Sep 18, 2014

Find Beauty Friday and European Tour, Day 12 Vatican City

I seem to always combine these two posts on Fridays, maybe because these are my most cherished photos, and this is a photography link up! Anyway, to read about the beginning of our trip, check these out:
Continuing our Europe Trip from 2013, 

After everyone having a grand ole time at the toga party the night before, we had an early call to go tour Vatican city! Good thing for me, I choose to stay in our room or camping trailer, (think tiny house size) and get some rest. But everyone else enjoyed themselves greatly at the Toga Party! Maybe a little too much. :)

Growing up Catholic, this was the ultimate vacation sight seeing place. Even after waiting outside on the sidewalk for a while, and looking up at the massive walls of the city. We lined up single file on the wall, a few prison jokes were made especially since some were still drunk from the night before, and smelling like bar room. Ha!  Part of the reason why so many were feeling the hair of the dog was because Chris' official last day to be in the Army was that day! He was officially a civilian in every way, so they all did shots for each year he was in the Army, totaling 9 years! So yeah, they were over indulged, but made memories, which is what trips like this is all about!

Our tour guide was an American, which was nice. And off we went into the Vatican City gates! This experience was truly special. We were lucky the escalators were working that day, because there were quite a few stairs to climb, and they hardly ever worked. Entering in, it was weird because it was so modern. The ticketing desks and the lobby area were so up to date, then you walk through and you know there was so much history that it  was overwhelming. There was so much history and beauty everywhere.

The tour guide lead us all throughout the buildings and spaces. I should mention that you can't go inside without a tour guide. And the tour guides I guess, work for them, so be careful of "tickets" you may buy because it could be  a scam.

Now, after everything was said and done, we walk outside and there are camera crews setting up. We were confused like whats going on here? Turns out, while we were in our tour, the Pope resigned! What a day to be there. You could feel the buzz in the square outside the main balcony where all popes address the people. So much was happening.

This was another Optional part of the tour. I can't remember how much extra we had to pay, but it covered the admission as well as your part of the tour guide's fee.

This is what Expat Explore has to say, "Day 11: A free day in Rome & optional excursion to the Vatican City
You are going to love to roam Rome! The whole day is yours, to explore this ancient city to your hearts content. Most of the historical landmarks and Ancient Roman structures are located within the city centre so that makes it easier to navigate.
(Rome was a much smaller place back when there were emperors and gladiators). Make sure you get an early start at the major attractions, such as the Colosseum, as the queues can get long, and Rome is a popular destination to visit. Want to visit Vatican City and witness Michelangelo’s famous painting on the roof of the Sistine Chapel? Today’s optional excursion is a must! Your Expat Explore tour leader can organize fast tracked tickets for you, and once you are ahead of the queues, you have access to Vatican City - the smallest country in the world! The Sistine Chapel awaits, as does St Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican museums and one of the world’s best private art collections. You never know...maybe the Pope will be in residence! The rest of your day is yours to explore as you wish, and this is the perfect opportunity to return to your favorite landmarks from from last nights walking tour, or indulge traditional Italian fare. Pizza, pasta, vino, espresso...Belissimo! (that means ‘lovely’ in will use this one often..)"

Went to the post office right outside and bought post cards and postage to send cards to our loved
ones. We paid way too much for that little stamp that said Vatican City. I also purchased a rosary for our mothers, and a sterling silver crucifix on a chain for me. These are items that will be cherished forever.

We were left to do our own things, and we left to go find lunch. We were a bit confused with the roads because they just really didn't make sense. But we found a cafe and sat down. So tired and just ready for some good Italian food. We were squished in a table by the window wall of the front cafe. We paid a ridiculous amount for sub par food and again, $8 for a coke a cola!

After the restaurant, we had to find this train station. We walked for ages and couldn't find it. we were walking across roads, almost getting hit by cars, and finally decided to get on a bus. The local people kept telling us a million different ways to get back, but we finally found the bus, and had to get on a different bus because the first one wasn't correct. The camping village was 15 miles from the city, so it was rather difficult. Finally we were on the right bus and made it back to the camping village. we were all so tired, so it wasn't much we wanted rest. We walked across the road to a grocery store and stocked up on washing powder and snacks for the bus rides. We had dinner at the bar/dining area again, and then headed off to bed. The next day, we were leaving early for Florence and Tuscany!

Join us and link up for Finding Beauty Friday!

This Darling Day


  1. Growing up Catholic, I have always dreamed of going to Rome to see The Vatican. You are so lucky! Thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures and the stories!

  2. I visited Rome and the Vatican City a few months ago and absolutely loved it as you did! I even got to post a few postcards from the little post office in the Vatican (including one to myself hehe!). I didn't have enough time to go to Pompeii though and that is definitely somewhere I'd love to visit soon.


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