Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Yet again I have literally come close enough to the Coliseum to touch it, but did not enter. Sigh. That's what happens on one-day school trips. Also, failed to see Stone Henge. Again. But that's a different adventure - upcoming Oxford post!

My friend Lauren was the HAPPIEST person I have ever seen be happy in a religious way - she's a devout Catholic and actually got to confess (in English!) in the Vatican! For her, this was literally one of those things on her list of life-goals, and she was so ecstatic. Much like I imagined I would be to see Stone Henge. Hmm... I suspect I'm a little bitter about what happened in Salisbury.

I found it amusing in the Vatican, because I ended up walking around with another friend who wasn't in such religious spasms of happiness, and had a chance to surprise her with Michelangelo's Mary and Christ - and the story of the crazy axe-man who attacked it. Can't see any problem nowadays with Mary's nose, despite the violence she saw... But she is certainly behind some tough glass, and a railing. Also got to point out the decomposing popes in glass tombs to this friend, making her squeal in surprise/disgust. I found them as amusing now as I did when I was 16 - as my dad pointed out, their bodies are incredibly well-preserved, a common side effect of arsenic poisoning. Then again, he's a bit of a disillusioned Catholic, so I don't know how seriously to take that bit of info.

This image was me attempting to take a picture of just how incredibly crowded the underground was, and instead almost got eaten by the escalator. Oops. Saucy girl winking (or closing one eye?) at me is THE fellow Reedie in this program with me :D

Night-time Vatican, shiny. The girl I walked around inside with said it looked like a hotel in Las Vegas. Footnote: she's a Russian Jew. She'd like to see the Vatican stripped of its gold embellishments in order to feed starving children. A touch suspicious about extravagant displays of power and devotion... nah, I can't tell she's a Russian Jew.

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