Dragging ourselves out of bed early and eating takeaway breakfast prepared with love by Massimo was quite the bittersweet ending to our time in Rome. Saying goodbye can turn out to be pretty stressful too. Tackling the morning metro crowd, navigating the unfamiliar Termini station and having to constantly check for the train’s arrival.
Once on board, it was fairly straightforward. Look for seat, store luggage, sit and wait for train conductor to collect tickets. Before you know it, the stress returns and you’re scrambling to buy bus tickets and searching high and low for the right bus stop.
Stepping inside the historic center of Florence, we realised that Florence is quite a different kettle of fish. The roads are easier on the feet, the pace is a bit less rushed and its winds a little bit biting.
Lunch was takeaway sandwiches from I Fratellini which was yummy and easy to order. After satisfying out tummies, we dived straight into the Duomo.
#1 POW! | LC-A+ RL | Lucky 200
Ok, maybe this is not as powerful as the title sounds, but the actual scene was quite a sight to behold. Masses of people just crowding around, trying their darnedest to capture the Duomo from all sorts of angle and distance.
Today’s main feature is Vatican City which we had already pre-booked a half day tour with Dark Rome tour operator. With the tour we would be able to access some restricted areas and (most importantly) skip the entry queue. You know its money well spent when you see snaking queues forming outside the entrance at 8:15am.
We got to the meeting place quite easily and everyone else in our group were on time. From then onwards, our guide when about clearing all the administrative stuffs to ensure our entry was fuss free.
The guide then gave a general introduction of Vatican City, touching on its minute population (around 800 if I remember correctly), the Swiss guards who had to live within the compound and how the dome of St Peter’s Basilica was designed to be just slightly smaller than that of the Pantheon by Michelangelo (can’t quite recall the exact reason). She also shared various interesting facts and trivia which helped saved our brains from shutting off.
We first explored the Pinacoteca, the Vatican art gallery where the famous works of Caravaggio (The Entombment of Christ is pretty epic), Leonardo and Raphael can be found. It was mentioned that Raphael took inspiration from Michelangelo, especially from his Sistine Chapel frescoes to capture the gestures and movements of the characters in his Transfiguration. It is pretty evident that the stances of the characters from his earlier work, The Crowning of the Virgin Mary (which can also be found in the Pinacoteca) are less vivid in comparison.
Oh look at me going on and on like a sir.
It’s an early day today!
There is quite an interesting story about the chains which are on display at the main altar. However, the main draw for us was Michelangelo’s statue of Moses.
#1 What Up Mose | LC-A+ RL | Voigtlander Vchrome 100 DX
I’m definitely not an art connoisseur but was nevertheless left in awe by the details etched on the statue. Hats off to that orange dude from TMNT.
Happiness is waking up to the smell of fresh toast and an assortment of bread, ham, yogurt and juices.
Enlightenment is realizing that oranges are not only orange in color but red too. Yes, it’s true and they are called blood oranges!
#1 Blood Orange | LC-A+ RL | Lomo Redscale 100 | BUY IT!
On the way to the Metro to get to our 1st destination.
Anddd that’s one off the bucket list, my first foray into the European continent.
Sorry, I still get a bit high while reminiscing about it. So, I’m gonna ride out the high with a series of day by day posts.
First off, to Rome!
#1 Street | LC-A+ RL | Voigtlander Vchrome 100 DX
Just another day in the streets of Rome.
We haven’t been on a proper beach throughout our trip and with it being one of the attractions of Bali, we sure as hell couldn’t give it a miss. Faced with so many choices coupled with our indecision, we took the easy way out and got the driver to send us to the nearest beach.
We alighted at Ku De Ta Beach Club, which is supposedly the place to be in Bali, especially if you like to partayy. But nope, no party for us as parties even of the Ku De Ta kind don’t start at 11am. Made the short walk across the compound to be greeted by these fabulous sights.
#1 Bitchin’ | Superheadz UWS | Kodak Elitechrome 200
As in awesome or great, even though we had to pay to rent one of the beach beds for an hour. Yep, nothing comes for free. However, I can’t recall how much we paid. But I did made a feeble attempt to haggle and succeed! Haha, cheap thrill.