So I came all the way to Rome and then slept through the main event. Yes, I snoozed my way through the Sistine Chapel. Criminal, the big M and D should be arrested.
It was a very mucky day weather-wise so unlike yesterday we took the buggy so I wouldn’t get too wet and made our way on foot to the Vatican. Because of the rain we breezed through the queuing system (which in the summer I can only imagine is stupidly long) and made our way to the dome. The first level was a walk around the gallery inside St. Peter’s looking way down at all the people, as small as ants. The big M did not enjoy this at all being scared of heights. Then it was onwards and upwards…. Up another 350 very small, windy stairs.
The big m really did not like this. In fact half way up she chickened out when some other yellow-bellied Brits gave up and made the decision to turn tail and flee (despite the staircase being one way). They talked the big m out of continuing. So the big d and I bravely strode on and made it to the top, whilst the big m retreated. What a breathtaking view!!! Amazing. When we made it back down again, the big m decided she had been an idiot and that she would give it another go. So the poor big d had to carry me all the way up the 350 small, windy stairs (and down again!) again. But it was worth it as the big m conquered her fears.
We then spent a leisurely hour wandering around St. Peter’s Basilica and it’s treasury. Here I am having a pootle, getting in everyone’s way
But what a place! Indescribably beautiful. Almost too much to take in.
And then it really got too much to take in. We hotfooted it to the Vatican museums, which are four miles of objet d’art and masterpiece after masterpiece after masterpiece. I became art blind and needed a lie down, so I put my head down in the buggy at around the Egyptian gallery, or maybe the philatelic museum, I’m not sure which. When I came to I was out the other side zooming past the plethora of gift shops selling all manner of finger- touching goodies.
The big m and d didn’t even buy me a fridge magnet. Although I can’t complain given they purchased a Vatican rosary for me
Well let’s face it, I did throw my coins in the fountain yesterday (albeit the fountain with no water) so I will return to Rome one day. When I do I’ll be sure to revisit Michelangelo’s famous chapel.
Another day, another museum… Today it was the turn of the Petrie Museum, UCL’s Egyptian archaeology teaching collection. It was compiled by some dude called Flinders (I know crazy name!) Petrie who galavanted around Egypt in the late 1800s collecting everything from beads, a man in a pot (seriously, a real life skeleton packed in a pot), the world’s oldest Ancient Egyptian garment, stelae, mummy cases, soul houses and pottery shreds. It is a veritable treasure trove of stuff.
But the absolute best bit is not the stuff, but the museum itself. It is the archetypical dusty, fusty, olde worlde museum. It looks like it’s just stepped off a Hollywood film set.
If I was old enough to know who Buffy was I would expect the Nescafé man to walk round the corner.
They have made a real effort for kids too, with bumper activity packs including word searches, dot to dots, colouring in and learning hieroglyphs. I’ll come back in a few years time, once I can use a felt tip!
They’ve also got artefacts you can handle. Here I am holding an ankh, the symbol of life, which was a really important thing in Egypt.
Personally I’d leave the buggy at home as it is quite small, but they are more than happy to let you park it in a corner and wander round in the sling.
I wonder how old you need to be to become a curator?
Today I channelled my inner Donald Trump (no hair jokes please) and visited the Bank of England’s museum. It’s awesome – I held a real bar of gold which in today’s financial climate is worth over £300,000. Sadly it didn’t fit in my money box so I had to leave it where it was.
I also cracked a safe by answering some questions about money. The right answers gave me the combination. Look here I am spinning the dial!
The prize for opening the safe was a pin badge of a bar of gold which I’ve given to my teddy bear Frank Orsen (picture at top)
The museum was very accommodating. Not only was admission free, but they allowed me to park my buggy behind the desk allowing me to enjoy the exhibition in my sling. Definitely recommend a visit!