Seeing the Pope
Taylor, Rome, Spring 2013
April 22, 2013

The highlight of this month, and probably the entire trip, was getting to see the election of a new Pope. I was there the very first night for the black smoke and then again on my way the following night when the white smoke went up, and the city raced to the Vatican. I was about 15 minutes away and sprinted all the way to the Vatican with a few of my friends through the rain and the crowds. We made it in time for the entire appearence and speech. It was truly incredible to see so many people together in celebration.

I was also very lucky to go to Dublin for St. Patrick’s day being Irish myself. Dublin was refreshing for its love of stews and speaking English! Although it snowed, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade was a sight to see. The street literally looked like a sea of green, white, and orange. Surprisingly, there were a lot of American high school marching bands, so naturally we cheered them on loudly. At night, most of the pubs had live Irish music! I wish I had known more of the words to sing along with the locals, but I gave Irish dancing a go at a pub called O’Neill’s.

As part of my spring break I went to Amsterdam, which was the number one city I wanted to go to for my love of Van Gogh. Seeing his original works up close was mind blowing because of his vibrant use of color and brush strokes. The canals were also equally beautiful throughout the city. We even didn’t have to wait long to go inside the Anne Frank house, which was a chilling experience to say the least. Many of the original photos the residents hung up in their hide away for decoration are still mounted on the wall. You can feel how quickly they were whisked away from safety.

Back in Rome, I’m preparing to write my final term papers for classes and gather up  presents for all my friends. I can’t believe I’m almost starting my final month in Europe!

Taylor, University of South Carolina

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