Last spotted in San Francisco, USA on March 28, 2003, 1:23 pm
Who is he? Where is he going? Where has he been? David Barrett / Quinthar
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Ok, perhaps not entirely typical, but this picture provides more evidence demonstrating that the city is just overwhelming. There is just so much to see and do, crammed into one space, that you cannot decide where to begin. On our right is the Coliseum. To our left, some big arch-de-Triumph looking thing. Back a ways are what look like the ruins of Atlantis, as well as a live excavation site. Then there's the huge building with the statues on top (which is actually a gigantic museum), the ruins of a basilica, random pillars, chunks of aqueduct, etc. Behind me is a hill covered with yet more ruins - ruins that, despite looking beautiful by most measures, aren't quite "beautiful enough" by Roman standards and thus nobody even bothers to look at them. To my right are more cafes and restaurants than I can even begin to explore, and to my left is a huge garden filled with - that's right - more priceless ruins of amazing structures. Quite simply, there's too much to do. Too many options.

So what is my choice? Well, I actually make about the worst possible decision: I walk down the arch thing, past those pillars, up a walkway in front of the building with the tower, left along the river (where the Communists are setting up a huge outdoor concert to sign up members), and off my map into a huge and exceedingly boring stretch of housing that I manage to lose myself in - despite frequent checks of my compass - and wander around until I somehow find myself surrounded by nothing but farm fields. How in the hell I "lost" Rome I have no idea, but it took literally hours to walk back. I've distrusted my navigation skills ever since.

I am continuously surprised by how big they build things in Rome. I mean, everything is just huge. It's like the city was built for people twice as tall and large as those that actually live there. This picture was taken in just an average apartment building - it's somewhat deceptive, but look at the door on the far left to get the scale right for the picture. Likewise, the door to this hall is so huge that it's impractical to actually open and close, so they cut a human-sized door right in the middle. All of this contributes to the overwhelming feel of Rome as a whole.
While wandering around one of the city's extensive gardens, I'm surprised to notice the Coliseum quietly dominating the horizon. Only in Rome, where everything is incredible, can something like that sneak up on you.

Copyright 2021 - David Barrett -