Squiffy Profile

I can't believe I only discovered this site in 2018. I discovered the World Heritage List back in 2004 and it formed a major focus of my free time for a good decade or so. I never knew that there was such an active community of fellow like-minded nerds out here.

My visits have pretty much fallen off a cliff since 2015 as I have discovered there is a limit to what is responsible or feasible with a young family. Since my honeymoon I've only managed to visit three or four new sites (the 'maybe four' being Pont d'Arc where I visited the replica cave but didn't sneak into the actual inscribed area). So my reviews will be limited to newly-visited sites or ones I have previously visited but are lacking in reviews on the site.

And as my family grows up, hopefully I'll be able to drag them along as I recommence my quest ("Hey kids! Who wants to go and see some German Modernist housing estates?") 

Visited Sites Squiffy

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Legend

  • Cultural
  • Natural
  • Mixed

Recent Reviews Squiffy


Saloum Delta

Squiffy UK - 28-Nov-19

Saloum Delta

The Land Rover came to a stop. Just ahead a roan antelope emerged from the brush and started to step delicately across our path. I was just pulling out my camera when Maria, our guide, suddenly screeched something about giraffes. The antelope panicked and fled as our driver Amadou gunned the engine and swerved the truck left off the track. I ducked back inside the vehicle as it jounced over the dry earth, breaking through stands of high, brittle grass. Two more Land Rover appeared alongside just as we ploughed to a halt in front of a covey of surprised looking Cape Giraffes. They stared thoughtfully down their noses at us, as though unsure what to make of us. Then, with a switch of their tails they made their decision and, as one, turned and ambled off through the trees.

Read On

Petra

Squiffy UK - 26-Nov-19

Petra

The old Bedouin man waved to the west. “My tent is over there.” He lived still in Petra, had done all his life, as had his father and grandfather before him, generation after generation. Lives lived among the city of the dead. Every morning, still sprightly in his sandals, he trekked from his tent up Jebel Madbah

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Um er-Rasas

Squiffy UK - 15-Nov-19

Um er-Rasas

I had to check twice. There, below the catwalk on which I stood, was a man riding a goose. Close by men fished, oblivious to their goose-riding compatriot. It was a most unexpected thing to see – particularly in the ruins of an abandoned church. I’m used to World Heritage Sites which educate and inspire. It’s always nice to find one that amuses too. And in this instances it also encouraged me to study the other mosaic decorations of St Stephen’s Church in greater detail.

The history of Um er-Rasas is a confused one spread across many centuries. The ruins on site today are the remains of a local religious hub from the Byzantine era. The core site is not large, but includes the remains of a large number of churches. And a mile to the north stands a Stylite tower, a 15m tall pillar where Christian hermits would live apart from the world. It was previously known as Kastron Mefa’a. The ‘Kastron’ identifies it as a military camp (‘castrum’) on the eastern edge of the Roman Empire (so, should the current vogue for inscribing every single scrap of Roman limes as a World Heritage Site continue we may see this site inscribed twice)

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Quseir Amra

Squiffy UK - 15-Nov-19

Quseir Amra

The road east was long and featureless. Dun unremitting grey plains stretched out on either side as far as my eye could see. Trails of dust hung in the air to mark the passage of off-road vehicles. I almost didn’t spot our destination until Amir pointed out to our left, his finger sticky with the juices of the honey-sweet plums we had been sharing. Not much to see, a low domed edifice of pale limestone, isolated among the barren wastes. I was reminded of Luke’s moisture farm home on Tatooine at the start of Star Wars Episode IV.

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Wadi Rum

Squiffy UK - 15-Nov-19

Wadi Rum

Night fell on the desert. The campfire sank low. Banking up the hard-packed sand behind my head, I lay down on the slope of a dune and gazed up into the infinite. More stars than I had ever seen before speckled the expanse above me, strata of pinpricks overlaying each other. The night sky here above Wadi Rum was no blank, black two-dimensional backdrop. It was crowded  and alive, like the stalls of a theatre seen from back stage as the house lights are dimmed. And on cue the show started. From right to left a bolt of fire streaked the heavens before guttering and dying. A second followed, then two at once, flaming trails hanging in space after their heads combusted in the atmosphere

Read On

Profile Data

Name
Squiffy
Country
UK
Most Impressive
Petra. Not very imaginative I know, but I just love ancient sites
Proposal
Scrovegni Chapel, Padova. Exquisite and I'm glad to see that the nomination looks to be progressing.

Recently Visited WHS

Update 15.08.19
Rating Stats
Petra 5
Palmyra 4.5
Serengeti 4.5
Aleppo 4
Bosra 3
Paphos 2.5
Meknes 2
  1. Ancient Greek Theatres (T)
  2. Azraq (T)
  3. Brooklyn Bridge (T)
  4. Buenos Aires – La Plata: Two capitals of the Culture of Modernity, Eclecticism and Immigration (T)
  5. Casablanca, Ville du XXème siécle, carrefour d'influences (T)
  6. Central Park (T)
  7. Chott El Jerid (T)
  8. Dahab (T)
  9. Dahshour archaeological area (T)
  10. Ellis Island (T)
  11. Extension of the World Heritage Site "Historic Centre of Prague" with the important Monuments in its Vicinity (T)
  12. Fortress of Spinalonga (T)
  13. Gorge of Samaria National Park (T)
  14. Great Spas of Europe (UK) (T)
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  16. Knights Fortifications around the Harbours of Malta (T)
  17. La Moneda Palace (T)
  18. Lake Titicaca (T)
  19. Late Medieval Bastioned Fortifications in Greece (T)
  20. Les passages de Bruxelles / Les Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert (T)
  21. Les Plages du Débarquement, Normandie, 1944 (T)
  22. Les villes antiques de la Narbonnaise et leur territoire: Nimes, Arles, Glanum, aqueducs, via Domitia (T)
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  24. Minoan Palatial Centres (Knossos, Phaistos, Malia, Zakros, Kydonia) (T)
  25. Moulay Idriss Zerhoun (T)
  26. Mount Vernon (T)
  27. Padova Urbs Picta. Giotto, the Scrovegni Chapel and the 14th century painting cycles (T)
  28. Petrified Forest of Lesvos (T)
  29. Pharaonic temples in Upper Egypt from the Ptolemaic and Roman periods (T)
  30. Pombaline Lisbon (T)
  31. Sarajevo - unique symbol of universal multiculture - continual open city (T)
  32. The Dunejec River Gorge in the Pieniny Mountains (T)
  33. The Historic City of Dublin (T)
  34. The Karlstejn Castle (T)
  35. Torres del Paine and Bernardo O'Higgins National Parks, Region of Magallanes (T)
  36. Trakai Historical National Park (T)
  37. Via Appia "Regina Viarum" (T)

Reviewed TWHS