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Recent Reviews Dennis Nicklaus


Fortified City of Carcassonne

Dennis Nicklaus - 05-Mar-19

Fortified City of Carcassonne

I loved Carcassonne with its massive stone walls, pointy turrets, and the inner castle of Chateau Comtal.  Sure, Viollet-le-Duc may have taken some artistic license, but the overall result is really fantastic.  Part of my enthusiasm for the city may be from the time of year that I visited. I visited in late October -- the weather was crisp and fine, and the crowds very small. I might feel differently if I had been fighting the summer hordes. I had an easy time getting photos with no people during the early morning or evening. I made it my base for a few nights, staying a couple blocks outside La Cite'

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Palenque

Dennis Nicklaus - 20-Feb-19

Palenque

The ancient Maya city of Palenque amazed me in its diversity.  After walking in the main upper entrance, you first come across a row of pyramids. The last of these is the famous Temple of the Inscriptions, which holds King Pakal's elaborate tomb.  I was disappointed that you can no longer enter this famous pyramid and the burial chamber inside.  But you can enter the adjacent Pyramid/Tomb of the Red Queen for a look around.

 

Next, I proceeded to the huge Palace complex at the center of the site.  This elaborate structure has a lot of interesting details such as the astronomical observatory tower. It has several parts to explore, as well as providing nice views over many other buildings of the city.  After exploring it, I walked down to the Temple of the Count and the North Group, a set of lesser buildings that are near the site's ball court. I then made my way towards one edge of the site, visiting Group B and the Group of the Murcielagos (bats), which are some lesser buildings, but still sort of fun to wander through the small labyrinth of their remaining walls

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Tikal National Park

Dennis Nicklaus - 19-Feb-19

Tikal National Park

Tikal was the first ancient Maya site that I ever visited, and it remains my favorite one. I've since visited about 20 others, but Tikal still stands above them all.   The combination of the lush jungle and the steep pyramids poking above the canopy with their delicate roof combs above the  top temple rooms was just fantastic.  I loved the combination of the imposing pyramids with the detailed hieroglyphic stellae and the occasional giant stucco mask.  You get it all at Tikal, whereas other places, like Calakmul, for example, disappointed me a little because it didn't have much of the finer art, like stellae, while it had plenty of impressive massive buildings

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Rapa Nui

Dennis Nicklaus - 17-Feb-19

Rapa Nui

Like many of the people I talked to there, getting to Easter Island and seeing its Moai was something I've wanted to do since I was a child.  It totally lived up to my high expectations and I had a blast.

The big question everyone asks when planning a trip: How long should you stay there. I stayed 3 nights. For me that was about perfect. I saw all the major sites and most of the lesser ones. 4 days would have been good if I'd had the time. (Keep in mind, I was *really* into it.) A week would have been too much. I was traveling solo, so that gave me the advantage to travel around pretty quickly, not having to coordinate schedules with anyone else.  Here's a summary of what I was able to see and do. 

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Rock Islands

Dennis Nicklaus - 13-Feb-19

Rock Islands

The button-shaped, jungle covered islands Rock Islands were nice and interesting to see above the water as we cruised around on our tour, but the real attractions are below the surface.  The absolute highlight, of course, was Jellyfish Lake, which, as of our January 2019 visit was back in business and open to the touring public. Snorkeling with these eerie creatures was incredible.   We had two days out among the Rock Islands. The first afternoon we went kayaking with a little bit of snorkeling at a couple different spots.  Kayaking was a lot of fun and we were glad we'd decided to do it

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Cracow 5
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