The Vatican

DSC 2392

Today, I was jumping up and down. My heart raced. We were going to the Vatican! I was so excited because I wanted to see all of the amazing and cool things that my mom and dad told me about. We were waiting for our tour guide and to my surprise it was a nun.

DSC 2326

First, we went to the Raphael Rooms.  Then we went to the Sistine Chapel. 

Did you know, that the two fingers on the ceiling between God and Adam are 1 meter apart! 

Adam and God 2

I learned that the Vatican is it’s own country. I also learned that Michelangelo put himself in a painting at the Sistine chapel.  And that St Peter was crucified upside down and that St Peter was buried at the St Peters Basilica.


The Pope

I woke up out of bed this morning. There were bags under my eyes but my heart raced. I was going to see the Pope. The walk to the Vatican felt like years. The line to the seating area felt like decades. Nathan and Tom ran to get seats. And they got the best seats in the house. I waited by the gate of the seating area. To get a better look at the Pope. While the boys played on their IPads.  My mom, my dad and I talked to some people from the USA.


There was I toddler sitting beside me. My mom whispered

DSC 2436

“Stand beside that boy because the Pope loves babies.”

Then the moment of truth. The guards shut the gate. And the Pope was coming. The Pope came right in front of me. I was able to reach out and touch his hand. I was shocked. For the first time in my life I was speechless. Absolutely, speechless! My hands were shaking, my jaw dropped. In a quiet whisper I said.


“He touched my hand.”

 The crowd around me seemed to fall silent, but only for a few seconds. People were asking me if the Pope really did touch my hand. 

DSC 2468

The crowds stopped talking once again because the Pope began to talk in Italian.  He talked about all the people from different churches that were there. Then the French Cardinal said it in French. The English Cardinal said it. There were people from all over the world to see the Pope. USA, Canada, Italy, Spain, France, Morocco, Argentina, Peru, Nigeria and much more. We said the Our Father. Then the Pope blessed all of us. And I still was speechless on the walk home.  








The Colosseum

DSC 2750

My heart raced when we got to the metro station. It took 6 stops to get to Termini, our first stop. Then we got off that metro and got on another metro. When we got on this metro, they were closing the metro because the metro drivers went on strike.  Luckily, we just made it to the Colosseum.


When we got out of the metro station we looked for our tour guide.  We found her holding an orange flag. We first went to ruins of Ancient Rome from 353 BC.  Lots of it was worn away from flooding. 


DSC 2689

After Ancient Rome we headed to the Colosseum. We had a different tour guide for the Colosseum. First, we went to the center where the gladiators fought. Did you know what the sand is used for in the Colosseum? I did not know, but now I know that the sand is used on the arena floor for grip because of the blood from the animals that died in earlier fights. 


DSC 2650

Second, we went underground where they kept the animals. I did not know that the animals were lifted up by a manual lift (elevator). I also did not know that water always runs under the Colosseum. I also learned that most of the gladiators did not live under the Colosseum but most of the animals did..


Third, we went to the very top of the Colosseum. It was very beautiful. I learned that the poor people would get the higher seating because the staircase was steeper than the others. I did not know that that more than one group of gladiators fought at once.  They had up to 20 fights happening at one time.


After we went down and we had to find our way back to our apartment. Because of the strike we could not take the metro or the buses so we walked the 5 kms. While we were walking we saw a place to eat lunch so we stopped, grabbed some lunch and a drink and walked all the way home.

Written By Nathan

© VanKosh Family 2015