The Vatican


The next morning we took the Globus bus to the Vatican.  Here we are, gathered outside the Vatican wall, waiting for the door to open.

The door.

This was our first introduction to the "Whisper," a high tech wonder that relieved us from the need to chase after tour guides and hang on their every word.  With the "Whisper," we could wander around tour sites, and still hear every word the guide would say.  Very clever.

The Pope has a nice house.

With high ceilings.

And a lovely garden.

And some pretty impressive artwork.

By some guy named Michelangelo.

The Sistine Chapel was bigger than I thought it would be.  More impressive, too.  It was really worth seeing.

Michelangelo's  Pieta was pretty impressive, too.

St. Peter's is the biggest church in the world.  There are markers in the floor, saying "St. Paul's would come to here; St. Patrick's to here; etc."

Pope John.  Waxed and on display.

A really large statue.

The place is so big, it fools the eye.  You look up into the dome and see, I dunno, a sword in somebody's hand, and then you learn the sword is the length of a school bus or something.  It's pretty amazing. 

Swiss guards.

The Pope's balcony.

St. Peter's Square. 

Claudia and the Pope's balcony.

That's the Pope's bedroom, top floor, window farthest to the right of the picture.

And that's still the Pope's balcony.

The white smoke comes from up there, somewhere.

In the distance you can see ... the Pope's balcony.

Tourists taking pictures of the Pope's balcony.