Kari goes to Lincoln, England
We woke up around 8am and had to hurry to get ready because we wanted to go to the 9am church service at St. Petersburg and it was a good 15-minute walk from the apartment. I had slept through my alarm and would not be finishing it until later I guess. We made it on time after much hurrying. St. Petersburg was gorgeous on the outside, but even prettier on the inside. It was so beautiful but we had to go straight to mass first. We went to mass with Danielle's roommate Chrissy who goes every week. It was very interesting to be there. The 9am service was at the main altar and there are 7 other ones throughout the place where mass is held at different times throughout the day. I enjoyed it because I hadn't been to mass in a while and also because it was in Italian. I knew what they were saying but not quite so it was cool. The night before I had said we should print off some of the prayers so we could follow along, but we didn't. Oh well, it was still a good experience. After the mass was over we walked around for a while and looked at the other parts of the church. It's so pretty but my pictures didn't turn out that good because it's so big and the lighting isn't that good. We were going to climb the dome and look out at the city but it was already 11am and we wanted to be in the square for the blessing from the pope at noon and decided that we didn't have enough time to go up and be back down in time. But we did go to the bottom or basement of the church (forget what it was called) and saw Pope John Paul II grave. That was kind of cool to see, but you only got to stop for like two seconds because the line was so long, and they had to keep it moving, but I am glad we were there in the morning because it was a lot longer later on in the day. We had about 45 minutes before the Pope came to give his blessing so we went to get some food. It wasn't too bad even though it was really close to the Vatican and kind of touristy. We sat on these steps and enjoyed our food and I wrote out my postcards so that I could send them from the Vatican because they have their own mailbox. When I was done with that we walked back to the square and there were people everywhere. There were a lot of spaces between people so we weaved in and out of people and got pretty close to the front. We had to stand there for a while and at 11.45 they hang this red carpet thing from the window to symbolize that he is coming out soon. He came out at noon and it was really exciting to see him. First he said a really long part in Latin or Italian I am not sure. I have pretty decent zoom and got ok pictures. After he is done with the main part he says little greetings/blessings in different languages. German, French, English and I think two more. I got most of the English one on a video on my camera and it is so cool to listen to it on my computer.... the sound is really good. After the Pope we decided to venture back inside which was insane because there were people everywhere. But we moved through the lines quickly and before we knew it we were inside. We had to wait about a half an hour in the line to go up to the dome but it was so worth it. We had to go up lots of steps and then we were on top of the cathedral but not to the dome yet. We had just climbed up a tower of the cathedral. Then we walked across the roof area and went up into the dome and from here we had to take a number of different kinds of steps and wove all around walking in small areas. The first part that we were in was the inside of the dome. There is a little walkway around the top and you could see down into the church. Very cool. Then we had to take more steps up to the way top part of the cupola I think it was called. There were amazing views of the city from here, but it was really cold and windy and lots of people up there so we didn't stay too long. It was an incredible experience!!!! After we left the Vatican we stopped and got some gelato and then since we were near the apartment stopped back there for a little break. Then Danielle took me to the ritzy shopping area where we went into prada. Gucci, Valentino, and Louis Vuitton. We were walking on a street and there was this lady dressed in white representing a vestal virgin and if you put money in here cup she would give you a little piece of paper. I did this and it was cool (see photos) We walked around a little more and ended up going to Piazza Pamplona and caught the metro from there back to Danielle's Apartment. We ate supper at this cute little restaurant, which is right next door to the entrance door to her apartment. It was good. Then we headed back to her apartment to just hang out. I needed to pack up my stuff and get to bed early because I had to be up at 6am the next morning. I also had to finish my homework and email it off to my radio group. I loved Rome - what a beautiful city. I saw many things and had a great time hanging out with Danielle my fellow Dragon. Talk about an amazing trip and one, which I will never forget!!!!