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DAY 18 6/11 ROME * VATICAN CITY


Trevi Fountain.


Let's hope Tuyen gets her 3 cents worth. One coin for friendship, one for love, and one for a return to Rome.


And let's hope I get me 6 cents and 10 lira's worth.


This was truly awesome. The ____ $^%&%# -- it'll come to me. This sucker's been standing, or buried, since about 85 BC!


The entrance to the... Pantheon! -- that's the name I was looking for.


Looks like Neptune sneaked into this one too.


Zoom out. An Egyptian spire(?). There are 14, and the Romans snatched up 9 of them. We stumbled over 4 or 5 of them through the course of the day.


Heading to the Vatican City. We crossed a frightening hunchbacked figure in black with a donation bucket. Was she a misfortunate disfigured old woman, or a boy trying to make an easy buck off tourists?


Stunning!


I guess our tour guide worked for a tourist trap, because that's where he left us. And he really pushed us to buy a $90 special limited edition Vatican City coin. We'll see. Maybe it'll sell for $500 on EBay soon.


You want to find people? Visit St. Peter's Basilica during a religious time.


I feel humbled.


Stretching over the ropes. We almost managed to get by before they roped us off from the service.


Correction. 8 Egyptian spires in Rome. One in the Vatican City. Must be 5 we found.

(Click to zoom)
See that spec in the window with the red carpet? That's il papa (the Pope). He sounded his age. He's got Parkinson's (sp?) too. It seems to be the disease of choice these days. Let's pray for a cure. In fact, for all I know we did :). I didn't understand more than 6 words of his speak, but it was quite moving anyway. Click to zoom in on il papa.


After the Vatican City, we walked through a big, beautiful park, with statues, trees, ponds, etc. Here's a view looking back as we entered the park. Oh, look, there's spire #3. They had these funny side-by-side bike carts which we had no currency left to rent. Right after we overheard two girls rambling about how stable these things were, we saw two guys zoom down a hill and flip one. No harm done. At the other side of the park, we found a modern art museum. Fortunately they took credit cards. They had some really good pieces (and some that make you wonder who decides what is art.)


"Hey, come down from there."


Here's a view off the Spanish Steps. All the high-priced name brand shopping is here. We've got some street painters doing portraits, and lots of people. That street in the background is a sea of people. By the way, no, I'm pretty sure palm trees are not native.


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