The steps themselves, although attractive, seemed undeservedly busy. It was the classic case of a tourist unknowingly stumbling across a landmark, and judging its worth by how busy it was.
I walked past them to gauge the scene, incorrectly assuming that it was what was at the top of these steps that drew the crowd, and what a diverse crowd it was. There were the spandex clad fitness fiends tirelessly running up and down, the young parents walking their children up slowly but surely and in much greater numbers the photo fanatics posing on every other step for that perfect photograph.
It was these photo fanatics that gave me the vital clue that I needed to piece together the picture. Their pose was as uniform and distinct as the pose in front of the Tower of Pisa, they stood with arms raised, defiantly celebrating their success, this is when it clicked. Such a pose on a set of stairs could mean only one thing, Rocky Balboa. Despite having never seen the film, the picture in my mind’s eye of Rocky Balboa celebrating at the top of these steps is very clear, why such a moment in such a film is so famous is beyond me, but nevertheless I felt a thrill of joy at being in such a monumental place.
I could not resist running up the stairs, feeling a sense of self gratification that I was able to make it to the top with only minimal trouble. Travelling alone, there was nobody to take the celebratory picture at the top, but I gave myself allowed myself a celebratory fist pump nonetheless.
I stood at the top feeling a little lost, I had squeezed every drop of enjoyment that I could out of the steps and all that seemed left for me was the descent, zigzagging to avoid being that stranger in the background of the photos that were flashing left right and centre.
As I dismounted the last step, I saw a rather conspicuous white stretched limousine pull up, out of which climbed a newly-wed bride and groom, followed by a procession of bridesmaids and grooms. They proceeded up the steps and adopted a dramatic formation, each one wholeheartedly jumping into the rocky pose. This was as much of a spectacle as the steps themselves and I walked away feeling as though I had been blessed by Rocky himself to have had such a great impression of his sacred steps.
After paying two dollars to them man loitering at the bottom of the bronze statue of Rocky to take a photo of me with the impressive effigy, I made a mental note to myself to finally watch the film when I got home as a kind of tribute to Rocky.