Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Over the summer, I read numerous articles about the ancient wonders of the world after seeing an article on MSN entitled “Uncovering Ancient Mysteries.” It inspired me to consider my own idea of what constitutes a thaumata, a list of places I would love to visit. Thaumata, loosely translated from the Greek, is, “things to be seen.”


Maps fascinate me, pictorial invitations to explore the world. While looking at historic maps while creating my thaumata, I found this 540 piece Ravensburger Puzzleball kit. It depicts an ancient world map. Wouldn’t this make an awesome Christmas gift? You can buy it at Amazon.com.

Junie Moon’s Thaumata

  • Bora Bora: This French Polynesian island fascinates me and although it relies predominantly on tourism today, I want to see what Herman Melville saw when he wrote about it and Paul Gauguin painted it, feel the romance evoked by the Broadway musical/movie South Pacific, and view the scenery depicted in De Laurentis’ 1979 move Hurricane.
  • Easter Island: It would be awesome to see the mysterious Moai (statues) and petroglyphs on this Polynesian island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean.
  • Galápagos Islands: The official name is Archipiélago de Colón and it is a UNESCO World Heritage site. I’d like to pretend to be Darwin and make the same finds he did when arriving on the HMS Beagle.
  • Great Barrier Reef: I’ve always wanted to dive/snorkel this famous reef in the Coral Sea.
  • Great Pyramid of Giza: It’s also known as the Khufu's Pyramid, Pyramid of Khufu, and Pyramid of Cheops. One of my dream avocations as a child was to be an archaeologist. Visiting Egypt and pretending to be the fictional Amelia Peabody would be wonderful.
  • Panama Canal: Besides the historical context of this engineering wonder located on the isthmus of Panama, my husband attended Balboa High School here and actually paddled a dugout canoe on the canal itself.
  • Stonehenge: Sadly but understandably, we can no longer touch the actual stones due to age and wear, but I still want to stand in the presence of these famous stones.
  • The Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights): Often seen from September to October and then from March to April, this was one sight we’d hoped to see on our Alaskan cruise a few years ago but, alas, missed this amazing light display.
  • Hypogeum at Hal Saflieni, Malta: the Hypogeum is an underground temple and a World Heritage Site. Within you’ll find the Oracle Chamber with its amazing acoustical properties. Jennifer Berezan recorded her CD ReTurning here, a lengthy healing chant I find quite comforting.
Who knows, maybe I’ll see one or two of these before my end time. What’s on your thaumata list?


Thimbleanna said...

What a great list June! I think the top place for me on your list would be the Galapagos -- hopefully with a turtle sighting thrown in for good measure. Oooh, maybe the Aurora Borealis. My list is very long -- things like penguins in Antartica, puffins anywhere (Scotland maybe?), the Great Wall...I could go on all morning! Good luck with achieving your list!!!

Storybook Woods said...

That is quite a list, I have no idea what we would be on mine. I have to think about it. Clarice

Mommy, I'm Home said...

I'd love to see the Aurora Borealis, the pyramids and the Great Barrier Reef. I have seen the Panama Canal and it was lovely. Oh, and I'd love to see the Great Wall of China and Taj Mahal.

Diane Schuller said...

Oh June, you truly do amaze me, over and over again. Not only have you completed the NaNoWriMo challenge but now you're already visualizing your thaumata.

I love that you have me thinking on this, considering what my thaumata may be ... since I live where I do I see the northern lights all the time and it still amazes me. I'm being somewhat influenced by your adventuresome list especially considering the Galapagos Islands. I'm going to sit back and really consider what my own thaumata might be ... thank you June, you are really something special!

African Kelli said...

This is a great list. I have a lengthy one too! I'd never heard the term Thaumata before. Thank you!

Heidi said...

"Thaumata" certainly is more poetic than "bucket list"--ha!

Lorrie said...

Your list is thoughtful and fun. I'll have to think about mine. It's in the back of my mind, not nearly as well formulated as yours.


Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Hi June
You have a wonderful Thaumata list!

There is an interesting book called "1,000 Places You Should See Before You Die" and it is chock full of wonderful places I never knew about but which I found enchanting.

I have to say that I've been fortunate to have already seen many of my Thaumata's when I visited Italy and saw Venice, and climbed to the top of the dome of St.Peter's in Rome.Then when I visited Ireland, I saw Newgrange and the Giant's Causeway. Seeing the geysers and hot pools in Yellowstone this past summer were also a dream come true, and climbing Mount Washington in New Hampshire a few years ago.

Now I would like to see El Capitan in Yosemite, go to the top of Pike's Peak in Colorado, snowmobile Yellowstone National Park in Winter, see Glacier National Park in Montana.
I would like to see the Aran Islands in Ireland and also walk up to the top of Croagh Patrick.

Whew... I have along list! I better get moving! :-)

FinnyKnits said...

Yes! My sister went to the Galapagos and found it to be just as wild and intriguing as she'd hoped. That's on my list, too.

When you go to Bora Bora, take a day or two and try Moorea, another island in the Tahitian string there. It's absolutely stunning, a little more wild and, if you shark dive, it's unparalleled. Simply fantastic.

Bridgett said...

Your thaumata sounds VERY SIMILAR to mine.

I'd also love to spend a year travelling all over Europe as well.


kim said...

ou Magazine website!~ One of the give-aways is a trip to the Galapagos Islands

Mrs. Staggs said...

Well, I've seen the Aurora Borealis, and it is a magical experience. I hope that dream comes true for you.

You would have loved sailing the South Pacific with my husband and father in law. They saw many of the places that are on your list.

I'm not quite sure what all would be on my list, other than visiting Thomas Jefferson's home, and maybe the American Folk Art Museum. It's overwhelming to think of the many places there are. I've always wanted to experience the quality of the light in Greece, and visit gardens in England. For the most part though, I tend to think in terms of experiencing something, rather than thinking of places. Barbecue and the blues in the south. A Yankee's game in NY. That sort of thing. One of my favorite places is St. Patricks in NYC. I've been there twice, and would love to go again. Well, I'm creating a list, without really trying. I'll have to give this some real thought.