Thursday, April 23, 2015

Through Back Thursday

February 2000 Roof Of St Peters in Rome

The sign said elevator to the dome.  I like elevators and the view from the dome of St. Peter's sounded like a wonderful idea.  We paid the euro or two person and were soon on our way up, but only to the roof of the Basilica. From there you start the climb up the stairway to heaven. Lots and lots and lots of stairs.  I was in pretty good shape, but as it went up, and up, and got warmer and hotter and hotter I started to question this adventure.  Then were was Jay, who shall I say was not in prime of shape. At one point he was leaning against the wall, gasping for breath and saying how ironic it would be for him to die in St Peter's.  When you get almost to the top the last staircase is a stone spiral stairway that is so narrow that the handrail in the middle is a rope.  You emerge at the base of the lantern with a wonderful walkway all the way around. 

We made it, some of the most amazing views of Vatican City and Rome. On the way down, we stumbled across a souvenir stand run by an order of nuns on the roof of the Basilica,  I bought a Pope John Paul bottle opener, it was so nice and yet so tacky that I just had to buy it.  It is around here in one of the bauble boxes.  

I am glad I did it.  I would never try that again.  A week later when the opportunity came up to climb the bell tower in Florence, we both said, not today.  


  1. "gasping for breath and saying how ironic it would be for him to die in St Peter's. That is so funny David. Once, back in the day (1961), when I was stationed at Ft. Meade, Maryland (Army), my buddies and I took the short ride from Ft. Meade to Washington D.C. Young and indestructible, we decided to climb the Washington Monument. About half way up, gasping for breath I thought "What was I thinking?" Well, we made it and going down was a heck of a lot easier.
    Always enjoy your posts David.

    1. Ron: They won't let the public climb the stairs at the Washington Monument any longer, Once since I have been here there was an opportunity to participate in a guided walk down the stairs for a very limited number of people - I didn't make the cut.

  2. Oh my! I climbed the hill to the Castle of Cambridge in 2012, and I thought I was in pretty decent shape. Whew!

    I've been to the top of the Washington Monument. I am happy I had that experience before they closed it up. GREAT VIEWS!!!

    Peace <3

    1. Jay, the monument is open, but only the elevators, back in 1961, Rob climbed the stairs. that is a lot of stairs. There were elevators when it opened, the originals were steam powered.

  3. "not in prime of shape"... Indeed!