Weekly Photo Challenge: Forward from Rome

This week’s photo challenge requests that you share a picture that says FORWARD to you.

Last week I had the opportunity to go to Rome for a work meeting. For some reason, Rome was never on my top list of cities to visit but as I was driven from the airport to the hotel I could hardly close my mouth. I was in awe of all the ancient buildings and ruins that seat side by side with the living city.

Although my must see monument was the Colosseum, the structure that I fell in love with was the Trajan Market.  To me this construction symbolized forward thinking.  As I faced it, I thought that the architecture of this building, over two thousand years old, is in no way inferior to the buildings we work and shop in today.

Trajan's Market ((Latin: Mercatus Traiani, Italian: Mercati di Traiano)

Trajan’s Market (Latin: Mercatus Traiani, Italian: Mercati di Traiano)

According to various sources, Trajan’s Market had shops, a warehouse, offices, two public halls, a library, etc. Some background information about the market can be found here – a view on cities, wikipedia, history.com.

Standing in front of the building it is easy to imagine Roman citizens going about their day to day business.  People going in and out, rushing through the corridors or stopping to chat with friends.

Daily Prompt: Buffalo Nickel 2007

Today’s Daily Prompt: Buffalo Nickel sounds like a fun challenge that had me reaching for my purse just to see what year the coin I randomly picked was from. It was 2007.  As I actually remember what I was doing then and as that was one of the most exciting years in my life I felt inspired to write about it.

Hungarian Parliament as seen from my balcony

Hungarian Parliament as seen from the balcony

In 2006 I went to Budapest, on an expat assignment. My department was moving around 40 jobs from the UK to Hungary and I was one of the supervisors who had the job of setting up the new teams.  There were 14 people in my team doing about 5 or 6 different jobs and they were all new! Anyone who has worked for a large company can imagine the logistics of getting this number of new people all at the same time, getting everyone trained, dealing with cultural differences and then to top it all off actually move countries too.

The people we selected for the jobs were highly educated, multilingual and for the most part in their early to mid twenties.  After a few months we were starting to feel more comfortable and established but still had to deal with a high number of issues such as resignations, lack of expertise and maternity breaks.  We were never quite sure what surprise each day would bring. In 2007 I had three of my team go on maternity leave within a few short months of each other and I had the first resignation towards the end of the year. It was a very challenging time but that was what made the whole experience so rewarding.

On a personal note I was loving life in Budapest.  We lived in an amazing big, old and almost empty building, very close to the Parliament and the river Danube.  Budapest is a vibrant city and living so centrally I did not need to go far to be entertained in some form or another.  From my balcony I witnessed marathon running, film making, political demonstrations and a miscellany of other events.

For the first time in my life, I went to drawing classes and started painting. I was also walking a lot and exploring the beautiful city.

I was enjoying my job, making friends, learning new hobbies – I can truly say that 2007 was one of the most memorable years I had on both a personal and a professional level!

Travel Theme: Bridges

I spent most of this week in Rome for a work meeting. It was my first visit to the city and I was lucky enough to have time to do some sightseeing as well as having beautiful weather. Despite all the jaw dropping monuments and Roman buildings the bridges I saw were not very imposing but I managed to take a photo of one at night which I quite like.

Bridge Vittorio Emanuele II, Rome, with St Peter's Basilica in the background

Bridge Vittorio Emanuele II, Rome, with St Peter’s Basilica in the background

Bridges are one of the main features of any city and I have photos of many of them however, for this challenge I decided to add just one more, this time from Prague.

Four of Prague's bridges on a foggy day

Four of Prague’s bridges on a foggy day

This post is part of the Travel theme challenge run by Ailsa from Where’s my backpack.  I look forward to seeing what everyone adds.

Travel Theme: Mountains


Above the clouds, Alps

Above the clouds, Alps

Mer de Glace, Alps

Mer de Glace, Alps

Brecon Beacons, Wales, UK

Brecon Beacons, Wales, UK

Lake District, UK

Lake District, UK

Serra de Aire, Portugal

Serra de Aire, Portugal

This week’s Travel Theme from Ailsa at Where’s My Backpack? is Mountains.

I love the magnificence of mountains so here’s my contribution – four mountains from three countries.

A small dose of kindness

Early this morning as I seat in my doctor’s waiting room, I notice a couple sitting a few seats away from me.  They are both elderly and at first I assume they are a couple but, when I observe and hear them more closely, I think the woman must be a relative or carer accompanying the man.

The man is very elderly, possibly in his eighties and comments quite loudly about random topics, mostly about the people walking in or the staff in the clinic.

“They all look cold.” He says about people coming in.  She replies “Yes, it is cold.”

He says things like “She must be a doctor”, “I don’t know what time the nurses start” and so on.

A woman rushes in and goes to the screen next to the reception, to tap in her details.

The man says: “She’s late”.  The woman glances over in his direction with a quick smile.  She then sits down, waiting to be called.

After a short while he says: “The way she rushed in I thought she was tight for time”. Then he asks his companion if she heard him.  She says “Yes, I heard you”.

The man says: “No, do you think did she heard me?”

The woman looks at him with kindness in her eyes and says: “No she did not hear you”.