Thursday, August 16, 2007

Ruins

Call me a nerd, but I do travel to learn history. I have written many times before that I'm not a sun-and-surf person; I would prefer seeing archaeological excavations to cavorting in the beach. Where has my penchant for old rocks taken me? Here are some of the places in Europe full of ancient history and architecture:


ATHENS, Greece. The city must always be included in any tourist guide for the nerdy, as it is teeming with history preserved in its many monuments. This one, for example, is the Kerameikon, an old cemetery near the Psiri District. If you're a student in a European Union country, entrance is free upon presentation of your ID.


DELPHI, Greece. If you're already in Athens, why not spend a morning in nearby Delphi? Not only will you see rocks upon rocks of history, but also breathe mythology, as this is the location of the Oracle of Apollo where prophecies were made in the ancient times, and the fabled Mt. Parnassus where the winged horse Pegasus used to live.


ROME, Italy. The epicenter of the old empire is a large open-air museum of ancient art and architecture. The Roman Forum, for example, is an exquisitely maintained historic enclave right next to the famous Colisseum.


MERIDA, Spain. The clout of the Roman Empire has extended even up to the Iberian Peninsula. In Mérida, in the region of Extremadura, this Roman Theatre continues to wow students and tourists alike. There is also an annual festival of classical theatre for enthusiasts and thespians who want to sink their teeth into some good ol' Oedipus Rex and other similar masterpieces.


CORDOBA, Spain. Of course, a large chunk of Spanish culture is attributed to its Islamic heritage, as the southern region of Andalusia (Spanish: Andalucía) was home to caliphates that nurtured and assimilated their culture into what was there before. The archaeological complex of Medina Azahara, about 40 minutes from the center of the city of Córdoba, is very recommendable. Buy your round-trip ticket (about 5€) in any tourist kiosk located in the city.

4 comments:

Raimundo said...

Dear Marlon:

Nice blog. I'm waiting for your fantastic photos. Do you remember? The camera was "Mathew". And the actors were: you, Vicky and me. Thank you and best regards.

My e-mail is: raimundoantonio@hotmail.com

huami said...

You're so lucky that you are able to travel. Learning about history (and culture) should be people's reason for traveling. But for some, it's just about shopping and the "prestige". How I envy you! Bwahahahha!

Marlon said...

Raimundo:

Hehehehehehe. Thanks for dropping by! I'm working on the photos (léase: 'toy haciendo nada más que esperar a que me vengan las ganas de bajarlas).

I'd e-mail them ASAP.

M.

Marlon said...

Huami dear:

Yeah, I'm a nerd. Even my travel choices are nerdy.

M.