Light and Beautiful Sites

It has been too long. It has been over 3 weeks and I have only posted once.. BUT I have very good reasons. Just to give you all an idea of my everyday routine it typically involves eating, class, exploring, and sleeping. Simple enough. However, I have two onsite classes each week (e.g. we meet at the Pantheon and walk to 3 different churches in which we sit in the pews for lecture. Do the math and I have visited about 20 churches already not counting other times), I eat five times a day now (of course), there are hundreds and hundreds of historic sites in Rome alone, and every weekend I am a train away from another cultural treasure. Yes, it has been absolutely insane… just the way it should be.

I am trying to recall my first two weeks here. It feels like a blur of bright dreams blended altogether. I’ve lost track of time and space. My memories now organize themselves as if completely on their own in a hierarchy of thoughts and ideas, which is a complete rebellion to how I would like to remember things lol. I am relying on my camera for getting the order of things correct (the time recorded still in Eastern zone though oops lol)

I am seriously skipping all the fluff of what touristy sites can produce. I’m not a tour guide or a professor, I am speaking from exactly how I see and experience things. Of course there is a ton of historical information I will still mention, but I am leaving out a lot since you honestly can just Google for specifics. I am writing to try to express the intimate relationship I have with life through my camera.
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I am starting with the most photogenic structure I’ve seen so far in Rome. Every time I pass this, day or night, this structure seems to glow in authority. It is also the most geometrically sound and has been manipulated for its uses numerous times: the Pantheon. For it’s automatic majesty in construction (still the largest non-reinforced concrete dome) it is known to be the most well preserved structure in Rome. The Pantheon was at first a Pagan temple dedicated to many gods made in 126 C.E. (ALMOST 2,000 years ago!), but then of course the Roman Catholic church gets to it and turns it into a church (Just like how they turn every structure into something holy, which is evident all over Rome) But we really have to thank them because otherwise it would’ve been destroyed.

I want you to try to imagine, this used to have steps leading up to it high up on a hill. The light seems to seep through its concrete pores, the granite columns stretching upwards, and how can you not wonder what was worshiped within? IMG_9239

I am still unsure why for every time I pass by this concrete beauty, it feels more animated than still. Maybe it is the tall, granite Corinthian columns… Maybe it is how the sunrises at its corner… Maybe it is the simple inscription and lack of decoration. For whoever built this whether it was Agrippa or Emperor Hadrian, the idea behind it must have been mighty. Pictured above is Isabelle petting one of the many horses from all the carriages for tourists. The Pantheon is not only a very photogenic model but is a perfect backdrop to every photo I’ve taken (I’m really not kidding, I think it is the best looking building on camera).
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This horse was also kindly posing for me as the sunlight caressed its silhouette.

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As I have mentioned before, as you explore Rome you will easily stumble upon ruins dating back to over one thousand years ago and simply amazing historical or cultural sites. As you walk past the mighty Colosseum, you think that’s it, but here is the Arch of Constantine viewed from behind. I just wanted to share this photo of when I first saw it. From below where my photo cuts off is about where the height of a person would stand. This thing is huge!

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As I walk back another path toward home, we stroll pass the Trajan Forum ruins in all its glory and still being excavated.

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Still standing…

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Sometimes I wonder to myself if I am just romanticizing the beauty of old things, or maybe it is just the thrill to see it for the first time, but undeniably there is something very enchanting about something so far away from who we are now and what has come from it. Imagine.. they who built this, lived in this, looked at this would not imagine that now it would be preserved and surrounded by people from all seven continents… That we would be so curious as to why they had built things so large and beautiful… That we wonder what time and energy had been dedicated to their world that they made for themselves… They had no idea.

So it is now midnight and I realize that I am a slow blogger. I had lined up another 8 photos I wanted to share, but I am exhausted and I figure it is better to do shorter more frequent blogs from here on. If you read this far, thank you, or just enjoyed the photos, thank you, or just visited to see what’s up, thank you. I am soo tired, but I will be back!!

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