Thursday, April 30, 2009


So after what felt like the Le Mans of flights, we landed in Copenhagen. What a lovely place. Besides the bloating from the airplane food, we were impressed by the sheer number of blond haired, blue eyed people waiting for connecting flights at the airport. After buying some chocolate (they still use Danish Krowns there… who knew?) we were excited to get on our next flight, a much shorter one, to Italy. We landed in pouring rain. Then we took the train into the city in pouring rain. Then we took the subway in pouring rain. Then we took another train in pouring rain, then a bus, then checked in, then went to sleep, then woke up, all in pouring rain. You get the point. Monday was ruins day for us. It was also another rainy day. We went down to the old Roman Forum. It is so bizarre to see ancient ruins on one side of the street and a bus stop and cars on the other side with a bunch of modern Romans trying to get to work. The forum and ruins were really spectacular, and the crowds were light because of the rain. The highlight of the ruins was a little covered alcove where the remains of Julius Caesar were left after his death. People still come today to lay flowers as a sign of respect. It is really a moving sight. After the ruins, we wandered into a plain looking church, the Basilica Santa Maria degli Angels e dei Martiri, the Church of St. Mary of the Angels and the Martyrs. The church was built out of the remains of the Baths of Diocletian, and the exterior remains the original baths structure. The interior, however, is one of the most beautiful and moving spaces in the whole city. It was designed by none other than Michelangelo Bounarotti. The interior space, like many of the churches here, is massive. Yesterday we went into another of Rome’s great churches – Basilica San Giovanni in Laterano – the Church of St. John Lateran. The entire inside was heavily decorated with beautiful carvings, paintings, sculptures, etc… There was an interesting design along the sides of the church – near the ceiling was a painting of an Old Testament prophet, with his name written above. Then, below each prophet was a sculpture of a New Testament fulfillment of his prophecies, then below was a large statue of a catholic Saint who was related to the prophecies in some way. Also yesterday, we got to see the Pope, Benedict XVI. The program ran a little bit longer than we had anticipated, due to the fact that the Pope speaks several languages and gave his speech in each one. St. Peter’s Square is gigantic. We keep being impressed by the scale of things here. As another example- our estimate is that the Coliseum is approximately the size of a modern stadium like Safeco Field. It is much bigger that either of us expected. Today is Vatican Museums day. We will probably be waiting in line for a while for that one.


Devanie said...

Oh how FUN! I've loved reading this and the pictures are AMAZING! There's something about the colors that take my breath away- is that just a really cool camera- touch up trick or WHAT?! I'm guessing you guys just know what you're doing which makes photos look even better! I can't wait to follow your trip and whish I could come and tag along with you!

Anonymous said...

It sounds like you guys have seen some great people, places, and things. It is good to hear about everything you are doing. We will try to keep up on your blogs.
Take it easy!

Toph said...

Great Pics! I'm so glad I have such a talented photo buddy!

PS Topher and Allison say hi!