Saturday, April 02, 2005

Accidental tourists

Yesterday, a national holiday in the Principality, the fourth one, we went for a trip to an archaeological site.

We set off late, picked up A+ and spent 45 minutes waiting at the checkpoint. Then we hit traffic in the Capital. We finally cruised along the great empty plain, heading east. The weather was, hm, not sunny.


We took a wrong turn, which meant more traffic, plus hitting a protest of a crowd waving red flags (but not your average red flags). Then we finally reached the site, a once mighty city of the Hellenistic and Roman times, the then capital of the Outpost.

There we saw the beautiful gym with its atrium


this very cute fresco


as well as the theatre


and many other things. Springtime was all around


so, after a 90 minute tour of the site, we got hungry. Nevertheless, we decided to go back to the (contemporary) Capital for lunch / dinner. After some more traffic, we hit the motorway, through a really heavy downpour. Eventually, it stopped.


We reached the capital and parked near a celebrated restaurant. They would not open for dinner for another hour. So, we left only to get stuck in some serious traffic. On our way to the checkpoint, we reached the tail of a 3 kilometre queue. By then we were ravenous, so we rang another restaurant to book a table. Lots of gastric fluid flowing and an hour later we crossed the checkpoint and headed for the restaurant. The police stopped us because of a torch-lit procession of pupils and scouts marching to the sound of drums on their way to the centre. We were famished:

"What is this all about?"
"The Outpost youth from all the corners of the Outpost are gathering at the centre of the Capital to light the altar of the homeland."
"Nuremberg!", I cursed.
I immediately afterwards foolishly drove past a red light (this almost cost us an accident) and eventually reached the restaurant.


Blogger The Passenger said...

Too bad we lost that beautiful place you visited forever....(for us that is- understandably, for someone not from the Outpost it doesn't make any difference who owns what)

I have no idea what that torch/altar thing you mentioned was.....was it on our side of the island or in the other side?

3/4/05 02:27  
Blogger Loxias said...

I believe that it is humanity who owns cultural heritage sites, not groups of people. Come to think about it, during its heyday, the ruined city was not ethnically or culturally 'pure'.

As to what is under whose administration, this is a matter that could have been more or less resolved in the recent past.

Close reading will answer your last question. ;-)

3/4/05 12:40  
Blogger The Passenger said...

Actually the issue of ownership was resolved 30 something years ago. Which is why I used the past tense in my comment.

I will closely read the entry again :)

3/4/05 13:14  
Blogger sissoula said...

I'll steer clear of the ownership issue and just say this was a lovely little odyssey that I'm glad you shared. Has a fresco ever been described as cute? (But you're absolutely right.)

4/4/05 09:29  

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