“You’ve got 4 minutes.You can make it.”

The previous photos were of our visit to the Holy See. This is the smallest country in the world (.44 square kms) and is within the city of Rome. It’s small, but big economically. (Revenue was about $US 202 million in 2001!) As the center of the Catholic Church, it’s income comes from voluntary contributions of over 1 billion members of the Roman Catholic Church worldwide; from rents; from the sales of postage stamps (yes we saw the Vatican Post Office), tourist mementos, and admission fees of museums. The value of their property around the world is beyond belief.

There’s a lot of controversy in Australia and around the world, about the actions of certain priests and cover ups by the church, and rightly so.

Glenys hoped to visit the Cappella Sistena, a chapel in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope. This is also where the conclave decides on the new Pope. It was originally known as the Cappella Magna.

The draw card for her was the frescos on the Sistene Chapel ceiling, with the most famous one being ‘The last Judgement’, by Michelangelo.

We didn’t know that they close the HUGE outer doors about 90 minutes earlier.

….We stopped at an information centre for directions and were told that it’s just up a bit in an opening in the wall. Well, that was an understatement!!

The opening was to a very long street, so we followed the limited signage. About 1 and a half kms further where the signs became absent, Glenys asked one of the many security soldiers for directions.

We turned in the direction and a man who must have overhead her said, “It closes soon but you’ve got 4 minutes. Hurry, you can make it.”

All we could see was another long street with a huge stone wall of about 15-20 metres high.

I took off running, and Glenys apparently said “I can’t run that. It’s okay, we weren’t meant to get there.” But I was off and didn’t hear her. Luckily I turned around and saw that she was trying to keep up so I slowed and waited and told her to come on. We ran, and we ran, and we ran…. along … and around corners…and up long slopes…and finally got to the door, about 700 metres from where the man told us to hurry.

We ran to the only door that we could see and someone said that it was the Exit and pointed to HUGE doors about 20 metres away, behind us, in the wall. The right side was already closed and the left side only open about 30 cms and still closing. A hand was all we could see. Glenys stopped. Then it opened a bit and an elderly man’s face looked out, he opened it wider then started to close it again. Then he saw us running up and down the roped queue lines and stopped!! He held it slightly ajar and we walked in, Glenys huffing and puffing, and so grateful and I had just had my short afternoon jog.

You are asked to take no photos whilst in the Sistene Chapel. But some others were disrespectful and did. I’m glad we got there. That guy was right, we did make it.

I don’t think that it was a 4 minute mile but I think that it closed a little later than scheduled and we were very lucky.

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That felt so good.

It’s amazing how easily you forget things, and how that affects your confidence. I started to feel overwhelmed just thinking about blogging again.

But it was more than that. Often I was so tired that for weeks on end I didn’t even remember that I had a blog! That’s a worry. Then once or twice, I remembered but I was so tired that I didn’t feel confident that I could remember how to blog.

But for now, here are a few more photos of my Italian holiday. I need to post them while there’s good wifi because in our Hotel in Rome, it was almost nonexistent from our room.

…..We caught a hop on/ hop off bus and we were going to stop at the Colosseum but there were 100s of people just in the queue to buy tickets. I couldn’t face that. I then said that I just wanted to stay on the bus and not see anything. That’s when Glenys suggested we try the Trevi Fountain but if it’s too crowded or too much for me, then we’d get the next bus. I’m glad now that we did that. She held my hand and elbow throughout and that reassures me. Afterwards we walked back to our Hotel where I tried to sleep, but couldn’t. So we had a healthy lunch and some quiet time then reassessed the day. Taking those few hours out to rest, helped.

Next, The Vatican. Again reassessing all the time.

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The Vatican

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There’s more marble in this city than you can imagine. Statues, floors, tables, columns, walls….its every where. The sculptures are examples of fine talent and artwork.

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Courtyard inside. Massive baths of marble.

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Spectacular ceiling of paintings.

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I couldn’t look down. I’m the one who later tripped over the sign that says “watch the steps”! (No photo luckily) I didn’t see the sign or the steps. I wonder what’s happening there! Not the first time that I haven’t seen what was obvious to others. Remember my traffic light and stairs stories.

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The Holy Door.

 

 

Can I remember how to do this?

It’s been 3 months since I last posted and there’s been many reasons for that. A lot has happened but as a result I’ve ‘lost’ 100s of followers, and that couldn’t be helped. I hope that I can still say something of interest that might slowly build it up again.

Where am I today? Well my physical location is in Italy, on holidays, before presenting at Alzheimer’s Disease International Conference Budapest 2016. Yes, a lot has happened.

Over time, I will try to weave some of it into my blog. In the meantime, forgive me if I indulge in sharing a few photos of my Italian holiday. Doing so will give me the confidence that I can still manage how to post and do my blog, because I have often doubted that over the past weeks. It’s been a tough road for me recently but now join me in my trip.

PS. If no photos get posted, then I HAVE forgotten how to. 😦

And I’m again on my iPhone so the formatt will be different.

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By chance it was my birthday the day after arriving in Rome. I turned 65. We started the day having a relaxing breakfast in the Hotel’s courtyard.

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Trevi Fountain Rome

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I threw a coin into the fountain too, ensuring that I will return to Rome one day.

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Yes, still my ‘Achilles heel’, but who can resist pistachio ice cream in Italy on their birthday!!?

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Spaghetti bolognaise for my first Italian lunch.