A month later, we’ve finally retrieved all of our honeymoon photos from the camera (and our phones) and gotten them on to the computer. And from Marcus’ computer to mine, where I can finally start to sort and edit them. There’s probably some dark humor in the fact that showing them to the internet is a powerful motivator for all of this, but I’m of the school that at this point, whatever gets it done wins.
When we booked the trip, one thing that was really important to me (beyond the size of our ship) was having a window. Or, in our case, two portholes. While I’m well-aware that thousands of people traverse the Mediterranean every year sans-natural light, I knew that part of my Perfect Vision for our honeymoon involved us being able to see the ocean and the shore from our room.
And as we rolled out of bed and peered out the windows to see the city of Genoa in front of us, I was glad that we did.
For whatever un-planned reason, we didn’t book an excursion in Genoa. So there we were, standing at the front of the ship and surveying the city wondering, What Next? As we walked out of the port building, I snagged a freebie map of the city featuring a walking tour of sights unbeknownst to us prior to that very moment and we set-out.
What you should know: Marcus is the relaxed traveller. I’m the paranoid traveller. Where he sees passers-by and the common man, I see pickpockets and people whose sole intention in life is to strip us of our Passports.
GOD, I am so my father’s daughter.
Did I mention that neither of us spoke or knew ANY Italian?
Because there was that, too.
Okay, I take it back. I could think of musical terms like: Bravo, Andante, Allegro and Forte.
I know they say music breaks down all barriers, but I would say that’s not exactly the case when you’re trying to source a prosciutto-stuffed focaccia.
Obviously that didn’t impede us as we continued on our merry way.
Regardless, by the end of our three-hour, carbohydrate-laden adventure (sometimes with street signs and sometimes not), I was the one begging to go down the scary alleys while he was begging for the beaten path.
After a wonderfully exhausting morning in Genoa, we hopped back on the boat to focus on the finer things in life (like our tans and sparkling wine) as we set sail for Olympia.
After spending some time in such a bustling city, what we didn’t expect was to be greeted by a scene like this.
Sailing into the port of Katakalon was breathtaking. And even though I know that this is totally wrong, as I looked at the rocky cliffs and the trees sprouting from them, I couldn’t help but to think, Gladiator.
I know. I KNOW.
It was at this point in the trip that Marcus and I learned just how hypnotic the combination of a guide speaking in Italian and a rocking tour bus can be.
In case you were wondering, the answer is Extremely.
While Marcus gave his best effort at fending off a case of The Naps, I put all of my energies into admiring every single olive tree, orange tree and grape vine we drove past. I could barely stand it. And the good times rolled all the way to Ancient Olympia.
The truth about Ancient Olympia: It’s HOT. To the point where in ancient times, because of an absolute lack of water in the area, athletes and spectators would just drop dead all over the place because of dehydration and heat exhaustion.
The other thing we didn’t know about Ancient Olympia is that it’s an extremely geologically active area. So…nothing from those times is still really…standing.
The ruins of the treasuries.
The place where the torch is lit via sunlight. This is where they continue to light it for the modern games as well.
After picking around the ruins of various temples and gymnasiums (there were many, the Greeks were an industrious bunch), our guide escorted us to The Stadium.
Once we walked under the arch, things started to get…heavy. I don’t know about y’all, but I am a MAJOR sucker for Olympics so I was starting to feel…all emotional and stuff.
Ancient history is just so…intense like that.
So there we stood, in the Ancient Olympic Stadium, with our feet perfectly placed on the starting line.
I felt an uncontrollable urge to run.
And then I stopped myself. Looked around at the tourists surrounding me. Acknowledged the fact that the only other person running in the entire stadium, with far less purpose, was a seven year-old.
Self-doubt crept in. What if I looked ridiculous? What if they thought I was slow? What if they laughed at me?
But I remembered. Running is a gift. Running is joy.
So I started off, trotting down the length of the stadium in those metallic silver Revas-turned-wedding shoes of mine, letting my hair fan out in the wind, and listening to my feet pat-a-pat their way over ancient gravel.
I don’t know that I’ll ever visit Ancient Olympia again, and if I do, who is to say I’ll be physically able to run?
The time for living is now.
What’s the dorkiest thing you’ve done at a historical site/monument?
Have you held yourself back from doing something important (to you) that seems trivial at first glance?