Honeymoon XII – Final Day with the Pope
We paid a little extra and took the fast train from Florence to Rome, getting there in about 90 minutes. When we reached this building, we knew it was time to turn right and head to our perfect little hotel.
We decided to spend the day walking around Rome. We wanted to see the river and, if we were lucky, perhaps we'd even see the Pope at the Spanish Steps, which he visits every year on Dec. 8 for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
This is part of the "face to face" series that Kim photographed.
The Tiber River had a swift current. We crossed this bridge to an island, which houses a hospital, and then crossed another bridge to the other side.
Looks like someone bought himself a fancy backpack in Florence.
A pretty bridge.
Check out the angels.
There was lot of graffiti. I almost forgot about our invasion and occupation of Babylon.
There was lot of graffiti like this. Who are they?
What about Johnny Rotten? Doesn't anybody care about him?
We came across an ice rink near the river. I imagined Steve Dozen working as a DJ here, closing each night with "Hotel Calfornia."
We climbed some hills and enjoyed the view.
Further up we went. Kim took this one of our approach to a monument.
Here's a monument to Giuseppe Garibaldi, who at one point fought against the pope.
Check out Romulus and Remus suckling on the she-wolf. I bought one of those cheesy plastic statues depicting those two fellows. It's proudly displayed in our living room.
Garibaldi's slogan was Rome or Die. After the battle, he went to Venice.
Our next mission was to walk to this statue near the Spanish Steps. Since 1854, the pope has visited this spot every Dec. 8 for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
The crowds were lining up. The Spanish Steps were covered with people, so we could see much.
This guy in a sash walked through the gauntlet and shook people's hands. Some people seemed delighted to see him. Who was it? The mayor?
This lady stepped out a doorway and everyone started looking at her and taking her photo. Was she a celebrity? Just in case, I took this shot.
Here comes the Pope in his Pope Mobile! Yee-haw!
Meet Pope Benedict XVI, aka Joseph Alois Ratzinger
He got out a short distance away and started talking. I recognized his voice. A couple minutes later, we left.
It was a beautiful evening.
We rounded this corner and found a restaurant.
I ordered a martini, which was made perfectly. Kim got a white Russian. We enjoyed a wonderful meal, returned to our hotel and flew out the next morning.
It was a perfect honeymoon. It was romantic, adventurous and we had a blast. Thank you to everyone who helped us out and made this trip of a lifetime possible. We love you.