Been around the world and seen a lot of things.

I’ve gone out of my way to make the best effort to track down all the ancient wonders the world still has to offer. I crossed the Sinai Desert, passing through military checkpoints, to witness the majesty of the Great Pyramids and the Sphinx. I trekked through the southeast Asian jungles to explore the temples of Angkor in Cambodia. I ran, yes ran, along the Great Wall of China. I’ve been inside both the Taj Mahal and the Hagia Sofia (and Jen even went inside Jerusalem’s Dome of the Rock – forbidden to non-Muslims).

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I traveled to Petra in Jordan, Kappadokya in Turkiye, Chichen Itza in Mexico, Jeju Island in South Korea, the Statue of Liberty in New York City, and just about every single temple in Kyoto Japan (including Kiyomizu). So what’s left? If you’ve been reading my most recent blogs then you already have the answer. The Colosseum in Rome, Italy.

Unfortunately, my loyal droogs and droogettes, I have disappointing news to report. I wasn’t all that impressed with Italy’s contribution to the New 7 Wonders list. Perhaps, it was because of all the hype surrounding it. Or maybe it was the fact that I had already been to many of the other places on the list.

Jen and I inside the Colosseum
Jen and I inside the Colosseum

Don’t get me wrong, it was cool. It just wasn’t as cool as I had hoped. Nobody has asked me to put my official stamp on which of the “wonders” is my favorite; thankfully, because I’m not sure I could choose one. But what walking around inside the “One Hit Wonder” did get me thinking about was all of the other ancient wonders that no longer exist… the ones none of us will ever get to see.

The two that always fascinated me as a kid were the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and the Colossus of Rhodes. In fact, while living in Turkiye, we almost took a trip to the Greek island of Rhodes – knowing the Colossus had been destroyed centuries ago – just for the chance to take a boat ride through the mouth of the harbor where he previously stood and say we passed beneath him.

The Fabled Colossus of Rhodes
The Fabled Colossus of Rhodes

And the crux about Babylon is that nobody knows exactly where the ancient and mythological metropolis was! Of course, there’s speculation that it’s somewhere in present-day Iraq – I think near the present-day city of Hillah (but God knows I’m never going there).

So all things considered, I suppose the Colosseum wouldn’t be at the bottom of my list… but it certainly wouldn’t be at the top (and I’m Italian).

Hasta La Proxima…

-Justin

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