Iain Jackson Profile

I have been 'bagging' World Heritage Sites since late 1987. I was able to retire from work early, in 1992, and since then I have made 3 or 4 trips every year visiting sites.
After every visit I have written by hand a 2 page report of that visit noting the date, weather conditions, names of any companions, together with a description of the site and my impressions of it.

Visited Sites Iain Jackson

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Recent Reviews Iain Jackson

Desembarco del Granma National Park

Iain Jackson Scotland UK - 16-Jan-11

I reached Bayamo, capital of the province of Granma, in February 2001,on an overnight bus from Sancti Spiritus and quickly concluded that I was not likely to find public transport to continue my journey to the park. Ricardo, a 30-something local with access to an ancient Moskvich, sensed a commercial opportunity and, proclaiming himself to be a taxi driver, offered to take me to the park. I was happy to accept his offer.

It soon became clear that his girl friend and 3 other members of his extended family were also to be part of the expedition and would need to be picked up in various towns en route.

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Western Caucasus

Iain Jackson Scotland UK - 13-Jan-17

UNESCO describes this site as "...one of two large mountain areas in Europe that has not experienced significant human impact." And I can vouch for that. This human found it very difficult to have any impact on it.

In 2011, with wife Freda and son Euan, I based myself in Sochi for a few days as we tried to find a way into this vast area from the southern side. We went north by bus to the end of the line at Krasnaya Polyana and from there took a cable car up the mountain. From here we could see (within the WHS) beautiful green mountainsides topped by grey rocky crags but we could not get amongst them. Whether even this is possible now I do not know as the area will have been transformed by the works undertaken for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

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Tchogha Zanbil

Iain Jackson Scotland UK - 16-Jan-11

Early one morning in May 1999 I arrived, by overnight bus from Shiraz, in Shush, the town in Southern Iran nearest to Tchoga Zanbil. There it was very easy to find a taxi driver prepared to take me the 40kms or so, through semi-desert though once fertile country, to this site (prices in Iran were very low at the time of my visit).

The heart of this site is an impressive pile, of mud brick construction, said to be the largest surviving ziggurat in the world. Now, more than 3000 years after it was built, having been sacked by the Assyrians in 640BC and having spent most of the time since then buried in the desert sands it stands about 25m high. It has, however, been calculated that it was once more than twice this height having lost 2 of its 5 storeys over the years.

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Island of Patmos

Iain Jackson Scotland UK - 16-Jan-11

Isn't it surprising that,almost 12 years after inscription, this is the first review of this site? It isn't as though getting to Patmos is difficult; it can easily be fitted into a Greek island hopping trip (in my case after Samos and before Mykonos). Accommodation on the island is plentiful too.

The WHS doesn't include the whole island (which has an area of 34km2 and a population of about 3000) just an Old Town, a monastery and a cave. These can easily be seen in one day.

Approaching from the sea the Chora(the old town) is seen occupying the highest parts of the hill rising above the harbour with, at its summit, the monastery of St John, protected by massive walls.

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San Pedro de la Roca Castle

Iain Jackson Scotland UK - 16-Jan-11

This site, known locally as El Morro, was easily reached from Santiago de Cuba at the time of my visit in February 2001. A local bus will take you to Ciudamar, a settlement on the southern shore of the almost enclosed bay with Santiago at its head, and from there it is possible to catch one of the little launches which shuttle between various points on the bay. I went first to La Socapa, a small village at the foot of the hill, from the easily reached top of which, excellent views of the castle across the narrow(400m?) entrance to the harbour, and indeed for miles along the coast in both directions, can be had.

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Iain Jackson
Scotland UK

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Update 19.04.20
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