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Joel Baldwin Profile

Joel Baldwin

Traveller, blogger and videographer from Australia, retired at 35 and travelling the world, aiming to visit every UNESCO World Heritage site.

Documenting my journey on YouTube:

Visited Sites Joel Baldwin

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Recent Reviews Joel Baldwin

Strasbourg Joel Baldwin

Strasbourg by Joel Baldwin

My wife and I stayed for a week in Strasbourg in August 2017. It's an extremely beautiful city, not too touristy, much more affordable than other French cities (especially Paris), and there's quite a bit to see.

The area known as Petite-France with its picturesque houses, the lovely canal, the imposing Notre-Dame cathedral and of course the little alleyways running everywhere.

Recently, Strasbourg was extended as well to cover another area, the German-developed Neustadt or New Town, located across the river from the medieval city. It's striking just how different the planning, layout and architecture is over here, representing the development of new European ideas, particularly after the revolutions of 1848.

Check out the link below for my full video review!

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Neolithic Flint Mines at Spiennes Joel Baldwin

Neolithic Flint Mines at Spiennes by Joel Baldwin

My wife and I visited Spiennes in August 2017. Contrary to the experience of other reviewers, we showed up randomly and managed to grab a free spot on the tour! It had just started so I missed the first few minutes, but it was in French and my grasp on that language is tenuous at best, so I didn't really miss anything. The guide was kind enough to give me the gist of what she was saying too.

The mines were surprisingly large underground, and I really enjoyed seeing the pits. Also very startled to find that in the hundred or so acres of the site, there are thousands of mines but only a handful have actually been excavated! Makes you really wonder what else is yet to be discovered.

See below for my full video review!

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Notre-Dame Cathedral in Tournai Joel Baldwin

Notre-Dame Cathedral in Tournai by Joel Baldwin

My wife and I visited here in August 2017. The cathedral is currently undergoing heavy renovation, both inside and out. I would estimate something like half of the exterior is covered in scaffolding, and less than a third of the interior is available for viewing.

However, you can still see the impressive towers and the portico at one end, as well as the exposed remains of earlier churches inside.

With that in mind, Tournai is actually a beautiful little town for a visit, particularly on a sunny summer afternoon like we had. A great lunch on the square, a climb of the belfry (part of the separate Belfries of Belgium and France listing) from where you get a fantastic view of the cathedral, then a wander around the cathedral.

See below for my full video review!

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The Four Lifts Joel Baldwin

The Four Lifts by Joel Baldwin

My wife and I visited the canal lifts in August 2017, and used a rental car to drive between the four location from our base in the town of Mons (also contains a belfry if you're collecting those!). Driving is by far the easiest way to see the four lifts, though cycling would also be possible as a well-kept cycle path tracks alongside the (now rarely used) canal.

I actually quite enjoyed this sight, particularly once the concept of balance lifts had been explained! Sadly they weren't operating on the day of our visit, so we had to use our imagination.

It's also worth stopping off at Strepy-Theiu, where an enormous lift from the 1980s replaced the four WH-listed lifts.

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Brugge Joel Baldwin

Brugge by Joel Baldwin

My wife and I visited Brugge (Bruges) in August 2017. I'd visited just over 12 years earlier, and little seemed to have changed. It's still very beautiful, still very touristy, and still enchanting.

One thing I would definitely recommend is staying in the old town for two nights at least, since a lot of people just see Bruges as a day-trip from Brussels, and it's much more tolerable in the early morning/late evening when the crowds have gone home.

See below for my full video review!

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Profile data

Name: Joel Baldwin

Country: Australia

Visited WHS: 165

Most Impressive: Historic Centre of Istanbul

Proposal New WHS: Isle of Skye, Scotland

Recently Visited WHS

Update 18.09.17


  1. Major Town Houses
  2. Neolithic Flint Mines at Spiennes
  3. Notre-Dame Cathedral in Tournai
  4. Kinabalu Park
  5. Gunung Mulu
  6. Saltaire
  7. Dorset and East Devon Coast
  8. Derwent Valley Mills
  9. Guimarães
  10. Vienna
  11. Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch
  12. Aranjuez
  13. Alto Douro
  14. Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy
  15. Kew Gardens
  16. Monte San Giorgio
  17. Macao
  18. Liverpool
  19. Madriu-Perafita-Claror Valley
  20. Swiss Tectonic Arena Sardona
  21. Plantin-Moretus Museum
  22. Bali Subak system
  23. Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape
  24. Vizcaya Bridge
  25. Melaka and George Town
  26. Lavaux, Vineyard Terraces
  27. Rhaetian Railway
  28. Mantua and Sabbioneta
  29. Stoclet House
  30. La Chaux-de-Fonds / Le Locle
  31. Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal
  32. Australian Convict Sites
  33. Tower of Hercules
  34. Longobards in Italy
  35. The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier
  36. Redwood
  37. Mining Sites of Wallonia
  38. Amsterdam Canal Ring
  39. Prehistoric Pile Dwellings
  40. Elvas
  41. University of Coimbra
  42. Van Nellefabriek
  43. Kakadu National Park
  44. Singapore Botanic Gardens
  45. Forth Bridge
  46. Antequera Dolmens Site
  47. Venetian Works of Defence
  48. Great Barrier Reef
  49. Serengeti
  50. Sydney Opera House
  51. Stone Town of Zanzibar
  52. Belem
  53. Monastery of Batalha
  54. Convent of Christ in Tomar
  55. Old City of Berne
  56. Abbey of St Gall
  57. Benedictine Convent of St. John
  58. Vatican City
  59. Yosemite National Park
  60. Altamira Cave
  61. Segovia
  62. Asturian Monuments
  63. Cordoba
  64. Granada
  65. Burgos Cathedral
  66. Works of Antoni Gaudí
  67. Santiago de Compostela
  68. Avila
  69. Istanbul
  70. Evora
  71. Giant's Causeway
  72. Durham Castle and Cathedral
  73. Ironbridge Gorge
  74. Studley Royal Park
  75. Stonehenge
  76. Gwynedd Castles
  77. Mudejar Architecture of Aragon
  78. Toledo
  79. Seville
  80. Caceres
  81. Ngorongoro
  82. Venice and its Lagoon
  83. Budapest
  84. Kilimanjaro National Park
  85. Hawaii Volcanoes
  86. Ibiza
  87. Lake District
  88. Blenheim Palace
  89. Westminster
  90. City of Bath
  91. New Lanark
  92. Frontiers of the Roman Empire
  93. Luang Prabang
  94. Wet Tropics of Queensland
  95. Tower of London
  96. Strasbourg
  97. Canterbury
  98. Monastery of Alcobaça
  99. Neolithic Orkney
  100. Poblet Monastery
  101. Úbeda and Baeza
  102. Ayutthaya
  103. Borobudur
  104. Paris, Banks of the Seine
  105. Prague
  106. Cesky Krumlov
  107. Fraser Island
  108. Prambanan
  109. Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River
  110. Brú na Bóinne
  111. Mérida
  112. Angkor
  113. Baroque Churches
  114. City of Luxembourg
  115. Vicenza
  116. Sintra
  117. Edinburgh
  118. Crespi d'Adda
  119. Schokland
  120. Grand Canyon
  121. Oporto
  122. Defence Line of Amsterdam
  123. Pyrénées - Mont Perdu
  124. Cuenca
  125. Salzburg
  126. Schönbrunn
  127. Maritime Greenwich
  128. Verona
  129. Las Medulas
  130. Palau de la Musica Catalana and Hospital de Sant Pau
  131. Yuso and Suso Monasteries
  132. Euphrasian Basilica in Porec
  133. Trogir
  134. Kinderdijk
  135. Botanical Garden, Padua
  136. Aquileia
  137. Pompei
  138. Versailles
  139. Costiera Amalfitana
  140. Flemish Béguinages
  141. The Four Lifts
  142. Grand Place, Brussels
  143. Pyramids (Memphis)
  144. Coa Valley and Siega Verde
  145. Ir. D.F. Woudagemaal
  146. Ancient Thebes
  147. Tarraco
  148. Alcala de Henares
  149. Nubian Monuments
  150. Bellinzone
  151. Historic Cairo
  152. Museumsinsel (Museum Island)
  153. Beemster Polder
  154. Rome
  155. Greater Blue Mountains
  156. Belfries
  157. Dubrovnik
  158. Rietveld Schröderhuis
  159. Split
  160. Reichenau
  161. Blaenavon Industrial Landscape
  162. Roman Walls of Lugo
  163. Vall de Boi
  164. Atapuerca
  165. Brugge