I know that I will look back on this city, this country & this continent –
and it will never feel real to me. Each time I sift through these images, even
though I can see myself in them – immersed in sights and cultures – I will
never convince myself I was here.
To an Australian, visiting something built in 70AD is unbelievable.
Our history books are young and tender: infants on the world’s scale.
We jumped over more homeless bodies in the Paris subway than I care to
admit, trying to make it in time to catch our train from Paris to Rome, where
we would later juggle Oliver from lap to lap while snapping photos of mountains
larger than we’d seen. Cliff faces so steep and straight, that it made our
notorious Blue Mountains seem like gentle rolling sheets, while these
French & Italian mountains stood tall; quietly aware of their power, yet assuming
We were in awe, rubbing our eyes and poking each other to make sure we were
really here in this moment. Other passengers who seem to do this trip
frequently appeared bored by the landscapes. Occasionally looking up,
making note of the country, and getting back to their books and technology.
I don’t think we blinked the entire trip. Eyes as big and round as the globe
we were travelling.
Rome’s history has left me breathless – absolutely incredible structures I thought I
would never stand in front of, designed by artists I had admired my entire life.
I ran my hands over the walls of the Colosseum, imagining the types who had done
the same before me. Ollie snored in his pram as we navigated the cobblestones and
ancient ruins, and we laughed about how annoyed he will be when he is old
enough to understand that he slept in all of these amazing destinations.
I will miss the meeping of Vespas at any hour, the hand washing of clothes in
hotel basins, the ice-cream, the buffet breakfast at Domus, the overlooked history in
ordinary places (ancient excavation sites next to carparks).
But now, we move on to Venice. Ciao, Roma.