Ceramic Ceiling Ornament- Park Guell

This ceiling decoration caught my eye when visiting Gaudi’s Park Guell in Barcelona last month. This is located at the hall with many columns that was once designed to be the community hall. Somehow the decoration is almost emblematic of the designs that Gaudi envisaged. Bold, multi-coloured and fluid.

Moon and the Arch

The Roman Arch and the waxing moon sighted at El Djem Amphitheatre in Tunisia

Temple to Juno Caelestis

When I first came across “Temple of Caelestis” in the map to the ruins of Dougga (Tunisia), I mistook it for a temple to Ceres- the Roman Goddess of Harvest (equivalent of Demeter). It took me quite some time to realise my mistake and to understand that Caelestis was actually the shortened form of ‘Juno…

Mountains of the Mind

“Mountains are only contingencies of geology.” The first work I read by Robert Macfarlane was his essay about walking the Broomway. Reading it, I got the sense that this man could write about dragging a shopping cart from his doorstep to the end of the street and could still have people hooked to every word,…

10 reasons why Trajan deserves your vote as Rome’s best Emperor

Except Augustus of course. Nobody beats Augustus. Augustus is God. If you took a street poll asking people to list names of Roman politicians/ rulers they know, you’re likely to come up with something like Julius Caesar Mark Anthony Augustus Brutus Hadrian Most recall these names either thanks to Shakespeare and a lot of people…

Meanwhile in Dubai

We’ve got a new tourist attraction that opened up earlier this year. Yes, this is the Dubai Frame. When I moved to Dubai in May 2016, the Frame was still in its early stages of construction and I remember thinking it looked at that point like an oil rig. It is an impressive structure meant…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Rise/ Set

This week’s challenge asks us to post our favourite sunrise or sunset. Needless to say, the most iconic sunrise I have ever experienced was near Angkor Wat in Cambodia. I’m amazed that it has been more than four years since I travelled to Siem Reap. I’d like to go back to Cambodia one of these…

Water, water, everywhere- a paean to Roman aqueducts

The excerpt below is taken from the book “Rome in Africa” by Susan Raven in the chapter titled “Conquest of a Country”. “There is a legend that a Roman soldier fell in love with a native (Carthaginian) princess, who as proud as Dido, would have nothing to do with him; she would never marry him,…

The Wander

In Kim Stanley Robinson’s ‘2312’ humans have colonised a bevy of planets and satellites in the solar system. Even Mercury, despite its proximity to the sun, has a satellite city on wheels that slowly moves in pace with the rotation of the planet so that it is always out of the brunt of direct sunlight….

But Marcus Agrippa didn’t fecit

The Pantheon is one of Rome’s most iconic buildings. It’s visually impressive and architecturally innovative. Considering it was built in the early 2nd Century CE, it was quite a revolutionary building. The inscription on the outside of the building says Marcus Agrippa built it during his third term as consul but this was another pantheon….

You’re in Rome when

You see stone pines towering over monumental ruins The old survives with the new You see the Victor Emmanuel monument all the time You see as many gulls as people When even the airport coffee rocks