Day 7: St Peter’s Bascilca (20 June 2008)

After exiting the Sistine Chapel we entered St Peter’s Bascilca.  We did not have to wait in a line.  Once again we were amazed with the beautiful decorated roof, floor and walls of the church.  We saw the beautiful Pieta by Michelangelo.
We decided to take some time to enter a small chapel inside the church to say a prayer for our families back in South Africa.

We walked to stand under the huge dome. It is really big and high and beautifully decorated.
We wanted to see more and to go to the top of the dome.  We paid the fee and then took the elevator up towards the dome.  After leaving the elevator we had to climb about 320 stairs to get to the top of the dome.  In the beginning the walk up the stairs is easy but the stairs spiral and the hall gets narrow while the legs start to burn.

We reach the top of the dome and could look down towards the people inside St Peter’s.  We were so high up that they looked like little ants at the bottom.  We also realized that the beautiful decorations we saw from the bottom was detailed mosaic and not painted on the walls.
We went outside and climbed more steps.  The view from here was amazing.  We could see the whole St Peter’s Square with the pillars and 140 Saints.  We also could see Rome.  Walking around on the top we could see a part of the Vatican gardens.
We did not want to leave but had to. We walked down the 320 stairs in the narrow hallways.  There are no railings to hold on to and our legs started to tremble of the effort.  We were very glad when we reached the elevator.

We went to buy some souvenirs and then realized we were late.  We had to meet the group for a tour of the Roman Forum but still had to get there.  We quickly left St Peters but did take some time to take a few photos in St Peters Square before searching for a metro station.  With our legs already tired from the stairs we speed walked through the streets to get to a station.

At 14:00 we got onto the train at the Ottaviano station and rode for 6 stops to the Termini station were we had to change trains and ride another 2 stops to the Colosseo station.  We ran out of the station to get to the spot where we had to meat the group and were just in time. They were waiting for other members of the group and we had time to go buy some water before the tour started.

Read more of the trip to Europe in 2008:
1.          Mossel Bay to London
2.          Day 1: London to Amsterdam
3.          Day 1: Amsterdam Canal Cruise
4.          Day 2: Amsterdam
5.          Day 2: St Goar Germany
6.          Day 3: Munich Germany
7.          Day 3: Munich Germany Cont
8.          Day 4: Austria
9.                   Day 5: Venice Italy
10.               Day 5: Venice Italy Cont
11.               Day 6: Rome Italy
12.               Day 6: Rome Italy Cont
13.               Day 7: Vatican City


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