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Tales of the Chaldeans I walked into Babylon through the Ishtar Gate in the Berlin museum.

Soaring Code of Hammurabi greeted me in Parisian Muses building. I felt like Herodotus - in the vestibule of the Chaldean temples and massive ziggurat. Minuteness and amusing, colorful narration of the author of The Histories require to ask a question: what's he paying for transportation while traveling around that world? His noble birth and probable wealth or a promise to perpetuate (someone) in future work, was it enough?... ... In India I paid pennies for the bus from Agra to Mathura; waiting for the course I filmed golden, winged symbol on the wall and inscription (in the original version): "Parsi Zoraestrian Religeous Institute". I felt almost like Herodotus - in the vestibule of the Chaldean temples and massive ziggurat. Today, modern authors of The Histories travel by air and, like Herodotus, talk about conflicts and everyday life. They lack, however, this amusing and colorful narration, which is acquired after passing through the Ishtar Gate. MMXIII

Mercado Africano An avenue of sphinxes welcomed me at Karnak royal statues frozen in decorations of Egyptian province (earlier in the bulrushes on the Nile a large lizard thorax disappeared), further: the famous single obelisk on guard at the entrance to the temple, a small mosque suspended in the air on top of the unearthed ancient walls, and then - the stems from massive colonnade speckled at the bottom by the first graffiti-lilliputians and... finally, at the top theatre of reliefs, ancient action movie, message from the New Kingdom! Good collection of African art I watched with discoverer's curiosity in the British Museum (earlier at the Smithsonian Institiution I passed by the African gallery with a good-natured indifference); in London I froze at the glass with admiration for the primal sincerity, the power of raw expression and ... finally - a rural sensibility: theatre of rituals, the old rhythm of drums, songs of tribal communities In the Mercado Municipal in Cabo Verde, which we visited with my wife, I bought from African merchants two longitudinal masks. The first - brighter - is the image of Creole, the second - ebon - shows the inhabitant of the continent. Both remind me of the long face of Egyptian pharaoh-gulliver, Akhenaten of the British Museum. Ilha do Sal MMXIII

Mandraki Port Why Alexander went with his army towards Bactria? Was it only: the capture of Darius, the Eastern wealth, to punish the self-proclaimed Bessus? Or was it to secure the rear before the expedition to India? Either way - his troops lost their momentum, energy, needed during the Indian campaign. The area of barbaric empire stopped the march of the young, brilliant conqueror. We know it also in other versions from later history. Alexander became a colossus by defeating the Persian giant ... In the port of Mandraki in Rhodes I watched the ships to which a powerful statue by Chares of Lindos was once pointing the way. Statue of Helios is a metaphor of power, security and freedom. Macedonians carried the east Hellenistic values, and later the sun god statues were given willingly features of Alexander. MMXIII

At the Junction of Tram Routes and Queue Hotel cleverly converted from office building of Austrian railways. Simple, functional equipment. Economical, modernist design, but classy. Very good location near the Belvedere Palace at the junction of tram routes and queue. From the perspective of this hotel Vienna seems to be familiar city. You'll feel as if you have lived there for years for example studied at university or something. Vienna MMXII

Pegasus, Bucephalus, Hyundai The Chimera gaping fire on the coast of ancient Lycia ... Today, burning methane, coming out of the rock crevices a place where every modern, addicted to tobacco, Turkish tourist freely fires a favorite cigarette. However, in ancient times, this mutant, neutralized by Bellerophon with the participation of Pegasus, ignited the imagination of listeners and inspired to brave, superhuman deeds. Lycians, Homer says, participated in the defense of Troy, and their hero, Sarpedon, according to one version, could have family ties with Minoans. Sitting in the audience of the Roman amphitheater in Aspendos, you can admire the momentum of this building. It's like another version of the coliseum and still dominates the agricultural, Turkish province. ...The testimony of Roman prosperity in Pamphylia; and before that the city - trophy on the route of victorious march of Macedonians. Luwian picture writing - in other words - the proto-language of Lycians, is mechanically associated with Minoan hieroglyphics ... The same thing is with Alexander, who appears almost as a progenitor of Rome's warriors. Greek and Latin writings tamed chimeric mutations in the region, and heroes cleaned up the world of chaos. Also, and I felt like a hero when I sped comfortable Hyundai through Lycia and Pamphylia. MMXIII

Ilha do Sal Sal Island is like Sahara's colony among the dark blue depths of the ocean ... Here is blowing hard, time is measured by steady waves on sandy beaches, the sun - directly over your head and the salty ocean breeze tan anyone who does not apply creams with the appropriate filter. The wave has a lot of energy and it will swing each swimmer eager for fun, the wind will bear each flapping sail... Depth is clear, sand gold, Creole cuisine - exotic. Fish, squid, octopus, lamb, rabbit, papaya and bananas, tasty coffee and views of the south bay ... Young sharks' fins circling in shallow waters in the north, desert Terra Boa with single cones of volcanic peaks and slalom with four-wheel drive ... Black fishermen threw on the pier the result of morning catch: local species, mackerels, cephalopods, moray eels and mighty marlins Creole restaurateurs negotiate prices above the heads of men scraping fishes, while others remove brown ink out of squids in Celadon water. ~~~ Under the sun, I quickly grabbed a bronze tan, the skin went down from my shoulder in the shape of the island of Sal. Maybe, if good-natured wave spills on the south beach, its line - not once will create on the sand my contented profile Cabo Verde MMXIII

Honey, Walnuts and Ginger Calmness of agricultural province with 26-30 degrees Celsius in autumn... A place for people who do not require luxury, but appreciate a quiet and lazy atmosphere. For a reasonable price you get two rooms and two terraces, several swimming pools, transparent sea to diving or snorkeling and sun. Kitchen - more than three stars. You can rent a car and go to a scenic and raw Karpaz peninsula, where local "wild" donkeys kindly expect gratuities from drivers for posing for pictures... Mandatory see impressive, ancient city of Salamis, which is right next to your hotel, as well as Famagusta town - preferably from the ramparts. After a busy Kyrenia (place like from the novel by A. Dumas), ride for relaxation eastward along the coast in the mountains to the south there is a raw and peaceful atmosphere. Ladies should buy their clothes in Nicosia, if you'll find a parking place. Residents are polite and welcoming (at least for Poles). There are no problems with paying by cards. You can bring from there some products from small shops Karpaz peninsula honey, walnuts in marinade or tea with ginger you'll prolong your memories during the winter. Cyprus MMXII

Mochica Tableaux I will not elaborate about the rites of the Indians of the Moche people, because I believe that this is a problem of toxic and frantic. I will mention, however, their ceramics. This production of folk craft captivates with naturalism, wit, precision. In some cases - as though they're casting the faces of models to (after beautifying touches) put them on a round vessels. I do not know what they were drinking from them, but some tableaux from the bottles connote the atmosphere from funny book Colas Breugnon the opuscule praising the wonders of life (by R. Rolland). Usability, making life pleasant, but also allegories of fears or pantagruelistic eroticism ... Yes, it is the culture of bawdy carved folk saints. A dozen centuries ago - probably - they captured the attention of passers-by standing on the fairground stalls ... The same is today - they still amuse, frighten and entertain in the name of folk hedonism. MMXIII

Road to Etruria I drove to Etruria from Rapallo (nice place, where international treaties have been concluded) and La Spezia. I know the road leading from there to Rome, with roundabouts, at which prostitutes lurked. I came hitchhiking to the stone pine avenues of Castel Fusano and the ruins of Ostia, and I didn't know that just across the Tiber Cerveteri is hiding a surprising picture of Etruscan life. Frescoes from their tombs - as for me, joyful melange of styles: Minoan, Egyptian, Greek and Phoenician are the apotheosis of the golden age, Etruscan idyll the amplification of the Mediterranean painting from Crete ... I also know the way to Smyrna, where the Lydian ancestors of the Etruscans according to Herodotus went to sea. Today, provincial bus passengers lurk at it, and it's teeming with industrial shops. The road of the Tyrrhenians wound in a picturesque zigzag among the ancient lands ... Their paintings reflect a vision of paradise found again, the myth of Aeneas. MMXIII

Transports me by alleys and lanes of Old Delhi, pushes his way amongst porters, clients, tourists. Without collision we glide under electric wires lianas, my sight strokes silky saris in miniature shops. It slides down, in compliance with gravitation, when I analyse women's of fashion eyes. On protuberances we glide up the human stream. Then, with the flow, we gather momentum. The monk shows me interior of jaina world. The world of miniature painting and sculpture. Enlightened by temple's gold I stand over the jeweller's showcase with silver... Transports me by alleys and lanes of Old Delhi, pushes his way amongst porters, clients, tourists. Sikhs' shrine welcomes us with musical trance. I cross barefoot the stream - sacrum borderline. I glide upstairs to the storey of bird hospital, I slide down stairs (in compliance with gravitation) after analysis of mosque block... Transports me in rickshaw by lanes of Chandni Chowk. I buy pepsi and pay for the rally. Alongside a dead rat in a pose of sunbather, dries his teeth, hoping for elephant's reincarnation.

Balcony Overlooking Samos The Greeks often located their poleis away from the shoreline. You can see it in Rhodes - in the Doric Ialysos. The invaders, coming from the sea, still had to climb the hill. A similar landscape we see in Kos, as we look toward the sea from Asklepieion (a type of ancient sanatorium). This view is replicated also in the Minoan Knossos. My favourite city, Priene (lofty, Ionic Machu Picchu), was located, in turn, on the south and sunny hillside overlooking the ancient bay. Today we have there a green valley of Maeander. On the opposite side of the Mycale mountain - from stony beach on the Dilek Peninsula you can see Samos. Immaculate water with underwater life, shady forest with wild boars ... Reclining under the umbrella, you can meditate on the achievements of Pythagoras, Bias, Hippocrates and Cleobulus ... And after returning to the seaside hotel - once again widely open the window. MMXIII

SPQR Roman aqueduct running like a string of ants through agricultural fields and the Turkish people trading in vegetables in the shadow of the arcades. Haughty, Tunisian coliseum besieged by miniature Arab town. Code of laws immortalized on the wall in the hot ruins of the capital of Cyrenaica, democratic public facilities in Salamis in Cyprus However, my first encounter with Rome during the student times was disappointing, Forum Romanum was like a forest after passing tornado, and wasn't breathtaking as the Egyptian pyramids. But that Rome ruled Egypt, pragmatism prevailed over the momentum, the purpose over the measures, centurion helmet protected the democratic sobriety of mind, will of the people generated the flair of aristocrats, and games followed the debate. *** Columns of Rome resisted tribes of despotism, and are the pillars of democratic order for people doing business in the shadow of the arcades. Those, relaxing in the spa, still pondering how to bypass law, applaud ancient heroes at the opera and the noise of debates and sports sounds in their coliseums. When I participate in public life through my home screen, next I have wine rack and, in the closet, olive from agricultural field, through which runs a Roman aqueduct. I eat fruits from hot provinces of our empire, and leisurely forge a chisel the modern "exegi monumentum" charming spell from student years.

At the Court of the Cretan King The road at Knossos does not differ specifically from the Roman and Greek routes, although it is much older. Driving on it was comparable to navigate the cobblestones. Knossos is not large and resembles a cozy recreation complex for the enlightened ruler. Seaside palace in Malia also seems to be a cozy haven for little people, who, however, used a powerful vessels. Squat pitos near the agora commands respect. Cretan paintings evoke solemn respect. Happy prince among the lilies, three ladies of the court, fashionably styled, flexible images of antelopes, innovative and dynamic motion shots of monkeys, dolphins and fishes. The movement ... Minoan ships glide on the waves at walking pace, octopuses squirming beneath the swinging surface of water ... On the frescoes, ceramics moving feast lasts, the procession of aesthetics and colour. You will not sense a despotism in this art, this is the scenography of the world of free people. I felt so when swimming beneath the swinging surface of water and on the road at Knossos. MMXIII

Amazing Jug from Phaistos Ancient beaked jug from Phaistos looks like an example of modernist pottery, and 20-century designer would be proud of the design placed on it. Known Minoan Toreador Fresco in Heraklion connects in my imagination with Etruscan vision of life from the Louvre. Standing behind an Egyptian prince and his wife in the Cairo museum of antiquities, I had the impression that the couple sat there yesterday. Starry vault of the tomb in the Valley of the Kings was in harmony, as a familiar chord, with today's sky. The foundations of the Pergamon altar around which - centuries before me the ancient pilgrims wandered, and its cool, marble stairs, where the modern tourists in Berlin sit now ... The realistic figures of Greek gods and heroes in an intimate museum in Kos and functional, stone toilet with mosaic floor from the Phoenician Kerkouane in the North African provinces. Spirit of Cleobulus - a good-natured, regional tyrant-philosopher which pervades Rhodes nooks ... *** Hm, drinking from a jug under fresco - at reclining feast or sitting under the well-known, the night sky... Oh, this united wanderers, princes and heroes in the mediterranean world. Then, they used the antique baths and enjoyed the benefits of philosophy. Let's drink to such tyranny! MMXIII

c. 1800 BCE

Yucatan Mayan art is suffused with narcotics and jungle. This what we know - in other words: reliefs, paintings on the walls, ceramics, drawings in codices etc. convinces me that we are dealing mainly with the art of courtly. Perpetuation of rulers' acts, ecclesial ceremonies, events of mythology ... colourful, soft in expression, flexible craft. Courtly scenes for me - have often something from the spirit of Japanese artistic narration, although they are more hermetic, ritual... It's a tough world of warriors, with hierarchy, the world of audiences, tributes and extortions infused with aromas of chocolate and cocoa This elongated shape of the skull, a large, curved nose and half-open mouth with fleshy lips it's a sign of class and prestige. The figures of warriors, scribes, dignitaries often presented realistically - with overweight, sometimes even in the aesthetics of comics. ...The transition of an ancestor or deity by the jaws of the feathered serpent to the real world is obviously narcotic, hermetic vision. Many of these visions bend, ramble and creep like vegetation in the equatorial forest unrealistically, inventively, abstractly MMXIII

Atmosphere from Canvas The hotel is located in the immediate vicinity of the European Commission, the International Press Centre and the Metro. Nice base for visitors to Brussels and Bruges (convenient rail link) A little further a romantic park suffused with an atmosphere from Magritte's canvases. Bruges MMXI

Goddess of the Highway I learned about the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, reading in school years the preface to the adventures of the famous Czech soldier. The author praised there folk wisdom of his hero and criticized, at the same time, artfulness of ancient shoemaker, who made the shrine of the goddess famous. Today, near the highway, one column remained from the temple, placed slenderly against the background of undulating meadows. But knowledge about this place remained due to this craftsman, hungry for fame, who contributed to the fact that I visited Ephesus. After the deed of the narcissus, Alexander rebuilt the temple. Prided itself on its momentum, like almost all the historic buildings in Ionia ... ... Priene, Didyma, Miletus and Pergamon still attract (its timeless dynamics), wanderers, hungry for confirmation of ancient wisdom, architectural cleverness and folk craft. Each of them, each time, rebuilds in the imagination the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus. MMXIII

Krater and Kylix My wife, a manager in the wine industry, appreciates Italian wine. During the family symposiums she drinks a kylix or two ... We both know Italy and more than once we were there ... ~~~ ... Sicilian, provincial road along the coast winds through citrus groves. From the north you drive to Catania, and further you're off the highway to Syracuse. Magna Graecia... Greek theater, the Roman "stadium" and acoustic cave called the Ear of Dionysius in ancient times, a kind of krater with water for the city ... Meanwhile, in the north, in Paestum, on the walls of the so-called Tomb of the Diver, lasts picturesque Greek symposium. Participants are demanding filling kylixes, greet newcomers, the event is graced by spectacularly executed jump into water, and a slave is working hard at the krater with wine ... Farther north, across the Tiber, tanned jumper gives a carefree dive into the sea on the Etruscan fresco ... ~~~ I like amateur diving. I came to the surface in the vicinity of craters of Mount Etna and the Aeolian Islands. And my wife appreciates Italian wine. During the family symposiums she drinks a kylix or two ... MMXIII

) of Time Rhodes is not a large island, but its raw beauty has ancient roots. Swimming in the antiquities, I dive into the sea of time. Turquoise - my scenery - organizes my background under influence of sun. Sitting in the Greek stadium, I swim away to the past... Generations of cats. Where are their bones? Their former miaows? ...They're living over time... My old watch with broken strap Landed, swinging, on the sea bed. Fishes peck it at night pushing into the dark. Try to find it, my imitator, in the further future. It has a Pall Mall logo - a sign of my ancient smile.

Polvo Lagareiro Carthaginian port in the shape of a circle an ancient marvel of maritime architecture today is in fact a large pond where local anglers soak sticks. But it is. Therefore it's easy to imagine ancient ships, cleverly hidden inside from the eyes of agents of Mediterranean competition. Carthaginians built with a flourish their city-state, with great care designed the waterfront, consisting among other things of two ports, and the broad, pleasant view of turquoise Tunis Bay confirmed their belief that prevail over the situation. Although ... Just behind second, the old port, in a tangle of contemporary alleys is located kind of Phoenician necropolis, where the locals - in their opinion paid gods for the opportunity to fish and trade. Grim news about dark ritual, however, not until the end, find acceptance of archaeologists ... *** The contrast between the Carthaginian Tophet - a primal and raw collection of stone stelae and the circular port - an ambitious work of ancient engineering, says among other things that Tanit successfully tried to occupy the minds of the sailors something else. I thought about their travels when walking around circular Punic port and today - above the platter with delicious octopus in garlic from Portuguese restaurant. MMXIII

Wojciech Pocharski. European author who publishes in English in India, also journalist (foreign correspondent), traveler, composer and lyricist.

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