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Morning photo: Old stuff

Relics …

The stones of this abbey courtyard in Austria tell their own story.

FRISCO — In a change of pace from the recent series of Summit County scenics. we’re digging back in the archives and looking for some old stuff — not just old photos, but photos of old things, like the centuries old courtyard of an Austrian abbey founded several centuries before Columbus set sail to the New World. Traveling in Europe and visiting some of the ancient monuments always gives me a fresh perspective on history, helping me understand the transient nature of what appear to be even the most urgent current events. As much as we may haggle and shout over the topic du jour, it’s always worth considering the bigger picture. Continue reading

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Morning photo: World Heritage

Around the world with Summit Voice

Corfu has a reputation as a hedonistic hotspot for northern Europeeans, but with cultural roots stretching all the way back to the Byzantine era, the old town's designation as a World heritage site is well-deserved. Click on the pic for more.

SUMMIT COUNTY —UNESCO’s World Heritage program is one of the worthwhile tourism endeavors that I’m familiar with. By choosing landmarks with cultural or environmental significance, the organization draws attention to some of the planets most cherished sites. In Colorado, Mesa Verde is the only World Heritage site so far, and the “black helicopter” crowd isn’t making it easy to suggest additional spots. I don’t really catalog the sites I’ve visited — in fact in some cases, I’m not even aware that a place is listed as such. But most of them are pretty cool places to spend a few days whether they’re listed or not.

The entire Dutch island of Texel is listed as a World heritage site for its extensive and undisturbed coastal dune ecoystem. Click on the pic for more.

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Travel: In the shadow of Vesuvius

Humans seem drawn to disaster zones

Naples, on the flanks of Mt, Vesuvius, at dusk.

By Bob Berwyn

After a long day of slogging around the Roman ruins of Pompeii last year  — past the House of the Chaste Lovers, to the House of the Small Fountain, and, finally, the House of the Faun — I had to ask myself: What can we learn from a bunch of crumbly old buildings perched precariously on the flanks of Mt. Vesuvius, near Naples, Italy?

Along with the fact that glittery sneakers, purple hair and leggings seem to be in fashion in Europe these days, I can’t help but think that we never seem to show enough respect in the face of nature’s awesome powers. The Romans knew that Vesuvius was an active geologic area, but that didn’t stop them from building a metropolis in the danger zone — sound familiar? San Francisco, anyone? Continue reading

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