Aug. 20, 2011
Rome, Italy - This is Markel Walker, junior guard for the UCLA Women's basketball team. On Saturday we began our day with breakfast at 8:45 in the morning before starting our journey to the Vatican. I was most excited about the Vatican because I always heard great things about it, what it represents, how holy it is, and how ancient it is.
When my team and I arrived at the Vatican, we were so excited to get to experience something so historic. When we walked inside the Vatican walls we received a ticket, and it felt like I was holding something so holy, but of course it was just a ticket. Our tour guide was entertaining because she was so passionate and knowledgeable as she was explaining to us about the Vatican.
Touring the Vatican was so surreal because the art was so amazing and so beautiful, you would not believe that man made it. We walked though some different galleries, which illustrated the art of the Vatican. There were a lot of paintings that symbolize ancient things that I had only seen in history books and never thought I would see with my own eyes. I would not know how to start to explain how profound the ceilings of the Vatican were and how long the hallways were. They were filled with nothing but hand-made tapestries and paintings. We also saw Michelangelo's artwork in the Sistine Chapel. It hurt my neck looking up for so long, so I do not know how he did it. The 65-ft. ceiling and the detailed fresco images on the ceiling really told a story, and in each painting you learned something new from it.
The part I enjoyed the most was walking out the Vatican and into St. Peter's square. I cannot begin to describe how amazing it was to be able to experience such a historical area and to learn about the history of the Vatican from our tour guide Mia. We are all so blessed to be able to have the opportunity to experience this.