Archaeological Travel – “The Past is a Foreign Country”.
by Hidden History
It is said that travel broadens the mind, and especially when we explore the history and archaeology of the places we visit. The past, like a foreign country, is full of difference and interest. It underlies the character and identity of every destination, and yet it is also the wider story of humankind, and so holds familiarity and relevance for us all. This is why archaeological travel is so fascinating. It unites culture with adventure and adds value and meaning to our travels.
The world’s historic and ancient sites are a ‘wonderbox’ of interesting things, and a veritable ark of profound insights, unsolved mysteries and great discoveries. They are often in beautiful locations too, and visiting them can get us off the beaten track to see more of the country. A useful starting point and source of inspiration are the country profiles by Hidden History Travel who describe the archaeological and historical interest of various travel destinations.
Ancient Greece, for example, may seem like a distant, unfamiliar place but a tour of the ancient sites can be a profoundly satisfying experience. It’s not just the warm weather and good food; it’s an intellectual and emotional connection, a return to the cradle of our modern European world. A Greek temple, with marble columns rising into a clear blue sky, is an abiding symbol of western civilisation, and it is more than just the architecture that feels familiar; it’s the thoughts and actions of its creators, the people whose philosophy, science, art and politics laid the foundations of European culture. Well-conducted tours, such as this one HERE, bring out these wider contexts for us all.
It isn’t necessary to be a history buff; holidays are available which bring it all together for you, so you don’t have to do all the planning and research yourself. The best tours have a balance of leisure and interest, and knowledgeable guides who bring the sites to life. As someone once said; “a tour without a guide is like a movie without a soundtrack”. Everywhere has a story to tell, and the breadth of interest is endless; from simple everyday life to cultural beliefs, and the rise and fall of great civilisations.
On the tiny Mediterranean island of Malta, there are Stone Age temples that predate the pyramids and which were expressions of prehistoric beliefs similar to those held by the builders of England’s famous Stonehenge. Whatever strange rituals were practised at such places, they still fascinate us today as reminders of the bigger picture; the human journey and our continuing attempts to understand life, death and the cosmos. Recent archaeological research has made fascinating inroads into our understanding of the prehistoric world of our ancestors. A great archaeological tour of Malta is available HERE.
The physical remains of the past create landscapes of memory that still resonate in our modern minds. Everyone has heard of the myth of Atlantis but how many people have actually visited the most likely site of the original city? Many scholars agree that the Aegean island of Santorini is the very place. This volcanic island erupted around 3500 years ago with devastating effects on the Bronze Age civilisation of the region, including the palaces of Minoan Crete. It is simply amazing to stand today on the rim of that volcanic crater and realise the scale of the event, and marvel at the antiquity of the island’s ancient city, incredibly preserved in ash like a prehistoric Pompeii. Then sail across to Knossos on Crete, home of King Minos and the Minotaur, to discover Europe’s earliest civilisation. This is the theme of one particularly unique archaeology tour which you can join by clicking HERE.
Turn your next holiday into a worthwhile experience, and part of your personal journey through life. Take a tour with a specialist company like Hidden History Travel. Their expertise creates wonderful holidays that are surprisingly affordable. They have the right balance of leisure and interest, and the interest never ends when the tour ends. Click HERE to find out more. Or call them for a brochure on 0121 444 1854.