Friday, 27 June 2014
Leaving on a Jet Plane but left a coin in the Fountain
Well it has finally come to an end. I am sitting in Rome airport waiting for the baggage counter to open. The past few days have been sightseeing and people watching and the heat has been incredible. Wednesday was a Vatican day and we had obtained two free tickets from the Swiss Guards little knowing that this was the last audience with the Pope before the summer break. The atmosphere was electric with over 80K people crowded into St Peters Square and there we were about five rows from from the front and in a prime spot. I was of the opinion that after walking the strenuous St Francis Way and the fact that it was my birthday then prime seats were the least Frank could arrange. The whole thing lasted several hours and he didn't render even one verse of happy birthday. Our intention was that since we had spent a week in Rome before then this time we would just sit back, find a nice little cafe and people watch, but as always we didn't have the patience and we went walking round the sights. We did however meet some lovely people including two Croatian men we had encountered on the walk and who were celebrating their walking achievement by drinking litres of beer and glasses of whiskey. I'm just a lightweight so after about an hour we left and made our way back to the Michaelangelo Hotel which overlooks the Vatican. By tomorrow morning we will be back in Carrick and in a few days will be able to sit back and assess our experience. The toughness of the walk, the great places we stayed in, the fantastic people we met, the wonderful Italian food and wine and the fact we have done something that is still very rare. At the moment however, I am an impatient traveller, and just want to get home.