Published: August 4th 2011June 19th 2011
at the Vatican
see the sun blistering down on St Pauls
Another hotter than hell day to where else to go but the Vatican for some salvation?!
But my first stop was the huge Sunday market at Ponte Palatino. I walked the short distance to the train station that was also the bus interchange as I knew I could get a bus to the markets from here. Seemed that all the other tourists in Rome were armed with this information also, so unfortunately is was over an hour before it was my turn to board a bus. By now I was almost total cooked and then endured a 45 minute bus ride with 500 other overcooked tourists crammed into a 40 seater bus.
I was happy to get off the bus and just about crawled up one of the water fountain taps trying to rehydrate and quench my thirst. Ok after a few minutes I was sufficiently cooled down to gather my thoughts and make my way by following the crowds to the numerous streets where the market was set out. This is a very big outdoor market with a lot of the stalls selling much of the same stuff. There was also junk - oops I mean
antiques - on offer for the gullible to purchase. Luckily this old crap does not even appeal to me but I did witness a few tourists being 'had' by purchasing odds and sods. I could tell by the look on the sellers faces that they had make a nice little bundle of money on the rubbish they had just cleverly unloaded onto some fool. But hey that is just my impression of the transaction, maybe the buyer really did get a great bargain and the seller was pleased at the fair price he asked. Yep, yep, yep NUP.
Anyway lots of other stalls selling clothing with their owners yelling out the prices of their items. The clothing was very cheap and no doubt of dubious quality. However I did indulge and purchased a shirt for 2 euros and some summer jimjams for 1 euro - bargain.
Like I said the market was big and after about 3 hours of pushing through the crowds I was happy to call it quits. I had purchased an all day transport ticket so just hopped on the next bus that was passing without even looking to see where it was going. I
just too hot to stand out in the square in the sun.
notice the poster in the distance is a pic of the OLD DEAD pope?? not sure why
ended up god knows where, but it was off the map I had of Rome so with the fear that my day pass did not cover this outer area I crossed the road and got on the next bus that was going in the direction where I had come from.
This bus took me to familiar territory so I jumped off at the Piazza Venezia and found a bus that would take me to the Vatican. I could have easily walked the distance but today seemed a lot hotter than previous days and I wanted to get my moneys worth from the day pass I had purchased.
I should have known better than to go visit the Vatican on a Sunday as every man and his wife and kids were there. Ah well, the line up to get into St Peters was not too bad which I soon deduced was due to the fact that no one could bare to stand in the queue which was out in the blazing sun!! But I was tough, I could stand it. But I was also stupid because I soon remembered that I was wearing shorts & singlet top and would not
not sure why there was a poster of the previous pope
be allowed to enter the church dressed like this anyway. Poop, ah who cares, it's just a church and I did see inside it about 20 years ago anyway. Seriously I was not disappointed. Doubt if they had changed it!! I opted for a breather sitting amongst the massive pillars, thinking where I could go next.
After watching people sweltering in the sun for a little while I moved on walking down the shaded street towards the river. Of course there are lots of god shops surrounding the Vatican where you can purchase just about anything religious or godly looking. Who could resist a glossy photograph of your favorite Pope?? Me!!!
I walked towards the river and headed down to the castle, which to me looks more like a water tower than a castle. There was a small market there where I had a wander around and the only thing I wanted to purchase was a nice cold beer, which I did.
I headed out again after dark, with fingers crossed that my new camera would work, as I wanted to get some night photos of the Trevi fountain. . As you can see by the photos
this was a popular spot even late at night. I enjoyed an ice cream and pushed through the crowds, then made my way back to the hostel.
There are more photos below