Ruins That I Would Like to See

Image

Ruins I Would Like To See.

“The woods are lovely, dark and deep,   But I have promises to keep,   And miles to go before I sleep,   And miles to go before I sleep.”Robert Frost

Our world is so filled with places that I want to see. It’s hard to say whether a single lifetime would indeed be enough to experience all of it. Most of us will probably never see everything that the world has to offer us, but it’s worth a shot. Here are the ruins I still haven’t seen and want to. 

Tikal, Guatemala

The Mayan ruins in Guatemala are ancient wonders built between the sixth century BC and the tenth century AD. Reclaimed by the jungle hundreds of years ago, they’ve been partially excavated and stand as reminders of a great civilization. It’s the tallest pre-Columbian structure in the Americas and famous for its view..

 Terra Cotta Warriors, China

IF you’ve heard of Xian in China before I’m pretty sure it’s because you’ve also heard of the Terracotta Warriors, a collection of terracotta sculptures created to represent the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. This figures were only discovered in 1974 by 3 farmers and have now become one of China’s most prized possessions. Estimates from 2007 were that the three pits containing the Terracotta Army held more than 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses, the majority of which remained buried in the pits.

Great Wall, China

When i was very young, I saw a picture of the Great Wall Of China. While its length was beyond  my comprehension, I vaguely remember sitting down and being absolutely in awe .It is the coolest landmark in the world. The Great Wall was unified and constructed during the Qin Dynasty over 2000 years ago.  Using hundreds of thousand of workers and prisoners, the wall was constructed over decades of work. It was almost destroyed by the Mongols and Chairman Mao but in 1984 when a new ruler came into power, Deng Xiaoping he re-opened its doors to the rest of the world and opted to rebuilt the Great Wall to restore National Pride.

 

Chichen Itza, Mexico

 Chichen Itza is the most well-known and frequently visited Mayan ruins site in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. It has a fascinating 1,000-year-old history. One thing that makes  Chichen Itza so intriguing, other than the giant stone pyramid, is the mysterious decline of the Maya people themselves.By the time of the Spanish conquest, this great city and others like it were virtually ghost towns. Mexico’s most famous ruins are astonishingly well-restored site compared to other Mayan ruins in the region. 

Giza, Egypt

The Giza Pyramid complex is located just at the outskirts of the Egyptian capital Cairo. Set in the desert, it comprises three Pyramids that each have a mini-complex of its own and the Sphinx. The Sphinx is an iconic Giant statue of the mythical creature with the body of a lion and the head of a human. There are many theories about why the pyramids were constructed in the first place. The most accepted one was that they were constructed as a tomb for the great pharaohs that ordered them built. Many theories abound as to how is it that these massive structures were made especially during ancient times.

Luxor, Egypt

Established on the shore of the great Nile river and surrounded by both mango plantations and desert, Luxor is one of the greatest open air museums. containing some the largest and most striking ancient monuments ever constructed.. The history of Luxor (originally called the city of Thebes) dates back to 3,200 B.C. Nevertheless, the city didn’t prosper until the 2,134 B.C., during the 11th Dynasty, when Mentuhotep ll brought peace and stability to the region, and Thebes started to grow as a city, becoming, during the 18th Dynasty, in 1,550 B.C., the religious and political capital of Ancient Egypt.most of their tombs, monuments and temples still remain, very well-preserved, including the tomb of the world-famous  Tutankhamen..

Stonehenge, England

What were they for? How did they get here? What do they mean? So many questions surround the ring of massive prehistoric stones found at Stonehenge and the fact that we’ll probably never have any concrete answers only adds to the mystery and allure of the site.How these stones ended up in perfect architectural symmetry in the middle of the English countryside, long before modern machinery would have made it a much simpler feat, is perhaps what entices so many people to visit this ancient iconic site year after year.

Pompeii, Italy

In 79 AD somewhere around 20,000 Pompeians went about their daily lives giving nary a thought to the volcano they lived alongside. August 24th would change their lives forever. On that fateful day as Mt. Vesuvius spewed, though much of the city was destroyed, Pompeii was also buried under 20 feet of ash and pumice. Centuries of history were sealed away until 1748. It was Rocque Joaquin de Acubierre that discovered Pompeii. Due to the lack of air and moisture, artifacts buried under the ash and pumice at both archeological sites were extremely well preserved. 

Great Mosque, Mali

The iconic Grand Mosque in Djenne, northern Mali is the largest free standing mud brick building in the world and harking back to a time of tribal empires long since fallen.A new layer of adobe plastering is used to fill the cracks which occur in the extreme summer heat, and repairs made to damage done with the pounding of the annual rains. The worst kept secret of Djenne’s Grand Mosque is that it is not the original. Though it is surely the finest example of Sahelian adobe architecture in the world, it was in fact built by the French in c. 1908. The original dated back to the 13th century but did not stand the test of time and of the elements.

Borobodor Temple, Indonesia

Borobudur is the world’s largest Buddhist temple, and Indonesia’s most visited tourist attraction. Located on the island of Java, the temple was constructed in the 9th century, before being abandoned in the 14th century as the population converted to Islam. Protected by UNESCO, it was restored in the 1970s and later opened to the public (while still being used for religious pilgrimage).

Ellora and Ajanta Caves, India

The Ellora and Ajanta caves are located outside of Aurangabad, which is an eight-hour train ride from Mumbai. The Ellora caves were built between the fifth and tenth century. There are 34 caves, some Hindu, some Buddhist and a few Jain. The Ajanta caves, like the temples of Khajuraho, were “lost” for centuries until an Englishman discovered them in the mid-19th century. They are all Buddhist, and known more for their paintings 

Carthage, Tunisia

Carthage was the centre of the Carthaginian Empire in antiquity. The city has existed for nearly 3,000 years, developing from a Phoenician colony of the first millennium BC into the capital of an ancient empire. Carthage is 15 kilometers north of Tunis and these ruins once were the most important trading base in that region with a population of over half a million. Do you know Hannibal? He came from Carthage and tried to battle the Romans but was defeated two centuries BC. Half a century later the Romans took Carthage and destroyed most if not all of the city. They rebuild their own Carthage and made it the capital of the Roman province Africa. 

Fly safe,
JAZ

The World Is Smaller

Image

The World Is Smaller

“Music in the soul can be heard by the universe”. Lao Tzu

The world shrunk a bit more when people started posting youtube videos. The planet is full of normal people  having normal lives  and not always the crazy place the media makes it out to be. Music, dance and singing has always been a way to engage people in a common conversation. People want  to feel connected to each other and they are just as curious about us as we are about them. Here are some of my favorite youtube videos that show this.

Hungary

England

China

Australia

Brazil

New Zealand

Israel

Thailand

Tanzania

Fly safe,

JAZ

Old World Palaces And Castles

Image

Palaces and Castles

“ And if she asks you why, you can tell her that I told you, that I’m tired of castles in the air “Don McLean (I love that song)

Castles and palaces are pieces of the past. They are evocative of the people who lived in them many centuries ago. They are rich in folklore and history and often built with astonishing craftsmanship and innovative design. Here are some of the palaces that I have toured. Many of these photos were before I was blogging so less palace and more look I was there shots.

Alhambra – Granada, Spain

fullsizeoutput_5ea7Buckingham Palace – London, England

Buda Castle – Budapest, Hungary (view near castle)

fullsizeoutput_5ea9

Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale) – Venice, Italy

Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh, Scotland

Neuschwanstein – Hohenschwangau, Germany

Pena Palace – Sintra, Portugal

Peterhof, (known as Petrodvorets and Petergof) – Petergof ,Saint Petersburg, Russia

Pitti Palace – Florence, Italy

Prague Castle – Prague, Czech Republic

Schoenbrunn – Vienna, Austria

Trakai Castle – Trakai, Lithuania.

Palace Of Versailles, Versailles, France

Fly safe,

JAZ

Countries My Friends And Family Have Emigrated From To America

Countries My Friends And Family Have Emigrated From To America.

“No one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark.” Warsan Shire

Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Colombia, Egypt, El Salvador, England, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Hungary, India, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica,  Japan, Lithuania, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand,  Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Philippines, Poland, Puerto Rico, Russia, Serbia, Scotland, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria, Turkey, Viet Nam, Zimbabwe.

Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 10.21.09 PM

Growing up in New York, with immigrant grandparents, the Statue of Liberty meant something. “Tell us the story of when your parents saw the Statue of Liberty for the first time again” we asked.   My mother would say that to her parents and many like them, the statue meant freedom to live in a country where you could be whatever you wanted to be. America was the place to go to flee from oppression, racism, class-ism and poverty. We understood that it was something special to be born in a country with ideals like that.

America is not perfect. We have racism and poverty. But that doesn’t destroy the dreams it was built on. Millions of people came to America to build a better life for themselves and for their families and still do to this day.

On the Statue of Liberty, there are words I know so well: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free.” That’s the spirit that made me feel like an American.  I wouldn’t be here without that philosophy.

Fly safe.

JAZ

My Selfie, My Life or People Taking Selfies Around The World

My Selfie,My Life or People Taking Selfies Around The World

“I will go so far as to say without Instagram, there may never have been the word, ‘selfie.”

Ken Poirot

What happens when almost every phone has a built in camera?  There are a lot of people taking selfies. Is it a sign of being self absorbed or self reliant? Either way for some people, no day is complete until the selfie is posted.

Netherlands

DSC00496

France

DSC00654

South Africa

DSC00951.jpg

USA

IMG_9680

Australia

IMG_7371

Brazil

IMG_1343.jpg

Japan

IMG_3988

England

FullSizeRender-12

Turkey

13282744_513714895499412_1421104729_o

Norway

image-18

South Korea

IMG_5528.JPG

North Korea

IMG_9894

Fly Safe,

JAZ

Things I Learned In The U.K.

“From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere!”

Dr. Seuss, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

Things I Learned In The UK

There is nothing the Brits love better than musicals where they already know the songs, drinks that light up in the theatre,  and drag queens,  as in Mamma Mia, Thriller, Dirty Dancing,  We Will Rock you and  Priscilla Queen of the Desert.

The UK did a composite of the worst drivers in the UK. The worst woman would be a hairdresser from Gloucester, driving a BMW. Hairdressing must be lucrative in  Gloucester.

An ATM is called a hole in the wall.  As in, the hole in the wall is not working.

Buckingham Palace seems to be a lovely place to grow up.

If you are starving and you don’t know what you would like to eat, the food department at Harrods would not be the place to go. ( so big and overwhelming. )

The guards at the  Tower of London  are called Yeoman Warders or the “Beefeaters”. Their job description is to look after  the prisoners in the tower and guard the crown jewels.  Their actual job is tour guide. They are called Beefeaters because up until the eighteen hundreds, they were paid in part with chunks of beef.(life seemed a lot easier –no vegans, vegetarians, pescatarians – just beefeaters)

I love watching the news on the BBC. It is much less stressful than CNN.  If it rains a little more than usual  here,  we are on Storm Watch.   An engine shuts off on a plane in the air and they have “ a bit of a problem”.

If you have no sense of direction, then walking from the National Gallery in London to Harvey Nichols is probably not a good idea, unless you have done it before and for some reason, your feet go in the right direction and you get there

There are no sales in   Edinburgh or London when I am there.

In the UK, they say sorry instead of excuse me, which does make it better when they bump into you.

In London, you can be engaged just by closing a bathroom door.

In the Uk, everyone says  no worries. We have recently taken that one. I still worry.

If you are walking down the Royal Mile in Edinburgh and you see men on stilts, Vikings, people  in animal costumes, a lot of Elizabethans, mimes, magicians  and assorted costumes; and they happen to be begging, cajoling, pleading, persuading, enticing, sweet-talking you into seeing their plays, you have arrived in August at the Fringe Festival .It is one of the largest and most popular theatre arts festivals in the world.  My daughter has performed there and my son has worked there.  It is one of my favorite places to be in August.

The Edinburgh Tatoo, which has been sold out in advance for the last two decades, plays every night in August.  It is a ceremonial performance by military musicians. There are military corps from all over the world playing bagpipes and drums. It has turned into quite the extravaganza and like nothing else I have ever seen. I have to say I teared up at the end when 8000 people linked arms and sang Auld Lang Syne with correct pronunciation.

Not everyone in Edinburgh speaks like Sean Connery and sometimes understanding the Scottish brogue can be a bit of a problem.  I just smile and nod and I hope I didn’t agree to anything important.

In Heathrow Airport there is a sign with a picture of a woman and two men. It is not the international symbol for menage a trois,  It means elevator(?)

The Saatchi Gallery is always closed when I get to London.

The Tate Modern is always open when I am there. I love to walk from there across the Milennium Bridge to St Paul’s Cathedral.

Heathrow Airport has the best sales in July.

The British Museum houses all the antiquities that the British plundered from other countries. It probably would have been great to see the Rosetta Stone , Elgin Marbles and ancient Egyptian statues in their own countries instead of the Hall of the Stolen Goods.

If you have no sense of direction in Scotland, it doesn’t matter because when you ask one person for directions, everyone on the street will stop and give you their opinion as to the best way to get there.

Traditional British food is anything high in cholesterol and fried in grease.  They have names like Bubble and Squeak ( some left over mashed potato and cabbage pancake  -no bubbling or squeaking), Bangers and Mash (sausages and mashed potatoes), Haggis (pork guts cooked in sheep stomach, ) beans on toast (Brits are obsessed with toast) Yorkshire Pudding ( not pudding –bread),Cornish Pasties (meat in a pastry almost as good as the many different types of canned meats),  black pudding (sausage? Is everything edible called pudding?) Scotch eggs (hard boiled egg fried inside a sausage inside a pastry).  Dessert can be Sticky Toffee Pudding (yum)  or (yes) Spotted Dick. (yellow cake with raisins) followed by digestive biscuits  .(need I say more here?)

The most common phrase in the UK seems to be “Is this the queue?

For more info read London with a little help frim my friends

https://havefunflysafe.wordpress.com/2012/10/30/best-things-to-do-in-london-with-a-little-help-from-my-friends/

Fly Safe

JAZ