I have been instructed to quit using "amazing," "awesome," and "incredible" in my blogs describing study abroad. Currently, I'm in the Amalfi Coast.
My apologies, but I'm afraid it's so overwhelming there are very few adjectives that properly describe it.
But it is all of the above.
Let's talk about the Amalfi Coast. If you're not aware, this is in the Southern peninsula of Italy, and probably the country's most well-endowed region as scenery goes.
You've got steep mountains inland, with breathtaking clear water and black sand beaches on the other side. It was a great experience going around the corner of Italy, where two oceans collide...coming down the mountain.
Yes, the mountain -- which turns out to be one of the most dangerous roads in the world. Steep, yet beautiful drops put you very narrowly between life and death.
Fortunately, highly qualified bus drivers can navigate between you and literally one inch of space between other cars and buses. And yes, I got some fantastic footage for the film, including a dramatic bit where we almost hit another bus barreling around the corner.
We all survived.
Instead of going to a touristy place like Amalfi, I stayed a kilometer away in a surprisingly small, but charming town, Etrani. The people are ridiculously nice and the view is great. The largest, dodgeball sized lemons grow in this region -- which it is famous for, specifically limoncello. Though I cannot bring back the fruit, unfortunately, I am bringing back 2 bottles of this delicacy.
Pompeii was as good as I expected it to be. My favorite place has to be the whore house. The pictures were quite vivid, and you knew exactly what you were getting. The House of the Faun was a little disappointing, because Mr. Faun is not nearly as big as I expected it to be. However, what was most impressive was the preservation of the tile and intricately designed mosaics.
The construction of the these homes, though in ruins, were far superior to the buildings today. It is very eerie walking across these grounds, though, thinking that it was once a bustling city with thousands of residents, who were all wiped out in an instant.
In fact, going beyond that, it is hard to wrap around the thought that millions of individuals have walked where I have this entire trip. People from far in the past -- and people who will walk far into the future.
Thousands of years from now, will people come through my hometown as ruins? Could Dingus Magee's become a tourist spot in a ruined Statesboro? Would a quake send San Francisco Bay underwater, into a submarine attraction of ancient American civilization?
Our lives are less than a word in the long book of history.