Category Archives: Archaeological Sites

Glendalough Monastic Site- Visiting One of Ireland’s Premier Monastic Settlements

Tucked into a forested valley in the Wicklow mountains are the remains of Glendalough, one of Ireland’s most important monastic settlements. It’s an evocative site- ancient stone buildings surrounded by Celtic crosses and gravestones, while two lakes and a river flow nearby. As the first stop on my Ireland road trip, Glendalough monastic site was…

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Ruins Near Cusco- 7 Archaeological Sites Worth Visiting

Cusco is the point of arrival for people wanting to visit Machu Picchu, the most famous Inca ruin in Peru, but there are many fantastic, lesser known ruins near Cusco that are also worth exploring. As one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in South America, and capital of the Inca Empire, Cusco is rich…

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Visiting Sacsayhuaman- An Inca Fortress in Cusco, Peru

The uphill walk from central Cusco to Sacsayhuaman was slow going, since our bodies hadn’t adjusted to the high altitude yet, but the excitement of seeing our first Inca ruin kept us motivated to push on. In between frequent breaks and gasps for air, I hoped that the effort would be worthwhile and Sacsayhuaman would…

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Photo of the Week: Poulnabrone Dolmen, Ireland

One of the highlights of visiting the Burren region of Ireland is seeing Poulnabrone dolmen, an outstanding Neolithic tomb and National Monument of Ireland. Over 5000 years old, this portal tomb is one of the best preserved in the country. The dolmen’s classic construction consists of a large capstone resting on top of two sets…

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The Pisac Ruins- Gateway to the Sacred Valley of the Incas

As we wandered through the colourful markets of Pisac, all I could think about was visiting the Pisac ruins. “No more shopping,” I urged Mike, “let’s get to the ruins!” I was eager to see this spectacular site, known for its steep hillside of agricultural terraces. The Pisac ruins were the only archaeological site in…

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Tiwanaku, Bolivia- Visiting the Ruins of an Andean Civilization

One of the joys of travelling is learning about different cultures, especially ancient ones that no longer exist. I knew nothing of Tiwanaku culture, or the city that was the centre of their empire, until I visited the Tiwanaku archaeological site on a day trip from La Paz, Bolivia. Exploring the ruins with our guide,…

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Flying Over the Nazca Lines- Peru’s Mysterious Geoglyphs

“Coming up on the right, whale,” one of the pilots announces over the speaker as we approach the first geoglyph on our Nazca Lines flight. Palms sweating with excitement, I stare intently out the window, camera in hand and ready to shoot as soon as I spot the whale. The pilot banks the plane, angling…

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  • Great Nazca Tours - Hi Rhonda,
    Thank you for taking the time to write such a good article to my motherland also nice shots. I love the last picture.November 12, 2017 – 3:12 pmReplyCancel

Hiking the Inca Trail- What to Expect on the 4 Day Trek to Machu Picchu

Of all the things we did and places we saw during our 3 weeks in South America, hiking the Inca Trail in Peru is our favourite memory. It even climbed the ranks as one of our all-time cherished travel experiences. And to think, I was a little hesitant to do it. I’d heard so much…

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  • Frank - Wow, massive post and some great photos. I’ve previously read about it and it always sounded to me like there would be lots and lots of people on the trail. But you’ve made me curious with your experience and fantastic photos…

    Never fun getting sick, glad it didn’t last more than a day. You’re tough!

    Frank (bbqboy)December 16, 2016 – 12:03 pmReplyCancel

  • Natalie - Stumbled upon your site off Pinterest & so glad I did- thank you for all the helpful information for the famous Macchu Picchu. My friend & I are heading there in November & we are so excited to embark on this amazing journey!

    May I ask what company you booked with? There are so many options online and it sounds like yours was wonderful.

    Thank you!July 15, 2017 – 10:30 pmReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Hi Natalie. I’m glad you found my post helpful. We did the hike with Peru Treks and were happy with our choice. The only complaint we had was that their sleeping pads were too thin for our liking.

      I hope you have fun on your trip! Peru is a fascinating place.July 15, 2017 – 10:58 pmReplyCancel

Visiting Machu Picchu- Peru’s Hilltop Inca Citadel

Machu Picchu- just hearing the name conjures up classic images of this hilltop Inca city, high in a tropical forest of the Peruvian Andes. These ruins, once concealed by the jungle, have gone on to become an icon of the Inca civilization and Peru’s most visited tourist attraction. About Machu Picchu- History and Discovery Machu…

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  • the cape on the corner - wow. the photos are amazing, and i can totally see crying over something so beautiful, but also, a long dreamed of location. glad you got some pictures of you both, together.
    bNovember 15, 2016 – 12:29 pmReplyCancel

  • Alouise - Machu Picchu is one of those places I’ve dreamed of visiting for years as well. It’s too bad you didn’t feel whatever energy people said “you’re supposed to feel” when you were there, but I think that’s the thing about travel – we see those pictures with no people and forget there are people in the background, maybe people selling souvenirs, etc. I felt similar when I went to Chichen Itza a number of years ago. I expected it to be like awe inspiring site, of silence and reflection, and it was full of tourists and people selling souvenirs. It was still interesting to visit and I’m glad I went, but I didn’t have the connection I thought of would. Sounds like your experience was similar, but I’m glad you still enjoyed it. The photos look fantastic, and still make me one to to visit one day.November 25, 2016 – 2:09 pmReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Funny you mention Chichen Itza because I kind of felt the same way about it. I was shocked that people were allowed to be inside selling souvenirs. At least that wasn’t the case at Machu Picchu- souvenirs were sold at the gift shop only.December 24, 2016 – 10:10 amReplyCancel

Orongo- Ceremonial Village of the Birdman Cult

Set between the sprawling crater of Rano Kau and the plunging cliffs of Easter Island’s southwest coast, is the small ceremonial village of Orongo. Orongo is a much different site than any other place on Easter Island. There are no famous moai statues and no huge ceremonial platforms. It’s the only place on the island…

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Rano Raraku- Carving Site of Easter Island’s Moai

Scattered across the slope of a volcano are hundreds of stone heads, their serious facial expressions gazing out over Easter Island’s barren landscape. These are moai- idolized by the original Rapa Nui culture and obsessively built here at Rano Raraku, one of Easter Island’s most fascinating sites. About Rano Raraku Rano Raraku is the quarry…

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4 Days in Easter Island- A Self-Guided Tour of Rapa Nui

“We’re most looking forward to spending 4 days in Easter Island,” I’d say when friends asked about our upcoming trip to South America. “What’s Easter Island?” some would ask, a quizzical look on their face. “You know, the place with all the stone heads,” I replied, trying to hide my shock that they didn’t know…

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Photo of the Week: The Lion Gate at Mycenae, Greece

This week I’m featuring a photo taken at Mycenae during my 2007 trip to Greece. The aptly named Lion Gate is the main entrance to the citadel of Mycenae, an archaeological site in the north-eastern Peloponnese area of Greece. Mycenae was a major centre of Greek civilization and powerful kingdom way back in the second…

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Photo of the Week: Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius

The origins of Pompeii may be unfamiliar to most, but the city’s catastrophic demise is a story known around the world. Pompeii was founded by the Campanian Oscans in the sixth or seventh century BC. The city was built on prehistoric lava from the precariously close Mount Vesuvius. In 80 BC, Pompeii was captured by…

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Photo of the Week: Temple of Olympian Zeus, Athens

In the centre of Athens, just southeast of the Acropolis, stands the ruined Temple of Olympian Zeus. In 1515 BC, Athenian tyrant Peisistratos laid the foundation for what he envisioned being the greatest temple in the world. Unfortunately, construction was abandoned five years later when Peisistratos’ son, Hippias, was overthrown in 510 BC. Over the years,…

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Photo of the Week: Theatre at Epidaurus, Greece

Epidaurus was once celebrated as a place of miraculous healing but these days, visitors don’t come seeking a cure for what ails them, they flock to see the remarkable 3rd-century theatre. It’s hard not to let your mouth fall open when the theatre at Epidaurus first comes into view. I remember being shocked at how…

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  • Marsha - Yes it was a steep climb but definitely worth it. Aside from Delphi, this was my other favourite spot in Greece.May 7, 2014 – 1:20 pmReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - I loved Delphi as well. I think that was probably my favourite out of all the archaeological sites I visited. Greece has so many amazing places, especially for history lovers like us!May 7, 2014 – 7:30 pmReplyCancel

Palatine Hill- The Mythical Founding Place of Rome

One of my favourite days in Rome was the day I visited Palatine Hill. As I walked around this beautiful hill, past gardens and remnants of opulent palaces, I imagined how luxurious it must have been when it was ancient Rome’s most exclusive neighbourhood. As Rome’s most central hill, the Palatine sits between Circo Massimo…

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  • Franca - This post makes me a little bit homesick. Even though I’m not from that part of Italy, I love Rome and I go every time I have the opportunity, it’s so full of history every corner you turn, love it! :)March 17, 2014 – 7:34 amReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - This is my favorite part of Rome. No matter how many times I’ve been, the Forum and Palatine Hill is where I head first. It’s just SO Roma!April 24, 2014 – 6:10 amReplyCancel

Ancient Olympia- Birthplace of the Olympic Games

As we made our way over to the dirt covered track in Ancient Olympia, my heart started to beat a little faster. Could I do this? Was I ready? Or would I be left behind in the dust? The Greek sun mercilessly beating down on me, I started to feel flush as I stepped up…

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  • Stacey Veikalas - Great Article ~ we have never been here, but now I will have to add it to my bucket list! Thank you for sharing! :)February 20, 2014 – 11:56 pmReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - Good for you for running the track! It was about 100F when we were in Olympia, I was wearing flip flops, and the sun was relentless that day. I decided not to run it because I’d just be even hotter and sweatier for the rest of the day. I really should have just run it though!March 22, 2014 – 9:38 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - I was in flip flops too, so it’s a bit of a stretch to call what I did “running”. It was still fun though and a great memory!March 22, 2014 – 9:48 amReplyCancel

Ancient Delphi- The Navel of the World

Nestled between the rugged peak of Mount Parnassus and a spectacular valley of cypress and olive trees is Delphi, regarded by ancient Greeks as the most sacred site in the world. About Ancient Delphi- History and Mythology Delphi is said to have been founded by Zeus, who determined it to be the centre of the…

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  • Marsha - Delphi was probably my favourite ancient site outside of Athens. I loved the history and myth behind it; and it’s quite well-preserved and just a fun place to visit. I love the Treasury of Athens and the Sanctuary as well – glad you were able to quickly pop over to get a picture of it. My tour went there and I was veryyyy happy! Great pictures!January 8, 2014 – 11:48 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Thanks! It really didn’t make sense why my tour wouldn’t have gone down to the Sanctuary of Athena. It was the place I had wanted to see the most! I would always see pictures of the Tholos, so that’s how I found of about Delphi in the first place. Oh well, at least I was able to run down and see it. I’ve never run so fast (and probably so far) in my life! I was very afraid of the tour bus leaving me behind!January 8, 2014 – 12:03 pmReplyCancel

Ostia Antica- Harbour City of Ancient Rome

One of my favourite archaeological sites in Italy is the Roman port town of Ostia Antica. You may not have even heard of it because it’s often overlooked by visitors to Rome, as evidenced by the lack of crowds. I know Rome has so much to see, but Ostia is only 45 minutes out of…

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  • Darren McLellan - Great post. My wife and I spent an afternoon in Ostia Antica in 2004. It was quiet and almost empty. To be able to walk among the ruins without guides and crowds was wonderful.
    Somewhere I have a picture of myself standing in the pedimented portico.December 13, 2013 – 10:19 amReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - Great photos! I love places like this that are off the tourist radar. We’ll have to check out Ostia Antica next time we head down that way.January 7, 2014 – 4:20 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - You definitely should! It’s a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of Rome for the day.January 8, 2014 – 12:07 pmReplyCancel

  • Ashley Babin - I used to be a guide at Ostia and I always loved spending my mornings here! The archeology and diversity of the site is so wonderful and the lack of crowds make it just that much more enjoyable!January 23, 2016 – 2:52 amReplyCancel

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