museum Capitoliano. That was really cool. It was classical but with rock all mixed in with it. For this one song, the orchestra played and they were accompanied by an old guy with long white hair on an electric guitar. After chilling around there for a couple songs we hopped on the metro to go to a different concert. The Concerto di Primo Maggio! This concert was sooooo big. Because of that the two metro stations closest to it had been shut down for some reason so we had to walk a couple more blocks but we didn’t mind. When we got to the square I was surprised at how big it was. And the whole place was packed. This time we were able to get into the crowd because we didn’t have our big bags. Almost everyone there was drinking and smoking weed. There were bottles all over the ground. Well after being there for a bit we decided to head back to the hostel and officially check in and see if we could get some rest.
                We got back no problem and settled up our bill with the management. We’re staying here for 3 days and we had to pay it all up front. Bryan and I both took showers and I wrote up the last blog and ended up getting to bet at about 12:30. It was really hard to fall asleep though because it wasn’t very quiet and our door definitely doesn’t block out much sound. We were managing when all of the sudden three or four guys that were staying in our room got back and started talking to each other. They were from Russia but we were trying to sleep to we didn’t talk to them or anything. Anyways, we slept eventually.
Now onto what happened today. We started out the day at about 9:30 and made our way to the store to buy some breakfast. I’m definitely acquiring a taste for plain yogurt. Our first stop was the Roman Forum and The Palatino. That was really cool. More naked statutes. I you want to know more about it go read a book or come check it out yourself I guess. I’m getting tired of writing. That took several hours because of how much stuff there was to see. Oh and waiting in the ticket line took a bit of time too. From there we headed to the Coliseum and practiced some of our gladiator skills. I think we’re pretty good.  We walked a lot today. After that we checked out the chariot racing circuit just south of the Coliseum. From there we then got on a metro and went way up north and checked out a museum of Carl Billochi or something like that. From there we just started walking south, checked out the Masoleum and Trevi Fountain. I did toss in a coin over my shoulder so someday I will make it back to Rome. We also passed a bunch of other cool buildings and fountains. We ended up back at the Capilitano Museum where there was supposedly another concert but when we got there they were taking down all the chairs and equipment. It had started raining on our walk down from Trevi square so maybe it got cancelled. Then we decided that it was time to go home so we did just that. Now we’re back at the hostel, showered and mostly clean. And now I’m going to bed. Peace out world. 

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