Pont du Gard museum. It was added to UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites in 1985 because of its historical importance.

abundance of water and decadent rome

A 50 Km aqueduct with 35Km of tunnels ground in rock and several bridges made of limestone with rudimentary tools and cranes is not a project to be taken lightly. Pont du Gard being the best preserved bridge, stands proud under the heat of the sun of June in the Provence.

One would think that such huge enterprise was meant to secure the all so important supply of basic water needs of Nimes. However this wasn’t the real purpose of the Roman politicians; The water from this aqueduct was only meant to supply the pools and baths of Nimes, and ultimately a work of Roman Empire propaganda, financed with a temporary levy of imperial taxes over the region, for the enlightening of the savages of Europe. 

An empty view of the Pont du Gard is not an all too common chance, but of being early underway. What in the summer days this far south is not a bad idea anyway. In the early hour, the light still has a yellowish cast, an angle that remarks the inscriptions in the old stones, and the sky is not totally whited out.

Later the riverbanks will slowly fill with visitors looking for refreshment, canoes will pass under the bridge on their way downstream, and shadowy tables at the coffee terraces along the site will be attentively watched for vacancies.

Cloister of the Cathedral of Roda de Isabena

the bishop’s seat and a past of “reconquista”

Build atop a rock the Cathedral of the X century and the town of Roda de Isabena are full of hints of the past struggles between Spaniards and Muslims. The Crypt could not be carved into the rock and stands exceptionally level to the floor of the hall opposite to the throne of the bishop and the stalls. An unusual view.

Street on the climb to the higher town side of Montañana, Aragón, Spain

hidden places and a past of “reconquista”

Not the place you would pass by, not even you would go there unless the sting of curiosity pulls you off the state road N230 and up the winding single line road to Montañana. Time stopped here, or you feel like being back from close orbiting a black hole for a few hours.

Historical site of the concentration camp of Dachau. Guided tour. Entrance door.

dachau and a message to the future we

Today, the Memorial of the KZ Dachau is a place for unconventional tourists and brave women and men who dedicate their lives to dig deep in the roots of that monstrosity with the purpose to understand how such holocaust of mankind can come to happen. And they leave us with one final message: “From the memory of the dead for the warning of the living”

The Concentration Camp of Dachau was not only the first Nazi camp to be built but also became the learning centre where the network of hundreds of camps of misery and death of Europe in the WW2 was architected.

Historical site of the concentration camp of Dachau. Sculpture "The unknown prisoner" by Fritz Koelle.
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Thoughts after visiting the Memorial KZ Dachau

We live times of loud voices and bold stances. Times where the narcissist and the idiot find fertile ground to make themselves comfortable and every body around uncomfortable. These are times where those who see less and comprehend still less, strive with simplistic attitudes and weltanschauung.

Wars and catastrophic events bring in their aftermath the best of humankind together to mend those horrors. As soon as peace and order are reestablished, generations spawn that take goodness for granted and fall in a vicious circle of complacency. The sense of community slowly erodes. Fences are built. Mistrust falls over the people like thin dust in expanding waves. We begin to close into ourselves in reaction to this environment. We fall to the vices of becoming “we” against “them”. Dialogue will dry out to give way to words thrown as arrows, avoided or parried.

We become, day by day, a more fragile version of ourselves. More fearful. We see more threats. We become immersed in a slow but penetrating process of destruction of the “I, social” in spite of the “I, lone wolf”. Every time one abusive driver is on the road doing his shenanigans, everyone nearby raises a notch in their pool of discomfort. Every time a neighbor abuses shared space, everyone else looses a portion of their tolerance and willingness to cohabiting. Every time… small aggressions that stack and split us apart, not only apart from the aggressors but also apart from everybody around us; we are bathed in the dust of mistrust. One particle at a time.

May 24, 2018.