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This was highlight of the trip and the last of the tour videos. In it, we visited the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, The Vatican Church, and St. Peter’s Square. It’s an awesome, and must-see place to visit at Rome. Going with the early morning 8am guided tour allowed us to cut the line and avoid the crowd. The story of Michael Angelo’s rebellion against the Popes added spice to his master pieces on the roof and the wall of Sistine Chapel. The Vatican museum were too huge and lack center pieces – looked like a hodge-podge collection of donated or “acquired” jewelries. The church was grand and worthy of being the capital of the Catholic church and the center of political power in the old days. But I didn’t care for the dried-up/dead Pope bodies in the church. St Peter’s Square were full of tourists. Some of them were admiring the Swiss Guards and their “funny,” clown-like uniforms.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, as the saying goes, and couldn’t be seen and enjoyed in a day.
This is one of the favorite spots for tourist to visit at Rome. Not much has changed since I visited here more than 20 years ago and probably not since thousands of years ago either. Some interesting tidbits were told by the tour guide about the customs of watching the gladiator shows that most people including the dignitaries were standing except for the emperor, who was most likely lying as it signified authority. Also the turning up or down of the thumbs to the performance of the gladiators were probably not quite right as shown in an old movie. Terminating/killing the losing gladiator was so expensive, as someone or the promoter would have to pay a huge prize. Most likely, they were being left injured and died days later – saving the liability cost to the gladiator owners. It’s a cruel sport nevertheless.
St Angelo Castilo is one of castles build next to Vatican as a special place to house the Popes through the years. The walk paths outside and the secret circular walk paths inside the castle give people a different senses of safety vs. danger. And the views to the river and the Vatican were simply mesmerizing. Also the many art pieces depicting the various forms of angels paints a magical picture of this Angels Castle.
Olympia was where the first Olympic took place in Greece back in 8th century BC. Statue of Zeus at Olympia is one of the seven wonders of the world. Though most of the remnants have been put away in the museum, you could feel the monumental work that went into building this entire site.
Visiting Kusadasi or Ephesus is like seeing what it’s like in the Bible’s New Testament time. Ephesus is where Acts chapter 19 took place. Seeing how the rich lived in those days makes you think about the wealth inequality in a different light. This was quite enjoyable except for the hot 93F and humid weather.
One of our European islands we stopped was Mykonos. It’s full of interesting, uniform architecture including an array of windmills that oversee the shorelines. They are beautiful and stand out as the landmarks for Mykonos.
Athens or Piraeus , the capital of Greece, hosts some of most significant pieces of Rome ruins including the Acropolis, Temple of Zeus, and the first modern Olympic stadium with marble seats/steps. They are simply amazing.
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