Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Hanging out with the Pope and some cats

Pope Patrica Ann the First

I slept pretty good and was awake around 6 am. I got dressed headed to the restaurant for my breakfast a croissant and coffee. I was disappointed because I had had read about the awesome bread at the B and B. It was cold out and I decided to go back to my room a bit before heading to the Vatican.  I headed over and there were quite a lot of people going in. I went through the security and managed to get ahead of people, guess I picked the right line.  Then headed over to looking for a place to sit there were 2 sections of chairs and I was looking thinking I had to go to the 2nd section but a woman there pointed out section one and said go there.  I was about  rows back from the area where the pope would be, a bit off center and to the left side a good view even without a camera and a zoom. I had a book with me so I sat and read while I waited.  I could tell then pope was arriving earlier than I thought he would so I stood on my chair but he was nowhere that I could see so I just sat back on my chair. 

I listened to the speeches and since everything was in Italian and I do not speak Italian it really got to be too much. At one point one of priests gave a welcome in English and then we were blessed, the pope did some readings.  When it was over the pope went to meet people who were up on the steps of the Basilica. I moved closer to the barrier as so many people left and I was over by the center now about 3 people from the area roped off. I took some photos and stood with others wondering if he would come down towards us, it lasted awhile and many people left and then I overheard a security man near tell someone  I can not guarantee he will come here and take it. So I decided to hang around and see what would happen. The Pope mobile arrived and parked right in front of us and then I could see Pope Francis headed down the stairs. People started yelling to him Papa I had turned on the video of my camera as he got closer. I saw him climb into the Pope mobile and stand and he was waving and people were calling out to him papa. First he was handed a drink by security that I had seen someone with earlier and he held it up like he was drinking from it. He was then handed a scull cap like he was wearing he took off his cap and put on the cap and posed. Then he waved and left. Everyone was excited I started talking to the couple who gave him the cap as I detected their brogue they were from County Tyrone I mentioned I was there once and that my mom was from Co Mayo and they let me put the scull cap on my head and I had a photo taken wearing it.

I went back to my room got my Nikon camera and sat and rested a bit and then started walking the streets I came across an ancient site and was trying to figure out what it was. Then I started seeing cats and saw a sign that it was a Cat Sanctuary. There were some cats laying among the ruins and then found an entrance to an area with the cats.  I went in and looked around and I made a little donation.  There were all kinds of cats inside as well as outside. It was the Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary. The sacred ground our cats walk on was also shared by another Roman Julius Caesar. It was there in Torre Argentina in the year 44 BC that one of the most illustrious dictators was stabbed by his rival Brutus.

Santa Maria Sopra Minerva

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Rome I finally came to see you

Getting my ticket from the Swiss Guard

It was quite the flight over to Rome as in 3 flights, I left home at 2.10 and the first flight was to Boston where I had  a lay over and then on to Lisbon and then finally Rome. I did manage to get some sleep on the way over. I had arranged a taxi to pick me up at the airport through my B and B he was there waiting and we walked a bit to his car I have a feeling he knew very little English (something I would discover over and over on this trip.) We arrived at the B and B and the owner came out. I was soon to be disappointed as I was not going to be staying at that B and B he took me around the corner to another place.  He also took me to a little restaurant a few doors away that I could have my breakfast in and introduced me. I was given 4 keys to use to lock each door. I had inquired by email about ticket to see the Pope at his audience the next morning and he remembered and told me I should go see the papal guards. I was a bit tired so I rested for about an hour and then went out. One advantage of this place was I was close to the Vatican I just had to walk out my door and walk through a tunnel and was about 10 minutes away. The first place I stopped had no tickets left but I was advised to go a little further. Once there I was able to obtain a ticket so I was happy. So many people by the Swiss guards were so busy snapping photos. The one guard finally said ONE PLEASE. I got my ticket and then said may I please take a photo and he said yes so I took one. I decided to do some looking around now that I was out. I walked around the Vatican, and also by the Tiber River. 

View of St Peter's from outside my B and B Door

the way to the Vatican

At St Peter's Basilica
fountain at the Vatican
Clock Tower

Castel Santa Angelo  The Castle is famous for the ancient myth that an angel once came and hovered over it to announce to Roman Citizens the Plague was over.

St Angelo Bridge

Ponte Vittorio Emanuele Bridge

Ponte Vittorio Emanuele Bridge

Monday, October 17, 2016

Kinking the Boots in London

I wanted to see Kink Boots so I decided to be there by 10 am and try and get tickets that are released the morning of the show and for only 20 pounds which is a steal and a close seat. I put out the word to the Universe that I was just going to walk up to the ticket counter and get one instead going early and waiting in line. There was no line and I walked up and got Front Row I was thrilled. Then I headed towards a new destination but made some stops and snapped some photos on the way.

Charing Cross

the National Gallery
looks like he is ready to boogie

such a face 

giving the finger

You can come down now

crazed horse

My friend Laurie had told me about statue Doctor Salter's Daydream so I set off to find it, located on Bermondsey Wall East near the Thames. I hopped the tube to Bermondsey Tube Station.  I then headed towards the Wall it was not a long walk and arrived and saw the statues, near the Angel Pub. The Daydream shows Doctor Alfred in old age waving to his daughter and cat his daughter died aged 8. In 2011 the statue was stolen and a campaign raised funds to rebuild and added a statue of his wife Ada.

I then continued to walk along the walk where there was some beautiful views of London and then I headed back to tube and then to Southwark so I could have late lunch at my fave place for lamb. Capital Kehab House as usual it was the best. I then went back to my hotel to rest up and get ready to go see Kinky Boots. I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed Kinky boots my front row seat as amazing and the performers were awesome it totally lived up to my expectations and to be so close and actually see the expressions was super duper great.  I then walked over to the Thames to get some night views and then back to my room for the night.

Doctor Salter

Dr Salter Daughter

Cricket and Dr Salter 

Cricket meets Dr Salter  wife

20 Fenchurch Street aka The walkie talkie

the Chard