Tuesday, July 17, 2018

CALIFORNIA: Pet's Rest Cemetery


Visiting cemeteries has become a bit of a tradition for us when traveling. Cemeteries provide a tranquil break from noisy cities and can often provide us with an interesting array of local history. So, of course, we made it a priority to visit our nation's Necropolis - Colma, California. Colma is a small town just south of San Francisco, where the dead outnumber the living by 1000 to 1.  This small town was founded as a necropolis in 1924 - "necropolis" literally translates to "city of the dead" - and is the only one within the USA. 

Colma contains 17 cemeteries including a pet cemetery - Pet's Rest. Personally I find it most difficult to visit pet cemeteries. Maybe it's just due to a lifelong experience with pets, but I just find myself on the verge of tears reading these headstones - more so than in many human cemeteries. We spotted grave sites for beloved cats, dogs, fish, rabbits, guinea pigs, turtles, and even monkeys.

While sad, Pet's Rest is clearly a well cared for resting place for furry (or scaley) friends. The grounds were very well maintained and you can tell that a lot of love goes into this place. If you'd like to get a closer look at some of these photos, click to enlarge.












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Thursday, July 12, 2018

ICELAND: Visiting a Viking Village


This Viking Village was created for a film, which was never made. You can find it near Vestrahorn - or Batman Mountain - in Hofn (East Iceland). You can access this village after paying a small fee at the Viking Cafe, which also grants you access to the nearby black sand beach. 

This village was clearly created with attention to detail, and at our visit (2016) was still in excellent shape! It almost looks lost in time. Its an interesting stop along the way and worth the walk if these types of sites interest you at all. It's small, but you are free to explore it as you wish. As far as we are aware, it still sits there waiting to be utilized for a different film. 






This is part of a series of posts about our trip to Iceland.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

CALIFORNIA: Visiting a Necropolis (Colma) | Part II


Visiting cemeteries has become a bit of a tradition for us when traveling. Cemeteries provide a tranquil break from noisy cities and can often provide us with an interesting array of local history. So, of course, we made it a priority to visit our nation's Necropolis - Colma, California.

Colma is a small town just south of San Francisco, where the dead outnumber the living by 1000 to 1.  This small town was founded as a necropolis in 1924 - "necropolis" literally translates to "city of the dead" - and is the only one within the USA. Residents seem to have a good sense of humor about living in a necropolis, as the towns motto is, "It's great to be alive in Colma"!

The necropolis started to amass the dead in the early 1900s, as San Francisco outlawed and then evicted all cemeteries within the city limits. This is because the land in San Francisco is so highly valued that they felt it was a waste to use it for the dead. As a result, over a hundred thousand bodies were moved to to their new and final resting place - Colma, a town founded as a place for the dead. There was a small fee to relocated bodies, and those with survivors that could not afford this cost were instead buried in mass graves. 



We spent most of our limited time exploring the Cypress Lawn Cemeteries and Mausoleum, one of the largest in the area. The mausoleum was eerily beautiful. It was so silent and so pristine. You can tell that the community really pours a lot of work into caring for these resting places. The symmetry and glass art is so pleasing to the eye. It almost felt as though we were walking through film sets. Each hallway had a slightly different aesthetic.


























Locations such as this certainly aren't for everyone, but I could have easily spent hours quietly wandering through these halls.

If you missed it, check out our first post about Colma here. 


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Thursday, July 5, 2018

CALIFORNIA: Visiting a Necropolis (Colma) | Part I


Visiting cemeteries has become a bit of a tradition for us when traveling. Cemeteries provide a tranquil break from noisy cities and can often provide us with an interesting array of local history. So, of course, we made it a priority to visit our nation's Necropolis - Colma, California.

Colma is a small town just south of San Francisco, where the dead outnumber the living by 1000 to 1.  This small town was founded as a necropolis in 1924 - "necropolis" literally translates to "city of the dead" - and is the only one within the USA. Residents seem to have a good sense of humor about living in a necropolis, as the towns motto is, "It's great to be alive in Colma"!

The necropolis started to amass the dead in the early 1900s, as San Francisco outlawed and then evicted all cemeteries within the city limits. This is because the land in San Francisco is so highly valued that they felt it was a waste to use it for the dead. As a result, over a hundred thousand bodies were moved to to their new and final resting place - Colma, a town founded as a place for the dead. There was a small fee to relocated bodies, and those with survivors that could not afford this cost were instead buried in mass graves. 






We spent most of our limited time exploring the Cypress Lawn Cemeteries and Mausoleum, one of the largest in the area. The atmosphere was perfectly spooky - the coastal fog was rolling in over the mountains, the sky was overcast, and it was eerily silent (save for the occasional crow). We didn't spot many other living people during our wanders through the grave sites, but we did spot a sign warning of coyotes in the area.

It feels like every where you turn in Colma, there is another cemetery. In fact, there are 17, including a pet cemetery. Keep an eye out for our next two posts about this strange town!























Would you visit a necropolis? 


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