The Outdoor-Lover Gets a Taste of the Real Wonders
~ ZZ Troutski
Everyone has their favorite sport; they have their favorite activities, their favorite places to hunt for that mighty buck, and they have their chosen places of bliss where they can catch their bass and be left alone. But even with all the entertaining locations, parks and sights we have in the modern world, they can never really compare to the true wonders that travelers wish they could see, up close and personal.
SevenWondersOfTheWorldIt was over two-thousand-years ago that journeymen wrote about the sights they saw as they traveled across the globe. And some of these sights were the most astounding and awesome things that anyone will ever witness, which is why they became known as ‘The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.’
The Pyramids of Giza, Egypt were built around 2,600 B.C., and they still take people’s breath away. Everyone looks up at those monstrosities with one question: How on earth, without a forklift and the tools of modern-day society, did they build those grand structures?
These massive tombs were built to honor the Egyptian pharaohs that passed, and they are actually the only ancient wonder still standing. The Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest and largest of the three, and was the tallest man-made structure in the world for over 3,800 years. Although the Great Pyramid’s outer layer of smooth stones has disappeared, the ‘wonder’ is still there for anyone to view.
But as we continue to search, explore and have adventures in the Great Outdoors, it’s extremely interesting to research the other six ancient wonders, and find out what we are most definitely missing.
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon in Iraq were spoken about and written about by journeymen, although there are many who say the Gardens simply didn’t exist. But then, why write about them? Especially considering the descriptions were so engaging that they made the Gardens into a legend; a paradise that was literally planted on an artificial mountain.
Now everyone seems to agree that the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, Turkey was actually there. Supposedly a huge, towering temple built to honor Artemis, the Greek goddess of the hunt, this incredible Temple was rebuilt three times – first because of a flood and then because of arson. Eventually destroyed for good in 401, people can still view the foundations and sculptural fragments of the awesome sight that once was.
The Statue of Zeus in Greece was built in 5th century B.C., and was a 40-foot creation that depicted the king of the Greek gods. The statue was bold, to say the least. Ivory and gold were placed over a wooden framework that showed the mighty Zeus sitting on his elaborate throne with ornaments that included all kinds of precious stones. Destroyed in the same century it was built, an actual drawing of the statue was never found; the only details known about Zeus come from ancient Greek descriptions and representations on their coins.
The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, Turkey was built in 4th century B.C., and was almost as elaborate as Zeus. This tomb, built for King Mausolus and Artemisia II of Caria (his wife and sister), stood 148 ft. and was adorned with sculptural reliefs.
Another Greek God was immortalized in the Colossus of Rhodes; a 110-foot statue honoring the Greek sun god, Helios. This was built to celebrate Rhodes’ victory over the ruler of Cyprus, before an earthquake destroyed it completely.
The Lighthouse of Alexandria is one ancient wonder that everyone wishes they could still explore. This was the world’s first lighthouse and it used mirrors to reflect sunlight for miles, guiding sailors into the port. The Lighthouse is written about constantly in Green descriptions, citing the fact that the Lighthouse led their forces to victory because they could see an attack coming from miles away.
So when you’re out and about walking through the National Parks or peering up at unforgettable landmarks, remember that there was once seven of them that were truly inspiring and meant something to both native and outdoor explorer.