European Adventures: Vatican Museums

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Buongiorno! The last stop of our Mediterranean cruise is none other than the Eternal City – Rome. After disembarkation, we wasted no time and immediately started the day touring the city. First stop – the Vatican Museums.

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We spent hours lining up to get inside, but we braved the heat and fatigue. When we walked through the galleries and saw the amazing pieces of art, we knew it was definitely worth the wait. Sculptures, paintings, tapestry, architecture and other art forms were found in every corner.

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Overwhelming is one word I could use to describe my experience walking through the different galleries. The ceilings were my favorite part because I’ve never seen them so ornately designed!

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Of course, the highlight of our visit would be the Sistine Chapel. The place was packed with people who were all looking up to admire Michelangelo’s masterpiece. The moment I walked inside until I exited, I was also looking up! It was grander than I could have ever imagined.

Picture taking is not allowed inside the Sistine Chapel so here are some photos from the internet.

 

sistine chapel ceiling

While walking through the compound, we also had a photo with the famous dome of St. Peter’s Basilica in the background. After exiting the Vatican Museums, we headed straight to St. Peter’s Basilica and St. Peter’s Square (more on that on my next post).

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Huge thanks to Sister Pierette and Tita Anabella for fetching us at the Port of Civitavecchia and for touring us around. Thank you also to Sister Bel and Tita Christine!

Read my other posts about our European adventures:

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European Adventures: Barcelona (Day 1)

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After our Montserrat day trip, we had late lunch and a quick rest before touring again. What’s great about our visit in Spain (and other Mediterranean countries) is that the sun sets late, around 9 pm, which gives us more time to walk around and explore. But don’t get me wrong, Barcelona is beautiful at night as well!

On our way back to our place, we passed by the Barcelona Cathedral, so we also had a photo taken here. Such a beautiful structure!

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Barcelona Cathedral

The place we stayed in was near Palau de la Música Catalana – considered as an architectural jewel of Catalan Art Nouveau. It is the only concert venue in this style to be listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, which today represents an essential landmark in the cultural and social life of Catalonia. Look at those details – amazing!

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Palau de la Musica Catalana
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Palau de la Musica Catalana

After getting a quick rest, it was time to see more of Barcelona – this time it was Montjuic!

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Castell de Montjuic

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We saw the Castell de Montjuic, which used to be a military fortress. The castle was used as a military prison until 1960 when it was given back to the city and used as an army base. Now, it offers stunning views of the city.

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Candid shot, one of my favorites!

When it was about to get late, we rushed down to catch the magic fountain light show, in front of another beautifully-built structure, the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya.

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The Magic Fountain, taken with a phone cam only
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In front of Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya

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It was a long, tiring but very fun day exploring Barcelona! Took a few more photos before heading back to our place as more days of walking around was waiting for us. We all look so happy in our photos, I guess our happiness was caught on camera. We just loved Barcelona!

See my other posts on our European adventures:

European Adventures: Valladolid

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Museo Oriental de Valladolid

Hello again! Next stop on our Europe adventure – Valladolid.  Valladolid is a city in Spain and the capital of the autonomous region of Castile and Leon. From Madrid, we rode a fast train and arrived at Valladolid in about an hour. Travel was easy and the train was almost empty!

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Like our Madrid stay, our visit to Valladolid was also a short one – just a night. We had quite a hectic schedule, we had a flight to Barcelona the next day. We did not have much time to go around but we did walk around to see some of the city sights.

I was quite surprised to know that there was a street named Paseo de Filipinos in Valladolid, where the Museo Oriental is also located. The museum is situated in the Royal College of Augustinian Fathers. We got to visit Museo Oriental where pieces from China, Japan and the Philippines are featured. It is said to have the largest collection of Oriental art in Spain.

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Plaza Mayor
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Walking around the city
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Valladolid Cathedral

We walked around the city and visited more sights, some of these are the Plaza Mayor and the Valladolid Cathedral (Cathedral of Our Lady of the Holy Assumption). After a day of walking around, we sat down for lunch and guess what we ordered – paella, of course!

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Lunch with our hosts, Tito Miguel and Tita Fe

That ends our short stay in Valladolid! A huge thank you to our hosts, Tito Miguel, Tita Fe, their daughter Cristina, and also to the Filipino seminarians in Valladolid. Next stop – Barcelona!

If you missed the other posts on our Europe adventure, click here: