Unlike many of the tourist destinations in Rome (ok, technically it is The Vatican City), the Sistine Chapel was not at all what I was expecting. Apart from the obvious (i.e. the art), the imagine in my head was of a much larger, more ornate, cathedral like building (e.g. St Peter’s Basilica). Instead, it was a small, square room, that felt as though it was underground, given the rest of the Vatican complex has grown all around it like a parasitic cyst.
There was a ridiculous amount to take in, with every inch of wall and ceiling covered in the amazingly ornate frescoes of Michelangelo. It took me a wee while to find The Creation of Adam, and once I did I subsequently made a bit of a spectacle of myself spinning around in circles to see if it really is true that no matter what angle you look at it, it appears to be facing you (true). At least I wasn’t taking photos with an ipad.
It was hard to imagine it being the site of the election of the pope and other such important ceremonies when it was chock full of tourists trying desperately to get photos. So much so that I was hoping there were no epileptics in the room. It was actually kind of funny watching the two young boys of the Swiss Guard desperately trying to enforce the no photo rule against 200 snap-happy tourists. Myself included, obviously.