The Ruins of Pompeii
I said to Brad the other day that every time we've visited an iconic place or world heritage site I'm blown away, more than I'd ever expected. I think that I used to think that visiting the place would be something like seeing it on National Geographic. It's not. It's a whole different thing. Crawling over the ruins of ancient decaying temples in Angkor Wat, seeing Borobudur on Jakarta, exploring the Japanese gardens and streets of Kyoto, walking down the streets of old Rome in the Forum or through the Coliseum, seeing the Big Buddha in Thailand, climbing the steps of Notre Dame, sitting on the coasts of Cinque Terre or Amalfi, so many other once-in-a-lifetime experiences have just blown me away one after the other. There is something profoundly life changing about standing in a place that was constructed a few thousand years ago or even a few hundred years ago and imagining that world as it was in it's prime. The paradox of the vast differences in cultures across time and space next to how similar we are as human beings... the reality of how small a period of time we actually inhabit this earth and the responsibility we have to the rest of the human race... to consider it all as you walk through places you could never have dreamed up in your head can be a truly spiritual experience. Pompeii felt that way to me. It's so vast, which I didn't exactly expect, and you can just imagine what this city was like when it thrived, till the precise moment it did not. Very few places can give you the chills like Pompeii can. I'm incredibly happy to have these photos to preserve that feeling.