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Best wishes for 2016!

 
Author elsslots
Admin
#1 | Posted: 31 Dec 2015 11:39 | Edited by: elsslots 
Thoughtful Gorilla

It's 18.30h now on December the 31st, East Congo time (yes they have 2 different time zones in the DR of Congo). I am sitting on a comfortable couch at Mikeno Lodge, Virunga NP - indeed they do have wifi here. They will be serving a 3 course dinner in 30 minutes.

2015 wasn't an exceptionally good WH year for me. I managed to add 34 new sites to my total, but I needed the 'help' of the 2015 new entries of which I already had seen 9. The best ones this year were my in-depth revisit of Florence, the Albanian-Ottoman pearl of Gjirokaster and Teide Volcano. And of course my trophy of today: Virunga National Park, including the mountain gorillas.

This was a year that I met so many of you in person for the first time. It's been a real pleasure to know that there are other people as mad as I am (or even worse).

So best wishes to all! And I'd like to hear back on your 2015 WHS visits & plans for 2016.

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#2 | Posted: 31 Dec 2015 12:39 | Edited by: Solivagant 
elsslots:
So best wishes to all! And I'd like to hear back on your 2015 WHS visits & plans for 2016.

Likewise to all - And it was good to meet some of you in Rotterdam this summer.
As for 2015 - For many years we have given large numbers of European WHS a miss on the basis that we could pick them up "when we were older"! Well - in 2015 we concluded that perhaps that time is approaching!!!
Net result - An additional 61 WHS this year without any great hassle - this represented an approx 10% addition to my opening total of 605 -and there are easily another 60+ in Western/southern Europe just "waiting"!!
3 weeks fly-drive in Turkey = 11
6 days WHS "get together" in Bel/NL = 5
3 weeks fly-drive in Spain/Port = 30
9 days Aegean Cruise = 2
6 days fly-drive Tenerife/Gomera = 2
2015 additions = 11 (including 2 in Turkey!)

The WHS highlights - Nemrut Dag and Catal Hayuk in Turkey. Also - getting my wife and myself "underground" at Spiennes despite the obstacles (though whether it was worth it is another matter!). The T List generated possibly "the" highlight via Gobekli Tepe. As well as the new sites the trips to Turkey and Spain included "revisits" to sites I hadn't visited for many years - in some cases (E.g Istanbul and Cappadocia) as long as 50. I may have to recognise that there are many other visited sites where considerable "value add" can be achieved with a second visit!

Plans for 2016? No "tempting fate" there - time will tell!
So - Good travelling in 2016 wherever you go and hopefully some interesting discussions on the "Forum"

Author meltwaterfalls
Partaker
#3 | Posted: 31 Dec 2015 14:45 
You beat me to it Els! I was just planning to start this thread off.

I'm currently sat with a frothy pint of Pilsner in Olomouc. Looking at the world heritage site that introduced me to the list and started me off on the quest. I've also been showing Mrs Meltwaterfalls around my old stomping grounds and meet up with old friends and my god daughter.

My count for the year was down a little, just 18 however some of them have been magnificent. Highlights have been the incredible welcome and stunning architecture in Brasilia my first South American WHS.

Mexico also provided three truly world class sites in the first three days of the year in Mexico City, Guanajuato and the Monarch butterfly reserve.

Plus there was the bonus of meeting many faces from the website in Rotterdam, which was rather lovely.

So despite the low visit numbers it really was a very enjoyable year.

Best wishes to all readers out there and good travels in the new year!

Author winterkjm
Partaker
#4 | Posted: 31 Dec 2015 16:52 | Edited by: winterkjm 
Just got back from a wonderful trip to Texas, river walk in San Antonio, Bike ride to all the missions, and great live music in Austin. We really enjoyed our trip, despite only one WHS, the San Antonio Missions really became a fun interactive experience using our rented bikes.

However, at the end of our trip we ran into challenges. Because of airline cancelations (tornados/blizzards) I could NOT leave Dallas. Faced with the choice of 3-4 more days waiting because of massive Air Travel cancelations around the US related to weather, I made the choice to rent a car and drive. Yes, the 2,300 km journey from the Dallas airport back to Los Angeles was intense and exhausting by car, but we made it! (European drive equivalent: London to Naples)

Some wild weather indeed. Trying to make the best of our misfortune, I thought it might be nice to at lease make one stop on the journey home. The last Southwest WHS that I had not visited is Carlsbad Caverns, but I learned it was closed because of significant snow that blocked all roads leading into the national park.

So here is for a better start for 2016, than my end of 2015!

2016 Travel Plans
South Korea (I will complete most if not all the Tentative List)
Seattle/Olympic NP (Washington State)

Considering
- Yellowstone/Glacier NP + Banff NP & Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump
- Carlsbad Caverns NP
- Puerto Rico - San Juan
- Mexico (Yucatan, Baja California Sur, Puebla, Guanajuato)

Safe Travels for all of you!

Author Assif
Partaker
#5 | Posted: 31 Dec 2015 18:10 
With the birth of my second child this year was not characterised by travels. Nonetheless, I used job related travels to cover some WHS material. In this way I manages to add 4 German WHS to my count in addition to the newly inscribed 1 Israeli WHS. The most impressive visit was probably to Cambridge, which sadly does not aspire a WHS status anymore.
I am now spending the holidays in Uruguay visiting my wife's family. I plan to use this opportunity to cover all of the country's WHS and TWHS. Other planned travels are to Antwerp and Rome for work. Since I am now looking into relocation from Frankfurt for summer 2016 I don't know which WHS are to be expected.
I wish you all a happy and healthy 2016.

Author Durian
Partaker
#6 | Posted: 31 Dec 2015 19:23 
Happy New Year 2016 Best Wishes to all of you for endless healthy journey to explore WHS.

Author clyde
Partaker
#7 | Posted: 31 Dec 2015 19:25 
Hi and likewise to all. I don't know the total added in 2015 but quite a few and some were high on my top 100 wishlist which sparked the top 200 debate. Unfortunately, I had already planned a trip to Vienna before the Rotterdam get-together but I hope to make up for it in 2016.

It's still 18:10 in Piste, Mexico but I ended my 2015 with a bang, visiting Chichen Itza (which I'll revisit tomorrow) to celebrate reaching 300+ WHS. My 2015 travels took me to Spain, Italy, Austria, Madeira and the Azores in Europe as well as a solo road trip in the Yucatan peninsula and Guatemala. My highlight experiences were Pico Island vineyards + whalewatching, Segovia and undoubtedly Tikal and Chichen Itza. Although I must say that all the Mexican sites I visited were top notch experiences. I write some reviews when I'm back home. My 2016 fixed plan for the moment is the walking the way of Santiago de Compostela from France. It will be a month long experience and hopefully I'll have enough strength left to visit the WH sites of Galicia after the route itself. Happy new year to all WH Travellers :)

Author Colvin
Partaker
#8 | Posted: 1 Jan 2016 11:37 | Edited by: Colvin 
Happy New Year, fellow travelers! It sounds like many of you have been making the most of traveling over these past couple of weeks, whether to familiar sites like meltwaterfalls or new sites like elslots, winterkjm, Assif, and clyde (though I don't envy the bad weather winterkjm dealt with in Texas). I look forward to seeing your reviews and stories. As a note, for anyone traveling in North America in 2016, the US National Park Service is celebrating its 100th anniversary, and there will be 16 days with free admission to all US national parks.

2015 matched 2012 as my most productive year visiting World Heritage Sites. In addition to the 15 WHS I visited in North America, Europe, and the Levant, I picked up four sites I'd seen in previous years through new inscriptions in 2015. I'm doubtful 2016 will be as productive as 2015 (particularly as the 2016 nomination list is rather sparse for me), but I'm looking forward to visiting my first South American WHS. Also, now that the holidays are over and I've finished my reading goal for 2015, maybe I can get back to looking at the Top 200 list.

Here's hoping you all get to see many memorable sites in your 2016 WHS travels!

Author barabanov
Partaker
#9 | Posted: 1 Jan 2016 19:25 | Edited by: barabanov 
2015 was quite interesting year, which increased my score by 37 sites. Having visited vast majority of my sites in Europe, I already started to experience some difficulties in travel planning, because most "easy" sites are covered and the number of clusters where you can score several sites in a few days is decreasing.

Out of 37 sites, 29 were in Europe: Belgium - 2; Cyprus - 1; France - 7; stunning Georgia - 2 (but the most stirking site there, Upper Svaneti, is still to be visited); Germany - 5; Greece - 7 (Peloponnes is really great and rich area for WHS hunters); Serbia - 1 (these were in fact Kosovo medieval monuments); Netherlands - 1 (Van Nellefabriek, which was visited several months before community meeting with weekend excursion; Mixed - 2 and Russia - 1 (Kizhi). 3 sites were ticked in Turkey, 1 stunning site in SA/Lesotho - Maloti Drakensberg and 4 easy sites in Korea, in and around Seoul.

The plans for 2016 include - Sri Lanka (currently waiting for my flight to Colombo in Doha), 7 sites. Preliminary plan for May - 2-week trip to Iran, which could worth 13-15 sites, if I manage to create some intense schedule. In June I'm planning to go to football tournament Euro-2016 in France and combine matches with up to 10 sites. Another dream is Cuba, it seems that the time is running out quickly when we could still soak in the atmosphere of real, ye-olde-style, communist Cuba. In late summer will search opportunity to take 1 week in order to go either to Finland (5 sites) or Croatia (6 sites).

Weekend type portfolio of the targets include: missed Russian sites (Bolgar, Solovetsky monastery, Caucasus, Curonian Spit); Zimbabwe - 1 site during business trip (Khami ruins); Romania - 1 site (Maramures); 2 sites from Amsterdam (Neolithic Flint Mines at Spiennes and Wadden Sea around Texel island); something in Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan or Kyrgyzstan).

Happy New Year to everybody!!! Many wishes of peace, love, health, happiness, money, smiles, suprises, warmth and as much interesting places to visit as possible!!

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 Best wishes for 2016!

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