December 6, 2013

9 Days Left?! Good Thing I Was Just In Rome.

I have 9 days until I return to the states.  I honestly cannot believe how quickly this semester has flown by.  About 45 seconds before I started writing this blog post I submitted my final essay.  Now all I have left is a group presentation next week and I am looking at one more semester of college in my life.

I am really excited to get back home to Allentown and spend the holiday season with my friends and family.  Oddly, as this semester in England is winding down I find myself thinking of all of the great experiences I have had at Lafayette the past three years – it makes me even more excited to get back for the spring semester.  Some of the things I miss at Lafayette that Goldsmiths University couldn’t offer me? All-you-can-eat meal plans, clean air, a gym, the peace and quiet of College Hill, outdoor basketball courts, nachos served in a pizza box…to name a few.  There is a long list of things I am going to miss about Goldsmiths as well, but there is no place like home.

If I had to choose one thing I will miss most about Goldsmiths and living in London it is absolutely the close proximity to the rest of Europe.  Traveling has been the most pleasurable experiences of my semester and the ease of moving between countries makes the American airline system seem irrational.  This past weekend my friends and I visited Rome.  Being in a city with such a rich and extensive history gave me goosebumps on more than one occasion.  Oh, and the pizza was decent too.

I would have to say that the Roman Colosseum and Forums were the most impressive landmarks that I visited this semester.  Walking through the Forums is the closest you can get to taking a step back in time to Julius Caesar’s time.  The architecture is wildly impressive, especially for being built such a long time ago.  Right next to the Forum is the Colosseum and that is indeed everything I expected and hoped for.  Although the front side was covered in scaffolding during my visit (as the Colosseum does require some upkeep) it was still quite a menacing structure. Did you know the Romans used to fill the Colosseum up with water and have naval battles?

I think the most impressive story that I heard during my visit to the Colosseum was the tale of a whale that washed up on an Italian shore.  The whale was brought to Rome, where it was hollowed out and placed in the center of the arena.  Surrounded by gladiators, at the start of the battle, hundred of live bears poured out of the mouth of the whale and the battle began.  Yes, it is a brutal story, but I think that reflecting on what happened in the Colosseum is important to really appreciate the site.

I will be updating this blog one more time before heading back across the pond, but for now, I am off to spend some time in the Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park!

A nice view of Rome and on the right hand side is St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City

A nice view of Rome and on the right hand side is St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City

This is an aerial view of the Roman Forums taken from the top of "The Birthday Cake" (see:

This is an aerial view of the Roman Forums taken from the top of “The Birthday Cake” (see:

The Inside of the Colosseum

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