Spring break is almost over (well, there’s five more days, so there’s still a bit of time left) but I am in the throes of essay procrastination already. This one’s not due until April 27th, but there are a few things prompting me to complete it sooner. These are: the next due date after that is May 11th, a mere two weeks after this; my mother’s arrival in Scotland on April 24th (yay Mom!); my third anniversary on April 22nd; the May Dip on April 30th/May 1st (yet more crazy St Andrews traditions). SO to inspire me to get my tush into gear, I obviously decided to write a blog post. This one’s about what I did with the first half of my spring break, which was infinitely more fun than what I’m about to embark upon.
I went to Rome!
Sunny days, 75 degrees Fahrenheit, delicious gelato. Great African food. Beautiful sites. Too many tourists to count. Pushy vendors shoving wilting roses at you. Amazing architecture. I’m so glad I went and walked back and forth across the entire city at least four times. I’ve got the blisters on my feet to prove it.
All in all, I was there for four nights and three full days, with two days tacked on for travel. We packed everything we could into them and, I am proud to say, we never took a taxi. We only took the metro twice, and that was to get to and from the Vatican.
Three guesses what we did on the first day.
Fun fact: the Romans didn’t start calling it the Colosseum (Coloseo) until hundreds of years after it had been built. It was actually called the amphitheater. The Flavian Amphitheater, to be exact. Because that’s who built it. Another fun fact: it was built as a propaganda machine! The emperors would hold games that lasted months and everyone in Rome was allowed in for free. It was the emperor’s gift to the people. Basically, he was saying, “Look how awesome I am! I’m brutally murdering people in front of you because I love you so much!” Third and final fun fact of the day: gladiators very often didn’t die in the arena. They were too expensive to train and feed to let them die so quickly. The people who died were usually the people in the first and second acts of the day. The first act was one of men hunting wild animals and the outcome was uncertain. The animals could die, the men could die, or both! Blood was pretty much guaranteed, though. The second act consisted of criminals condemned to die. Lots of inventive killing there. And then, of course, came the gladiators. They looked something like this.
Unfortunately, for all those Gladiator and Russell Crowe fans, big team battles never happened. Though Emperor Commodus did fight in the Colosseum one day. But everything was really rigged and he was in no danger of being harmed, let alone dying a sad and pathetic death at the hands of the Spaniard. However, they did probably look cooler than the guys hanging out in front of the Colosseum today.
Well, that’s all for now. I’ll put up some other Rome pictures later, but I’m feeling revved up enough to start this essay! Or at least do some kind of writing work. Or maybe just look through all my pictures and remember what being warm felt like–Scotland is a balmy 39 degrees Fahrenheit right now and there’s no sun in sight.