Yesterday morning we awoke early, ate breakfast and made haste to the Vatican City. We were supposed to get tickets for the Pope and his weekly service but there was a lot of traffic and our cab driver could not get us there in time to meet our group. So we had to wait until 11 30 to do the rest of the tour. We were so disappointed but once our tour got underway we forgot all about it.
We had a wonderful tour guide who gave us all kinds of insight in to the construction of the city (actually the smallest country in the world, as we all know) and the artwork of the Sistine Chapel. That will take a lot of posting to cover but WOW, the things we learned.
To say we were moved, is an understatement. The Sistine Chapel rendered me speechless. And to be the complete cornball I am, I was nearly moved to tears. Here was a simple southern girl, standing in the Sistine Chapel. I never thought I would see the day. We also walked 400 steps to the top of the Cupola, which is the highest point of the Vatican city AND Rome. The steps nearly killed us but the view was worth it.
St. Peter s Basilica was overwhelmingly beautiful. It is the largest church in the world. We took in every inch of it, and also did he obligatory touching of the feet of St. Peters statue. At the very end, Howard and I both felt a need to give thanks so we knelt in the last chapel, and both said silent prayers. I gave thanks for being here, for my life, and I made a decision to give all this stress that I ve been feeling…over to God. I was sick of thinking about it. I know he will make the right decisions about my life. I realize that all I can do is my best…I have no control over the rest of it.
While I am not overly religious, I do believe in God and prayer. Praying is not something I have been doing a lot of lately, but for touching my cross, in the airplane, and saying a quick prayer to let us have a safe flight. And maybe it was partly all the walking but last night was the first night in months that I got a full, complete night of sleep. 12 hours to be exact. I woke up with a feeling of peace this morning.
You can travel the world, buy fancy dinners, and expensive things but nothing can ever top the feeling of release and eventual peace in your soul.
So it was a lovely day, and probably one of the most unforgettable places I have ever seen. I am grateful to be able to be here.
Today we will tour the Catacombs and the Ancient Forums, including the spot where Julius Caesar was killed on the Ides of March in 44BC. Wow. Update on that as soon as possible. I am off to get a massage! Life is good!