Sunday, June 8, 2008

This is.. my favourite travel memory

To be honest, this probably isn't my number 1 favourite travel memory. It's still hard for me to remember good parts about my trip to Europe in January that don't remind me of Mark and don't involve my naive sense of all-is-right-with-the-world-ness which clearly came crashing down a week after we got back to Australia. The way I felt in Europe, the good and the bad, does not correlate well with how I felt upon returning to Melbourne, in fact a lot of it is completely opposite, because I think a lot of me changed after the trip, and obviously after the breakup.
So I could tell you about climbing the Eiffel Tower, but it was a cold and cloudy day and I remember getting to the top and thinking "is this is?". I think that actually looking at the Eiffel Tower is far more impressive than looking out from the Eiffel Tower. I could tell you about the amazing food we ate, except that we didn't eat any amazing food except for Indian and Chinese in Rome, who would have thought? I could tell you about how romantic and wonderful Venice was, except that I had gastro and the entire city smelt of seaweed and rotting wood. My memories of Europe are tainted by sickness, cold dreary weather and an overwhelming cynicism that can only be caused by a breakup.
The funny thing is, that all I can think about a lot of the time is going back and replacing these memories with new ones so that I can have that fantastic picture of Europe in my head that so far is still mostly fantasized. So to actually give you my favourite travel memory (that I can think of right now and I have a photo of) would be visiting the Colosseum in Rome. I remember walking up that street and it just suddenly appearing through the gap in the buildings. It was such a weird experience actually seeing it in real life, and seeing how huge it really was. The closer we got the stranger it felt and we couldn't help but stop every few metres to take another photo from every possibly angle.

It's such an awe-inspiring place, and we found that listening to the audio-guide really bought the place to life for us as we could imagine the battles and spectacles that people had seen there so long ago. The state of the Colosseum makes it a bit hard to really imagine what it once looked like with a floor, seating, shade sails and trap doors, but it's such an incredible place that you really have to try.
I think I took more photos of the Colosseum than I did of any other place we visited in Europe, let's face it the Eiffel Tower looks pretty much the same from all angles, but the Colosseum really changes depending on what side you are in and which way you look at it. I loved photographing it so much I almost couldn't stop! We actually went to the Colosseum 3 times during our 6 days in Rome, the first time we just saw the outside of it because it was too late to go inside, the second time we went inside and did the audio-guide tour, and the third time we went there at night while waiting for a restaurant to open for dinner. It was even more amazing at night, although much harder to take decent photos of without a tripod!


one little acorn said...

Fantastic photos despite the bittersweet memories. Definitely go back and reset the memories to better ones...
Also, I'm with you - the Colosseum was incredible.

Lisa said...

What a raw and honest account of your trip. I love the idea that when you are ready and as time passes, those memories can be replaced with your dream Europe.

I love your description of the Collosseum. As you say, it really is awe inspiring.

Hila said...

I love this post because of it's honesty. Not all of my travel memories are pleasant either, but I find that looking back on them, they were still worthwhile. The good side is that now you have an excuse to go back and make new memories.

Karin said...

Beautiful photos to go along with the bittersweet memories. I can relate to the desire to reset memories.

The Colosseum must have been amazing. I do that too - return often to a place that strikes me, to see it in different light and context.