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DAY 200 !!

“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages…”

As You Like It, Act 2, Scene 7, 139-143, Shakespeare

I have always loved history, old things. Art, beauty, architecture.  Maybe that’s why I love Europe so much.

But what I love even better than old things is the melding of the old with the new, preserving the old, yet keeping it in use today. Restoration rather than mere preservation.

One of the best things I love about my community here is the Roman Theater. And okay, I don’t live IN Sagunto, I live some kilometres away, but I can get their easily enough. (In fact, I ran there today. A killer run, truly. I did take some breaks, but I ran about 12 kilometers at 7 minute pace…). 

This theatre is OLD. The town as founded about 219 BC, and the theatre dates back to the first century! (And here I was, thinking the 1800’s were a long time ago…) It was used by Romans, Moors, Iberians, probably some others along the way, and then finally, the Spanish.

And they–we–still use it today.

They’ve built modern (but not ugly) bleachers over the crumbling originals, but only in the center. In age where progress means bulldozing entire forests to build a useless highway, this intertwining of modern and ancient is rare.

On the sides, and of course, the Roman nosebleed seats, are still the originals. Now, we can’t stomp our modern feet all over the pretty Roman rocks, but we can settle down onto the modern rock benches and enjoy the same view of the same stage that people have enjoyed for, well, a heck of a lot of years.  SO that posses the question…have we really changed? We still do the same basic things for entertainment–of course, not we prefer motion pictures over live actors, but the theater is still a night out on the town.  I recently read a BBC article equating our current economic decline with that of the decline of the Roman Empire. Was that historian right? I certainly hope not. I don’t want Europe to decline, I love it here! It has become home.  But in the end, it makes you wonder…how much, in the past few thousand years, have we actually, truly changed?Havewe progressed, or are will the same, just with fast cars and power tools and nuclear weapons, and this wonderful thing we like to call the internet.  The world has certainly grown smaller, and more connected. But actual change? Perhaps not. 

All the same, I find this place just…so damn impressive. 

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