1100 of 1121 WHS have been reviewed by our community.

Art and Architecture in the Prehistory of Sardinia. The domus de janas. (T)

Matejicek Czechia - 17-Apr-21

Art and Architecture in the Prehistory of Sardinia. The domus de janas. (T)

This is quite interesting serial nomination of 35 pre-historic, pre-Nuraghic sites of Sardinia. Nevertheless, I was thinking intensively how to evaluate it in comparison to other archeological sites in Europe. The killing feature is enormous number of sites and rather scientific description/justification provided by the state party of Italy: They are praising unique combination of hypogeism and megalithism typical for these structures dating to 5th-3rd Millennium BC. Well, maybe yes... However, I like and support megalithic TWHS sites like Carnac in Bretagne, Ceide Fildes and future-TWHSs around Sligo in Ireland. Thus, why not Domus de Janas of Sardinia? This is the reason I change my initial thumb-down to -up for this TWHS, but we will see...

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Modernist Centre of Gdynia — the example of building an integrated community (T)

Jarek Pokrzywnicki Polska - 14-Apr-21

Modernist Centre of Gdynia — the example of building an integrated community (T)

Just visited (April, 2021) or to be specific revisited after several other visits in the past. This time I solely focused my stay on the modernistic aspect of central part of Gdynia. As briefly described in the introduction Gdynia as town has relatively short history that implies its current layout. For many years it was not more than a small fishing village on the shores of Gdańsk Bay (Zatoka Gdańska) but when Poland finally retook its independence in 1918 and after granted limited access to the sea (Baltic) in 1920, Gdynia become a central point of construction process (harbor, infrastructure, the city itself). Hence the results of these building works you can still admire today.

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Eastern Arc Mountains Forests of Tanzania (T)

Patrik Netherlands - 12-Apr-21

Eastern Arc Mountains Forests of Tanzania (T)

I visited the Amani forest reserve in januari 2019. I traveled by bus from the coastal town of Tanga and changed in Muheza. There is a daladala (local small bus) up to Amani around 13.00h. The daladala does not depart from the main road but a bit further. A motorbike taxi brought me to the daladala. I thought I was lucky to have caught the daladala just on time but luggage and goods kept being stocked into the daladala. It was not until 15.00h before we started moving. There was a discussion and two women were left behind, looking very upset. I just hoped the discussion was not about me for occupying their seat.

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The Marble Basin of Carrara (T)

Hubert Austria - 12-Apr-21

The Marble Basin of Carrara (T)

Where does all the snow on the mountains come from? You might think so when driving along the Autostrada A12 between Pisa and La Spezia in summer and looking up at the slopes of the Apuan Alps. Indeed, the quarries of Carrara look like a glacier from a distance. I visited the marble quarries in early November 2017 as a stopover on my Tuscany trip. It was a worthwhile detour to see where the raw material for Michelangelo's David came from, which I had previously visited at the Galleria dell'Accademia in Florence.Marble is quarried in three valleys located above Carrara: Torano, Fantiscritti, and Colonnata. The quarries in the middle valley, Fantiscritti, are the most accessible

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The Transhumance: The Royal Shepherd's Track (T)

Patrik Netherlands - 11-Apr-21

The Transhumance: The Royal Shepherd

I was staying in the hills near Benevento in August 2020 and it was rather hot to go for hikes, and I found out that Saepinium was not very far. For some reason, the title used for the tentative site reminded me of Murakami's book 'A wild sheep chase'. Alas, in Saepinium, the sheep turned out to be about as elusive as in the book.

The region feels rather remote and deserted and it came as a surprise to see the parking almost full. It seemed there just had been an event, I would expect the place more or less deserted in general

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Blog WHS Visits

WHS #744: Guanacaste

Like Talamanca, Guanacaste is a vast area which value is hard to summarize in one phrase. One can easily spend days visiting its specific features, its OUV ranges from the marine (turtle nesting sites) to the terrestrial with dry tropical forests and much more. I am only the third reviewer on this website, 11(!) years after the last one. However parts of the included area close to Liberia are quite popular with the beach tourists that mostly come from the USA.

There’s a similar choice to make as with Talamanca as to which included area to visit. The WHS comprises a contiguous area of seven protected zones. I did a half-day visit from Liberia to “Horizontes Forestry Experiment Station”. I had also wanted to add a stay near “Rincon de la Vieja National Park” (probably the most touristy part), but a rescheduling of my flight back to Europe forced me to cut my stay short.

Horizontes was a late discovery during my preparations. It needed pre-booking for Covid reasons as well, however the process wasn’t as smooth as with other parks in Costa Rica. Payment could only be done by bank transfer in USD (15) or colones, for which my bank asked a 50 EUR fee. Fortunately, Wise did it much cheaper.

This former cattle ranch has been turned into a cultivation site for native forest species and their associated forest ecosystems. It lies almost directly behind Liberia airport. Only the final 4km is on a dirt road with some rough patches (it needs a high clearance vehicle). I received a warm welcome and it was explained to me that there are several trails that I was free to walk. They are signposted with coloured arrows, it just felt like hiking in The Netherlands again! I was asked if I came for birding – apparently that is the only reason tourists show up here once in a while.

This park protects a Pacific dry forest ecosystem. Tropical dry forests are rare and threatened around the world – the only other 2 WHS that hold them are Kakadu NP and Thungyai-Huai Kha Khaeng. It surely felt and looked like Australia; I had arrived a little after 8 am in the already blistering heat and I saw the remains of some wildfires on the way out there.

I walked the Green trail, Sendero El Guaracho, and the loop in the Arboretum. The difference between them is that the trees in the Arboretum have shields with their species name on them, while those on the Green trail only have numbers without explanation. I don’t have a great interest in trees so it wasn’t too exciting. The trails are on easy terrain but the heat quickly gets to you. I started looking for birds and did manage to score a black-headed trogon.

I spent around 2.5 hours at the site. The trails are short and easy - except for the lack of shade. However it felt good to be outside of Costa Rica's manicured, tourist friendly parks (having visited Manuel Antonio NP the day before, which is the worst example of that case). On the way out I encountered a large spiny tail iguana on the road – I guess lizards at least enjoy this kind of environment and the dry leaves on the ground.

Els - 18 April 2021

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Zoe 18 April 2021

Huai Kha Khaeng only by car. Once you get to the ranger station there isn't much to do in terms of hiking afaik, although you can freely go into the park area by yourself by following the jeep trails. Lots of lizards roaming around, too. Enjoy the heat. :)

Els Slots 18 April 2021

Thungyai-Huai Kha Khaeng is also pretty difficult I believe. Kakadu may be the easiest, with a car.

Michael Ayers 18 April 2021

Guanacaste is one of those Sites that is a little difficult to organize. In theory, I have been there twice, but I am still only 90% sure that I stood on the core zone.

I should be visiting Thungyai-Huai Kha Khaeng within a week. Perhaps someone else would volunteer to go to Kakadu soon, so we can cover all three dry forest Sites during this month :-)

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