Inside, it was packed, but our tour guide deftly got us through the screenings and ticket takers and we were off. After visiting the Post Office (get a stamped postcard if you wish), she led us outside where she would describe in detail what we would see in the Sistine Chapel.
Our able guide also advised us that this was the best viewpoint for photos of St. Peter's Basilica. Never doubt the word of your tour guide.
The Vatican Museums are incredible with their storehouses of priceless art and I'm posting just a few pictures here.
Before we made our way to the goal of everyone touring the Vatican, we viewed these unassuming views of the Sistine Chapel walls from an adjacent building. And then finally, we were there.
It's a large room with benches along the side and standing people packed wall to wall. Guards are everywhere looking for flashing cameras and requiring people to delete their photos, and continually announcing "Silencio!" There were people surreptitiously taking pictures, and with the dense crowd many were getting away with it. I didn't attempt any photos but our tour guide told us when we left that there were many high definition photos available on the internet and that the Vatican's attempt to protect its copyrighted artwork was futile. So in that spirit, here are two photos I found that at least give you an idea of the magnificence of this art. I expected God's Creation of Adam to be much bigger than it was. It's just a small piece of this great work created by Michelangelo.
And on a side note - there are no toilet seats in the women's bathrooms - learn to squat. Next up - St. Peter's Basilica, and Prince Philip of England.