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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Why are the Ruins of things SO Interesting?

Maybe it's just me that loves ruins...but with the recent frenzy for post-apocalyptic literature, I don't think so.

Why are the ruins of a relationship more interesting than the relationship?
Why are the ruins of love more interesting than love itself?
Why are the ruins of a civilization more interesting than civilization?
Why are the ruins of a hotel all over my travel pictures?

Another question - if you could go anyplace in the world, where would it be? What are the ten places you'd like to visit make your list of the NEXT ten places you want to visit (there's no need to be pessimistic here, none of us are dying).

All of mine would be sites of archaeological interest. Macchu Picchu, Rome and Venice, Egypt, Angkor Watt, Eastern Europe (Dracula tour!), I want to return to Mt. St. Michel and see more of France (the museums were on strike last time I was there!) as well as the hill towns in the Dordogne Valley (see Mom, I listen to some stuff you talk about). I'd love to visit Carthage, Greece, the entire Mediterranean, really... And since my absolute favorite parts of the natural world = a fascination with caves, well...catacombs; I would like to go anyplace with catacombs.

I do love places of natural wonder...but the ones that made the most impact on me have always been archaeological... after a trip to The Grand Canyon, the Painted Desert, the Petrified Forest (okay that was a favorite, too) my very favorite thing were the cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde.

There was a time as a kid when I wanted to be an archaeologist, though (irony alert) the only college elective I ever failed was an Archeology class.

So, on our trip to Mexico, the best part about our hotel room (we were in the older part of the building, the rest of our party in the newer part, with the huge whirlpool tubs) were the ruins next door. Now, I will say, that this trip was all about celebrating one of the world's most beautiful beaches with 5 and 7 year olds who love the beach. It was also about relaxation for the parents of said 5 and 7 year olds. So, we didn't even go to the major ruins. We took pictures at the archaeological site across the street, and we took pictures and stared at the ruined hotel, what I called post apocalyptic Mexico.

Now, my fascination led me to I found reviews of the rubble that said the hotel was a hotbed of food poisoning and mosquitoes. A one star hotel where drunk spring break kids nursed hangovers. What's left of it is pretty beautiful, though.

It makes me want someone to write stories about all the things that might've happened there.

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Blogger amy said...

I totally want to go to Macchu Picchu. It looks amazing.

June 17, 2010 at 11:22 AM  
Blogger bethany said...

I have some friends who are going next summer. The altitude sickness is scaring me, though...

June 17, 2010 at 12:48 PM  
Blogger out of the wordwork said...

I've been fascinated by archaelogical digs since I was a kid. I finally went on a dig to Israel and helped excavate a 3,000 year old Phoenician cemetary. Israel is so beautiful and has so many sites I think it would take ten lifetimes to see them all.
As for my list, Greece, Rome/Italy, Stonehenge and every English castle I could cram into a summer trip!

June 17, 2010 at 5:01 PM  
Blogger bethany said...

I went to Stonehenge years and years ago. It was awesome. A few years after that I made my friends visit the standing stones at Carnac, France. It wasn't as awesome as Stonehenge, though!

June 17, 2010 at 6:25 PM  

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