Rome and papal audience

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December 30th 2015
Published: December 30th 2015
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hi everyone

Early one cold Wednesday morning in Rome, we found ourselves sitting outside of St Peter's waiting for the papal audience. It's absolutely freezing and we feel like snow men. Not much sun yet! Fortunately I thought to wipe the rain off the "elegant" plastic chairs. An hour and a half until the show starts. We're quite near a bunch school kids accompanied by a priest so hopefully we'll get a bit of commentary.

We arrived in Rome 3 days ago but it seems like 3 years ago. Amazing place. You literally trip over Roman ruins everywhere!

We had a bit of an unpleasant experience on the first day in Rome. We were strolling around looking at the shops when a crowd of chanting women approached Peter with pieces of cardboard the size of a pizza box which they held at chin level. I was slightly disoriented! Suddenly peter roared and swung his bag into the crowd which suddenly evaporated. The upshot of it was that the thief had Peter's jacket pocket half open and and has almost got his wallet. I've been suspicious ever since

It's hard to describe the sights without sounding like bragging. Here are a few highlights. We took a bus to St Peters and happened to be in the basilica when Mass was about to start. There were 10 priests, a choir and magnificent organ music. The fact that it was in Italian didn't seem to be a problem.

We, the Royal we, namely Peter, decided we would walk home. It was a pleasant 4km stroll up many hills. Well, maybe pleasant isn't the right adjective. I was totally stuffed. The lights were nice. Luckily we happened across a chip shop on the way.

Yesterday we went up to the Rome ACU campus, quite a trek up Janiculum Hill. As it's Christmas/new year break we couldn't get into the buildings. Looks like a fabulous place to do a degree, especially since they have apartments on site. What a teaching gig that would be!

After managing to catch a bus out of the city centre we eventually found our way back to St Peter's and then poked around a few more churches and ruins.

We're at that stage of the trip where I can't find any matching clothes and my inner bag lady emerges. It's Incredible how many colours and patterns you can clash in the one outfit! Shove a coat on top and voila, you (almost) can't tell.

Yesterday I had a bad case of the slippery undies. This is loads of fun! Basically it occurs when you are wearing nylon undies and nylon leggings and the two rub together. The second stage is when you try and drag them back up again without anyone noticing

We're now happily ensconced in a nice warm cafe after our papal audience. It was surreal being among the huge crowd of pilgrims and visitors. We were quite near to the side so we got are really good view of the pope whizzing past in the pope mobile. Interesting he had the bullet proof glass top taken off so it looked a bit like a golf cart.

It was freezing cold but that didn't diminish his smile and twinkly eyes. He obviously loves his job and the big crowd loved him. There was constant cheering and screaming as he went past people, especially the groups of school kids who greeted him like a papal rockstar. The ceremony took about an hour and involved lessons from Mark in 8 languages, the Pope's message in Italian, and precised in 8 languages, thanks in 8 languages, a blessing and singing in Latin of the Lords Prayer. So quite a show really!

Despite the long wait in the feeling cold, I'm really glad I went. It was a once I a lifetime experience

Well the coffee and hot chocolate have been finished and we're off to the Vatican museums to see the treasures they hold.

Love sandra and peter xx

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