Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I'm back, ya'll

And I'm red, ya'll.

Actually, I did manage to get some color of the more attractive variety on my recent travels. Two weeks in the desert--and by that I mean hotels in Egypt and Jordan--will make even the pastiest Midwestern Irish lad a little tan.

So where to start? I love ruins. Ancient things, old things, things built by civilizations that have vanished, things that archaelogists are unsure about. It fascinates me that people took the time and effort, 4,000 years ago, to move massive blocks of stone and create monuments that they will only be able to enjoy for a few decades. Or, in the case of the pharaohs, never, as they were building the things to house their dead bodies.

Happily, over the last two weeks I have gotten up close looks at all kinds of antiquities, from the inside of the Great Pyramid to the ruins of Petra, a sprawling city full of tombs carved from rock and decorated to look like they are hiding the Holy Grail.

The inside isn't as pretty.

I'm not sure what attracts me to ancient stuff so much. It's just amazing to run my fingers over some carving and realize that some other guy standing in the same place thousands of years ago had put it there. What was he surrounded by? What were the people around him doing? Was he as sunburned as I was? Petra, especially, poked me in my imagination, as it was designed around water sources and included massive and intricate rock carvings that carried the stuff all across the city in waterfalls, fountains and irrigation channels. And most of it was built before Jesus invented Christianity.

I guess that's why I'm a writer. I ask lots of questions--a variable percentage of which are insightful or interesting--and my imagination latches onto things. Sometimes very old things.

But lest you think that this vacation was strictly antiquities, here is a shot of the Author of the Blog sitting in a cafe in a Cairo market.

Not pictured: thousands of touts and hucksters waiting to take my money.

1 comment:

Pietro Devon said...

too cool.
and welcome back.