transport in history
Stretch of Roman road unveiled beneath McDonald's restaurant
Two thousand years after legionaries tramped along its well-worn paving stones, an exceptionally well-preserved stretch of Roman road has been opened to the public – beneath a McDonald’s restaurant.

This is beautifully preserved. Look at the worn bit in the bottom lefthand corner. And the burials. Gorgeous. Road trip (literally)!

Leipzig is the largest city in the state of Sachsen, Eastern Germany. With a population of 570,087 (843,619 in the larger urban zone), it’s Germany’s 10th-most populous city, located 160 km southwest of Berlin. Leipzig has been a trade city since at least the time of the Holy Roman Empire. It sits at the intersection of the Via Regia and Via Imperii, 2 important medieval trade routes. It was once a major European center of learning and culture in fields such as music and publishing, and became a major urban center within the DDR (former East Germany) after WW2.

Leipzig played a significant role in instigating the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, through events which took place in and around St. Nicholas Church. Since the Reunification, it has undergone significant change with the restoration of some historical buildings, the demolition of others, and the development of a modern transport infrastructure. The local opera is one of the most prominent opera houses in Germany; the zoo is one of the most modern in Europe. Outside of Leipzig the Neuseenland district forms a huge lake area for recreation.

Konstanz is a town of ~ 80,000 inhabitants located at the western end of the Bodensee (Lake Constance) in Baden-Württemberg, Southwestern Germany, bordering Switzerland. The city houses the University of Konstanz and was for more than 1200 years residence of the Roman Catholic Diocese. The Rhein river, which starts in the Swiss Alps, passes through the lake and leaves it, considerably larger, by flowing under a bridge connecting the 2 parts of the city. North of the river lies the larger part of the city with residential areas, industrial estates, and the university; south of the river is the old town, which houses the administrative center and shopping facilities in addition to the Hochschule or the University of Applied Sciences. Car ferries provide access across the lake to Meersburg, and the Katamaran provides a shuttle service for pedestrians to Friedrichshafen. At the old town’s southern border lies the Swiss town of Kreuzlingen.

Harvesting ice on a Maine lake, 1925. For much of the 19th and early 20th centuries, there was a thriving trade in ice from the lakes of New England to places around the world – as far as Singapore. The ice trade allowed an early version of refrigerated shipping, allowing fresh foods to be transported all over the globe.


Bahnhof in Giessen, Hessen, Central Germany. Giessen, aka Gießen, has a population of roughly 78,000, 24,000 of whom are university students.  It’s located 50 km north of Frankfurt am Main. Its name first appeared as Giezzen in 1197. The local river is the Lahn, which divides the town in 2 parts. Giessen came into being as a moated castle in 1152, built by Count Wilhelm von Gleiberg, although the history of today’s suburb “Wieseck” dates back to 775. The town became part of Hessen-Marburg in 1567, then Hessen-Darmstadt in 1604. The university was founded in 1607. Giessen was included within the Grand Duchy of Hesse, created in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars. After WW1, it was part of the People’s State of Hesse. During WW2, heavy bombing destroyed about 75% of it, including most of its historic buildings. It became part of the modern state of Hessen after the war.


     In 1953, Col. Scott Crossfield would don a flight suit, parachute and helmet, then be secured to an ejection seat inside the cramped cockpit of a Douglas D-558-II Skyrocket. After weeks of planning and preparation, a four chamber rocket engine would thrust Crossfield into the history books, making him the first human being to exceed twice the speed of sound. During that golden age of flight test, few could dream that we would one day sip Champagne and watch movies aboard a double sonic airliner. Concorde would make that dream a reality.

     The joint Aérospatiale / British Aircraft Corporation Concorde flew at Mach 2, allowing passengers to enjoy opulence and comfort as they traveled from New York to London in 3.5 hours, not the 8 hours of a conventional airliner. Concorde flew for more than three decades as the first supersonic transport. It truly made the world a smaller place.

     One of only 20 built, tail number F-BVFA was the first ship delivered to Air France. She would roll up 17,820 flight hours over the course of 6,966 flights, culminating in one last landing at Washington Dulles International Airport for permanent display at Smithsonian’s Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia, as the first Concorde to be permanently displayed in the United States.


what’s in my bag!

my bag is a madewell transport tote. this is the first year I’ve had it, so I can’t say yet how well it’ll hold up, but so far I loooove it. 

in my bag, no matter what, is always my makeup bag, earbuds, a charger, and my keys. that, along with some cash and cards, will get thrown into the zip pocket of my bag. when I’m going to class, I’ll usually have my iPad and bluetooth keyboard and my clipboard. I’ll be going to one of my schools via public transportation, so it’ll be good to have something to write on. 

of course, I’ll need textbooks - the number will depend on the day. my writing utensils go into my cute sewing pattern pencil case I got from a friend for graduation. I have a binder for each class, but I haven’t decided if I’ll be taking that each day, or a file folder of just what I need for that class. my planner this year is a day designer (and I am in love).

then I have my water bottle, sometimes my travel tumbler, and SNACKS. my strategy in college was always have more snacks in your bag than textbooks, and let me tell you, I made many a friend that way. so if you take only one thing away from me, let it be that!