Call me morbid, but I love old cemeteries. They’re so peaceful, so spiritual, so, well, otherworldly. I can spend hours looking at tombstones and reading the inscriptions, thinking about how the people lived.
My all-time favorite cemetery is the one I came across unexpectedly at Montmajour Abbey, a huge medieval monastery outside of Arles in France. There aren’t any bodies there now – they were removed long ago. When I first saw the large holes cut into the rocky outcrop outside the abbey, I didn’t know what they were. Then I realized the holes were vaguely human-shaped, with angular cuts for the shoulders and head. My thoughts went something like this:
“Oh my God, those are tombs cut into the rock.”
“Wow, they are hundreds of years old.”
“It’s strange that there’s nothing covering them.”
“Since there’s nothing covering them, I should probably get inside one right now!”
And that’s just what I did. It’s not every day you get to lie inside someone’s tomb. It wasn’t too comfy, but it was an otherworldly experience.