Blog WHS Visits

WHS #825: Mazagan

7 out of the current 9 Moroccan World Heritage Sites have been rated with 3 stars or more by our community. They have brought Morocco a good overall country rating of 3.44. The only exceptions are Tétouan (almost there at 2.92), and Mazagan (2.63). The Portuguese City of Mazagan however turned out the biggest positive surprise of my short Moroccan coastal trip in January 2023.

Just looking at the site’s intrinsic qualities and OUV, I believe a low rating of Mazagan is not fair. Yes, I understand it is small and takes an hour at most to explore. But:

  1. It is really old. It dates from the very early stages of the explorations of the Portuguese outside Europe (1514). Among the many Portuguese colonial forts around the world, this one is the second oldest that is still intact. The only older one is Elmina Castle in Ghana (part of the Gold Coast Forts WHS). 
  2. It has barely changed since. Elmina was heavily used by the Dutch and British in the 17th-19th centuries, while Mazagan was abandoned after the Portuguese left in 1769. The fortress town, therefore, has kept its original layout, some buildings, and the ramparts. Only the residential buildings of the Moroccans that settled here from the mid-19th century on, are additions, as well as an entrance gate built during the French protectorate.
  3. It has kept the church buildings intact. The 16th-century Portuguese Church of the Assumption still holds the primary position in town. OK, the Moroccans that took over and renamed the town El Jadida turned a higher watchtower into the minaret of their mosque. But they didn’t destroy the churches.

I visited Mazagan as a stop-over between Casablanca and Essaouira, arriving by train. At the ‘modern’ double entrance gate to the fortress, my attention was drawn to the trilingual WHS plaque, as I had read in Clyde’s review that it was upside down. I didn’t see anything wrong with it at first until Clyde (after I consulted him) pointed out that although they have repainted the text and the logos in black, the UNESCO logo still is on its head… But, hey, at least they have a plaque, something that has been lacking during my WH travels the past months in Brazil, Gran Canaria, and Morocco.

Mazagan has a main street to the right from the entrance with some souvenir stalls, but you certainly needn’t come here for the shopping or the bustling medina life. It’s more interesting to climb up to the ramparts, which can be accessed on either side of the town. The walkway is wide and you can access several bastions and have good overviews of the enclosed town with its (church) towers.

Unfortunately, I found the Portuguese cistern that other reviewers named as their highlight of Mazagan closed. A big lock kept the door shut and there was a sign in English saying that it ‘may be closed for restorations’. It did not open up while I was there, and also not when a bigger tour group arrived. The Church of the Assumption is now in use as a cinema. You can have a look around and an information panel tells about its original use. The 19th-century Mosque lies to the back of it and has an interestingly shaped, pentagonal minaret.

Mazagan has some graffiti here and there, the living conditions in the old houses may not be great and there is a large field of rubble just in front of the only boutique hotel in the town. But the streets and ramparts are clean, safe and pleasant to walk. I finished my visit with lunch at La Capitainerie restaurant (an offspring of the Iglesia boutique hotel in a nearby street) to see what the interior of one of the more fancy buildings looks like.

Getting there and away on public transport. There is a direct train every 2 hours from Casablanca to El Jadida. The railway station is some 5km away from the Cité Portugaise, but there are plenty of petit taxis waiting to take you there. The ride costs 18 dirhams and probably will be a shared one as common in Morocco. To leave, there is a ramshackle bus station (Gare Routière) which lies an easy 1.5km walk from the WHS. I travelled from there to Essaouira with CTM, which has a comfortable bus every 4 hours. You need to pre-book this one online, as it fills up (it’s just a stretch of the popular Casablanca – Agadir route). More basic and slower buses to Essaouira leave from that bus station more frequently. There is also a new bus station near the railway station, but it seems to be not in use (yet). 

Els - 29 January 2023

Leave a comment

Comments

Liam 30 January 2023

Hmm, and I'm one of the ones dragging the average down with a 1 star rating. I have likely been unfair to it, considering that it was part of my first ever trip looking for WHSs, and I didn't particularly understand *why* sites had been inscribed or what to look for. Plus I only had a short gap between bus and train to look around.

But. If other people say the cistern is the highlight, it is nothing compared to that in Istanbul. And I found it a disappointment after Essaouira generally (maybe views are dependent on which historic walled maritime town you visit first?)


Blog Connections

Invention of sweets and pastries

Invention of sweets” already is an older connection, it has id number 420 out of 1525. Lately, a few additional suggestions for connected sites were made on the Forum, but at first, I found them hard to fit in. It became a good excuse for a clean-up of the connection!

Limits of the connection

One of the issues with the original connection was that even the title was misleading. “Sweets” are what the Americans call Candy (the people Down Under even call them Lollies apparently!). But we have included sweet pastries as well. So I’ve now changed the title of the connection to “Invention of sweets and pastries”. Just anything sweet to snack on while you are visiting a WHS.

The connection did not have an introduction text, and therefore no criteria to measure sites against. I have now added:

1.       They must be sweets (candy), sweet pastries or sweet desserts

2.       They are believed to have originated in a specific place within the core zone of WHS

3.       They are widely available elsewhere as well, not only at their place of origin

For 'rule' number 2, “believed to originate in” is good enough – it is hard to be sure, often they are adaptations of recipes that have been in use for centuries. I also included large city centers such as Florence and Budapest, as they are likely to include the place where a sweet or pastry was created in the city.

The claiming of the origin of a sweet or pastry often also is just marketing for a current product on sale. According to Tim Richardson, a historian of sweets(!), "specific names and dates are often erroneously associated with the invention of particular sweets, not least for commercial reasons" (source). A prime example is the popular attribution of Hacı Bekir as the inventor of Turkish delight (he may have coined the new name for the more commonly known lokums). But I think we can keep the connection to Istanbul.

Sweets

The Mozartkugel (Salzburg) and Vichy Pastilles (Grea Spa Towns) are the clearest examples of sweets invented in WHS core zones.

And then there's the history of marzipan, which 'invention' is claimed by many. Its origins are old, its recipe may have come from the Middle East or even China. In Europe, marzipan was originally made in pharmacies as it was believed to have healing qualities. Three WHS became known each for their own type of marzipan. 12th century Toledo already had 'poste regio' (an almond paste dessert), which lives on in 'Mazapán de Toledo' consisting of at least 50% of almonds. Lübeck is marketed as a marzipan city as well: "in the 18th century, the marzipan produced in Lübeck started becoming well known for its high quality, due to its high almond content.". Tallinn claims to have started producing marzipan at the same time as Lübeck, in a café called “Maiasmokk” (Sweet Tooth).

Sweet Pastries

For pastries, we have Yemas de Santa Teresa (Avila), Pastel de Nata (Belem), Canelé (Bordeaux), Sfogliatella (Conca dei Marini, Costiera Amalfitana), Tarta de Santiago (Santiago de Compostela), and Czech Spa Wafers (Great Spa Towns). And a bunch of Austro-Hungarian cakes from Budapest and Vienna (Dobos torte, Esterhazy torta, Sachertorte).

Removed from the connection

The limited core zone of the Paris WHS means that we have to leave many sweet treats out that were invented somewhere else in Paris. The croissant (an adaptation of a Viennese pastry) for example traces back to a Viennese bakery at 92, rue de Richelieu in Paris. And the Rum baba "was invented in the rue Montorgueil in Paris, France, in 1835 or before" (wiki). This last sweet dessert also has an alternative story, which leads back to the exiled Polish king residing in Nancy.

I also removed the ‘Luxemburgerli’, which – despite their name – seem to have originated outside the City of Luxembourg. “The Luxemburgerli go back to the Luxembourg confectioner Camille Studer, who brought a recipe from a French confectioner to Zurich in 1957 and refined it there as part of an internal competition under the aegis of Richard Sprüngli.” (wiki de)

Do you know of any other sites that can be added to this connection? Maybe something from India or the Arab world?

Els - 22 January 2023

Leave a comment

Comments

Els Slots 23 January 2023

I think it was the Moravian Honey Cake Bakery?


Astraftis 23 January 2023

Don't we also have that Danish sweet typical of Moravian churches that one can find in Christiansfeld, that @meltwaterfalls suggested me once? Can we assign it to that, also in view of its extension?


Astraftis 22 January 2023

Alas, this leaves out my Milan's panettone, which is the king of all Christmas sweets, of course :-) It was surely not invented in Santa Maria delle Grazie.

But to dismay the rival *pandoro* should fit: was officially invented in *Verona* as a modern form of a traditional Veronese/Venetian sweet by Melegatti in 1894, whose first shop was in the heart of the old town.

Then in Tuscany there are for sure a plethora of sweets, but I don't know how local they are.


Liam 22 January 2023

Sintra: Queijadas de Sintra
Lake District: Sticky toffee pudding was popularised in - and is heavily associated with - the Lake District; Grasmere gingerbread may / may not be distinct enough as a form to be included; Kendal mint cake is outside borders
Verona: baci di giulietta (could just be called a rebadged baci di dama though)
Itsukushima: momiji manju hail from Miyajima, but possibly not from within the core zone.


Zoë Sheng 22 January 2023

Maybe so but a traveler going to a place should maybe quickly google what food it is famous for anyway ;) Similar to someone checking what non-WHS stuff there is to do around the area.


Els Slots 22 January 2023

Yes, I will rephrase it.


Solivagant 22 January 2023

But by doing so you potentially exclude genuine local delicacies which WHS enthusiasts might want to try and favour those products which have been commoditised.


Durian 22 January 2023

Cairo for Om Ali?


Els Slots 22 January 2023

Regarding requirement 3: my idea was to exclude the minor ones. Every town will have a baker who creates something named after the town.


Jakob Frenzel 22 January 2023

Please see https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toru%C5%84_gingerbread

Torunskie Pierniki were invented in 14th century by Mikolaj Czarna, so must have been within the core zone.


Solivagant 22 January 2023

Why is there a need for requirement 3 by the way?


Solivagant 22 January 2023

Edinburgh Rock
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edinburgh_rock


Solivagant 22 January 2023

Shirini Yazidi
a. k. a Yazdi cakes


Solivagant 22 January 2023

Bath Bun
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bath_bun
Bath in its own right rather than as a Spa Town.


Blog WHS website

WHS In the News

There’s a feature on the home page that lists (T)WHS that are making the news. I once started it to capture events such as “The Taj Mahal is on fire” and “More Nasca lines discovered”. So far, 3316 news items have been logged since 2006. Let’s have a closer look at them, and how we can improve this section in the future.

The Process

Updating the news section is one of the daily chores I do for the website. At fixed times in the morning and in the evening I receive Google Alerts in my e-mail box based upon keywords such as “World Heritage” and “heritage site”. Community members also point me to news via whatsapp or e-mail. And there is an active forum topic where the news gets posted too.

I read through them all and make a selection. Some I omit because they are better placed elsewhere: for example, if a TWHS is rumoured to aim for an inscription in 2024, I will post it in the 2024 WHC forum topic. Also, I try to filter out the ‘old news’, ‘fake news’, and ‘not newsworthy’ ones. More on that later under ‘Pitfalls’.

The selected links will subsequentially automatically be added to the individual site pages, where I think they have the highest value as they show the history of a site in recent years. Over the years, Pompei has been in the news the most (47 items), followed by the Galapagos (37) and Angkor (35).

The Pitfalls

The selection is necessary, as (1) News often isn’t new (but a repetition of things discovered and reported years before), and (2) Some countries (Egypt! Turkey!) produce a lot of propaganda to stimulate their tourism industry (or national glory). While the content of the latter often isn't untrue, it tends to focus on every potsherd found. Every week there is something new 'discovered' about Pompei too; especially the editors of The Guardian online newspaper seem to love that source.

Also, over 90% of the news items submitted cover WHS, instead of TWHS. My Google Alerts do not tend to capture tentative sites well.

Types of news

Scrolling through the 3316 news items added so far, they can be divided into the following categories:

  • 'Calamities': sites that have been damaged, where people have been killed, or where there is an imminent threat.
  • 'Discoveries': reports of new flora/fauna species or archeological findings at a site.
  • 'Changes in visiting conditions': announcement of reopenings, closures for restoration, price hikes.
  • 'WH Process'": updates on listings, such as possible in-danger placements.
  • 'Human interest' with a conservation twist: such as “McDonald’s blocked from building drive-through at Rome's ancient Baths of Caracalla".

Discoveries and Calamities are the most interesting to me personally. Openings and closures of sites are valuable as well, but it is hard to accurately keep track of those for 1154 WHS (and if they're not accurate, they're not worth much). 

News in 2022

138 news items have been added in 2022. The most notable among them were:

Biggest calamities:

Biggest discoveries: 

From the ones logged, I couldn't say which was the biggest scientific discovery in 2022 at a WHS. For the archaeological findings, Heritage Daily lists the recovery of thousands of Aztec objects from the Templo Mayor (Mexico City) and the origins of the Venus of Willendorf (Wachau). There's no natural equivalent that I could find, National Geographic's 22 most amazing discoveries of 2022 records only "Everglades fighting back", and also lists findings at Nineveh TWHS. We missed all of those, so we surely can improve on the scientific discovery news.

With the research for this blog post, I also updated the news overview page on the website. It now shows all news items logged since 2006 in reverse chronological order. That page has also been added to the navigation bar and is (as always) accessible from the main page too under the header 'News'.

Would you like to see the news section expanded? Would it be a good idea to attach the labels as described above? Or don’t you ever look at the News at all?

Els - 15 January 2023

Leave a comment

Comments

Michael Ayers 15 January 2023

Very interesting! I have occasionally wondered how this process works, especially what fraction of the work is done by Human Els, and how much by Robot Els!


Blog Countries

Tips for Travelling to Northern Brazil

At the end of last year, I spent 5 weeks travelling around Brazil focusing on the Northern states. I had been to the South in 2004 and had already covered 10 WHS there. Now, I ended with 22 of Brazil’s current 24 WHS seen – to do it all in one go would easily take 8-10 weeks! Herewith are some tips for travelling to Northern Brazil as a WH Traveller. 

1. Get used to taking lots of domestic flights

There's no road to Tefe. Manaus to Belem is 3000 km and takes days by boat. Sao Luis is as isolated as it comes. So there's no other transport option than to fly between the hubs of the north. Fortunately, domestic air travel is excellently organized in Brazil. I used Azul mostly: they have the best coverage of the north, usually fly with very modern planes (with free wifi and live TV), and are easy to book online or via the fine app.  Using so many flights has two side effects: it is costly (I spent 80-110 EUR per flight, but it can be 200-300 EUR when booking later), and: it is very relaxed. I was never tired after a 'travel day' and could hit the road immediately.

2. Enjoy the people 

Don't expect many archaeological sites or colonial remains. This area is mostly strong on living cultural traditions: the Ver-o-peso market in Belem, the Bumba meu boi performance in Sao Luis and the percussion street music of Salvador de Bahia are among my fondest memories of this trip. Also, everywhere you go, the Brazilian people are so nice, helpful, and always in a good mood. And they don't expect tips, and wear flip-flops all the time!

3. Go in the second half of the year

Temperatures in the north do not vary much during the year: it's always around 28-30 degrees Celsius and the sun is strong (I found that it felt hotter than it actually was). Generally, it's best to travel to Northern Brazil in the second half of the year until mid-December. The high season in Brazil for domestic travel lasts from the week before Christmas until Carnaval. Also, there's a rainy season that differs per region - in Recife, it rains most between March and July, and in Sao Luis between January and May.

The experience of a trip to the Amazon (Mamiraua taken as an example here) will vary per season, but one isn't better than the other. In April-August the area will be flooded and travel is by boat only (that takes you closer to the canopies and animals residing there), in the dry season September - March fish and aquatic birds are better visible due to the smaller volume of water. 

4. Note the difference between the north and the northeast

Geographically, Northern Brazil is split between the North (roughly between the Amazon and Sao Luis) and the Northeast (the coastal areas like Bahia). Of the two, the North is the most unexplored part of the country and you'll encounter the least non-Brazilian tourists. But it may be the most fascinating part: especially in the first two weeks (see itinerary) between Manaus and Fernando de Noronha, I travelled from one highlight to another. The biggest positive surprises for me overall were Sao Luis and the Serra da Capivara.

5. Even the cities with 1 million+ inhabitants are nicer in the North

The Big Cities of Brazil are not exactly filled with happiness or things that make you smile. They show how hard it has been to keep up with a fast-growing population, with high-rise buildings suffering in the hot and humid climate, graffiti, and homeless people. But I found Manaus, Belem, and Sao Luis pleasant enough. Salvador is a bit in between, and the worst may be Recife. The northern cities aren't so overwhelmed with colonial or religious buildings. They were often late to the party and mostly grew due to commerce. Even the Christmas Market of Manaus takes place in front of the Theater!

Els - 8 January 2023

Leave a comment

Comments

Els Slots 8 January 2023

I read that about LATAM a lot, Zoë. But I had no issues with Azul (and used a randomly generated CPF) using the .br website.


Zoë Sheng 8 January 2023

The thing about the air travel is that online agents are more expensive for us foreigners because they know we don't have a CPF (individual taxpayer registry) so we cannot use the domestic travel agent websites. If you know an agent personally in Brazil they can help you find the tickets slightly cheaper but it wasn't always the case.


Blog WH Travellers

Nine things I learned in my first year of full-time travel

2022 was my first year without a paid job or any other obligations, and I dedicated it fully to WH travel. I managed to visit 58 new WHS, more than I had anticipated in my Trip Plan and without the free bonus WHS from a WHC meeting. Overall, I travelled more and cheaper than budgeted. After half a year I knew I had enough money left for 2022 to pick up the expensive destinations Skellig Michael and Chad.

For the coming years, due to advantageous tax measures and rising interest rates, I also can raise my yearly travel budget a bit. So the date of reaching the goal of 1100 visited WHS has now been adjusted to 2028 instead of 2030! You can find my updated Trip Planner here, including the actual ‘results’ of 2022.

And I learned a lot:

Mentally

1.       You start to overthink things. At the start of the year my head was full of general travel worries (Will there be a bus? Where do I need to buy tickets and when? Etc.). So many choices to make, always trying to reach the optimum. You just have more time and room in your head to think I guess. This ‘condition’ fortunately improved in the 2nd half year.

2.       You tend to overlook the dates of public holidays and school holidays when not working – while it is better to not travel/fly on these dates to avoid the crowds and save money.

The time versus money dilemma

3.       Still, there is never enough time and money. I am proceeding diligently with my wish list, but I could easily have spent more time in Brazil for example.

4.       The hardest is deciding whether to add on WHS while you’re in the area versus cutting back your days on the road to the minimum needed. Sticking to the “650 EUR rule” (an additional WHS may cost 650 EUR) helps make these decisions.

5.       I was relieved that I didn’t have to compromise on the hotel quality or forego the occasional expensive tour, such as the scenic flight above the Belize Barrier Reef.

6.       Preparation takes a lot of time and wrapping up does not so much. In preparation, I use as much time as the length of the actual trip itself. But I usually only need 1 week afterward. Only for Chad, it was at least 2 weeks, due to not bringing my laptop with me plus the multitude of strong impressions from that trip.

Improved travel planning insights

7.       I loved that I had the freedom to take on “bigger things”, such as an 8000km+ road trip through Canada and 2 weeks of off-grid and wild camping in Chad. I want to go beyond what I did before and move out of my comfort zone.

8.       It sometimes is hard to stay away from “Greatest Hits only”. Most countries have a few good WHS, and always 1 or 2 that are hard to reach and of mediocre quality. I will keep trying to “complete” a country during a visit because you will never go back for that 6th remote WHS.

9.      Natural WHS are more and more becoming my favourites. Six out of the ten sites that I rated 4 stars or higher this year are natural ones: Ennedi, Ounianga Lakes, Gros Morne NP, Gulf of California, Central Amazon, and Fernando de Noronha. If and when I reach 1100, I may set myself a new goal to complete all natural sites on the List!

What have you learned from your travels in 2022?

Els - 1 January 2023

Leave a comment

Comments

Esteban Cervantes Jiménez (vantcj1) 5 January 2023

Hi, Els. Just getting back to checking on the site...

It has been very refreshing to read your conclusions on this year dedicated to WHS-traveling.

I found particularly refreshing to read around the mental lessons you've got, and I identify what you say regarding the preparation and post-processing of trips, in my case I especially identify with the second aspect.

Hope you and every other WHS traveller have a great year of travels and experiences.


Don Irwin 1 January 2023

After 2 1/2 years of covid, how much I've missed it. traveling that is. not covid.


Shandos Cleaver 1 January 2023

Happy New Year Els! Great to read your thoughts about travel. I agree that planning takes as much time as travel - especially on trips I've fully planned in advance such as China and India. (Or it takes a lot of daily time if you do it as you go...) It's also interesting to see your trip planner. I put together a lot of possible itineraries and the number of days to spend in each country during lockdown, but never got around to estimating costs.


Jay T 1 January 2023

Happy New Year, Els! Those are some good observations, and I’m glad this first year of travel has turned out better than you expected.
This has been a good year of travel for me — I’ve been on the road far more than I had in quite a while. I suppose I could consider this making up for the Covid years. All told, I visited 42 new World Heritage Sites and eight new countries, touching ground on four continents, which was far better than I’d expected. I think my most memorable trip would have to have been to SGang Gwaay; it was really a unique cultural site located in an extremely beautiful part of the world. Morocco also offered some incredible architecture and views. As for travel lessons learned, since I packed a lot of travel into the end of 2022, I’m realizing for myself I should be spacing my trips a little farther apart so that I can fully appreciate and process each trip as I take it.
Hope 2023 brings many happy travel memories for you and for the rest of the WHS community!


Blog WHS website

2022 - A Year in Review(s)

Some people have travelled around madly this year. And more and more people seem to travel (semi-)permanently nowadays. Countries like Syria and Yemen have come on the travel radar again, and people are stumbling over each other to book trips to Saudi Arabia. So 2022 was a fruitful year for new reviews – although I’d like to see some more added from Saudi (hint! hint!).

Community Travel

The magical number of 1,000 visited WHS has not been reached yet by anyone, probably because Zoë put on the brakes mid-year. Looking at the rankings on other websites such as Nomadmania or MostTravelledPeople, with a number in the 800’s you’ll easily be in the Top 10 overall.

In our own Top 10, we see that Luis Filipe Gaspar is a new entry at spot #8 and that Roman Bruehwiler is approaching as well. With more full-time/professional travellers entering the WH arena (as more people have managed to complete their first goal already, visiting all 193 countries), we may see the numbers rise quickly. But I wonder how they approach their visits – ‘ticking’ WHS in my opinion is not a geographical game like counting countries, but requires knowledge about the OUV of a site and the interest to learn more about it. I invite them (also those not active on whs.org yet) to write reviews for this website, also as a way to ‘give back’ and share experiences with others. We just want to know how to get to the Phoenix Islands!

Memorable Reviews

At 450, the number of new reviews is recovering from the Covid times, but still not what it was before. Most reviews were written by myself (66), followed by Zoë (58), Clyde (40), and Nan (33).

1133 of 1154 WHS have now been reviewed. The missing 21 can be found at the top of this page. First reviews were written for Great Burkhan Khaldun Mountain by Michael Ayers, Rio Abiseo by Wojciech Fedoruk, Chinchorro Culture by Walter, and Tadrart Acacus and Malpelo by Zoë.

WHS that hadn’t been reviewed for long and this year received a well-need update included Shibam (Chris) Ennedi and Ounianga (Els), Sgang Gwaai (JayT, "The poles are still standing"), and Lake Malawi (Svein & Randi).

While it may become harder and harder to write something original for most of the WHS, there still is plenty to do for the TWHS and especially the possible upcoming nominations. Notable reviews of that kind this year included the Ancient Walled Oases of Northern Arabia (Wojciech), Saimaa Ringed Seal Archipelagos (Hubert, "You have to look for a rock lying on a rock"), the petroglyphs of Murujugu (Joel), and Niah Caves and Upper Sepik (Solivagant).

Tsunami Award for WH travel misadventure

We all got around fairly safely this year. Tsunami had hitchhiking issues and thus for the 2nd time did not visit Dacian Fortress WHS location Sarmizegetusa Regia. Shandos had trouble renting a car in Brazil, but eventually reached the Cerrado. And I had my own troubles with dogs at Ciudad Vieja in El Salvador.

And well, there is misadventure and self-inflicted hardship … Wojciech went to the limit to visit Rio Abiseo: “Plan B was to get into the park without a permit. .. Luckily there was also a side bouncing road (to a place called Las Tres Lagunas). I drove it, got out of the car out of sight of the rangers, crossed the stream that was the border of the national park, and walked a good kilometer into the park. Unfortunately, I didn't see anything special”. 

But the 2022 Tsunami award goes to Philipp Peterer, who thought it would be no problem to visit Nemrut Dag in March. “The climb up to the mound proofed to be the hardest part as there were tons of snow and climbing a steep snow covered hill is not that relaxing. Worse than the snow was the wind. Blowing little ice needles in my face and almost knocking me off my feet a few times. After what felt an eternity I reached the mound. The snow was so high, it covered most of the characteristic heads. Only one was clearly visible. I removed some more of the snow to make the face better visible.”

Are there any memorable reviews from 2022 that you’d like to put into the spotlight again?

Els - 25 December 2022

Leave a comment

Comments

Els Slots 30 December 2022

On special request (Astraftis!), you can now scroll back through the last 100 reviews at https://www.worldheritagesite.org/community/reviews.


Astraftis 30 December 2022

Unfortunately it seems one cannot scroll too much back into the reviews, as I can reach only to end November. This year seemed extremely long to me, so I cannot recall well all the year's reviews, even if I read most of them, and have in mind mostly recent ones.

You cited all of them: I'd say surely that of an off-season Great Burkhan with that wonderful photo; the recent one about the Upper Sepik (and of course I also remember that monkey, Solivagant...); Chad's wonders; and SGang Gwaai by JayT was probably the one that made me "dream" most about a destination.

Kudos to all of you serial review writers! I tried to contribute myself a little bit more this year, especially about Denmark, but as always I find it a difficult process and so most of my reviews are still in my head. Hope to do more and am always happy to read new ones in the meantime! :-D


Christravelblog 26 December 2022

During the pandemic I had put myself a goal of visiting end 2022 a total of 450+ WHS sites. Which was easily possible by doing European road trips. But, pandemic was over, and my focus shifted to new countries, and more difficult sites (for example Shibam, Yemen). Of course, mostly, difficult sites means less quantity. So I ended up at 350 sites by end 2022 (finishing the Vietnam list as we speak).

For 2023 I have already trips booked including Equatorial Guinea (no WHS though), Cyprus, Sri Lanka, Iraq which are all new countries, and a Poland road trip. This should should be 25+ new WHS, and my goal would be to hit 450 by end 2023. I have to make European road trips for this but, pretty sure, I'll end up visiting some remote places and new countries first.

It's always a struggle to choose. Phoenix Islands would be something I would look into for 2023. I like a challenge. Also, the "country tickers", I don't see becoming WHS tickers. I count countries, but not like driving the coastal road in west Africa and counting like 10 countries. Even Togo took me 8 days.

Wishing everyone a good start into 2023!


Jay T 25 December 2022

Quite a few awesome reviews this year! I really enjoy reading them throughout the year. Thanks to everyone who contributes, and thanks Els (and Nan) for all the work you put into this website!


Solivagant 25 December 2022

"there still is plenty to do for the TWHS and especially the possible upcoming nominations. Notable reviews of that kind this year included ..........Niah caves and Upper Sepik (Solivagant)."
Upper Sepik isn't "of that kind" (I suspect a lot of redefinition work needs to be done on it first) - but I did do "first reviews" on 4 others (as well as Niah) which (currently!!) are!!!
Marib (23), Grace Hill, Kashmir Gardens and Nyungwe (24).
Surely you remember "that Monkey" at Nyungwe!!


Kyle Magnuson 25 December 2022

I decided to visit the Netherlands WHS in the opposite order from Els! Spending 4 nights in Curaçao was fantastic to end the year.

Wishing everyone safe travels for 2023!


Zoë Sheng 25 December 2022

I don't even remember writing so many reviews lol, also love that dig re Phoenix Islands. I sort of want them to lose WH status for fishing right issues just so we don't have to try and visit ;)

Wish everyone a successful 2023. I'll start traveling again but unlikely the way I did this year so I figure reaching 1000 is not on the cards anytime soon plus I don't want to be #1 :/ Thinking of spending more time diving and hiking this year.


Blog WHS Visits

WHS #813: Fernando de Noronha

Fernando de Noronha is one of the few islands in the South Atlantic – other notable ones are Gough Island, Tristan da Cunha, and St. Helena. That apparently makes it special enough to be considered a TCC ‘country’ and have its own Nomadmania region (though it is part of the state of Pernambuco), and about 70% of it is a WHS as well. Whether it is as good as Northern Atlantic ones such as the Azores, Cabo Verde, or even the Canary Islands, is questionable. It needed to team up with the more outstanding, more scenic, but inaccessible Rocas Atoll, 150 km away, to reach WH status. They are jointly known as the ‘Brazilian Atlantic Islands’.

I stayed on Fernando de Noronha for 3 nights and allotted a day to its marine features and two to its land surface. On the first afternoon, I walked from the town of Remedios to the northern tip of the island. A first beach, the remains of two Portuguese fortresses and offshore volcanic islands can be seen. At one of those islands, I spotted my first noteworthy bird: the masked booby.

The next morning I took a 3-hour boat tour along the western coast. We first circled the Secondary Islands, the same ones I saw yesterday from the shore. Visually the most attractive one is Cuscuz Island, shaped like a bowling ball. Black lava flows are a common sight as this archipelago is of volcanic origin. The phallic volcanic plug which is the highest peak of the island, Morro do Pico, is always drawing attention as well.

Exactly in the famous Baía dos Golfinhos (“the only known place in the world with such a high population of resident dolphins”), we encountered the spinner dolphins. They moved around quickly in pairs but showed themselves well by jumping fully out of the water. On the way back we had time to swim at Praia Sancho; I stayed on board, scanning the trees along the coast, and found many pairs of red-footed boobies. Colourful tropical fishes could even be seen well from the boat, the water is very clear.

On the third day, I did a 6km long DIY hike along the southern sights. I started at Praia de Leão, the prettiest of the beaches that I’ve seen on the island (photo 3). It has the obligatory peculiarly shaped rock in its bay and an impressive set of natural pools. Among the rocks, I noticed a rock cavy, a cute rodent but an invasive species. Nearby lies the Sao Joaquim Fort: 4 rusty canons remain (photo 1). From there good views of Sueste Bay can be had. This Bay has many special values, such as being the breeding place for turtles and having the only mangrove of the South Atlantic and the last patch of Insular Atlantic Rainforest. Except for the mangrove, however, these are not easily seen or distinguished.

On the morning before my return flight, I visited the Baia Golfinhos and Sancho Beach. These were the two that I earlier already had seen from the sea. Baia Golfinhos is where the spinner dolphins have breakfast. They drop by and feed here before swimming off into the ocean. The lookout is open from 6.30, this is as early as they will arrive. I arrived at 7.30 and still saw plenty of small pods visiting (about 40 individuals in an hour's time). The viewpoint is right above a resting and nesting place of red-footed boobies, so I got better photos of them too. From the Bay, there’s a 1200m long coastal trail to Sancho Beach, a very pleasant walk that brought a couple of lizards and more birds to my tally. Sancho Beach is the widest sandy beach on the island and the one most used for swimming.

Practicalities

Brazilians mainly seem to view it as a luxury beach retreat and foreigners don’t come here much. Still, if you keep in mind a few things, it is as easy as any other place in Brazil:

  • Several daily flights connect it with Natal and Recife. They fly with small planes (50-70 seats). I paid 177 USD for the return trip.
  • Expect costs of accommodation, food, and tours to be at least double of those in mainland Brazil.
  • You have to pay a tax called TPA upon entering the island. The rates can be found here; they count per night (so 4-7 Dec was 3 days). It cannot be paid for beforehand online using a foreign credit card. Save the paper that you receive after paying at the airport, they will check it when you leave again.
  • Furthermore, there is the park fee, which currently is R$ 358 for foreigners and is valid for 10 days. You can visit the northern parts of the park and therefore the core zone of the WHS without it, but for the better areas, you need to have one. You get a pretty credit card-type smart card, which is scanned at the turnstiles of the access points and before entering a boat. This can be paid for online, but you need to get to the ticket office or an access point (called PIC) to pick up the card.
  • Tours can be easily arranged everywhere. A few trails to secluded beaches are only open to a limited number of visitors per day and/or need a guide. These are explained on the ICMBio website. You have to queue for those permits (following this process).
  • There’s a handy municipal bus (R$ 5 flat fee) that crosses the island from north to south every half hour. It stops at all access points, towns, and the airport. As the island is only 17 square km, you can walk almost anywhere; there are good footpaths next to the main road.
  • Mobile 4g is accessible reasonably well across the island, wifi (if present) usually is slow.

Els - 18 December 2022

Leave a comment

Comments

Michael Ayers 18 December 2022

Good job.... Glad you made it!


Blog WHS Visits

WHS #812: São Luis

No community member so far has succeeded in ‘completing’ Brazil. This is surprising, as its list does not feature any particularly hard-to-reach sites. The main ‘issue’ is that there are many of them and all spread out across this vast country: it takes a lot of stamina and certainly cannot be done in one trip. The state capital of Maranhão, São Luis, is one often lacking. It lies isolated in the far north, but with the upcoming nomination of Lençóis Maranhenses National Park some 250km away it surely will start to attract more people.

The town shows its WH status proudly. There are already signs with the familiar logo and the subtitle ‘City of Tiles’ upon entering the city border. In the historical city center they have maps indicating the sights and the delimitations of the core zone. The maps show no less than 73 monuments and 29 squares, and that turned out not to be an exaggeration.

I had put together my own City Walk and that brought me to the following places:

The Upper town (on the site of the original French fort) holds all the important public buildings, including the City Hall and the seat of the State government. They are built in a neoclassical style and in good condition. The supersized Christmas decorations almost take over the scene at the moment.

I had started my walk at 8 a.m., the time that all the homeless started waking up. There were lots of street cleaners and some police around as well, so it didn't become uncomfortable. The town has seen mainly lows since the cotton export went bust in the late 19th century (that’s what the cityscape made to ‘freeze’ in that period), but it is on the way up again now. Many of the historic buildings look bright and shiny and the public space seems to be taken care of. However, it still is a far cry from the boutique hotels or the tourist hordes of Colombia’s Cartagena for example (which it resembles slightly).

Bypassing the Cathedral (which wasn’t open yet), I walked through a couple of shopping streets. One had examples of the modest small dwellings, single- or two-storeyed, which have facades decorated with azulejos too. So far I had only seen multi-story houses with balconies. All monumental buildings here seem to be either for sale or used by shops such as C&A, and one even is a parking garage. Like in Manaus and Belem, most buildings seem to have been made for commercial and public use and the number of churches is limited.

What also struck me is that not only there are lots of historical buildings with azulejo facades left, there’s a fair bit of Art Deco as well. Notable buildings include the former Roxy Cinema, the Post Office, and the Palacio de Commercio. There are even more, as I found out later in this study.

On my way back towards the river, I found the Franciscan cathedral now open. It is worth going inside as it has a striking gilded altar, a ceiling painting showing a Biblical scene in a landscape with palm trees, and of course plenty of azulejos on the floors and walls. Further south, there is a building that once housed a slave market (windows absent). The market building Mercado das Tulhas wasn’t too lively when I walked by.

I finished at the Casa do Maranhão. This is set in the former customs house, at a pretty location near the river. Its two floors are now in use as a folk museum, showing a good collection of costumes and other objects related to intangible heritage across all of Brazil.

I rated São Luis with 4 stars – I gave it half a bonus point for its festive atmosphere. I stayed in a guesthouse right at the heart of the historical center, and just when I was beginning to think in the evening that noise-wise this wasn’t the best choice, loud music started coming from the street. Live drumming it was, and certainly not by amateurs. From the open window in the lobby, I caught sight of a group of dancers dressed in ‘Indian’ costumes and drumming cowboys. A Bumba Meu Boi group! This specific folklore tradition hails from Maranhão and also has a spot on UNESCO’s Intangible Heritage List. I watched the performance from the ‘back’, and saw the drummers running back and forth to a fire they had started to reheat their goat leather tambourines to tune them.

Els - 11 December 2022

Leave a comment

Comments

Jay T 11 December 2022

Completing Brazil does seem like an ambitious goal, with similar challenges for completion to the United States, Canada, and Russia (all with a modest number of sites that are spread out amongst a vast territory). I’m really surprised no one has currently completed it. I had thought João Aender had already completed it, but it looks like he now would need to make a visit to the newest site, Sítio Roberto Burle Marx. Thanks for the review of São Luis, and good luck on completing Brazil!


Blog WHS Visits

WHS #811: Central Amazon

The Central Amazon Conservation Complex is a mostly contiguous area of parks and reserves in the northwest of Brazil, approximately in the center of the Amazon biome and the Amazon basin. You can dip your toe in with a one-day tour to Anavilhanas from the state capital of Manaus, but I opted for a more substantial visit to the sublocation ‘Marimaua Reserve’. Situated over 500km west of Manaus, I first had to fly to Tefé. This is a bustling river port of 60,000 inhabitants with no road access. I was picked up for another 1.5 hours of travel by boat to the Uakari Lodge, where I stayed for 3 nights inside the Reserve.

The OUV of Marimaua lies mainly in conserving a varzea forest, seasonally flooded by fertile “whitewater” rivers flowing from the Andes region. On our first day, we got to see which effect the floodings have on the local flora and fauna. We visited an island where the difference in water level can be up to 12 meters. The habitat is only suited to animals that can fly, swim or live in trees. You won’t find any tapirs or capybaras here…. Even the ants and termites build their nests high up in the trees instead of on the ground. Jaguars survive also up in the trees, but they are half the size of their cousins elsewhere.

The seasonal rise in water levels has an impact on the local people too. Mamirauá is inhabited by 14 small ribeirinho communities. To cope with the flooding, the people live in houses on stilts. They have floating gardens and floating solar panels to keep these amenities available throughout the year. At one village they told us that they yearly sell or eat almost all of their chickens before the rainy season begins (as the chickens can’t fly or swim). The floodings also deposit a lot of sand, so the beach gets bigger each year and the houses get situated further from the river. The local people use the beach to grow beans and watermelons. They also rescue the eggs of turtles and bring them to the restricted area of Lake Marimaua after they have hatched. 

Mamiraua also is a Fish WHS: its flagship species is the “pirarucu” (Arapaima), the largest freshwater fish in South America. Furthermore, there are two species of river dolphins: pink and grey. And there are 64 species of electric fish, “the strongest known diversity for this group unique in the world”. The dolphins are easy to see on the river between Tefé and the entrance to the Reserve – but hard to photograph as always. The arapaima were jumping up and down all day in front of my cabin at the (floating) lodge. Other guests at the lodge had come for a week of sport fishing and they apparently had a blast.

My main interest however was with the mammal life in the reserve, and I was not disappointed either. We did 2 hikes and 2 boat tours, which gave us sufficient time on the ground/on the water to see all main mammal species except for the very rare ones such as the jaguar. Mamirua has two species of monkey that cannot be found elsewhere in the world anymore: the black squirrel monkey (similar to the common one, but with black hair on its head) and the intriguing white uakari. The uakari has fully white fur and a bright red face – it doesn’t look like any other monkey, it’s almost like an albino. We were lucky to see one during the boat tour to Lake Mamiraua, in the heart of the reserve. Although the sighting was short, the animal showed its fluffy body well by walking on a leafless branch. And it turned its head to show its red face. On the long walk on day 3, we encountered a group of uakaris in the forest, but there they were harder to see (just a white limb here and there).

Due to the seasonal nature of this site, a visit in May (right at the end of the rainy season when the water level is at its highest) will be totally different from one in November. In the dry season, the caimans and birds thrive on the fish that are then confined to a smaller area. In the wet season, you have a better chance of observing mammals as they have to resort to the trees.

The history of the Mamiraua Reserve and the Uakari Lodge is fascinating as well. The reserve started in 1986 to protect the uakari. Quickly however it became clear that the local people would have no space anymore to fish and cultivate the land to sustain their livelihoods. So the reserve was turned into a mixed-use area, where local people may extract resources on a sustainable basis and ecotourism has its place. It is governed by an elaborate community-based management system. People from the 14 communities work at the lodge and perform patrol duties on the river, and each community yearly receives a share of the income from the lodge to spend on projects. With this approach, they have managed to stop illegal logging and fishing.

A final thought: I wonder why this hasn’t been inscribed on cultural criteria as well. The people have adapted their lifestyle to the seasonal flooding too, as described above. Also, the area is clearly impacted by human use, ever since the rubber boom of the early 1900s attracted significant numbers of people from other parts of Brazil to work here. Brazil’s nomination file also describes its proposal as a cultural landscape, but there seems to have been no follow-up by ICOMOS. I recommend reading ‘Tree of Rivers: The Story of the Amazon’ by John Hemming about the fascinating human history of Brazil’s Amazonia.

Els - 4 December 2022

Leave a comment

Blog WH Travellers

Revisit needed

Philipp visited me in the Netherlands last month, and we went to the Rietveld Schröderhuis – a revisit for both of us. It was a much-improved visit: he needed to enter and wanted photos, I had entered before but had lousy photos of the exterior on a rainy day. The second visits became a success, especially as the policy had also changed to allow indoor photography. Furthermore, Philipp told me that with his checklist of visited WHS, he also marks those that need a revisit for some reason (e.g. "needs photos"). I thought that was such a great idea, so I went through my own visits again and marked those that I need to visit again.

The Statistics

Out of my 810 visited WHS, I feel that I need to revisit 32. That’s 4%, less than I feared. By the way, I saw 69 of the 810 WHS (8.5%) more than once so those in fact are already upgraded visits.

Keep in mind that these do not include the Angkor's and Machu Picchu’s of the List, which I would happily visit again. But only those where there is a NEED to revisit, because the first visit wasn’t good or satisfying enough. Where, when I think back, I do not really have a feel for the site let alone its OUV. 

Reasons for revisiting

1. Visit was long ago and I remember too little

The time that has passed since the visit probably is the main reason for a revisit. Kyiv (1990) - the tour allowed only 1 day there, which I spent mostly in my hotel room feeling ill. Cordoba (1991), I was confined to the hotel room as well due to the 46 degrees Celsius heat outside. The Dorset cliffs, visited with my parents when I was 9 not having a clue about OUV. Jantar Mantar, too short a visit and already back in 1993. Hill Forts of Rajasthan – only visited one of them and also way back in 1993. Diyarbakir: no photos and my stay was in 1992. Retiro and Prado of Madrid, rushed through it while backpacking in 1991.

2. I found the site mostly closed

A few of those as well:

  • Mycenae and Tiryns – closed for the Christmas holidays.
  • Spiennes: not really closed, but the visitor experience has changed considerably since my visit in 2004.
  • Berlin’s Museum Island: Bode and Neues Museum were closed.
  • Giant Panda Sanctuaries – the access road to Wolong, the prime reserve, was closed.
  • Modena: most buildings were under construction and could not be entered.
  • Qalhat: the archaeological site could not be accessed.
  • I also was one of the many people that fell victim to the interior of the Margravial Opera House closing right after inscription (photo 1).

3. I did not do it full justice

Although the prospect of visiting a WHS usually brightens my day, there have been moments in my travel career when my mood negatively influenced the way I valued the WHS. The most notable examples are the Royal Exhibition Building (I should have tried harder to get inside, but I was fed up already with Australia) and Evora - sites that others rate higher than I do. If you're a community member, you can look at the blue and orange labels in your rating stats on the profile page to look for these anomalies.

4. Experienced too little of its OUV

Here I did enter the core zones, but did not see much of their OUV:

  • Qhapaq Nan (needs trips to more and better locations)
  • Meiji Industrial Revolution sites (only visited a village in the core zone, and before inscription, and none of the industrial heritage)
  • Neolithic Orkney (missed Skara Brae due to logistic issues)
  • Mumbai (drove through the core zone, saw the Oval Maidan from the tour bus, but did not go out and explore the main sites as I usually do)

5. Feeling guilty about the tick!

I have a couple of arbitrary ticks, where I did not enter the core zone but got close enough and have a good feel for the OUV. These are:

  • Pantanal: its core zone is very selective. Need to revisit to see the jaguar anyway.
  • Doñana (photo 2): need to secure a spot on one of the guided tours inside the park.
  • Bali Subak system: would like to explore the area again with the knowledge of the reasons why it was inscribed and what to look for.
  • The Dolomites. I am actually ashamed of this one, I just drove by. I am planning for a week-long stay to make up for it!

6. Waiting for visiting conditions to change

This is a special subcategory, where a revisit is on hold. If entrance ever comes fully available at Stoclet, Kazanlak, Altamira Cave, Chauvet Cave, Lascaux, and Shirakami-Sanchi (photo 3), I'd be happy to go there again. Same for the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum and Boyana Church when photos will be allowed.

Do you keep a list of necessary revisits? For what reasons do you want to visit a WHS again?

Els - 27 November 2022

Leave a comment

Comments

Astraftis 11 December 2022

For each destination, I always have a backlog of what I should visit a net time or I have missed even before I'm back home. This is because the more you see, the more things to see you understand are out there... But usually they're not re-visits.

So I do not exactly keep a list of necessary revisits, but went through the list of my WHSs and found I am at a whopping 6%... yikes! Too perfectionist?

- Too long ago: Of Graz (class trip/cultural exchange) and Regensburg (hosted by a friend at the end of high school) I have rather dim memories, and for sure I would explore them with a very diferent awareness now. Also Bruges was really an era ago, despite having good memories, and would need a refresh.

- Bad visits: Stari Grad for having been a rather cursory and nervous visit (some friends really weren't happy to take a tour there...). Schokland for having been a lightning visit as we arrived too late. Maybe I would put Stone Town here too: (half) a day is too little to enjoy it fully, and the Palace of Wonders was closed for restorations.

- Missing parts: In Luxemburg I'd like to return to completionistically enter the casemates, which were closed in winter (still wondering why, it doesnt make too much sense to me). Ferrara, well, would actually be a new visit: I miss the town, but have visited the Delta extensively. They are very different. And finally, yes, I'd return to Denmark to see an other, maybe more "spectacular", site of the Par force hunting landscapes.

- Closures: Telč, to enter the zámek after the restorations that caught me by surprise.

And last, but not least... the Omo valley!!!!!!!!! :-|


Squiffy 28 November 2022

I've not visited enough sites overall to specifically prioritise revisits - though ironically over the last few years most of my visits have been revists because that's most convenient with a young family. I have now done Ironbridge justice, however, and 'completed' all the components of Gwynnedd Castles and Pafos.

But, yes, I do have a few sites I have ticked that do warrant specific revisit, conditions allowing. To use Els' criteria:
1 (too long ago): pretty much all of Tunisia. Only have any memories at all of El Jem (fab!) and Carthage (disappointing - probably need to visit more components and reappraise).
2 (closed / wrong time of year): Orto Botanico in Padua. Honestly, who visits a botanic garden in late November?
3 (didn't do it justice): Thebes. I was there on a tour for fewer than 24 hours. Either Luxor or Karnak temples, plus 3 tombs in Valley of the Kings. So much more to see!
4 (missed the OUV): I've only visited the extreme west of the Dorset Coast and only Bath in the Great Spa Towns. Definitely need some Czech or German components!
5 (guilty tick): never gonna happen but Baikal. I've *seen* the Lake and I've scrutinised the maps and I'm pretty sure I've passed through core zone by train, but it's my most tendentious tick.
Conversely, I feel zero need to revisit Chauvet just to climb a path and touch a closed door. The replica is fine people.


Philipp Peterer 28 November 2022

I am currently at almost 7% "revisit needed". But I have to say that weather is a factor for me. almost half of the 7% are due to cloudy or rainy weather when visited. 2nd biggest category is places where I did not visit the interior 4 of the 7 there are in the north (thank you for opening only 3 month a year). I try to revisit whenever possible to increaseor refresh. My revisit count is currently over 21%.


Shandos Cleaver 28 November 2022

Also, the only site where I feel guilty about the tick - Monarch Butterflies in Mexico, as I discovered after we had booked that we visited the only sanctuary that wasn't actually in the core zone.


Shandos Cleaver 28 November 2022

I've kept a list of sites to revisit, ever since we visited Notre-Dame Cathedral in Tournai while it was covered in scaffolding.

I don't keep a list of places where I don't have decent photos, instead mine are basically:
1. Scaffolding
2. Couldn't visit inside (e.g. Tugendhat House was sold out) or the inside of a major component
3. Want to visit more locations (e.g. Herculaneum as well as Pompeii)
4. Visited early and want to revisit it to understand it better (I also list the Bali Subak System!)
5. Various reasons (from visiting in a better season for the garden, to actually seeing Mt Fuji when it's not covered in cloud)


Michael Ayers 27 November 2022

I was slightly disappointed, but not really surprised, that my fraction of Sites that should be revisited came out a little higher at 5%.
For me, the main causes were: Closed for seasonal reasons, just touching the edge (or only the Buffer) of a large Natural Site, seeing only a lesser component, or too few components, of a serial Site, and, of course, the visit being severely limited due to covid protocols.

The chances of me actually revisiting any of these Sites are close to zero, so I will just have to live with these deficiencies, however.


Tsunami 27 November 2022

Visited in wrong seasons, e.g.: When I first visited Dacian Fortresses, Sarmizegetusa Regia was buried under snow.

New facilities, such as museums, have been added, e.g.: This past summer I visited Pont du Gard after 27 years since my first visit and after 10 or 15 years when a major visitor center with a museum was built. The same goes with Acropolis in Athens. This past winter I re-visited Acropolis to check out the Acropolis Museum, a major attraction in Athens since 2008.


Kyle Magnuson 27 November 2022

Recent WHS Revists: 2022

Great Smoky Mountains - revisit in offseason (less busy), previously missed Cade's Cove

Mammoth Cave - revisit to get more photos and to take a different tour + hikes, previous visit was more than 10 years ago

Chaco Culture - revisit other component, Aztec Ruins National Monument


Clyde 27 November 2022

Interesting exercise! I'll do this too. While in Thingvellir, Philipp and I also mentioned sites we "need" to revisit in sunny weather.


Blog Index

Books
Connections
Countries
Exhibitions
TWHS Visits
Travel in general
WH Travellers
WHS Visits
WHS website