Sunday, May 10, 2009

roaming holiday

Well this has been my first chance to post anything since thursday. Seems there is a pattern which I can see developing here. I don't have computer access and don't blog, I find a computer and apolagize and follow with an alarming amount of words to fill in everything which will have been missed over the course of four or five days. But as wireless is always free and computers are often not I can see this trend continuing throughout Europe and therefor I will say sorry for the spaces between posts from now on, but will cease to say it after this. Will use my time to write of more interesting things. Like Rome. Which was very interesting. Crowded with tourists making me massively relieved I was there in the spring as opposed to summer. It was also quite hot for spring and I was forced to break out my shorts from the bottem of my bag.
So all roads lead to Rome (and all roman roads seem to lead one around in circles, also are mostly rough stone making one worry about those on crutches or pushing prams) and it was most certaintly NOT built in a day. It's magnificent just strictly from an architectural veiwpoint. Seemed often to have stumbled onto a movie set with winding cobblestone streets strewn with happy couples strolling arm and arm and the occasional accordian player adding to the ambiance. I saw all of the major sights and they were remarkably easy to locate amid the busy hustle and bustle as you just followed the crowds, often in large groups identified by matching hat or wearing headsets which played commentary on all of the sights. The Vatican was beautiful and I went at about three in the afternoon allowing me to wait in line for only a few minutes which was glorious as it was 26c and I was fully dressed for modesty as is required with my legs and shoulders covered (in Thailand this was so as to avoid tempting the monks-wonder if it's the same thing in churches here?) and wearing closed toed shoes instead of my normal sandals (i've got tan lines from my flip flops so dark when I remove them it looks as if they are alarming filthy). And when I got to the ticket window the guy there asked how old I was-for a student discount- and I paused, said I was 19 and smiled real big. He winked at me and told me I was 28 that day and had lost my id and charged me the half price student entry fee.
While there were many amazing works of art in the complex of buildings accessable to the public and the buildings themselves were several shades of extraordinary it seemed as if a great number of people were simply following the signs towards the Sistine chapel like some single minded herd, intent of crossing another amazing sight off their list and taking a picture before hurrying off to the next one without even pausing to appreciate the place that they were. In one of the painting galleries there was a rather magnificent piece depicting saint margerita with her foot resting on the dragon she is know for vanquishung. This made me very pleased and I almost had a fit of joy over all of the glorious gold leaf and rich reds/blues/ochres on ancient mouldeding wooden panels. I especially relished the large freestanding triptycs with their flat patterned halos and the madonna appearing distinctly more cheerful than in later periods where she looks distracted and tired and quite a bit worried. Throughout the sculpture gardens and portrait halls I was continuously faced with prices which made me pause and smile and go 'I've seen a slide if this' and I was often suprised to discover a long ago memorized fact popping into my head when faced with something farmiliar. I was fascinated by the marble sculptures hands. Their reality was alarming and I kept expecting them to twitch suddenly out of their stillness. And then it was to the most amazing ceiling ever. And these were my thoughts upon seeing it:
1 I could hurt my neck if I looked at this for as long as I might wish to and I wish it were closer so I could inspect each detail
2 must we really play the worlds most extreem game of 'who can shush the loudest' when we could just respect the sign which says silence please
3 imagine the scafolding
4 I would not be suprised if they hauled people off to jail for trying to photograph this place. Even as I'd was at the first sign of a camera pointed upwards a laser alighted upon the person holding it up and guards rushed forward looking distinctly menacing. Not that you can even take a good photo even with a zoom. Not that I would know. Personally. Just seems it would be better to buy a print
5 this would be a good thing for the dentists office
6 I am SO painting my ceiling some day
I was saddened by the rush of people departing the chapel without though of looking anywhere else, and disturbed by the book/memoriabilia stores strewn througout every hallway, with creaking postcard carosals with pope portraits and snapshots for .50€ and people were buying them! One somber profile shot was nearly sold out, and it seemed shameless in a place full of such significant artistic acheivements.
The Spanish steps were not as exciting as I made them out to be in my head. I saw them with audrey Hepburn sitting on them sporting sandals and a new haircut and slurping her gelato energetically. Instead I found some sun warmed steps covered in people. Unimpressive and too hot to be appealing for long. Might be nice in the evening. Or with a picnic. The trevi fountain on the other hand was really awesome to see in person. I threw in a coin and made my wish and I sure hope it comes true.
And if anything was awe-inspiring it that would most definatly be the colloseum, even with the insult of my having to pay more than my friends simply for the fact I was american (seriously??). We did have to wait in line for a significant amount of time as we did not get there until midday on a Saturday and the crowds were spectacular and, as I have come to expect in Europe, completely unable to queue! But then you get inside and you understand that the wait is all worth it and this place is mad kinds of awesome. and huge and sooooo many bricks laid with so much presision. and we walked around for a whle with our jaws dropping and taking pictures being gladiators and it was so much fun. even though parts of it are closed off and all of it is crowded with tourists but you are a tourist to so you must just accept the mess and the part you are playing in it and appreciate the massive scale of this place and try to remember that there were dudes who fought agains lions here. i mean really?! how sweet is that...
and the thing is rome in general is filled with beautiful buildings, peeking around every corner or lining some side street. and piles of columns pop up in unexpected places and it's like the new and the ancient were josteling for space and in some instances piled on top of each other and you just had to accept and love it and go with the flow, which led right back in to the center, funnily enough. and now it is a new city-florence-and more adventures to have and nooks and crannies to explore. so tonight i say raise your glasses to adventure! (and never drink a drink called a 'chuck norris roundhouse kick to the face' just some friendly advice)

No comments:

Post a Comment