When the world reopens
Although we are all locked down at the moment, it is nice to take a moment to think about all the places we could possibly go when the whole world opens up once again. Since being in lockdown, there have been plenty of cancelled travel plans and we have certainly all missed taking a little bit of a break from the real world, especially with how daunting and ever-present it has been. So while we are all caged at the moment, I decided to take the time to share some suggestions of places we can go when it is finally safe to spread our wings.
Although when most people think of tourist attractions, they think of museums full of art, my first location today is actually a Buddhist temple. In Central Java, in Indonesia, their 9th-century temple, which was restored in the early 20th, called Borobudur. Positioned between two twin volcanoes, this temple is one of three that forms a straight line that is supposedly part of a ritual relationship, although it is unknown what this relationship may actually be. For centuries, Borobudur was buried under piles of volcanic ash, obscuring its beauty from the rest of the world, before it was restored between the years of 1907 and 1911. The monument has risen to be the most visited tourism location in all of indonesia, with the number of visitors drastically in the middle of the the 1990’s. When looking at this large single structure temple from above, it becomes clear what the design is supposed to be. From above, the monument forms the shape of a giant Buddist mandala. The path that was designed to guide pilgrims to the top led them up several steps, each supposed to represent a different stage of enlightenment.
In Thessaloniki, the second largest city in all of Greece, there is the museum of Byzantine history. This museum is home to some of the most important artifacts that still remain from the time of the byzantine empire. Many of these artifacts are originally from Thessaloniki, which was once one of the biggest hubs of the Byzantine empire. They have a range of exhibitions on display in the museum, some of them permanent and others that continue to travel. The site also offers several workshops on conservation, including materials from metals to paper. They even offer workshops on the conservation of murals. The museum is filled with paintings, sculptures, wood carvings, ancient coins and even old tomes. Tickets are relatively cheap and displayed on their website is a list of days when free entry can be used, as well as a list of people who can enter for free and how this can be done.
Just because we are trapped inside right now, it does not mean that we should not be looking out at the beautiful things in the world around us. Even when every door is closed to us, it is always nice to think about all the possibilities for when the doors are finally once again wide open.