Once again I didn't sleep well because of the chatty ladies next to us. They stay up until at least midnight talking and then they get up at 5am and make tons of noise and shake the whole cabin. It's really annoying. Tonight I'm going to pound on the wall if they don't shut up at a decent time.... Grrr..
We got up and out the door by 8am this morning, thinking we could beat the rush to the Vatican. Yeah. Right. We got to the Vatican around 9am and waited in line for almost 2 hours before we got in. Oh well. When we went to buy our tickets the ticket guy asked if either one of us were students. Mark and I both shook our heads no and then he pointed at me and said "Yeah, you look young. You're a student." and gave me the discounted ticket for students! We thought that was kinda funny because I'm older than Mark, but he has a gotee right now so he looks older I guess. Either way, it saved us 6Euros so we were happy.
The Vatican museum kind of reminded me of the Louvre. Room after room after room of artifacts. It was pretty neat. They had really ornate ceilings again and long hallways of paintings. I took lots of pictures. For some reason I was thinking the Sistine Chapel was going to be huge. It was big for a chapel, but not as big as I was picturing. The entire room was painted though. Mark told me some of the history behind it and some of the meanings of the paintings, which was neat. I'm glad we saw it. The room was really crowded and there were a ton of guards around clapping their hands and "shhh-ing" people, which was counter-productive since they were making quite a bit of noise themselves.
After seeing the Sistine Chapel we to St. Peter's Basilica. That was really neat and this time, it was HUGE. There was this huge, probably 2 story tall, alter which St. Peter himself is supposedly buried under. I was surprised that there wasn't more seating though. Most people assume churches to have lots of seating for people, but of the floorspace in the church, probably 1/20th of it had seats. It was impressive though. After that we went to see the tombs of the pope's and there were a bunch of people kneeling around John Paul II's. The whole city was pretty impressive and it was easy to see that the Catholic church has quite a bit of money. We kept thinking the whole time we were there, how cool it would be for Mark's brother, Ryan, to actually be able to study at the Vatican. (He is currently in the seminary, on his way to becoming a priest.) Oh yeah, there were TONS of statues in the museum, but all of their wieners were cut off or had leafs over them. I guess one of the pope's didn't like them so he had them all cut off. It's pretty sad that so many works of art were ruined/ altered like that. The balls were all still there and none of the girls boobs were covered, just the wieners were gone or covered. Weird. And you couldn't get into the Vatican unless you had your shoulders covered (no tank tops allowed).
After that we went to some square that Mark remembered artists being in because we were still on the hunt for our artwork from Rome. We found the square and sure enough, there were lots of people selling art. At first we were really impressed because the "artists" said that they were watercolors that they painted themselves. But after walking by the 5th stand that had watercolors that were suspiciously just like the other 4 we'd seen, we began to wonder. I'd ask them if they painted them and every single one of them said they did. Big bunch of liars pretty much. They'd even signed the paintings, which was even funnier. You could go find the exact same painting at the next stand with someone else's signature on it. Idiots. But we still bought one that we liked, even if it's not original.
Now we're again back at the camp. We're heading out tomorrow morning of Innsbruck, Austria, which is about a 7 hour drive (for Mark/ nap for me). JK. I'll help him drive if he lets me, otherwise I sleep. Maybe I'll be able to catch up on sleep that I've missed from the past 2 nights. We were going to spend the night at Aviano AB, but their lodging was booked so we extended our stay to two nights in Innsbruck. Hopefully it'll be less crowded and more relaxing there than it has been in the big cities. The Europeans are quickly getting on my nerves. You know how when you're on a bus/train/plane/etc and you're going to get off? Typically the people at the front get off first. Not here. Doesn't matter if you're sitting in the front seat, the people from the back will just barge on up and push their way through. They do that everywhere here. We'll be standing somewhere because a guard or someone told us to stop and wait for whatever, and the next thing you know you have 10 people that push their way infront of you, even though we're all stopped. Kind of explains the driving over here though. They're exactly like that when they're not in cars also.
We're hoping to be home around Monday or Tuesday of next week. We're not sure how it'll work with flying space A and then we'll have to get a flight from wherever we land space a back to Chicago, but hopefully it won't take too long. We really miss our pups. They've probably long forgotten about us, but we haven't at all forgotten them.