Top 10 Ancient Ruins

Chris’ personal picks from places in the world that he has visited.

Machu Picchu, Peru:  One of the “New Seven Wonders” of the world, this mysterious Incan citadel straddles a mountain ridge nearly 8,000 feet above sea level….. and it’s simply breath-taking.

Petra, Jordan:  I rode into the “Rose Red city, half as old as time” on horseback with my baby son swaddled around me, feeling as if I had entered the pages of the Bible – timelessly magical.

Karnak, Egypt: Three and a half thousand years of history resonate in this temple complex on the banks of the Nile. It’s the largest ancient religious site in the world and brings to life names like Seti and Ramesses.

Coba, Yucatan, Mexico: Not the best known of Mexico’s Mayan cities, but for me it is the most wonderful as it is still largely covered by jungle with pyramids towering over the green carpet below.

Persepolis, Iran: The pillars and palaces of Darius and Xerxes’ great capital of the Persian Empire stand stark against azure desert skies – still impressive after two and a half thousand years!

Hadrian’s Wall, UK: Defining the division between Scots and English, this remarkably preserved, 117 Km long border fortification is the most important monument built by the Romans in Britain .

Ephesus, Turkey: To wander around these extensive ruins in Southern Turkey is to drift back in time to the Byzantine Empire, back to the Roman glories and thence to the splendours of the Ancient Greek civilization……..

Fatehpur Sikri, India: This UNESCO World Heritage site in Northern India was the capital of Emperor Akbar’s Mughal Empire in the sixteenth century and is the most amazingly preserved fort I have ever seen.

Roman Colosseum, Italy: Of all the many fascinating remnants of Ancient Rome in the modern city, this is the most impressive. Almost two thousand years old, this amphitheatre once seated 50,000 for gladiatorial games.

Bamyan, Afghanistan: When I visited this fabled stop on the old Silk Road in the 1970’s the monumental statues of standing Buddhas carved into a cliff were awe-inspiring. They were destroyed by the Taliban in 2001 but there is international commitment to rebuild them.