Sun Oct 28, 2001 | day 48
Sorry I couldn't email you for a while. You see, I've been living on a Mediterranean beach in Italy for the last week and cheap internet access wasn't available to me.
I am currently back in Paris for the weekend (I'll tell you why in my next email tomorrow). I think the last time I talked to you, I was staying in the small town of Sperlonga, Italy. It was such a relaxing and much needed break from the heavy traveling I have done. I spent most of my days walking around shirtless collecting shells from a coastline known proudly as "the finest beaches of the Mediterranean for the third year running." But after five days of staying in the back yard of an Italian named Bino's beach house (see that story here), I found it hard to stay still any longer and continued my adventure north.
I spent a wonderful Friday in Rome exploring the many sites. If I had to summarize Rome into a statement, it would be that Rome is the home of the colossal. I never imagined how big everthing is there!
The Church of Saint Peter is unbelievable. I heard that it has the largest free-standing dome on the planet. I walked in the huge front doors and almost fell over looking up. If I had a soccerball, I doubt I could kick it high enough to even touch the ceiling of the awesome structure.
I left Rome Friday evening and arrived here in Paris on Saturday morning. After being in Paris for nine days at the beginning of my trip, I looked at Paris as a "been there, done that" location. However, after walking around on the same streets as I walked in early September, I now see things in a different way. I sometimes see things I passed countless times before for the first time. And small everyday objects remind me of things I have seen on my trip. Holes in the sidewalk remind me of Sarajevo. Streetlights remind me of Prague. Yellow flowers remind me of Germany.
I truly believe I am a different person since I arrived. Someone more closely resembling the Kolby I want to be. Physically, I have lost 60 pounds since April, most of that due to my hiking at camp but still coming off the waist-line here in Europe. I stopped shaving somewhere in Germany, so I now sport a beard. Thanks to the Italian sun, I have a healthy tan - which gets looks from the pale Parisians. Mentally and spiritually I have changed as well. I have learned many things about the world and its people.
It rained just before my train arrived on Saturday but has been pleasant ever since. Today it is actually a bit warm and the sun is shining.
Tomorrow I will email you with some more stories from Paris before I head back into Eastern Europe.