We ate breakfast in the hotel at 7:45 and rode with a bus to the train station at 8:15.It was our Contiki bus driver’s day off and we got day pass to use public transport for the day.We got on the Metro train at the EUR Magliana station and rode to Ottaviano station.The train was very, very busy and we had to split into two groups.We had to change trains at the Termini station and everybody got to the last stop. Then we walked to the Vatican City.
We stood in the row for about 10 minutes before entering.We walked through the huge museum.It was a lot to take absorb in one visit.It was very busy and we followed the crowds of tourists down the corridors of the museum in the direction of the Sistine Chapel.Along the way we saw statues and more statues.The walls and ceilings of every hallway are decorated differently with lots of detail.
We walked down the “Gallery of Maps” with maps of Italy painted in 1580 – 1583.But the most impressive of this 120m long hall was the amazing ceiling decorations.
We also saw the “Court of the Pigna” or Court of the Pine with the big bronze pinecone statue and golden orb.
Before reaching the Sistine Chapel we walked through the Rafael Rooms with the most amazing decorations done between in 1508 and 1524.
Then we entered the Sistine Chapel. The Chapel was packed full of tourist looking at the wonderful ceiling and “Last Judgement” by Michelangelo.No photos are allowed and the crowd is supposed to be quiet.The most noise is made by the security people asking us to be quiet.We sat for a while and just looked up at the ceiling.It is too much to take in.
A tip from our tour guide was to leave the Chapel at the “group exit” to save some time.It was very warm outside and we filled our water bottles at a fountain with cold “holy water”.Next we were visiting St Peter’s Basilica.
Weather vane on the VGK Church in Carnarvon This photo made me think of a song we used to sing as kids. It is a traditional Afrikaans song about the rooster on top of the church. The words of the song and its translation: Daar’s ‘n hoender wat ‘n eier nie kan lê There is a chicken that cannot lay an egg Daar’s ‘n hoender wat ‘n eier nie kan lê There is a chicken that cannot lay an egg Daar’s ‘n hoender wat ‘n eier nie kan lê There is a chicken that cannot lay an egg Dis die haan wat op die kerktoring staan It’s the rooster standing on the church tower Dis die haan, Dis die haan It’s the rooster, It’s the rooster Dis die haan wat op die kerktoring staan It’s the rooster standing on the church tower More about all the churches and other buildings we saw in Carnarvon in the next post.
We stayed at the Southern Cross Beach House for the two nights when we visited Plettenberg Bay. The guesthouse is in a Victorian house next to the beach. The owners live on the top floor and the guest rooms are on the ground floor. I was a bit disappointed because the guest rooms do not have a view of the ocean. We booked the big room and it was lovely. We had a king size bed, sitting area with desk and a beautiful bathroom. The bathroom was my favorite part with it’s checkered floor and claw foot bath. But I forgot to take a picture of it. Usually I don’t like to take a bath in strange places but I could not resist. All the windows and doors of the room have wooden blinds that can be closed for privacy. Breakfast was served on the verandah with a beautiful view of the beach. We could choose from cereals, fruit, yogurt and warm breakfast with eggs, bacon, sausage, mushrooms and toast served with fresh juice, coffee or tea. We enjoyed it a lot.
As a child, a highlight of a trip to Oudtshoorn was to walk over the suspension bridge or “hangbrug” in Afrikaans. So naturally when we visited Oudsthoorn in August 2013, I wanted to walk over the bridge. A bit of history about the suspension bridge: Oudtshoorn developed on both sides of the Grobbelaars River. In 1913 the town council approved the building of a suspension bridge at Church Street. It was constructed by Rowlay and Sons in London and it was completed in 1914. The suspension bridge is 91 meters long with 9 meter high towers at each side. It was declared a National Monument in 1964. H decided to keep his feet on solid ground but I decided to take a walk over the bridge. The bridge is a lot longer than I remember but it was fun. The swing of the bridge while walking was fine except for when a few young men decided to run over the bridge past me making the bridge swing. I will think I need to keep with tradition and walk over the bridge w