Thursday, August 16

Jac's Grand Tour - Oz '07

Hello lovelies,

I've been so flat out with work and stuff that I haven't had a chance to really get excited about this yet, but I'm coming home for a brief visit in a few weeks! I'm giving a paper at a conference in Brisbane, then hitting Adelaide, Melb and Tassie. Tour dates are below. I'll do my best to see everyone! My US mobile number will work but since it will also cost me both kidneys I'll do my best to get an aussie sim as soon as I arrive, so if you want to get in touch please EMAIL. I will try to be online as much as possible during the trip.

Arrive Brisbane 7am Wednesday 29th of August
Attend conference for 3 days and attempt to de-lag since the conference starts the day I arrive!

Arrive Adelaide 3.30pm on Fri 31st August
Hang out with Kath and Andrew

Arrive Melbourne 5.20pm on Mon 3rd September
No clear plans for Melb yet. Catch up with friends/family + some work

Arrive Tassie! 3.35pm on Thurs 6th September
Again, not many concrete plans yet. Going to Launceston to see my folks Sunday night/Monday

Head back to LA via Melb at 6am on Sun 16th.

I'm starting to really look forward to it! Hope to catch some of you soon!

Friday, August 3

Old Rome

So here are some of the best pics from our day spent wandering the Colosseum and Palatine Hill. If you want to get a good aerial view, check it out on wikimapia.

Outside of the Colosseum. You can see all the holes from where the lead was stolen. This place was amazing, so well preserved given it's age! The interp was pretty spartan (heh) but the notes in our guidebook were not too bad so we did learn something.

The Colosseum is a truly photogenic lump

Side of the Colosseum where it's been reinforced (the damage from an earthquake I think, but probably the least of it's woes over the years!).

The inside of the Colosseum. They're recreating the floor on one section so you get more of a sense of what it would have looked like. The underneath sections were so complex! With trapdoors and pulleyed flooring.

It was amazing how it was layered so you got little glimpses of the way it was all held together.

There was many an opportunistic faux-centurion outside the Colosseum. I had to snap his back because if he'd seen me with my camera out he would have asked for money!

Entering the Palatine Hill area. I think this is the Arch of Titus. The Palatine Hill/Forum area was just a jumble of ruins on top of ruins. You were able to wander freely through most of it, rather than being kept to walkways or compounds. The signage was dreadful, so working out what was what was almost impossible, but I guess that's why you pay a fortune for a guide. We just had the best time anyway, wandering clueless!

One of the amazing views across old Rome from Palatine Hill.

More of the view from Palatine Hill.

Ruins of the Hippodrome at Palatine Hill. This was probably my favorite bit! There seemed to be some controversy about whether it was a stadium for fights and foot races (the ruins of a private booth dominate the left hand side) or a glamorous private walking track built to look like a mini-stadium!

Every new and then you'd come across some random bit of sculpture or embellishment that'd been reattached to some other bit of ruin. I don't think there were re-creations as much as just somewhere to put the pretty things!

I'm not even sure this one was actually in old rome...Actually, I have no idea where this is from (ok, clearly Rome somewhere!) maybe even somewhere in the Vatican!

I would have written down the translation but there wasn't one.

We really were there!