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Recent Reviews Dennis Nicklaus


Vézère Valley

Dennis Nicklaus - 02-Nov-22

Vézère Valley

I've wanted to visit this area for a long time, so I was thrilled to finally fit it into a trip. We visited three main sites: Font-de-Gaume, Combarelles, and Lascaux (IV) in October 2022.

First, to update some logistics:  No more lining up at dawn to get tickets for Font-de-Gaume or Combarelles. They sell time-reserved tickets online now, and it is essential you get them ahead of time. Even in the off/shoulder season of late October, they do sell out and I didn't always get  my ideal time slot booking about a week ahead. You can also reserve tickets for Lascaux IV, but in late October, we just showed up and were able to join the next (non-guided) group. It would have been about a 45 minute wait for the next English guided tour, but we were fine with the audioguides

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Olympic National Park

Dennis Nicklaus - 08-Jun-22

Olympic National Park

Snowy mountains, rainforests, scenic beaches, pretty lakes, waterfalls, ... -- what more could you ask for in a National Park? My family and I had a day and a half to enjoy Olympic in early June. While we were able to visit several highlights, we could have been happy filling at least 3 days.  We visited:

Crescent Lake -- a very pretty lake that's right along the main highway across the north edge of the park, so you really can't miss it. We didn't have time to do any hiking around here, just stopped to enjoy the views. Ruby beach -- a dramatic ocean front landscape! We planned our visit at low tide so we got to successfully hunt for green & pink sea anemones, sea stars, crabs, and more among the rocks and tide pools. Hoh Rainforest. Giant old trees dripping with moss. We did the  0.8 mile Hall of Mosses and 1.2 mile Spruce Nature trails. Both were beautiful and very easy hiking. There was more hiking that would have been fun to do here but we opted to visit another part of the park Sol Duc Waterfalls

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Socotra Archipelago

Dennis Nicklaus - 21-Apr-22

Socotra Archipelago

Socotra is filled with stunning landscapes.  The forest of iconic dragon blood trees on the Diksam plateau is truly unique in the world, and one of the main draws here, but there is so much more.  My first night, we camped between the amazing dunes of Arher beach and the ocean.  This has to be one of the most amazing campsites I have ever stayed at.  White sand dunes climb up to 200 meters along the face of towering 600+ meter cliffs. Besides the dragon blood trees, which never get old, there are also thousands of fuchsia-flowering bottle trees and a few frankincense trees to watch for.  There is great rugged hiking, such as into the Kalissan canyon where you can then cool off in emerald colored fresh water pools between gently eroded white limestone rocks

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Buritaca 200 - Ciudad Perdida - Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (T)

Dennis Nicklaus - 08-Feb-22

Buritaca 200 - Ciudad Perdida - Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (T)

Teyuna, Colombia's Lost City, was inhabited between roughly 800 and 1650.  It was only rediscovered about 50 years ago (ca. 1973) by looters.  To get there now, you have to go on a roughly 30 mile round-trip trek, usually covering about 4 days.  The site itself covers a few dozen hectares that have been cleared away, but there is thought to be a lot more still unrestored in the nearby jungle.  The main features of the site are large circular terraces which used to hold the city's buildings. These circular terraces are one of the site's unique features. It's impressive to see how much was built here by the original inhabitants

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Chichen-Itza

Dennis Nicklaus - 12-Nov-20

Chichen-Itza

I visited Chichen Itza in 2003 with my family, when you could still climb on and in the El Castillo pyramid. It's very enjoyable and iconic, I guess, but it is  not my favorite ancient Maya site.  I've visited a couple dozen different of the ancient cities around Mexico and Guatemala so far. While Chichen Itza is large and there is a lot to see, especially the impressive Ball Court, I prefer several others ahead of it.  I think my main complaints against CI are that it is over-touristed and has relatively little historic "atmosphere". My feelings are also probably tainted a little bit by the fact that we hired one of the official guides there for our  tour, and he was not very good

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Update 14.11.22
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Angkor 5
Cracow 5
Cuzco 5
Iguacu 5
Masada 5
Petra 5
Rhodes 5
Rome 5
Uluru 5
Uxmal 5
Arles 4.5
Edinburgh 4.5
Prague 4.5
Vienna 4
Burgundy 3.5
Himeji-jo 3.5
Toledo 3.5
Brugge 3
Evora 3
Kandy 3
Kotor 3
Lima 3
Split 3
Seville 2.5