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    • rtwPaul

      In 2011 I was at Machu Picchu admiring and being amazed by the view (my photo), the stone masonry like everyone does. Just about to walk away from the iconic view area a guy behind me speaks up to the people he is with.

      "Yes its impressive for the location but the stone masonry is just OK I guess, you know there are better earlier examples of stone masonry in the world?".

    • rtwPaul

      you could hear numerous people turn and with a collective "what are you talking about!"

      He continued, like you I am amazed by the location but I want you to know that I'm an English history professor and if you really want to be impressed by stonemasonry that thousands walk by everyday then go and look at Westminster Abbey in London. It was buit 478 year prior to this, its had 16 Royal weddings since 1100 and Richard the Lionheart was crowned there 249 years before they'd even started building Machu Picchu.

      Has anyone ever ruined a mystical place for you that from childhood you had amired and strived to go and see in person?

    • NikkyJ

      Wow. But he has a point. I didn't know that.

      But I guess if you think about it, the pyramids of Egypt and the Sphinx were impressive way way back.

    • rtwPaul

      I called bullshit on it and I'm English, then later checked google and other places and he was 100% right...felt a bit let down afterwards, especially after spending a lot of money to stand in THAT spot!

    • vegasphotog

      All I know that for years looking at my Dad's stashed Playboy magazines, once I became a "man" I was not disappointed. Obviously my point being is that comparing any architecture by Gehry or the Abbey or Machu Picchu....if I am looking at any of those architectural wonders in person, it is all good! But, if I were gonna ARGUE with that guy, I would have brought up the fact that some consideration should be taken into account for geographical point of reference. Active civilization had more of a scientific database in Europe at the time the Abbey was constructed versus Machu....(not really knowing all of my history so not sure if the Aztecs influenced any of this in Peru).

      Regardless, the guy sounds like a snob and "on second thought, let us not go to Camelot. It is a silly place".

    • zi

      Don't forget the qualifier, "Yes its impressive for the location ...".

      Dwell on that part of the conversation, and add not only the altitude of the location but also the local regional comparative structures. Machu Picchu is astonishing in and of itself; it needs no comparison to be awesome.

      Next time you hear something similar just say, "But I heard that on Proxima Centauri's earth-like planet* they built the Proxima Abbey 4 Billion years earlier, and it's twice as large too." (Proxima Centauri does indeed have a rocky planet a little larger than our Earth, but it's composition and configuration is mostly unknown.)

      *(A terrestrial planet candidate in a temperate orbit around Proxima Centauri)

    • rtwPaul

      I hindsight I should have just told him to shut up, no one cares!

      Well we will be in that area again very soon, maybe we'll go again maybe not, but there is one location as impressive and yet to be as busy as MP...it's Kuelap

      Kuelap was built between 600 and 900 years before Machu Picchu. It’s on a higher mountain and is a larger site than Peru’s most famous attraction in the south.

      PERU: WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT KUELAP INSTEAD OF MACHU PICCHU

    • Richard

      The aqueduct in Segovia, Spain was completed by the Romans around 98 AD. Like other Roman works, it used no mortar, just precisely cut stones, and is well preserved today despite all the tourist buses that have parked next to it.

    • Chris

      Wow, never heard of Kuelap, but it sounds wonderful and mysterious.

      Personally, it was Teotihuacan, just outside Mexico City, that really blew my mind. Maybe the 6th-largest city in the world during its epoch? One of the largest pyramids in the world?

    • Awais

      Going out of Pakistan for the first time, and looking at Aya Sophia was most wonderful experience of my life, i can say the impact was much much bigger than i have ever seen.

    • wx

      My moment for l'esprit de l'escalier...

      I'd have asked him how many cathedrals built in the middle ages collapsed because they didn't know what they were doing?

      A fair number, I believe.

    • rtwPaul

      it was a moment he could have kept his thoughts to himself, obviously he felt others needed to know and had no internal monolog

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