Summer Vacation 2015: Finishing in Scandinavia

After we left Rome, we flew back to Scandinavia. We weren’t due to fly out of Copenhagen for a few more days, so we took the opportunity to explore Norway a little.

We flew into Bergen, which is the second largest city in Norway. It’s set on a peninsula on the west coast with both a bay and a fjord, so there’s a lot of water. In addition, the city is surrounded by mountains.

We landed in the afternoon, took a cab into town, found our accommodations and dropped off our stuff, and then set off to explore a bit. Continue reading

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Summer Vacation 2015: Italy, part 7 (the last day)

For our final day in Rome, we didn’t have a firm plan. There was a lot we wanted to see, but we were, quite frankly, getting tired and burned out. Given that the last part of our vacation after we left Italy was going to be go, go, go, we knew we needed another rest day. Not everyone would agree with us on this, but we know we’ll be back in Rome at some point in the future, at which time we’ll see some of those things we missed in 2015.

So on that final day in Rome, we slept in a little and had a nice breakfast. We savored our coffee. We listened to the sounds of our neighbors around us, including the most evident delight exhibited by the one-year-old upstairs when her nonna took her out for a walk.

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Summer Vacation 2015: Italy, part 6 (Ancient ruins)

The day after our trip to the Vatican was another big walking day. We slathered ourselves in sunblock and headed across the Tiber to an area between the Palantine and Capitoline Hills.

But first, a photo of something cool:

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Summer Vacation 2015: Italy part 5 (the Vatican)

The day after our wanderings around Rome, we were focused exclusively on the Vatican.

Before I tell you about our visit, let’s talk for a moment about tourist sites in Italy, because things are done differently there than in the U.S. or just about anywhere else in the world we’ve been. Because of course.

In the U.S., if you visit, say, Mount Vernon, you either buy a ticket online or get one at the ticket window when you get there. Then you start your tour at the designated time. You’re given a brochure with helpful information and a map, not to mention there are often brochures available in a variety of languages. Oh, and let’s not forget that everything is well marked, so it’s obvious where parking is, which way you need to go to the ticket booth, where the bathrooms are, and so forth.

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Summer Vacation 2015: Italy, part 4 (Roma, wandering)

Clouds seen through the oculus of the Pantheon.

On our first full day in Rome, we knew exactly what we wanted to do: See the Pantheon.

I would imagine that this would be a must-see for most visitors to Rome, but for us, as residents of a town with two different very famous domed buildings, both of which directly reference the Pantheon, this particular landmark has particular significance. Continue reading

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