York & Borgorose

A Funny Thing Happened at the Forum
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Actually, it wasn't so funny. The Panoscan batteries died after their third scan this morning, just after I was introduced to the guy in charge and explained how it all worked to him and his students.


I thought they still had plenty of power left, but apparently not, for I returned to the hotel, charged them for three hours, and then went back to the site and shot for about three more hours. They're now sitting over in the corner until morning sucking down juice that ought to last the rest of the trip, but I'll be sure to recharge them if they get used much at any point.

But I made good use of my downtime: took a nap; jumped on the Internet here at the hotel for 15 minutes (found out they had a connection late last night, after they closed it); strolled around and got lunch -- a tasty cold risotto with seafood and small tomatoes (which I actually ate, thank you very much). Between the hotel and site I've been taking the bus, except for the first trip when Monica drove me down. We parked behind the Colisseum and walked half-way around it to reach the Arch of Titus, and then went on down into the House of the Vestals, the area of study, which is in the general area of the Forum.

It's cool being amongst such ancient ruins, but truly they are a mess because of so much building, overbuilding, modifying, tearing down, etc., through the ages. Of course the Colosseum isn't much like that because it's one huge permanent entity (albeit with many bits missing), but even it itself is not doing much for me.

Maybe that's because seeing it "as it was" in the movies and then seeing it now with thousands of tourists hoarding over and in it, and hundreds of temporary selling booths with schlock out front -- plus hokey gladiators who want you to pay for pictures with them -- somehow lessens it. Maybe I'll buy a ticket and go inside and my opinion will change.

Right now the iBook is working on panos in the background, and I'll show them to Prof. Scott at dinner, to which he and his students have invited me. This is the last day of their project, which is particularly concerned with how the House of the Vestals was built and modified so long ago.


11:00 pm Just back from a three-hour dinner: Had zucchini-flower pizza and a vegetable dish with spinach-like plants cooked with whole roasted garlic cloves, olive oil, and hot pepper seeds. A big yum to both!

Here's one of the areas in the House of Vestals that I shot today. The whole House is not open to the public, so I don't have to contend with people walking around getting in the scenes, which is quite nice.

Prof. Scott wanted all the rooms in the House shot, so to get this one I had to disassemble the rig, pass its parts between bars, then reassemble the machine inside the room and shoot it without ever having entered. No problem!

The Forum area, seen from the House of Vestals.

Ah, Spaniard, you should see the crowds at the Colosseum!

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