Tag Archives: Italy

A brief glimpse

IMG_0329 Bertie & Croc at St Peters Square
Can you see anyone in the windows?

As the sun slowly disappeared behind the large building in front of them Croc and Bertie felt quite relaxed watching people come and go as they sat in St Peters Square in Rome. They had had a busy day and the cool evening was perfect to lay back on the stone floor and watch the world go by.

Ever since Bertie had told Croc about this mysterious person called the Pope who lived in the big building in front of them, Croc had become quite obsessed with watching the windows in the hope of catching a glimpse of him. He wasn’t the only one he noticed with relief. There were a few people sat on chairs looking up at the large building in front.

The building was now beautiful illuminated in the fading light. It’s windows glowed a soft warm orange light and Bertie found it very peaceful. He liked night time photography. It was one of the things he enjoyed the most about travelling to new places. Everything seemed to change and take on a magical appearance once the sun had set and the sky was dark.

Bertie began to feel excited as they moved their way around the square. He posed proudly for photographs, keeping very, very Delete repeated word still so he would not look blurred in the image. Croc stayed very, very still so he didn’t slip and fall off the railings they were posing on!

Suddenly, Croc grabbed Bertie. Fearing his friend was falling, Bertie held on tight and realised that Croc was excitedly pointing to one of the upstairs windows of the building. Bertie turning just in time to see the shape of a man waving and then he moved from the window and disappeared into the warmly lit room!

Croc was gesturing wildly. Was it the Pope that the two friends had just seen? Bertie liked to think so, more because Croc was so excited and proud of himself, but he would never be 100% sure. What do you think?

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Columns of light

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Bertie and Croc had had quit a big day. They were feeling pretty tired out, not just from their adventure but also from the heat of the city of Rome. They were glad when they felt the temperature begin to cool and the sun start to sink slowly in the sky.

They were surprised to find that the camera bag had not stopped its familiar swaying which meant that they were still out and about exploring. When it finally came to a halt Bertie peeped out and saw they were in the most impressive, open square.

The setting sun was casting long shadows across the square and highlighted the large pillars which made a semi circle around the central building. Bertie marvelled at the wonderful effect the light cast on the pillars as the sun dropped down behind the large building in front of them.

Then Bertie realised where they were….they were at the back of the Vatican. Bertie began to realise they were in St Peter’s Square. There were several people around them. Some of them sat, like Bertie and Croc, admiring the evenings setting sun. Others were walking around looking at the fountains and structures which were in the square.

“Oh,” said Bertie out loud. “I do hope we get to see the Pope!” Croc appeared beside Bertie and shrugged. “The Pope” repeated Bertie. Croc looked at him blankly. Bertie sighed and began to explain that the Pope was a very important person in the Catholic Christian religion. The word ‘pope’ means ‘father’ in Latin. The Pope lives and works in the Vatican. Bertie pointed at the large building in front of them in the middle of the circle of pillars. Croc’s eyes grew wider. He couldn’t imagine living in a house that big! He’d get lost!

As the two friends sat on one of the small pillars to get a better view of the building, Croc squinted at the windows trying to see if he could see anyone inside. He wondered what it would be like to be a Pope. It sounded like a very important job to him!

Fountains of wishes

IMG_0292 Trevi fountain

Bertie and Croc were feeling a little hot in the comfort of the black camera bag. Every now and again, Bertie would waft the corner of the bag open in an attempt to create a slight breeze…..it didn’t work very well and usually resulted in more warm air coming into the bag.

Bertie lifted the flap of the bag for the third time. There were lots of voices and noise outside, which was different from the honking horns he had heard the last time he had attempted to let some air in. He braved a peek out of the bag and realised they had stopped.

There were crowds of people. He had not seen this many people since they were in the Vatican. “We must be somewhere important” Thought Bertie and went to nudge Croc. Croc was already beside Bertie, which made him jump a little. “That was unexpected!” Bertie said to his friend. “I usually have to come hunting for you at the bottom of the bag.” Then Bertie noticed something. His friends eyes were wide and Croc was staring in the direction of all the people. Bertie strained to see what he was looking at and as his eyes adjusted to the bright light he could see water.

“Oh no!” Thought Bertie, “Here we go again!”

Being a Crocodile, and being from the tropics, Croc had a certain fascination with water. Especially when it was as warm as it was today. They began to move again. This time they were making their way towards the water and Bertie could see that it was actually a fountain. The fountain had the most magnificent sculptures behind it. The water was the most beautiful turquoise blue and Bertie had to admit it did look very inviting.

Bertie began to look around for some clues as to where they were. Croc began to look around for an escape route to the fountain. He wasn’t quite brave enough to make his way out of the bag and pick his route through the crowds. Bertie saw a sign. “Oh my” He thought. “This is the Trevi Fountain.” He explained to Croc. “It is one of the most famous fountains in the world!” Croc continued to look at the crystal clear waters. Bertie carried on explaining that if you throw a coin in the fountain you will return to Rome. Some people even believe you can make a wish and it will come true! Croc thought, if you throw a crocodile in the fountain they will be very happy indeed and that would definitely be a wish come true!

They were achingly close to the water now and Croc, in a fit of bravery, made a leap for freedom. He tumbled down onto the railings. He began to make his way towards the water and away from Bertie’s shouts. A man, not noticing the small crocodile knocked Croc and sent him sliding further along the railing. He bumped into the arm of a lady and then fell a few inches onto the concrete below the railings. He began to feel scared. He started to forget about the water as he tried to dodge the people who were crowding around him.

“Eek” Croc squeaked as he was nudged again, this time back towards the direction he had just travelled from. He covered his eyes then felt a soft pair of hands on him guiding him to safety. It was Bertie. Croc grabbed onto his little friend in a fit of relief and let himself be led back to the safety of the camera bag! Thank goodness for good friends, thought Croc as he snuggled bac into the safety of the bag. Bertie closed the zip just in case Croc got any more ideas and they felt themselves being carried away from the crowds and the magnificent fountain.

Gladiators and crocodiles

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Bertie and Croc were looking forward to a restful day. They had spent an entire day touring the Vatican in Rome and being wowed round every turn at the amazing art work. Bertie had been so excited to see the Sistine Chapel that he had completely worn himself out! Croc was silently pleased when his best friend fell into a deep slumber and didn’t awake until the next day. Croc liked his quiet time, it was when he did all his best thinking! He did find that having a friend as excitable as Bertie was brilliantly motivating but he didn’t get much time to think.

The next day both friends were awoken by the hustle and bustle from outside the camera bag. The walls of the bag had heated up in the morning sun and Croc had, subconsciously, moved towards the warmest wall and was snoozing contently.

As they peeped out of the zip in the bag they both realised they were about to exit a busy train station. They blinked as they came out into the bright sunshine and then Bertie’s jaw dropped at the sight in front of him. Looking at his friend, Croc could feel the excitement buzzing from Bertie. Bertie tugged at Croc’s paw!

“Do you know where we are?” Said a wide eyed Bertie. Croc shook his head, confident in knowing that Bertie was fast approaching his tour guide mode and he would soon find out without having to use any brain power what so ever. “It’s a very, very important historical place.” Started Bertie.

As Croc looked at the crowds of people around him, milling around the large, ruined building in front of him he began to notice everyone forming orderly queues at the entrances like little ants going into an ant hill. He didn’t fancy standing in those queues and was relieved when they turned off down the side of the building and began to explore the outside.

As Croc half listened to Bertie’s excited chatter he picked up some words, such as Gladiators, fighting, Colosseum, entertainment. It didn’t sound very entertaining to Croc, exhausting yes, entertaining not so much. Then his little crocodile ears picked up…..Bertie said “bears” and “even crocodiles”!

“What?” Thought Croc, people would fight animals like him and his best friend in this large, circular structure? He shook his head in shock. He looked at the flimsy metal fence around the Colosseum and thoughtfully wondered was it there to keep the people n and the crocodiles out or the other way around? People really were weird he decided as he sat comfortably next to Bertie to pose in front of the magnificent and extremely interesting round building behind them.

Spirals to heaven

Spiral stairs_HDR2

An exhausted Bertie and Croc were looking forward to the excitement of the day to end. They had travelled through the Vatican, seen so many sights and experienced the excitement of visiting the Sistine Chapel. Croc had started to look forward to putting his short little feet up in the hotel room. He hoped that he would be able to crawl out of the camera bag and nestle in the soft bedding on the bed….maybe even have a snooze.

While Croc was daydreaming about having a nap, Bertie was reluctant to hide back in the camera bag just in case he missed something! He remained perched on the top of the spare lens which was conveniently placed in the bag. It gave him just enough height to be able to peek out of the zip at the top.

He was soon glad he did. He felt an odd sensation, like they were going downwards quite quickly. He watched as people walked slowly in front of him, stopping occasionally to take photos downwards.

“I wonder what they are taking photos of?” Said Bertie out loud. He was soon to find out.

The bright light from the glass ceiling above soon became replaced with the yellow dullness of artificial lights. Bertie knew they had reached the bottom of where ever they were going as they were stood still. He took his opportunity to fully peep out of the bag and look up.

“WOW!” Sais Bertie with a gasp. He tugged at Croc who reluctantly climbed up the camera lens and looked up too.

They were at the base of a majestically decorated spiral staircase. It seemed to go on forever towards to bright light coming in through the glass ceiling. Bertie thought it looked like the staircase to heaven, Croc thought it looked like hard work and was glad they didn’t have to climb up it.

Every now and again people’s faces peered over the side of the staircase and looked down at them. “What a way to finish a days adventure” Thought Bertie as he quietly closed the zip and nestled into the darkness of the camera bag. “I wonder what will happen next?”

Swarms of bees and painted ceilings

Bertie and Croc were on the move again. The bag they were in was swaying rhythmically but Bertie was so excited he clung to the sides with his little bear paws, not wanting to miss a moment of this journey.

For Croc it was all a bit much and he was quite confused at the fuss. There were far too many people out there in the big wide world and he sank slowly to the bottom of the bag and waited for Bertie’s excited squeak to alert him to something interesting.

He didn’t have to wait very long……

Bertie didn’t just squeak once but several times and his little legs kicked excitedly as he tried to pull himself up higher to get a better view. Croc sighed and decided he had better go and see what all the fuss was about. He was glad he did!

As Croc emerged into the light of the building they were in he realised they were in a long corridor. He was amazed at how many people were stuffed into the corridor. There were several different languages being spoken at once but there was also a weird hush over the whispered words. He was several different flags being carried by individuals who had crowds of people following them like bees. Then he realised Bertie was silent and looking up, craning his little bear neck as far back as it would go. Bertie’s eyes were wide in amazement, a look Croc had not seen on his friends face for a long time now.

Croc twisted to lay on his back…..looking up wasn’t his strong point. His eyes grew wide too. The ceilings were covered in paintings. Hundreds of them. All blending into one another in a massive story line. There were intricate decorative patterns all around each painting so they all had their own frames but were interwoven at the same time. There were paintings of people, animals, scenery….so much to take in!

The two friends found themselves being carried along in the wave of people. There seemed to be one direction to go and they were heading that way. Bertie and Croc watched the ceilings roll by like a slideshow.

Where will they go next and what will they see? They both wondered silently.

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The bigger picture

2017 06 ROME 3d map IMG_0199

With Croc and Bertie safely back in the camera bag the two friends continued on their tour of the Vatican museum in Rome.

They had no idea how big this place actually was! The map which had been stuffed into the camera bag beside them gave them some clues that there were lots and lots of corridors and hidden locations to visit. It was all in a different language to the ones Bertie and Croc were use to and they couldn’t quite make out where they were or where they were heading.

Occasionally, Bertie would peep his nose out of the camera bag and see if he could work out where they were now. Croc had found a tissue at the bottom of the camera bag and was distracted trying to dry himself on it after his recent watery experience.

Bertie gave Croc a little tug, which Croc now knew meant “come and have a look at this”. Grumpily Croc climbed his way to the zip in the top of the bag and peeped out.

Right in front of the two friends was a wooden table with lots of mini houses on it. Croc shrugged and was about to sink back into the bag when Bertie grabbed hold of him and started pointing out places they had been. The little structures on the wooden board looked just like the grand houses and towers they had been posing in front of. Croc began to realise that this was a very special kind of map, once which showed a 3 dimensional view of where they were visiting!

Excitedly Bertie pointed out where he thought they were now and where he thought they were heading. He explained it was to somewhere called the Sistine Chapel. Bertie became quite animated as he talked about this place and Croc began to realise this was somewhere Bertie had always wanted to go but had never had chance to visit.

Can you work out where they are heading next using the 3D map?