Around the World Pic: Camel’s in Jordan Drinking from Bottles

camel-with-a-bottle

This was one of the sillier things I’ve seen in my day. The camel was making a whole lot of noise – honking and braying and doing lord knows what – and a bunch of tourists were watching this go down. This is at Petra, by the way, down by the Treasury.

In any case, one of the guides took a water bottle and brought it over to the camel who proceeded to suck all of the water down like he was a giant baby. When the guide let the bottle go the camel chewed it rapidly and then spat it out on the ground. You can already see one of two at his feet.

Very amusing.

Have you been to Petra? Jordan? Ridden a camel before?

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Around the World Pics: Me at an Incredible Temple in Egypt

egypt-3061

My six days in Egypt were awesome. As you can see from the continuing chambers and enormous doorways of this Temple, it was incredible. It was awe-inspiring for me. I can’t imagine what an ancient person, accustomed to small homes and hovels, would have imagined when walking into this shrine of the gods.

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Around the World: Me at the Great Wall of China with a Random Asian Dude

The Great Wall of China is awesome. Here I am with some random dude who was climbing up when I was.

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Around the World: The Acropolis in Athens is an Incredible Place

Enjoying the View from the Acropolis

Enjoying the View from the Acropolis

Greece is a spectacularly beautiful place. Most of my time there was spent hopping around a few islands, and I only spent about 4 hours in Athens before I caught a plane to London at the end of my trip. All I really cared to do was explore the ancient forum and climb up to the Acropolis.

Like the Temple Mount in Jerusalem that is currently home to the Dome of the Rock, the Acropolis, meaning ‘sacred rock’ is an elevated mountain platform that has always been associated with the sacred and the holy. Since the sixth millennium BCE it has been inhabited or built upon and though it is no longer in use for worshiping the gods, it’s still a breathtaking place to visit.

The 360 degree views from the top are spectacular. The columns are insanely enormous and the entire structure dwarves you and all the people hopping around the edges of it. Funny enough, I saw the friezes that adorned the Acropolis a year earlier when I was in London visiting the British Museum. They’re also incredible, and I can’t imagine what they would have looked like at the top of this amazing structure.

Have you ever been to the Acropolis? What did you think? Have you seen the parts of it that are in the British Museum?

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Around the World Pic of the Day: The Vatican & Red Hot Catholic Love

Jay in the Vatican

It’s a crappy picture I know – a little too dark, not centered, etc. – but it’s so appropriate for tonight’s episode of South Park, “Red Hot Catholic Love.” This is absolutely one of my favorite episodes. When the priest-molesting-boy scandal makes the South Park parents fear for their children’s safety, they abandon the Church and become atheists. In the meantime, Father Maxi goes to the Vatican to try to put a stop to the molestation and save Catholicism and the results and closing words of the episode are inspirational and amazing.

Personally, I found the Vatican to be one of the most sensational places I visited in four months of non-stop backpacking around Europe. The Vatican Museum was by far my favorite museum, especially Raphael’s School of Athens painting. It was breathtaking and brought tears to my eyes. The collection aside from that was spectacular, and I can’t even imagine all of the amazing knowledge waiting to be found in the Vatican’s files and libraries. Conceptually, that it’s a country, the place is also fascinating – so small and entirely inside the capital city of another country! St. Peter’s Basilica is unbelievably enormous (though the statues everywhere I found a little weird – kind of pagan and a little too cult worshippy). All in all, though, a sensational place that I recommend to every traveler.

But the issues in the Catholic Church are fascinating and require greater scrutiny – something that South Park gives us in episode 608. Why do the South Park parents go atheist? Are their reasons connected to their concerns about their children? Do you agree that when people don’t have any mythology to try to live their lives by they just start spewing a whole bunch of crap out of their mouths? A fantastic episode – do not miss it!

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