Two years have catapulted by since I first glimpsed the love padlocks on Paris’ Pont des Arts. Since then, I’ve seen them everywhere, from windswept cliffs to Spanish steps, from industrial fences to bejewelled handcuffs that dance along the Hohenzollernbrücke railway bridge.
But this afternoon, I found some on the walls of the Colosseum in Rome: labelled, locked and a little bit lost.
What kind of romance, I wondered as I took the photo, longs to claims the ridge that overlooks death? What kind of passion throws the keys into the maze of execution below?
Neither the stone nor the padlocks had an answer for me, of course, and as I strolled around the rest of this two thousand year old icon, I couldn’t find any more.
Perhaps there’s a reason why love on the edge of death just hasn’t caught on.
Abigail King is a writer and photographer who swapped a career as a doctor for a life on the road. Now published by Lonely Planet, the BBC, CNN, National Geographic Traveler & more, she feels most at home experimenting here: covering unusual journeys, thoughtful travel and luxury on www.insidethetravellab.com