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Vatican

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Vatican Hill stands only 75 m tall, but don't underestimate it. This tiny hill is actually one of the most difficult high points in Europe, because of restricted access to the gardens.

Booking a guided tour in advance


Vatican Hill can only be accessed through a guided tour (private or group) in the Vatican Gardens. I booked and paid for a guided tour through their official ticketing website about a week in advance. I preferred a guided tour in English, but none of the available days suited me. Thursday was the most ideal day for me, so then I had to stick with a Spanish speaking guide. The two hours tour cost a whopping 31 Euro, but that also includes entrance to the museum.

Worried about the guide's fitness


I showed up at the museum according to their instructions, approximately 30 minutes before the tour started. The guide was an old lady between 70 and 80 years, and she didn't understand a single word of English. No big deal, I was more concerned about her "fitness" than her language.

Together with the rest of the group (10 people or so) the old lady guided us around the gardens in a snail-pace. She was surely more capable of talking than walking. I was only worried that we would run out of time before we reached the highest point of the gardens.

Disputed summit attempt


Time went by and I'm not sure if we reached all the potential high points. We visited the radio tower and another spot that summitpost.org claims to be the highest point. But when I tried to walk closer to the second tower near the helicopter platform, the old lady shouted in her microphone: NO SOLO! It was not the first time she had tried to put a limitation to my small excursions. My luck was running out, I understood that I had to stop before she called a guard. I didn't want to end my day in a prison or a dark catacomb under St Peter's Basilica. The catholic priests seem to have a bad history in terms of sexual abuse, I surely didn't want to end up as one of their victims. A disputed summit, be it or not, would be much more preferable !!

A brief look into the museum


The guided tour lasted two hours and after that I visited the vast museum. I'm not very fond of museums or large crowds of tourists, so I didn't stay very long. Instead I went back to my hotel to get some rest before my long flight to Manila (via Doha and Bangkok).

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Posted by Lyngve Skrede on Thursday, October 11, 2012. Filed under , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

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