tvordlj: (Default)
The last two days in Rome involved more walking. And more walking. Oh god. But you have to, to see it all. On Thursday we saw a crypt in a church where the bones of 4000 Cappuchin monks are arranged in elaborate patterns, decorations and even light fixtures in 5 small chapels. It's truly bizarre. There's a little museum too. And it's one of those "no photos" things that always annoys me. I can understand not wanting people to take flash photos but sometimes i think it's just so they can sell the postcards and books in the gift shop. Because if it's disrespectful to take photos, it should be equally disrespectful to make a profit out of it, shouldn't it? They already charge entry which supports the museum. So i do manage to take some stealth photos especially after I see someone else doing it and not getting hollered at. It's an interesting if not a little unsettling place. The church above wasn't open to the public but apparently it's very nice.

We didn't get into any churches aside from St. Peter's and the Sistine Chapel. I had hoped to see a few more but it just didn't happen. From the church, we went to a shop called Profondo Rosso which is a general sci fi shop filled with the usual suspects, masks, costumes, models etc. but the difference is that it's owned by italian horror film director Dario Argento and since [ profile] naturalbornkaos visited there, Graham was determined he had to see it too, being a horror film fan himself. There's also a little museum/exhibit in the basement and we got to see that for a small charge. It's got scenes and props from some of Argento's movies and it's all shadowy and lit in lurid colours. There's an audio track playing too, describing the various sections and how they relate to the various movies. It doesn't take long to see but it was kind of neat, even for me who doesn't really do horror films.

We did some shopping locally after that and walked along the Tiber for a little way as well, until we got to Castel Sant'Angelo, a former bastion of the medieval popes. it's very touristy in that area, with a square in front filled with market type stalls and vendors hawking all sorts of things to the tourists. Having said that, I did see some nice things there and bought a few Christmas presents.

Friday we had a tour booked for the Vatican Museums and since we figured it would be grueling, and it was, we didn't do much else. We went over to the Vatican area, had lunch and waited for the tour to start, around mid-afternoon. We were walked around and into the museums, into a courtyard where there are poster boards set up for guides to explain the highlights in the Sistine Chapel (because you aren't really supposed to be talking much while in there, so they tell you about the things to see so you can find them when you get in). We are walked down a long hallways of galleries to get to the Chapel, have 20 minutes in there and walk all the way back in the galleries in the floor below. The tours all do the same thing. You could stay on after and wander more of the museums if you have the time and  energy but the hard marble floors take it out of your legs and feet, let me tell you. We were finished and down the neat spiral ramp/staircase by about 5:30 and still hadn't seen the basilica so that was the next order of business. We had to trudge around the walls of the Vatican City from the museums to get to it, though a security check and in the end had about 15 minutes to see a bit of it before it closed. As it is free to see anyway, I suppose what we should have done was see that on our own first but for some reason i thought the tour included a guided tour of that too. 

The Basilica is enormous, as big as you think it is, it's much, much bigger, higher and elaborately adorned. I did get to see my favourite statue again, the Pieta by Michelangelo. It never fails to entrance me. It was dark by now but we did see the changing of the Swiss Guard in their colourful uniforms just outside the steps of the Basilica. It's not much of a changing of the guard, though, just two or three of them changing shifts but it's still neat. We were so tired by now that we decided to get a taxi back to the hotel.

In Rome, most of the squares have taxi stands and there's a large one in St. Peter's Square though when we got there, there was no cars. One came up and we went to get in and were pushed aside by a group of people who insisted they had been waiting first. Someone else grabbed the next one and when the third one came along I was ready fo fight for it if i had to! We got in and noticed the first group giving us nasty looks and milling aobut the cab they insisted they were having. I don't know why they weren't in it by that time but perhaps there were too many for the cab or had too much luggage. Too bad. You snooze you lose. They wanted it so they got it. I was going back to the hotel. Stuff them! ;)

We were pretty tired but dragged ourselves out to eat after about an hour. There were a few nice restaurants on the street where the hotel was and one of them was really really good so we went there again and enjoyed another good meal. Saturday was traveling most of the day, with two flights to get back here to Manchester. We took it easy yesterday and went out in the rental car to have a nice lunch with friends. No that was Sunday. yesterday we went to the War museum and got groceries.

More detailed blogs:
Day 4
Day 5
Back in the UK
And if you go here, you can see the various albums with Rome photos and one for the War Museum as well. There are even more photos on facebook if you have the stamina for it all.

The rest of this week will be lower key. Cooking for a friend tonight, out to dinner tomorrow night.We might take a day trip somewhere on Thursday and we're on the Road overnight to Sunderland on the northeast coast on Friday back on Saturday. The Manchester Christmas Markets open this weekend so i'd like to see that on Sunday before i go.
tvordlj: (Sideways Kitty)
I'm waiting at the airport!!!!! Good thing number 1 - they were able to check my bags all the way through so I don't have to mess around with it between terminals. I wasn't sure they would because I'm changing from Air Canada to British Airways and they aren't both Star Alliance. They couldn't do the boarding pass of course and the BA website didn't let me either so I'll have to do it there. No problem if i don't have to be dragging that suitcase.

Good thing #2: Starbucks has their Creme Brulee latte back for the winter season! I'm having a decaff one now. Yum! Not that i think i have any chance of sleeping on the flight but caffiene isn't all that good for jetlag either. I never have it or alcohol on the way over. I do on the way back.

Anyway, i have that wordpress travel blog so I've started writing there for the trip and there's a bit more wittering here.
tvordlj: (Default)
I know, i know, i've not updated in over a week! I'm back on Canadian soil, back at work, and busy beavering away at my photos, editing, sorting, uploading...Eventually that will be done and i can start typing up my travelogue notes for my website and the other travel websites i post on. (Virtual Tourist, IgoUgo, Travelzine)

what i did on week 2 )


Jun. 1st, 2010 08:43 pm
tvordlj: (Suitcase wings)
The Travelogue with Copenhagen and UK stuff is now online. You might want to make yourself comfortable and make a cup of tea.
tvordlj: (Sheep UK)
Here's the travelogue. I know there are a few people that have asked about it. Excuse spelling and such. I also think i'll sit down on the weekend and add historic links and things since i usually do that as well.
tvordlj: (Paris)
One good thing about being off work is that i have had the time to write up the travelogue and get it posted. There's also a couple of links there to two short video clips i took, one of the Eiffel tower all sparkly and one from the Seine cruise. However, the tower one is side ways and i can't figure out how to rotate it though i've tried one or two downloaded editing programs. I'll remember that in future, don't take the video in a vertical position. Any hints gladly accepted. Also have decided that Youtube is pants for these videos as it resizes them and since my camera takes smaller sized videos, it makes them all pixelly. However i also tried photo bucket and it does the same thing though it looked as though it had a setting that would work right. If anyone knows how to make Youtube use and keep the original size, please tell me because i couldn't find it in their help system either.

Oh what the heck, sparkly youtube behind the cut

Read more... )
tvordlj: (Sheep UK)
I've finished the travelogue for my trip and it's online here.
tvordlj: (Toronto)
It's much easier just to link to the Toronto Travelogue than to re-paste it all here. I also experimented with a new style sheet that i think i quite like though i shall probably tweak it a bit as time goes on.Thank you Zengarden for the inspiration.

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