Saturday, October 11, 2008

When in Rome

So we arrived in Pisa and stayed at a nice bed and breakfast. The place had a guitar! It was amazing. we stayed in that night and just played guitar. We hadn't played any music since being in a bamboo hut in Thailand. We started to write a song and talked about playing out again when we got home- "chasing steve" is back. you might want to reserve tickets in advance. Anyway, Pisa has this big tower and it leans. That, about it.

Rome was crazy. Everything there is historical. We walked all day long and around every corner there was some famous church or monument, or tower, or basilica. you name it. We saw all the big stuff- the coloseum and the ruins of ancient rome, the vatican, Treve fountain, Spanish steps, the Pantheon. It was all very cool. The Basilca della Santo Pedro (St. Peter's Basilica for those of you who don't parle italiano) was the most amazing thing. The size of it alone was humbling- as crowded as it was you could find yourself feeling alone in the huge space. Then we went up to the top of the basilica and saw an amazing view of the city.

I could go on and on about St. Peter's alone, not to mention the rest of Rome, but I won't. There are some highlights though. For one, Nick's cousin Sarah and his sister Angela (not to be confused with his other sister) met us here. It was nice to travel with other people again. Especially people who hadn't been worn out from travelling for two and half months. It was refreshing to see how amazed they were at all the sights. I'm afraid the power of some of the things me and Nick have seen has been slightly lost simply because of the amount of amazing things. Toward the end of our trip we are so "efficient" at seeing sights that sometimes we don't let them really sink in... so it is really nice having Angela and Sarah here to remind us.

Second highlight- "the path of illumination." I picked up a copy of Dan Brown's Angels and Demons in Cinque Terre- I had read the book before but forgot what it was about, picking it out simply because the only books in English at the store were that and some Nicholas Sparks garbage. For those of you not familiar with the book, it follows Robert Langdon and a beautiful Italian scientist as they decipher the labyrinthine trail of ancient symbols that snakes across Rome to the long forgotten Illuminati lair- a secret refuge wherein lies the only hope for the Vatican! (i know that was some amazing diction, but i copied it from the back of the book.) Anyway, we followed the path of illumination to the illuminati lair- nobody answered when we knocked. the book provided some fun facts about the city (fact or fiction) and higlighted some of its less known sites.

Third highlight- actually more of a dissapointment for me. but at the same time it made me realize how lucky I am! Sarah has never seen the movie "GLADIATOR." We took a guided tour of the coloseum- full of references to the famous film that everyone in the group was totally on top of. Except for Sarah. In some way I feel she shouldn't have been allowed in the ruins. But she flew below the radar and didn't admit her lameness until later that night. I know I'm overreacting, but at the same time... COME ON! (By the way, she hasn't seen "Saving Private Ryan," "The Godfather," "Indiana Jones," or "Rocky")

All in all, Rome was too amazing to really describe in full. The best city for me so far on this trip. Now we are in Florence- home of Michalengelo's "David," Da Vinci's "Last Supper" and really cheap wine! I just hope I remember the art.


Crashnab said...

correction- the last supper is not in Florence. i don't know why we thought that.

Robert said...

it was definitely obvious that you copied that synopsis off of the back of the book. well played. it's also nice to see you rocking the UNC Class of 2007 shirt internationally, erik. i think it may be my favorite shirt, even though it's shrunk down to like a kid's medium now. better to show off my guns, know what i'm sayin! anyway, hope you goobers are doing well. take care.