Merzouga and the Sand in my Pants

15 Apr

(Disregard the parenthetical statement immediately following this. I have gone back to feeling semi-healthy.) -4/15/2011

(Disregard the paragraph immediately following this. I have reverted back into dying mode.) -4/14/11

Good news! I’m not as dying anymore as I write this. I still have very little reserve energy (as in walking down the three flights of stairs in my apartment and walking the two blocks to school basically winds me), but I am not in a state of abject misery. Hazzah!

Last weekend a group of seven of us headed to southern Morocco for a camel trek. While getting there was hellacious (12 hours each way by combination of bus/train), it was worth it. Even getting this nasty parasite in stomach, christened Oscar the Grouchy Crocodile Stomach Bacteria, was worth it. Going into the Sahara desert was an unbelievable and definitely rejuvenating experience.

Thursday night at 6:30 everyone (Brittani, Lauren, Shama, Kate, Michelle, Sarah and I) met at the Agdal train station to catch our 7pm train to Meknes. The thing with trains in Morocco is that you aren’t guaranteed a seat, the whole thing smells, people stare at you funny no matter what you do and they don’t announce train stations so you have to pay attention otherwise there’s actually a good chance you will miss your stop. So after the three hour train ride, we hop off and then hop on our next leg of the journey: a bus. A bus ride that will last about nine hours. Allah have mercy. We all try to sleep (the bus is full and smelly, btw), but the bus is either top heavy or the road is very bumpy or both, because that thing was swinging and bouncing and swaying and all manner of not-sleep-inducing movements (no it was not like the steady lulling of a ship).
Six am rolls around (yay to making it in eight hours) and we arrive in the oh-so bustling town of Merzouga. Someone from our hotel picks us up and drives us the short distance to our hotel, explaining that breakfast will be served in a few minutes then we can go to our rooms and nap until noon for lunch.

We eat breakfast, and then all go to our rooms and crash. I room with Brittani and we first discuss random stuff, including dwarves. We wake up at noon, eat our tagine lunch and then decide to head into the town. ….Which is about as exciting as a cat sleeping.

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Our trek begins at 4pm. Getting on a camel is a little disconcerting, because their joints work in reverse to how human legs do. So, really, they go back legs up first then front and yeah, it’s a bit frightening. Good news: I got the blond camel. Renamed him Jack Donaghy because I love 30 Rock.

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Going into the desert was amazing. Rather than explain and have it interspersed with pictures, I’ll give you the basics of what we did and then let the pictures show you the rest. We trekked for about two hours the first day, stopping at an oasis right before sunset for tea. We then hiked through the dunes to our camp for the night. Dune hiking = hard work. We reach our camp, which is comprised of a shack and two tents for sleeping. The seven of us sit on a blanket as we watch the last of the day’s light fade over the Algerian border and the thousands upon thousands of stars come out. Eventually, we move into the shack and our guides play music (and learn I was never destined for percussions instruments) and eventually we eat a delicious tagine dinner. We all head to our tent, sleeping under blankets in complete darkness. In the morning, our guides wake us up at 6 am to watch the sunrise. We do, and while everyone else goes back to sleep for awhile, I hike back up to the top of the dunes, my own private sojourn and definitely my favorite part of the trip. Eventually, breakfast is served, I head back and we chill for a few hours, and then walk across the rocky plain to a Berber village for lunch and to wait out the hottest part of the day. We get back on our camels and trek back to the hotel. Our butts = very sore. We all take much needed showers, purchase our tickets home and then begin the LONG journey back to Rabat. Once again, nine hour bus, three hour train ride. We left Merzouga at 7pm, we got back to Rabat at 10 am. Long, long weekend. …I also got a nasty stomach bacteria because of it, but it was definitely a rejuvenating experience. Despite having gone to some of the most important churches in the world this semester (the St. Peter’s, the Sistine Chapel, the Hagia Sophia…), me sitting on my own on top of a sand dune in the middle of the Moroccan Sahara was a much more uplifting, soul-stirring experience than any of those. With that, pictures:

And that’s that. Now you are essentially caught up in the big things I’ve been doing in Morocco.

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The Crocodile (Redux?)

14 Apr

I am now sitting in bed, once again feeling horrible.

Either Oscar the Grouchy Crocodile Stomach Bacteria is back, or his cousin the Ticking Crocodile Stomach Bacteria has decided to see this amazing place called “My Stomach” that his cousin kept mentioning.

Regardless, THIS SUCKS. Blergh.

But tomorrow: Post on Merzouga! Yaaaaaaaaaay! With pictures! Yaaaaayyy!

(I’m going to go crawl into a corner and die now.)

Tangier, Part Four of the Four Part Mini-Series

14 Apr

In yesterday’s episode of Tangier, Catherine and Macarena had a delicious (if funny looking) Spanish meal and prepared for their departure to Chefchaouen.

We then drove on to Chefchaouen through some beautiful landscapes.

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But Chefchaouen is AMAZING. A glorious little town built into the foothills of the mountains, painted all in blues and whites.

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Macarena, Brittany and I went exploring (shopping) and ended up in an artists’ studio for 7 hours, playing with Jolie the Dog, having dinner and tea with them (plus some definite vices I won’t talk about here).

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After getting back to our hotel at like midnight (yeah, we’re crazy cool kids, staying out late at artists’ studios) the next morning we had a medina/entire town of Chefchaouen tour. I want to go back; it is too nice to just leave for one viewing. We visited the Kasbah, which is basically a garden now, and then had lunch.

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And that’s all from that trip! Did a WHOLE lot of shopping though (bought genie pants, they are amazing.)


Tangier, Part Three of the Four Part Mini-Series

13 Apr

The next morning we got up and went for a medina tour with Dr. Peyron.

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A guy approached us and said if we’d like a surprise from Coca-Cola and because we’re slaves to corporate America we said yes. So we go to this big truck which starts playing music then rolls up a big window and has a big button. You push the button, something comes out of the window, either a flower, a bottle of Coke, or in Amelia’s case, a lei. Then we literally were pushed out of the way by Moroccan men and then had to sign waivers with the Coca-Cola company. In other words, in 5 months I may be in a Moroccan Coca-Cola commercial! WTF.

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We then did a medina tour…which was nice, Tangier’s medina is rather small.

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Macarena and I headed back to the ocean to relax (and have creepy guys stare at us. Oh, Morocco.)

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Then we went and got Spanish food. Since Tangier was a part of Spanish Morocco, not French, most people speak Spanish as their second language and Macarena was very happy about this (she even sleep-talked in Spanish while we were there).

I ate the fish. Bad choice.

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Stayed tuned for the thrilling conclusion of Tangier, where the adventure continues in Chefchaouen!

Tangier, Part Two of the Four Part Mini-Series

13 Apr

Previously on Tangier: The group heads to the Cave of Hercules for a quick rest stop, then depart, heading for Tangier and beyond!

We made it to Tangier and Tangier is basically a city built on hills that lead to the ocean/Strait of Gibraltar/Mediterranean Sea. I promptly get stuck inside the bathroom of Macarena and I’s hotel room for 10 minutes, in which at least 5 people try to get me out, but as soon as everyone leaves to go look for the man with the screwdriver, the door becomes unstuck and I get out. Oh, Morocco.

Macarena and I promptly make a break for the water.

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We reunite with our group to head to the American Legation, a former US consulate, the first piece of land given by a foreign sovereign to the US (Morocco was also the first nation to recognize the US as a country way back in 1781) and the first US Historic landmark outside of the US. In other words, a little bit of America, a little bit of Morocco – very nice.

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That night we meet up with some friends at Café Cinema Rif, and end up staying to go see the short films (a part of a festival) that were playing. It was awesome! Very cool café. But since I don’t speak French, some of the nuisances of the films were definitely lost on me. We then met up with all the girls and had sushi. Nom. Then went back, found everyone else drunk (Tangier is a big nightlife town) and Macarena and I decided collectively to not do that. Especially after heading back from sushi a drunk man/druggie fell down 4 flights of stairs in front of us.

Stayed tuned for the next installment of Tangier, where the exploration of Tangier continues, and Chefchaouen awaits!

We now interrupt

13 Apr

Your regularly scheduled update of Tangier with a small aside.

While I love being abroad and being in Morocco, there are many things I do not like or many things I miss.

I do not like any of my classes this semester. Any of them. So going to school is not a joy.

I do not like my Arabic professor’s bossiness.

I am getting tired of misunderstandings in regards to language.

I miss my friends.

I miss my family.

I miss living in my own apartment with just me and Sarah as roommates.

I miss my bike.

I miss going to the grocery store.

I miss APO.

 

I am trying not to be negative and I know there is so much here I am grateful for, but on certain days, it can take a single statement to remind me why in part I cannot wait to be back in the States (but at the same time can.)

That is all. Now back to your program.

Tangier, A Four Part Mini-series

11 Apr

Hello! In an effort to keep updates happening, here is Part 1 of the Tangier mini-series! The next part will air when I get the pictures up. So…who knows. Stay tuned!

I write this from my lovely sick bed (this was written last week), aka my bed in my room, as currently I’m going through a hellacious battle with the bacteria in my stomach, also known as food poisoning. THANK YOU, MERZOUGA (another post). Anyway, the weekend of the 25th-27th of March our AMIDEAST program headed to Tangier and Chefchaouen, in the north of Morocco (thus the north of Africa. Thus the tip of a whole continent. Omg.)

Our first stop on our long voyage north (ignoring the rest stop which is quite boring) was the Cave of Hercules. Legend has it that Hercules, in between completing his twelve Herculean tasks, spent the night here. Yeah, basically we visited the equivalent of “The Beatles stayed here” except ancient mythology style. The cave was fine, nothing to sniff at, but the view from the cliffs and rocks outside were BEAUTIFUL. I love the ocean so.

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We also made a quick stop at a lighthouse. …just because, apparently.

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Keep tuning in for the next installment of Tangier!

Roma: The Eternal City (and the Eternal Blog Post to Go with It [Part 2])

10 Apr

FINALLY. IT IS HERE. The end of the Rome saga, about a month later! Sorry, it’s hit and miss getting photos to upload. Anyway, the exciting conclusion to: Catherine in Rome!

Fun edition: If you hover your cursor over the photos, captions will come up! Zween.

Tuesday, March 15: The first non-overcast, non-rainy day! This week for my fraternity APO was big-little week (essentially a mentor-mentee program, but a lot more awesome) and I had sent a message to the bigs before I left for Rome saying I’d be happy to make videos for their littles, giving them hints as to who their bigs could be. I decided today to go out and make those videos, because it was so gorgeous out. I head to Campo de Fiori first, a very famous outdoor market in a piazza in Rome. I loved it! I love food markets in general, and a food market in Italy? Pure foodie heaven. I hang out there for a while, buy some delicious fruit (Moroccan oranges are better though) and enjoy the environment.

Campo de Fiori, my Italian Eastern Market

I walk to Piazza Navona next, a very LARGE piazza that at one point was a racetrack! ROME, stop being so insanely cool! Now, however, Piazza Navona is a main hang out spot…think of something like Piccadilly Circus in London or Dupont Circle in DC. I chill there for a bit, make another video, get mistaken for being an Italian (by an Italian)…good stuff.

Pigeons. Rome loves its fountains.

I head off to Largo di Argentina next, which apart from being a complex of REALLY cool looking ruins, is a CAT SANCTUARY. I honestly had this on my list of things to visit. You can’t go into the ruins, since they are still being excavated, but you can go into the cat sanctuary and play with the cats…which I totally did. Loved it.

Four temples, still being uncovered I'm a cat, I'm a kitty cat.

And I didn’t realize this until later that day, but March 15 = Ides of March = Day Julius Caesar was assassinated. While already cool, here’s the thing: Caesar was assassinated AT Largo di Argentina. In other words, I was busy petting cats on the day, in the place, where Caesar was killed. I love Rome.

My next stop was the Jewish Ghetto, which while having a pretty grim history (forced segregation for hundreds of years), is now a pretty interesting part of town. I hang out here for a few hours, after picking up some traditional Jewish (ie I don’t know what they were called but they were delicious) sweets and chatting with an Orthodox Jewish artist for awhile. I walk through some ruins back to Piazza Venezia and head home.

Because ruins become shortcuts in Rome. Ancient theater, now with apartments on top.

Wednesday, March 16: To the Vatican! I had booked a ticket for an early entrance into the museums. I get there at 8:30, have a hilarious chat about how I couldn’t print out my receipt so I took a picture of it on my camera with the guards and head in. It was relatively empty, compared to the horror stories of mobs of people that I’ve heard of. But holy smokes (literally, holy) that place is HUGE! There is thousands upon thousands of pieces of artwork in there, ranging from ancient Roman and Greek to ancient Egyptian to medieval to Renaissance to …it’s insane! The one conclusion I really drew from the museums was: dang, the Catholic Church is LOADED.

MUMMIES! Hall of Heads.
Just a random gorgeous dome. That's how they roll in the Vatican. Raphael rooms! ‘sup Raphel (I saw him earlier though…he’s buried in the Pantheon).

You have to walk all the way to the end of the museums to get to the Sistine Chapel, a good 15-20 minute walk if you don’t even stop to look at anything. No pictures allowed in the chapel, so you won’t get to see what I saw, but then again, the Sistine Chapel is famous for a reason. It was unimaginably beautiful, and seeing some of the paintings that have truly shaped the Western view of what is the highest manifestation of art was fascinating, if not spiritually moving (more humanistic-moving than anything). I head back out, taking the awesome spiral staircase down. Next stop, St. Peter’s Square and Basilica!

Stunning.

The good weather never lasts long in Rome, so it was drizzly and a bit windy, but very humid, as I waited in line in St. Peter’s Square to get into the basilica.

That's the line to get into the Basilica. Intrepid solo traveler.

Inside though was beautiful. It’s HUGE! Admittedly, some of its magnificence is dampened by the incredibly large number of people in there…but hey, remember how I said it takes imagination to think of Roman in its former glory? Same with the Vatican. It takes significant concentration to imagine the Basilica without the crowds of tourists.

That's a big church. Imagine the Pope doing his thing from there.
DOME.

I head out, deciding against going to the top of the dome (listen, it was €19 to get in to the museums…I wasn’t spending another 10 to get to the top of the dome.) I thought of catching the bus back to the apartment (Kelly told me I was more Italian than her, because I caught random buses, walked the streets in different directions and in general got the hang out Rome faster that she has after being there for two months. Whoo!), but instead decided to walk home through Trastevere. I had lunch at a TINY little family run restaurant where no one spoke English, but they made sure I ate everything…I had rabbit! Delicious. And the house wine was pretty good too.

Thursday, March 17: Happy St. Patrick’s Day! And Happy 150th Anniversary of the Unification of Italy! I decided to stay in during the day today, because one, transportation was a bit wonky due to the national holiday, and two, I was very, very tired. However, that night Kelly, Aria her friend and I head out to an Irish pub! Where things happen. …And that’s the end of that story.

Il Vittoriano, all lit up to celebrate!
Taking cover from the rain.

Friday, March 18: Kelly doesn’t have school on Fridays, so we head out into the city for my last full day in Rome. We first head to Volpetti, a famous food store and get some lunch…I got a supli and pizza. SO GOOD.

Nom nom nom

We next walk to the Protestant Cemetery. Now, I love cemeteries. I love old stuff. Obviously, the two together makes me giddy with joy. Right next to the cemetery is this pyramid that some random senator a thousand years ago decided would be awesome for his tomb. First pyramid I get to visit and it isn’t even in Egypt. But the cemetery was fantastic. Keats and Shelley are buried here, so I made my little pilgrimage to their graves.

What? Did I mention I love cemeteries.
Keats is below this stone.

What’s really interesting is about a month ago I read on my Kindle the book The Imperfectionists, by Tom Rachman. It is about an ex-pat newspaper based in Rome, with each chapter being about a different member of the team. At the time, I had just evacuated Egypt and one of the chapters was about their Middle East correspondent based in Cairo, in Zamalek! It was great reading that chapter, because I knew exactly where the author was talking about and even said, “Oh my gosh! I ate there!” Anyway, after I came back from Rome I reread The Imperfectionists (speed read but still) and it was amazing because I could now place where everything in the book (when it was in Rome) took place. On top of that, it mentions the Protestant Cemetery and a specific tomb….which I just so happened to have randomly taken a picture of.

Perhaps my subconscious knew I had seen this tomb before in my mind’s eye.

After the cemetery we walked to Piazza Venezia, then along Via del Corso to the Spanish Steps. Which were completely underwhelming as far as I’m concerned. They were beautiful, yes, but I found other places much more fascinating. We walked to the top to the park Villa Borghese. We ate gelato, hung out, then walked to Piazzo de Popolo and caught the bus back to Venezia and home.

View from the top. Rome, you bewitch me.
With this joyful shot, we bid the photos arrivederci.

That night we went to the grocery store (because the following week was AUR’s spring break, so all of Kelly’s roommates had left town and we had the place to ourselves) and got supplies for a delicious dinner and breakfast. We drank a whole bottle of wine and chatted late into the night about life. The next morning, I got up, packed, and Kelly took me to the train station. I got to the airport, got on my plane, got back to Casa, got on the train, used my laptop (with tons of Moroccans looking over my shoulder…very awkward) and got back to Rabat and home around 11.

And that’s my spring break!
My final thoughts? Of the many cities in the world I’ve been to, I feel like I could live in Rome quite easily. It and I just made sense together, for whatever reason. So Roma, one day you and I will reunite.

Roma: The Eternal City (and the Eternal Blog Post to Go with It) [Part 1]

6 Apr

Since I am currently bedridden with Oscar the Grouchy Crocodile Stomach Bacteria as my stomach/bedmate (um, went to the desert, rode a camel, came back with Oscar), I have had time/patience to work on getting photos to upload to flickr so I may actually have, for the first time EVER (and hopefully not the last), a photo post! And what better to do it on that Roma, that beautiful, ancient city that I spent spring break in? I’ve only done the first half of the week and will do the rest hopefully later this week. (Btw, if you click the pictures you’ll be led to a larger version as well as be able to click through the rest of my flickr photostream!)

Here is my post about my spring break in Rome, which, sadly, was spent alone. Macarena, due to the Italian embassy being full of it, could not get her visa. She had a great spring break though, so don’t worry your head about it. But here was mine:

Saturday, March 12: Saida, my host mom, drops me off at the train station, since I am flying out of Casablanca, not Rabat. I catch my train to Ain Sebaa, change trains, get to the airport, check in, check my email one last time, go through passport control and get on the plane. For someone who doesn’t speak a lot of French/Arabic…I felt pretty proud of myself.

The flight to Rome was relatively short, about two hours and twenty minutes. Since it was largely over the Mediterranean we flew, there wasn’t much to see…but both Italy and Morocco from the air are beautiful and very, very green. I land in Rome, find the train station, get on the train, freak out that I’m on the wrong train until I get to Trastevere and see Kelly, my friend, waiting for me outside of it. But I did it, I’m in Rome!

We catch the bus to her apartment in Monteverde and she shows me her apartment. It’s cute, very different from DC apartments (and sorta different from my Morocco apartment). After I get settled in, we catch the bus to Piazza Venezia, which for the rest of the week becomes my jumping off point for my expeditions.

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Il Vittoriano, a GIANT monument to the first king of united Italy, Vittorio Emmanuelle II. No Roman actually likes it. It is pretty garish.

We walk to the Coliseum, past the Forum, which you can’t enter at night, but it is my first glimpse of the Rome I imagine in my head. We then walk to the Trevi Fountain and I have my first real Italian gelato…it was DELICIOUS. We grab dinner and I have my first taste of Italian pasta. Mmmm gnocchi, I love you so. After that we head home for the night.

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The Forum at night…stunning.

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The Coliseum! Whoa. Weird to have finally seen it.

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The Trevi Fountain…

Okay, I’m just going to be lazy and not center these photos anymore. TO HELL WITH FORMATTING! I’m also really tired so yeah.

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And me tossing a coin into it.

Sunday, March 13: Kelly has midterms all through the week, so she had to study for most of the day. Which meant I was on my own. I head to the bus stop, and since its March, it is raining. A little, old Italian mama has me stand under her umbrella with her and we have a conversation completely in hand gestures, nods, smiles and laughter. The 44 bus drops me off at Piazza Venezia, which is sort of the center of town.

My first stop is Palazzo Venezia, an old villa that has been turned into a museum in part. When they say it’s €4 to get in, I first think, “No big.” Later I realize, “Oh man, €4 is 40 dirhams…I would never pay 40 dirhams to get into a museum.” Such is the reality of going from a developing country to a developed country. The Palazzo Venezia was nice, but nothing too special. I wrote in my little notebook I carry around, “As my first museum in Rome, filled with old, famous works of art…I forgot how depressing religious artwork usually is. Lots of martyrdoms, crucifixions…very graphic, highly depressing. LOVE THE CEILINGS.” This kinda becomes a recurring theme in my feelings about artwork.

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In the Palazzo Venezia. No pictures allowed in the museum, though.

After I leave the Palazzo Venezia, I head to Santa Maria in Aracoeli, a famous church (like every single church in Rome). It lies between Il Vittoriano and Campodoglio (sp?). As my first church in Rome, it was gorgeous…but all of the churches were.

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The steps leading to the church.

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View of the Campodoglio from the church. The square was designed by Michelangelo.

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Inside the church.

After leaving the church, I take the back way to the Capitoline Museums. My thoughts on them, as written in my notebook: “MUCH less depressing –very few pieces of religious art (man, what am I going to do at the Vatican?). Lots of marble statues and sculptures, which I love. I can see why this is a must see for Rome.” And it’s true, the two buildings that make up the museum are fantastic.

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Big head of Constantine.

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Famous bronze sculpture of the she-wolf suckling Romulus and Remus, the twins that began the history of Rome.

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Gotta love fountains.

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There was a surprising amount of Egyptian stuff in the various museums…works for me.

After I left the museums it started pouring rain and I just said, “Well screw this.” And headed home for the day. Every night Kelly and I had dinner together, which was great. Saved me money and I had some of Kelly’s delicious-but-simple Italian cooking (thanks Kelly!)

Monday, March 14: A big day for me. I get up and back on the 44. I walk to the Gesú, the first Jesuit church. Ever. That’s how Rome is – the beginning of so much is just here. The church is beautiful, with a really cool ceiling that pops out of the ceiling…hard to explain, but very interesting.

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Gesú church with awesome ceiling.

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St. Catherine of Siena’s tomb. Minus her head, which is in Siena.

I next head to Santa Maria sopra Minerva, another beautiful church…but also where St. Catherine of Siena is buried. St. Catherine of Siena is one of the patron saints of Rome, so of course I had to make the pilgrimage to her.

Randomly, St. Catherine of Alexandria (of Catherine wheel fame) was a RIDICULOUSLY popular subject for paintings. Everywhere I turned I’d see a painting of her! It was crazy! Apparently medieval/Renaissance artists thought she was a pretty awesome saint.

After saying hey to St. Catherine, I walk to the Pantheon. It was stunning. Originally a temple for all of the gods (hence pan: all), it is now a church. How amazing would it be to go to church in this thousands of years old building, a marvel to architectural engineering even now?

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The dome of the Pantheon.

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The building is HUGE.

I leave the Pantheon and take the long way round to get to the Palatino complex, passing the Circus Maximus on the way. This stadium at one point could have held 300,000 people at once. Now it is nothing but a grassy park. Rome is definitely a city that requires a lot of imagination to see what could have been, but if you have a vivid enough mind, you cannot help but be floored by the magnificence of it all.

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The Mouth of Truth – made famous by Roman Holiday

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Circus Maximus

The Palatino hill complex is essentially the origins of Rome. Rome was traditionally built on seven hills, and the Palatino was the first – excavations have shown remains of buildings dating from the 8th century, BCE…lending some legitimacy to the Romulus and Remus legend (Rome, according to legend, was founded in 741 BCE). The Palatino hill for hundreds of years was where the rich, famous and noteworthy people of Rome lived. And the ruins that remain there certainly show the splendor that it once was. This site, over the Forum, Coliseum, Vatican and everything else I saw, was definitely my favorite.

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The Palatino complex leads directly into the Roman Forum, which lies at the bottom of the hill between the Coliseum and Palatino. The Forum was a lot more crowded than the Palatino, and with so many ruins in it, it is hard to tell what is what and what it all means. But it was still beautiful.

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The Forum is right next to the Coliseum, so obviously that was my next stop. For having the Coliseum is such an engrained part of my interpretation of Rome, I have to say I was a little underwhelmed. That may have been all the people, may have been the weather…but while it was jaw-dropping stunning, it wasn’t soul-stirring stunning. Still, I am so glad I was able to see it.

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I leave the Coliseum to head off to find some more churches. I stop for lunch first at a small trattoria, where the waiter took a liking to me, ordered my entire meal for me (first Italian pizza – delicious!) and gave me an espresso on the house. Sweet.

I head to San Giovanni in Laterno, one of the largest churches in Rome. It is also the sea of the Bishop of Rome…who happens to be the Pope. Crazy how Rome just is like that.

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I head to San Clemente next. I wasn’t allowed to take pictures, but it was pretty interesting. It’s a 14th century church built on a 12th century church built on like 6th century ruins. Very interesting. After this I get pretty tired and head back to Piazza Venezia to head home.

I AM STILL ALIVE.

31 Mar

Okay, sorry about not posting about what’s been going on in my life…I’m very lame and will say I have been busy. Which I have! I was in Rome for a week, then had midterms and this past weekend I went to Tangier and Chefchaouen…and in two hours I’m hopping on a train then bus to go to Marzouga in southern Morocco for a CAMEL TREK this weekend. I am quite the intrepid girl.

However, rest assured that I have posts written up for Rome AND Tangier/Chefchaouen. But I refuse to post them until I figure out a good way to incorporate photos into the posts. Which I’m working on. But not now, since as I said, I’m headed to the desert!

Sarah Palin may be able to see Russia from her backyard, but I’ll be able to  see Algeria from across the Saharan desert. I win.

Until next week, when I promise to update like crazy, salaam!