O.K., let's pick up right where we left off; at the airport. Straight from the there, we jammed packed into our tour bus without delay, and immediately took off down the highway. We hadn't driven for five minutes before eyes started to droop and heads started to sway, but for as tired and dirty as we were from traveling, it wasn't hard to notice the sudden level of stirring as soon as we pulled up next to the majestic Rome Colosseum.
To actually be inside the 2,000 year-old monumental building
was an incredible experience none of us will soon forget. My mind has yet to
comprehend that this structure was built close to 1,700 years before the United
States officially became a country. Once inside, images of bloody gladiatorial
contests and intense chariot races flickered through my mind and stories of public
executions, gruesome beheadings, and exotic animal fights by our tour guide
only fueled my crazy imagination more. I have always been intrigued by the
Roman empire, so much that I solely passed my AP European History class based
on my such high grades on that unit.
On the following day, we took a walking tour of the Vatican
City where we went through St. Peter's Basilica, the Apostolic Palace, and the
Sistine Chapel along with the various museums throughout each. The coolest part
to me was seeing the masterpiece work of art Michelangelo painted onto the
ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Our tour guide was explicit in telling us no
pictures were to be taken inside the chapel, but temptation soon got the best
of us and before you knew it everyone was covertly snapping away. Coach Jay
Price was the only one who abided by these rules, because I think I even saw
coach Weber sneak a picture or two.
With three days and three nights in Rome behind us, we all
packed into the same bus from the airport on Sunday morning and managed a 3
hour bus ride to Florence (which I have been told I've been spelling wrong in
all of my tweets). In the city of Florence, we were able to take in another
masterpiece by Michelangelo, the famous Statue of David. Only one word came to mind
when I surveyed this work of art, and that word was "BIG". Our tour
guide mentioned the sculpture had three flaws that did not fit into the
proportional scale of a real human body which were the right hand, the head,
and the left shoulder. They all were either slightly bigger or smaller than
what a real human's would look like. It was noticed, however, that she made no
mention of another part of the male anatomy that looked a bit unproportional as
Our latest tour that we took was a 1 hour bus ride to the city of Pisa, where as you might have heard, lies a famous slightly slanted bell tower. The whole team ascended all 294 stairs to the top, leading to spectacular views of the surrounding town and countryside. While we were there, I vowed not to let any member of our party take the cliche photograph of posing and pretending to "hold up" the leaning tower and prevent it from falling. As soon as I told this to Meyers Leonard and Crandall Head, they ignored my advice and immediately struck up the pose.
As of right now, we are getting ready to leave for the city of Venice, where as Mitch Hedberg said, they don't have street smarts, they have canal smarts. Remember to follow me on twitter at @tylergriffey and check out www.fightingillini.com for more updates!