I visited the ruins of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, one the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, in Turkey, and the statues which used to be there and are now in the British Museum.Read More
Kyoto is possibly Japan’s most important city historically. It was not only the imperial capital of the country for over a thousand years, but also the birthplace of none other than Super Mario. And Nintendo. Yeah, I like Nintendo.
In 2011 I was in Japan shooting the FIFA World Cup of Clubs, which Barcelona F.C. eventually won. I was on my way from Tokyo to Toyota, where one of the matches took place, and stopped for a day trip on Kyoto.Read More
Machu Picchu, Tenochtitlán, Heracleion. The list of lost cities found in jungles, deserts or under the sea by modern archaeologists goes on. Once myths, now part of history. El Dorado, Atlantis, Z and many others still fuel the imagination of dreamers who hope to one day stumble upon ruins.
The city of Angkor was never lost, per se, but so much of it's history has been forgotten that it's almost as it has. The Khmer Empire was the greatest on earth and to this day parts of it are still being unearthed.
Capital of the great Khmer Empire in the 12th century, Angkor must have been a magnificent place to be in it's time. With a population estimated at the time of more than a million people, it's total area was greater than today's Paris and has more stones than all structures in Egypt combined.
In Angkor (word that stands for capital in sanskrit) we find the symbol of Cambodia, pictured in the country's national flag, the Angkor Wat (Temple City or Pagoda City).
The Angkor Wat was the first temple I visited during my stay in large complex. It's the largest religious monument in the world covering 162.6 hectares of land and was built by Suryavarman II in dedication to the Hindu god Vishnu, the guy that unified the empire.
Cambodia is HOT and HUMID. I can't stress more these two words more without waking up the neighbors. Go early and take tons of water. I mean at least 3 liters per person. There will be vendors selling you stuff everywhere. Water is one dollar.
Here is a map so you can better understand the place.
It is truly a breathtaking experience to visit Angkor Wat. So much raw history right in front of your eyes and still so much to be uncovered.
What's next? Machu Picchu, Tenochtitlán, Heracleion? Maybe. If I'm lucky I might stumble upon Atlantis too.
Known as the Gardens of Perfect Brightness 圆明园, the ruins of the old Summer Palace are a memory of one of the most beautiful palaces in China. During the second Opium War, in 1860, European forces plundered and destroyed the place, taking relics that dated back 3500 years. Charles George Gordon, a French captain, wrote "You can scarcely imagine the beauty and magnificence of the places we burn. It made one's heart sore to burn them; in fact these places were so large, and we were so pressed for time, that we could not plunder them carefully." Many Chinese artifacts in western museums today are the result of plundering and looting of ancient China. Then in 1900 again the eight nations, during the boxers rebellion, came back and tore down whatever had survived.
The ruins are one of the very few remaining "unrestored" ancient sites of Beijing I know of. Most places have been either completely restored to look like they would have in ancient times or simply torn down to give space to modern buildings.
I used quotation marks because although these are ruins, I can't say I'm completely convinced this is all original. While I don't have proof of anything, several facts lead me to believe these aren't simply the ruins of what was once the largest palace in the history of China. Many of the stone pieces and their engravings seemed to me too well conserved for such an old piece, specially when thousands of people are stepping on them and handling them everyday.
Another notable fact is that - and architects or engineers reading, please correct me if I'm wrong - some of the stones were noticeably different. It seemed that several blocks were actually marble, while others were of a simpler material, not cement, but of the likes.
The pictures in this post are from two very different times of the year, winter 2015 and spring 2016.
Along with the Imperial Palace and Tiananmen Square, one of the most famous landmarks of Beijing is the Temple of Heaven, in the southern part of town. It's in every guidebook and about every tourist that passed through the city since Marco Polo has been there.
What a lot of people don't know is that hidden in what is now the Russian shopping district lies the TEMPLE OF HELL HELl HEll Hell hell *echoes and fades just like in Fraggle Rock*
In reality, it is a Daoist temple called Dongyue, which was named after Mount Tai, one of the Five Sacred Mountains of Daoism.
The place is known informally as the Temple of Hell because of it's scary statues of death and punishment.
Well, that seems like an awesome place to bring the kids, right?