07 May 2013

Silchester Roman Amphitheatre & Walls

My mom has had a long standing obsession with Rome, Romans, and the Roman Empire. So when the opportunity to see another English Heritage site that was linked to the Romans presented itself, we took it.

I had no idea where Silchester was or how small it was, but sneeze and you could miss it. Even the road trip there was a little mind boggling with all the country roads you had to take to get there. And I hate taking country roads in the UK: what should be room enough for only one vehicle in Canada, the British manage to squeeze two moving vehicles in opposite directions.

Yep, I totally could have been a gladiator.

Being in the Amphitheatre was far more surreal than a lot of the other English Heritage sites I had visited thus far. Stonehenge was amazing, but because you couldn't get close enough the height and breadth of the monument couldn't really be felt. Old Sarum wasn't as old and neither was Farnham Castle.

It was just the foundation that was uncovered, but standing in the middle of the theatre it wasn't hard to use my imagination to see it built up around me. I say only jokingly that I could have been a Gladiator, but standing in the middle of the circle was quite intimidating: it felt so much larger and the sound would have been amplified.

I say that with some confidence because my mom and I were standing some distance apart and we were talking to each other at a normal volume and could hear each other clearly. Moving further away, we could still hear each other clearly and at the same volume. I could just imagine how the sound of a crowd of 3000 would have carried and either terrified or motivated a Gladiator.



Interestingly, there were no signs for the walls, so my mom and I had to ask a few other tourists if they knew where these walls were. They did, we found them, and as per typical English style, just part of a farm yard. I wonder if the farmer every stands next to these walls, still fifteen feet up, and comprehends that they were built thousands of years ago.

One thousand nine-hundred thirty years to be more precise. Thanks Wikipedia.


Where have you been that has made you stop in your tracks because it felt so surreal or awe-inspiring?


11 comments:

  1. That would be amazing. And no, I would NOT want to be a gladiator. No way. There are so many WOW places. One that comes to mind is the Etruscian pathways cut into the Tuscany landscape. When I stood in one of those hand-carved canyons (sometimes a mile long and over 20 feet deep), I just went 'wow'.

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    1. I'll just go put that on my to-do list...

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  2. The Eiffel Tower amazed me when I saw it in person. I never expected delicacy in the design. I loved it and never tired of seeing it, and I never will.

    We also saw the Crypt Archiologique in Paris(Roman ruins found under the Notre Dame Cathedral). Has your mom seen that?

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    1. No, I don't think she has! She's keen on seeing Rome itself (surprise) but hasn't gotten around visiting it yet (also a surprise!).

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  3. Wow that is old! I'd love to go there and see it for myself. Love the pictures.
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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  4. What an interesting experience! I like the way you write. Dropping by from Left and Write.

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    1. Thanks! I hope to stop by a little more often in the next couple months.

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  5. Normaly I would pass by a blog this out of date but I noticed the word Silcheter which is not that far from where I live. If you felt intimidated by the Ampitheater there you should see the one in Pompey. Aweinspireing place, where I work I always feel in awe of it.

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    1. I took an unexpected hiatus. Hopefully no more in the next 6 weeks and I'll be able to visit a bunch more blogs.

      I will be adding Pompey to my "to see" list for sure!

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  6. Wish I could jump in the picture and see those things in person!

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    1. It's true, pictures haven't really done this place justice.

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