All posts tagged: Travel with kids

Paestum and the temple of Hera

Having an ex-archaeologist as a partner means that we see a fair amount of old stuff. Amphitheatres, temples, burial chambers, the lot. On the whole, the kids and I are happy to wander about these places, shoulder to shoulder with the ghosts. Some sites grab me more than others, sometimes I’m tired and suffering from ancient site saturation and I struggle to connect with the people who laid the stones, walked the streets, sat in the theatres. Other times I’m utterly alive to the humming of souls hovering just behind their thin veil of time. Whilst Paestum’s ruined Roman town was interesting – the cart tracks worn in the great stone slabs of the roads, the crumbled walls of the homes of the gentry – it was the earlier Greek temples that really stole the show. Of particular resonance for me, occasional student of the classics, were the temples dedicated to Hera; queen of Olympus, consort of Zeus. Hera is an intriguing figure amongst the ancient Greek pantheon; the people were building temples to Hera …

The Cities of the Dalmatian Coast

With their mixture of architectural style and layered history, the magnificent cities of the Croatian coast are like film sets. Each turn of a corner and each new vista reminiscent of some half-remembered scene from a movie watched long ago. Today they feel like tourist towns, their beating hearts muffled by the constant pounding of traveller feet; their stones polished underfoot to a slippery shine by the passage of infinite hordes. Every few paces there’s a cafe, restaurant or souvenir shop, clamouring for your tourist penny. But if you look up, the stories of the buildings still soar above – painted shutters, tiny garret windows looking across endless rust-tiled roofs, carved faces peering eerily from unexpected corners and the exotic moorish curves of Venetian era windows – knowingly watching the garish comings and goings of the modern world below. And if ¬†you escape the crowds and go peeking about the hushed hidden alleyways of the city you can find lines of washing hanging, perfectly mundane against their crumbling backdrop of slow and graceful decay. So …