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Rome: The Inconsiderate Classroom

Sunday, September 18th, 2005

On our last full day in Rome, Bec and I planned on taking a paid tour of the Sistene Chapel with Harry, our young English guide from the tour of St. Peter’s Basilica. We organised to meet at 11.30 in St. Peter’s Square, and so jumped on an 11am shuttle bus from the campsite. On each day previous, the bus took around 15 minutes to get into town, and so the 11am bus would give us plenty of time to find Harry and the red umbrella he used to distinguish himself in a crowd. 15 minutes, that is, on other days. On this particular day, it was a painfully slow 45 minutes before we got to Vatican City, and another few before we made it into St. Peter’s Square.

We optimistically looked for Harry and his red umbrella, hoping he might still be hanging around trying to fill numbers for his tour. We stood in the middle of St. Peter’s Square, up on tip toes, pirouetting like a mother looking for a lost child in a department store. But it was no use. Harry was gone, and we would be facing Michaelangelo’s masterpiece on our own. Bec had taken a tour on her visit four years earlier, and was able to fill me in on some of the little details she remembered, which at least gave me some insight into the meaning behind the artwork. The halls and chambers of the Vatican City musuem, deep within which the Sistene Chapel hides, are a seemingly endless parade of historic and priceless art, and took a good hour to amble through before we found ourselves at the door to the Sistene Chapel.

[read on]

Rome: And the Heavens Opened

Saturday, September 17th, 2005

Friday September 2nd, and Bec and I flew from the heat of London into the heat of Rome. We had booked to stay at a campsite not too far from the centre of town, which thankfully provided a shuttle bus from the airport. We had an hour or so to kill between collecting our bags after the flight and getting the bus, and due to the stuffy air in the airport, decided we should wait outside. When we opened the door the heat hit us like a Joe Frazier left hook. The UK this certainly was not.

After a pretty decent nights sleep in our little tent, we caught another shuttle bus from the campsite into town at 9am, which would drop us somewhere near Vatican City – that much we knew. The campsite had provided us with a little pocket map which would eventually come in very handy. But you see, the thing about maps is, you actually need to know your own whereabouts on the map before you can work out which way to go, otherwise the map is about as useless as tits on a bull (as my Dad would say). As we got off the bus Bec, who had been to Rome four years earlier, stayed at the same campsite, and possibly taken this exact same shuttle bus, seemed to find her bearings, “Well, this sort of looks familiar, I think it could be this way. ” But then a bit of doubt crept in, “Although, everyone else from the bus seems to be walking that way, we should probably just follow them.”

[read on]

The story of the works and the spanner

Saturday, September 17th, 2005
Right folks, sorry for the delay in the updates, but I've struck a wee problem. The schmicko little palm pilot and tiny folding keyboard I bought to do all of my writing on has turned out to be the biggest ... [Continue reading this entry]

London: Good for Golfers

Saturday, September 10th, 2005
Our day at the Ashes cricket required at least one full day's recovery, and so we spent the next day hanging out with Kirk, Jools, Rosie and Anna at a local park, and checking out the original residence of Lord ... [Continue reading this entry]

Trent Bridge: The Ashes

Friday, September 9th, 2005
Sunday the 28th of August was going to be a big day for me and Bec. It was a day we had been looking forward to for months. We were going to the Ashes, the battle between Australian and English ... [Continue reading this entry]