Rome Day 2 The Basillicas – Vatican and Saint Peter’s Basillica

This is the highlight of the day – we asked Mama what she wanted to do first go to the Vatican Museum or to Saint Peter’s?  We heard that on Sundays the museum is actually for free (“,) so we thought maybe we could do this first since it was still relatively early. Mama said no nevertheless, since it is as well a Sunday – then we had to go to church first.

Mama got a bit emotional the moment she was in the Vatican.. she cannot believe she finally made it to here.. to Rome and yes she indeed The Vatican – something very important for Filipino Catholics.

the very popular dome

and the sign that just proves they won’t let you inSaint Peter’s or to the other basillicas  if you wear short sleeves/spaghetti straps and shorts or above the knee skirts. We did see a few people being turned down after the very long que to get in.
It took us about 15 or 20 minutes till we could get in. There was a super  long line and it was just about 10:00 am- nevertheless we were happy that it wasn’t actually that long. Once inside Mama was so relieved – a sigh of relief indeed!

Just very near the entrance is Michaelangelo’s Pieta — is is covered in glass because it was vandalized a few years ago.

The entire ceiling with its dome is just so overwhelming and beautifulThere are many things to see here .. the church is just surrounded with beautiful art everywhere.

Just in front of the wooden arch is where the people were gathered to hear the mass but it is actually closed and they only let a few people get in. Here’s another shot to show you that…

You can go up the dome and have a view of Rome from outside – this we did not do this time. If you look at the picture below you could see the people going around.

Everything is just gold and shiny here.. it’s like the add the letter L to God  😦

Finally the mass is over and we could go over and see the altar in front.

We noticed there were a few cardinals here ..

We decided to stop here a few minutes.. rest and just be quiet.. just after a few minutes a man told us that there is another mass. Mama said we had to stay here and hear the mass- so we all sat there.. we did not understand anything but just enjoyed the special moment. It was actually very quiet in front.. you would not hear the thousands of people behind wandering in the church.

Just a few of the things I saw around St. Peter’s
Vlado and Mama done for the day – oh I mean just for the moment..and one last picture…

Next stop is the Vatican Museum.

Unfortunately it was already closed ;( it was almost 2 pm when we got out of the church. That’s it you cannot have everything in one day. We still need to see 2 more Basillicas… San Giovani and San Paulo

Last picture of the Vatican – here you could see the walls and the ever famous panini stand for hungry tourists.

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RomeDay 2 The Basillicas: Sta Maria Maggiore

We woke up all fresh and ready to face the day. Thank goodness for aircondition and super good running water for shower.  We all had a wonderful sleep and were all recharged for the day. Today’s itenerary was to visit all the great four Basilicas of Rome, of course priority was The Vatican. We got a tip from the  hotel’s owner that entrance to the Vatican Museum is free on Sundays.  Mama’s priority was the Saint Peter’s church so this is where we are heading first and foremost! Our hotel was actually very near Sta Maria Maggiore -this was our first Basillica for the day.

It was written on my guide book (guide books are such great companions on trips –  i never leave without one!) that you have to be properly dressed to get into the churches, no bare shoulders or only below the knee clothing so despite the heat we all dressed decently (trousers, blouse/shirt, dress)

Mama has seen lots of cathedrals here in Germany but she was not prepared for the size of the Basillicas.. it was almost a shock to her!

you can see the center of the cathedral but the other 2 sides are almost as big as the center. It is really huge and beautiful. The ceiling alone is a work of art..

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La Dolce Vita


Finally one of the highlights of Mama’s trip – Rome! We flew to Rome via Munich. This way we were able to combine two trips, one to Munich then to Rome. Travel time to Munich via car took 4.5 hours while the flight to Rome took 1.5 hours. We took an afternoon flight and arrived there at about 7 pm. From the airport we took Leonardo express , non stop train (30 minutes costs €14 one way) from the airport to Termini, the main train station.

First thing we had to do was look for our Pension – it was in a very quiet neighborhood but very central. This picture taken above was from that neighborhood. The room was very clean, with a good functioning aircon and for the price we got, we could not complain (€90/night with Italian breakfast;coffee of your choice and sweet rolls like choco croissant etc)

Then we head off to have our dinner. We were hungry and  need a quick bite, reasonably priced but good!

All of these plus 2 bottles of mineral water for €14.00 – wow! it was the best pizza ever!!! with thin aubergines, italian ham, cheese, those balls are Rome specialties with rice and cheese and some meat sauce. Yummy!

Then off to take the Metro and see some beautiful sights in the evening.

Ta ran – the Trevi fountain.

There were just so many people.. unbelievable and it was about 10 pm.

at least we managed to have a picture all together..

We decided to leave the crowd after spending a few minutes there.. Vlado and I can’t believe that there were just so many people here. We went to Rome 10 years ago or 11 actually in September and the fountain was empty! I have to look for those pictures to prove that.

The Spanish Steps.. I remember being reprimanded here for eating ice cream while sitting on the steps.. now there were tourists everywhere eating and drinking while sitting on it.

There really is no scaping the crowd, from this moment on we knew what’s awaiting us here in Rome.

Around Munich

The third day of our road trip was spent going around Munich – we decided to go nearer the Mountains, direction Bavarian Alps to  Garmish-Partenkirchen and on the way we were very surprised with what we saw. Beautiful nature all around – a beautiful monastery hiding behind the mountains – Ettal  Monastery

and the garden of a beautiful castle – Linderhof Castle.. we did not go in this time but just enjoyed the beautiful garden.. it was for free (“;)

It was really impressive – I have always heard that Southern Germany is beautiful … so this is really true..

Ettal Monastery is a Benedictine Abbey founded in 1330 and is in the village of Ettal in Bavaria.. somewhere on the way to Garmish Partenkirchen – very impressive interior!

Then we went to Lindenhof Castle which was only about 10 kilometers away.

The garden alone is worth the visit.. we did not go in this was actually our plan because we wanted to see more things and just drive around. There was also a long line in front of the castle so this also turned us off.. This is just a small castle just hidden behind the moutains.

I think this picture is fantastic! I just asked this guy with some sort of high tech camera and it seems from this picture that he really knows what he is doing!

After this we decided to continue with our trip- on the way to Germany’s famous ski area of Garmish Partenkirchen, recently applying for the Winter Olympics in 2018 and was actually a venue in year 1936.

 
The town was not impressive.. i think this is good if you are a skier.. so probably looks nice when everything is white in winter.

I had such an interesting piece of brezel/pretzel

sweet and flaky.. with lots of almonds…at this moment we received some good news from the Philippines.. Geof my dear bro passed his board exams! Yay!

Then we are off again to see more places – perhaps the lake?

 

 

This was our last stop.. later in the evening we had some dinner and took the Ubahn – underground train.. see Ma behind?

Arrival in Munich

To complete the arrival in Munich – we all need a much awaited Bavarian beer – unfortunately it rained a bit so the beer gardens are all closed for the evening! What a pity! Anyway – we still could enjoy some good old beer and some meat of course but just indoor this time at the  Hofbräukeller (they brew their own beer)

Prost! Ma is drinking summer brew and Vlado– hmn not so sure what it is.

There are 3 kinds of different beers here but I have forgotten what they are. They were all good and yummy, lots of froth. Note from Vlado: the two beer types are Hofbräu Original and Münchner Weiße. Mama liked the last most.

Mama’s meal was just half portion – can you believe that? For only  €6or €7 I think …potato dumpling (knodel), meat, salad..

This was mine – just fried pork knuckles (crispy pata) a whole portion but just half of the knuckles with fried potatoes. Vlado got the same meal like Ma’s-

Yum!

2nd stop: Rothenburg ob der Tauber

The day is still young and we decided to go to the next place we on the way, Rothenburg ob der Tauber-  a must see place if you are travelling this part of Germany. It is a well preserved medieval town, surrounded by walls and has a long history dating as far as 950.

There are a lot of museums and of course lots of shops to lure the tourists. But we all decided that this would just be a day to spend outdoors, especially coming from The Residence in Würzburg, we felt that it’s much better to be just outside and enjoy the sights and sounds from fellow tourists 🙂

Mama is fascinated with this medieval town and she is reminded of Intramuros , the walled city. This is however much bigger and still intact. Rothenburg’s famous ball – made of leftover dough, fried then filled with different things like nougat, nuts, chocolate and sprinkled or rolled over with cinnamon, chocolate etc. etc. – it is such a bestseller for poor tourists like us 😉 it didn’t really taste that well.. but whatever it was worth the try. I think Ma’s face says it all.

All the shops have to follow the traditional architechture of the buildings.. even the signs and the facade.

Mama was fascinated with these wooden souvenirs.

And the all year round Christmas store

There is actually a Christmas musem but we did not go there, at least this one was free entrance.

This house is photographed  in most of the postcards in Rothenburg.

Coffee time…

Goodbye Rotheburg ob der Tauber

We’re back: first stop Würzburg Residence

Back from our road trip and ready to blog again about Ma’s adventures. On the way to Munich where we will fly from and where Vlado currently works, we decided to see a few places. Our first stop was Residence in Würzburg buil1720 and completed 1744, a palace and resident of the Prince Bishop at that time (he had 2 titles a bishop and a prince).

The palace has 360 rooms, most of them about 300 destroyed and damaged during the World War 2 bombings, but was restored by great artists to almost its original look and state. As you can see above, the grand entrance is really grand with frescoes and sculptures all over. The entrance to the palace is 11 euros , english guided tours takes place twice daily or you can avail of the audio guide which could be rented.

Taking pictures is actually not allowed because they sell the postcards at the museum shop at 70 cents each! We managed to take a few pictures though.One room on this wing was even used by Napolean Bonaparte and Josephine. I am not sure which one though because I was illegally taking pictures.

The little sculpture on the walls and the ceilings are all done by the hand, a special technique at that time and was very difficult to do. I forgot how it is acttually called. One amazing thing here was the piece of cloth supposed to be hanging on top – it looks like a cloth but it really isn’t but really hard and heavy, very progressive technique at that time.

The room full of mirrors, the prince -bishop used to play cards and he always won!

 

Not all the rooms are open for viewing, some of them are being used as lecture halls for the university or offices from the state. Some are just closed for public but only open at one point in time. There is one wing that could only be viewed with a guide and another wing you could freely visit all by yourself. We were lucky because we were able to catch a guided tour and even in english.

 

The servants were not allowed to pass through the beautiful rooms when serving their masters. There is a special passage where they could walk  mostly behind the rooms and this we were able to see. Below you can see Ma and Vlado walking through the servant’s passage.

Here’s a collage of some of the beautiful artwork around the palace.