Wandering through these remote hills, I discovered remnants of a forgotten past, mingled delightfully with signs of the present. Charming villages dotted the landscape, and, scattered among them, relics of the lost Elven nation. Young women sold wild berries at a market nestled in the shadow of a sinister, crumbling fortress, which may have been the seat of a Dalish lord. Children played in fields, watched over by the silent statues of gods whose names they did not know. I walked quiet lanes bordered with wildflowers, the high arches of an ancient bridge soaring above me, majestic even in their ruin.

Rome bans lovers' padlocks to safeguard ancient bridge

Thousands of “love padlocks” fixed to an ancient Roman bridge by passionate couples have been sliced off with bolt cutters and dumped in a warehouse to save the bridge from damage.

Teenage lovers in Rome have for years written their initials on padlocks, locked them to Rome’s Milvian bridge and sworn eternal love for each other before hurling the key into the Tiber, a habit that has caught on at bridges around the world, particularly in Paris.

The trend, which was inspired by characters in the 2006 cult Italian teen novel I Want You by Federico Moccia, first prompted Roman officials to set up posts for the padlocks to be attached to after a lamppost threatened to collapse under their weight on the bridge.

But this week officials said enough was enough. “We decided to remove them to restore decorum to the bridge,” said local borough president Gianni Giacomini. Read more.