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This room is for general discussion that doesn't specifically fit into one of the other CatholicMatch rooms. Topics should not be overly serious as this is to be more of a "cafe setting."

Saint Peter's Square was created so that more people could be in the presence of the Pope and was named after Saint Peter, one of Jesus's apostles.
Learn More: Saint Peter

May 18th 2013 new
(quote) Leyden-904885 said: ....so do you recommend recording the experiences? I was toying with a blog for fams and friends...but wasn't sure if that would be worth it?
Hi Leyden,
My personal feeling is that a blog is only worth it for longer trips...say 3 or more weeks. Otherwise it takes too much effort as a percentage of available time to vacation/explore. On longer trips, it's ok to spend time looking for internet access in remote places, and/or WiFi hotspots (which require you to carry your own smartphone, tablet, or laptop), etc. I view that as a chore, but then again some people really enjoy documenting+publishing in real-time, so I guess it depends on your perspective. If you're traveling with a smartphone and the appropriate charging adapter, WiFi spots should be pretty ubiquitous in urban Europe nowadays and there's plenty of apps to make blogging relatively painless. I typically prefer to travel with my trusty DSLR and even more reliable Moleskine notebook to take down notes/observations/sketches/etc.--using my smartphone only to keep in touch via short text messages and for emergency calls--and then spend the time putting it all together into a summary page with photos on my website when I get back home.


Cheers,
-gg
May 19th 2013 new
(quote) Leyden-904885 said:
Hello kind sir,

Since the only Italians I plan to hang out with are the martyrs....then probably. But I do aim to have an amazing experience...to that end I promised myself one Fellini-esque night involving a water fountain!

In Christ,

Leyden
Ah, the water fountains of Rome!

In Christ, all your dreams can come true!!!
Without Him, as we know, it's all for naught.

Of late, me thinks, Rome is the place, not France.
England, slim chance.

Paris has always been a turnoff for me because of an unadvertised historical fact, After the French Revolution, it was not enough that Catholic loyalists (by en large) were guillotined. The "power that be" under the moniker "FOR the people" placed it's symbol of lustful victory, the Eifel Tower, on none other than the desecrated Host. Yes, under the base of each of the four pillars of the Eifel tower lay buried desecrated Hosts, symbolizing revolution conquering the followers of Christ. The French, who proclaim to be the oldest daughter of the Church, today are tallied at only 3% practicing. Many fear the resurgence of the SSPX, if granted space to breathe fresh air.

In England, hope rests with Princess Di's prodigy. I would say more, but the situation there is extremely sensitive.

In Rome, ah, in Rome is where lovers meet.

So, Leyden, after that Fellini-esque night, then fountain, follow it up by a stroll to the nearest church with constant Exposition. Maybe you will find something there adoring that meets with approval, maybe something follows you, to join....









May 19th 2013 new
Regarding blogging on a trip, it can now be done very easily if you have the latest I-phone.

My daughter showed me a feature the I-phone has. All G4 I-phones are now capable of writing all what you just simply speak into it. So you could be walking down the street, or doing whatever else, and just gently speak to the phone in a certain device mode, and it WRITES everything you say! It's amazing!!! I tried it, and it even does spell-check. With no effort and no speech recognition tweaking, I dictated two paragraphs and I could not find a single error with the text! The more one uses it, it does automatically become more adept to your style, so I am told. She tells me the application is available as a free download.

This app is a great little feature. My boys, who hate to write, use it to write their English assignments. LOL. Life really isn't fair!
May 19th 2013 new
Everyone has given you some wonderful ideas. When living in London, I enjoyed some of the ones mentioned above too. I also liked Hyde Park, St. James, and Kensington Gardens in conjunction with Buckingham Palace and Changing of the Guard. Westminister Abbey, Big Ben and Parliament, and South Bank are fun. Piccadilly Circus and area at night... Covent Garden for the street market, performers, and a nice steak & kidney pie with a pint for next to nothing (pub overlooks the square). Trafaglar Square, St. Peter's Cathedral, the museums, Harrod's, .... And many more things. London is a fun city. Enjoy every minute!
May 19th 2013 new
(quote) John-971967 said: Regarding blogging on a trip, it can now be done very easily if you have the latest I-phone.

My daughter showed me a feature the I-phone has. All G4 I-phones are now capable of writing all what you just simply speak into it. So you could be walking down the street, or doing whatever else, and just gently speak to the phone in a certain device mode, and it WRITES everything you say! It's amazing!!! I tried it, and it even does spell-check. With no effort and no speech recognition tweaking, I dictated two paragraphs and I could not find a single error with the text! The more one uses it, it does automatically become more adept to your style, so I am told. She tells me the application is available as a free download.

This app is a great little feature. My boys, who hate to write, use it to write their English assignments. LOL. Life really isn't fair!
Beware Siri (and most other smartphone apps) while traveling! Yes Siri is pretty good at taking dictation, but only because it uploads your voice recording to iCloud--which resides in Apple's massive data center in North Carolina--so the big computers can do the speech-to-text conversion. This means, you'll get hit with hefty international data rates (last I checked without any plans it was a whopping $20/MB). Same deal with Apple or Google maps only even more so because now you're talking downloading maps/imagery from the internet. In fact, the first thing I do when I get on the plane heading overseas is to turn the roaming cellular data off on my iPhone. That way the only way I can get online while traveling is via WiFi which is generally free. As for maps, I purchased TomTom apps for the US & Canada, Western Europe and the Middle East which have worked out great while driving through those areas...the key difference with the built-in Maps and Google Maps being that all the maps, addresses, points of interest, speed cams(!), etc. are already in the phone's memory as part of the app so no need to go online to fetch them. It's quite easy if you're not careful to rack up hundreds of dollars worth of international roaming data so be careful, and only use Siri et al while on WiFi.

-gg
May 19th 2013 new
Leyden,
London, Paris, and Rome! (little sigh)! Although you would need a week or more just to see all the major religious sites of Rome, I have a few additions to the great advice you've already received ...
1. The Scavi Excavation Tour in St. Peter's Basilica was an amazing experience for me! The papal altar (and baldacchino) in St. Peter's has two levels below it. The one just below it is St. Peter's tomb and the tombs of the popes. The level below that contains the actual streets of the ancient cemetery where Peter was buried. The Scavi Excavation Tour (about 3 hours long) takes you through the cemetery (which has the feel of the catacombs: dim lighting, narrow passages, uneven earth, etc.) and explains how the Catholic Church determined that the Basilica is, in fact, built directly above Peter's tomb. It's the ultimate catacomb experience and made me feel so connected to the Church past, present, and future! Visitors must make reservations ahead. If you are interested you can find information on it at this link: saintpetersbasilica.org.
2. For a plenary indulgence visit the other three major basilicas, too: St. John Lateran, St. Mary Maggiore, St. Paul Outside the Wall. In fact, I think you can receive many plenary indulgences by visiting many of the holy sites in Rome.
3. Santa Croce in Gerusalemme ... it contains many relics of the Passion brought to Rome by St. Helena (mother of Emperor Constantine).
4. For a fascinating (but rather macbre) view of the early Christians visit the Capuchin Crypt under the church of Santa Maria della Concenzione dei Cappuccinni.
5. Try not to carry anything in your pockets. The pickpockets in Rome are masters!

Have a blessed trip!
May 21st 2013 new
Dear kind soul,

A plenary indulgence? Really? See I was worried that with all the good wine, rich food, and thievery (everyone keeps mentioning), all I'd have to show for my trip was tighter pants and leaner pockets....but this is wonderful! I can come back a shinier soul.

Thank you lovely lady for your good advice.

In Christ,
Leyden

(P.S. as a logophile [and Logosphile...see what I did there?]) I applaud your finding a use of the word macabre on a meeting site!)
May 21st 2013 new
Hi Guillermo,

I see your point and it is well taken! I will document the journey in video, photo and words and then come home and upload.

In Christ,
Leyden
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