A European friend of mine who leads tours once told me that Americans, more than any other people, love old things. Since our country is relatively young (only about 240 years old), we get extra excited when we see a 500-year-old castle or a 1000-year-old bridge.
That may be true, but any living person can get excited about the world’s great ancient ruins. I got excited when I saw that four of the five most-visited ruins in this travel slideshow are included on EF College Break tours. And I was even more excited to see that I’d been to three of them myself. I can personally vouch for their wondrousness.
Roman Colosseum: I love going inside the Colosseum, that giant arena that held up to 50,000 spectators. You can really imagine yourself in the stands, wearing a toga, cheering for things you’d never cheer for today.
Roman Forum: The Forum was cool. This was the center of Ancient Rome for more than a thousand years. Though the ruins themselves aren’t as obviously mind-blowing as the Colosseum, knowing the importance of the space adds a special profoundness.
Great Wall of China: I’ve written about this before, including just a few weeks ago, but I’ll say it again: the Great Wall of China does not disappoint. I was lucky enough to see it way out in the countryside, but anywhere you see it, you can’t help but be amazed when you consider the sheer size of the thing. It is one long wall.
I haven’t been to the other two sights on the most-visited list: the Pyramids of Egypt (someday, I promise myself) and the Terra Cotta Warriors in Xi’an, China (would be nice too).
I love ancient ruins.
Photo: Sebastian Bergmann via Flickr