I find myself in Rome on Italy’s celebration of the end of World War I — 4 November 2010. I arrived around 6:40 in the morning whereby I discovered that Italy has zero customs required for US citizens; at least, not today. One more country, one more pristine passport page. Granted, my passport photo so does not resemble me that it may have been a good thing, albeit it will catch up with me in Greece or Dubai, I suspect. I basically walked off the airplane and out of the airport with nary an inspection. I promptly got in a van with other tourists going to hotels in Rome proper. It was a pleasant enough ride along the old Roman roads turned thruways. I got dropped off at the central train station which is, per it’s namesake, centrally located in Rome.
Once I procured a train ticket to Foggia and dropped my luggage sans camera I started my trek to the center of ancient Rome to take some photographs. I am very happy I left the telephoto at home. Instead, I brought along a Nikkon 35mm f/2D and Tokina 11mm to 16mm f/2.8 (super) wide-angle. Both have UV and circular polarizers, all from Hoya. I found myself using the wide-angle for most of the day. There is some fringing starting around 14mm and is noticeable at 11mm; nevertheless, it allows me to get shots that I believe compete with most guide books.
It is also some three years ago in January of 2007 that I was here with my then fiancé on our honeymoon; we traveling nearly four weeks through England, France and finally Italy where got bogged down with she with a flu and us in Rome for a week. The weather may be warmer and sunnier this time around, but it does not mask all the memories. So much has seemingly changed in those years; maybe more so with my life than ancient Rome, though.
Whenever I am traveling alone, times of reflection are hardest when I am around couples sharing their time together. I suspect this blog and accompanying photographs are a means for me to not feel cloistered from people. I can have others such as yourself live a little vicariously through me, and in some ways you add yourselves collectively to my experiences, rounding them out as it were.
That all said, while in Texas I was reminded how blessed I am to have such a loving sister and caring brother-in-law. I am also blessed to be able to travel like I do. Not as much as some, but certainly more than many (most). Hopefully I never forget to be thankful for what I have and what I can afford to do.
The rest of the remaining two and half weeks will be one of new ground for me and thus is exciting to me. It has been nice to revisit a part of Rome. To reclaim a part of it as my own; but, it will also be nice to leave it behind and forge ahead to sights yet unseen.
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