Now as an adult, I have no desire to be Catholic, I'm comfortable in my Christianity faith, but was always curious about the Vatican and the history of the Catholic church.
Four of us arranged a private tour and met our guide Jon, and englishman who came to Rome ten years ago because of a woman. That woman is now his wife, and they have added two children to her one. He had connections in Portland, OR and we quickly bantered with one another and found a comfortable rhythm to walking and talking.
Jon's history knowledge was awe inspiring. He was such a fantastic guide and going into the Vatican City an hour before it opens to the public was one of the best decisions we made. No crowds, walking hallways just the five of us, listening and looking many times jaw dropping art sitting before us.
The Sistine Chapel was all that I had hoped for. We sat in silence for twenty plus minutes taking in the magnificent fresco's that Michael Angelo had worked four years on. The stories of Jesus and Moses laid out before us. All those years ago, and here it was for us to view.
I learned that fresco's were painted on wet plaster and when the plaster dried, the pigment would have seeped to the very depths of the plaster to remain for years and years. If you made a mistake the only do over you would have was to remove the plaster and start again. Painstaking work, and the genius Michael Angelo did it like no other.
There is so much more, and I took a couple of hundred photos. We were so tired last night I couldn't keep my eyes open to finish much. There will be more, once we settle in. For now, here are a few photos from Vatican City.
|St Peters Basilica|
|Our guide Jon enriching us with so much.|
|We filled our water bottles from this fountain. The joke was we were drinking holy water.|
The royal steps used by the Pope and some of his cardinals being guarded by a swiss guard. My friend Susie almost had to hang onto my pants as I leaned over to get this shot. :-)