Just got into Munich this morning. Upon my arrival, a high school girl scout troop was checking out… one of which had a broken foot and was on crutches. She ALSO broke it two days before coming to Europe… broke it playing badminton in gym class…. I guess I not the only one who breaks their bones without dramatic incidents.

So my second day in Rome was better than the first. That wasn’t hard though. I spent a good 5 hours at the Vatican Museums… for FREE. I guess they don’t charge on the last Sunday of every month. So that was exciting… saw the Sistine Chapel and all of that good stuff. They also had a relatively new collection of modern Christian art which I found to be VERY interesting.

Then after the Vatican, I went in S. Pietro’s basilica and piazza and took a look at the famous twisted columns of St. Peter. Everything I imagined them to be and more. 🙂

I took the subway TO the Vatican, but walked all the way BACK from the Vatican, because there was a progression of places that I wasnted to see. First I got my pictures put on to a CD (and a backup, mom, that I keep in a different place), then I walked by a castle, visited the Pantheon and saw the oculus inside, and also Trajan’s column. I was EXHAUSTED from the walk with my foot…. and I couldn’t wait any longer to go the the bathroom so I went in this random bar that was air conditioned (very few places are), used the WC (P.S. another thing I miss about the US… the dependable supply of toilet paper), and then sat down to rest in the AC 🙂 Really, Rob, what kept me there was the fact that there was an F1 race playing on the big screen and I thought I should invest at least 10 minutes into it for you. But it was in Italian commentators, so I really just watched cars go in circles and drank Red Emotion Fanta… haha.

When I got back to the creepy hostel and showered, I decided that the moment had come for me to pop my blister. And it was the best decision I’e made in the past few days because I have so much better a walking endurance!!! I had never popped a lister before so I didn’t know what to expect… that’s why it was such a big deal.

Took off for Florence bright and early at 6 AM… and Florence was so beautiful… I wish I had more than a day there. Or, I just wish I wasn’t there on a Monday. Cuz both museums Lori recommended to me were closed. However, the first thing when I got there, I was asking this family how to get the Duomo (Brunelleschi’s famous dome), and turns out they were on their way there, and the girl was an art history major who had been studying that and sculpture in Florence and was giving her dad and grandmother a tour. So they invited me along and I graciously accepted the free guided tour of the Duomo AND the sculpture museum that went along with the Duomo. Something I didn expect to see were Ghiberti’s Gates of Paradise on the doors to the Duomo’s baptistry (the originals were in the museum, a copy is on the door)… I had forgotten that those were there. But I was so thankful for that girl… such nice strangers on the street. She was from Arizona. Her grandma took a picture of us together.

She also directed me to an art supply store where I wanted to buy a tube with a strap to carry all of my leftover art paper in from Venice… plus I bought some paper in Florence too. I couldn’t help it… it was so beautiful!

P.S. Venetian pizza is MUCH better than Roman pizza. Florentine pizza is in between, but closer to Venetian in my ranking. The one I had in Florence had olive oil on the crust, then mozzarella, then a salty kind of ham I don’t remember the name, and then fresh tomatoes… VERY good. I ate at this adorable little artsy restaurant where they show a gallery of fine art around the space, and there’s a garden because the restaurant is outdoors but still indoors (it’s mostly covered because it’s within a set of bulidings), and they serve the excellent Tuscan house wines in little handmade ceramic pitchers. Let’s just say it was my kind of restaurant. Which would be why I ate there.

Rome’s crust was just too thin and there wasn’t much character to it.

And now Munich is my home for the next few days. I think it will be fun. Haven’t quite planned out my itinerary here, but I’m going on a walking tour of the city here in about half an hour.

And then Saturday morning I meet Erica SOMEHOW at the Amsterdam airport. We are SO PUMPED and can only pray that we find eachother in Arrivals… because that place is probably the largest airport in the world and neither of us have phones.


Hannah Downey

UX Design Consultant at Salesforce focused on content & sustainability. I love information design, the art+science of text, guac, sweet potatoes, & amazing people.

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