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Saturday was fraught with misadventure. the "dead people" I referred to before was the catacombs to the south east of rome. Slept in a little bit, missed the early train, then missed the early bus, then finally got off two stops too late for the catacombs. We got out, hiked the mile up the hill - it was actually quite a nice view and hike - to find that the catacombs had closed about 20 minutes ago. I wasn't exactly looking forward to more piles of bones so I wasn't too upset (though I did learn later they're more like the coffins from indian jones than just heaps of bones). A hike and a bus ride down later and we made our way to St Paulos.

St Paulos was an interesting cathedral - dedicated to very early popes - and it had a nice courtyard where I laid out on a marble slab and proceeded to sunburn my forehead pretty well. We moved on to see Circus Maximus - which is just a rough oval of grass now - and made our way to a semi-residential district south of the vatican - called Challaes or something. It had excellent gellato (mmm, pineapple) and a nice little restaurant for dinner. I had pasta with peas and bacon (odd but good) and Chrissy had soup and Octopus-kababs - I liked the kraken theme. Some quick souvineer looking and we headed back to our plastic box, sorry bungalow, to make sure to to get to St Peters early enough for easter.

We didn't. Easter started at 10:30 and we got there with about 10 minutes to spare. All of the areas for ticket holders were packed full and the surrounding mass was fairly dense. In vain hope we stood by a roped off enterence with a very nice swiss guard. about 10 minutes into things an actual guard comes up, whispers something, and they wave us in. It appears they've found extra room by placing chairs up on the stage with the Pope. So we arrive late and end up getting some of the best seats in the house - I was instantly reminded of martin. The service was nice enough but the most enjoyable part for me was the Papal blessing at the end. The pope basically blesses every nation in their native language which is pretty cool, but every time a country was mentioned the people in the croud from the country would stand up and cheer wildly. Including the priests. Nothing is quite so odd as to see a block of 20 or so priests in full frocks jumping around wildly behind in the choral section whenever the pope mentions croatia. I had a good time.

The day after easter was a bit less exciting. Everything was closed. I mean everything. Even some of the normal street vendors hauking knock-off gucci bags were gone. We had intended to see the sistene but it was closed, I did get to see St. Peter's a little better and Chrissy played an excellent tour guide. We wandered around and managed to find a souvineer or two and some gellato - it is a daily requirement - the made our way back to watch some strange french game show that involved lots of people dressing up in drag. I didn't understand a word but was assured it was funny.

Today saw Chrissy packed and off to barcelona and me finally able to find a working net connection. Most were closed for the last three days and the bungalow's cafe closes for lunch from 11am to 6pm (long lunch). I'm going to go order another pizza and pack myself, I've got a 5:00am taxi to the airport tomorrow so I can hurry up and spend 4 hours in london.

Speaking of which, I need to plan a trip to london, I'd really like to go and I know for certain NOW I have enough frequent flier miles to get anywhere on earth :)


YES - you finally appreciated getting to places 'just' in time or 'slightly' late :) I guess your seats for Easter now beat my 'late to the airport upgrade to British Airways intercontinental business class...' See you Friday!


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