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WHS Get-together 2017 - The planning

 
Author elsslots
Admin
#1 | Posted: 27 Sep 2016 12:35 | Edited by: elsslots 
We can't be early enough... please continue here the discussions about Gorham's Cave as possible destination.

meltwaterfalls:
I just got a reply from the Gibraltar Museum who run additional tours actually into the Cave. They were very friendly and this is the detail they sent through.Gibraltar Museum: We do organise tours of Gorham's Cave, and at the moment it is on a first-come, first-served basis and there is a waiting list.Normally:· Tours run between July and September, though we have extended that whilst the weather is good· Tours usually start at 09.30 from the site entrance (south end of the Dudley Ward Tunnel), on weekdays (normally at present Fridays)· We can take up to 10 people, accompanied by two Museum Guides (minimum number usually 5, but we combine requests where we can)· We need full names and ID/passport numbers once a date is confirmed.· Tours are free, though we may have to change this if there continues to be high demand, to cover costs.We have been taking trips into the Cave but we do have an annual quota system in order to protect the fragile archaeological deposits. We are considering offering trips down but not into the caves (which protects the caves and is still a good experience).If you were interested I contacted them through Visit Gibraltar.Potential location for a future get together perhaps? (sorry Hubert if that means doubling up for you.)This was the advice for visitors they attached.


Author clyde
Partaker
#2 | Posted: 27 Sep 2016 16:15 
I haven't visited Andalucia yet so there would be a whopping 6 WHS 'close' by for me apart from Gibraltar. However, the amount of visitors for the tour is too low for a get-together, judging by the numbers in Vilnius.

I would re-propose either Sardinia's Barumini or Edinburgh with a possible St Kilda/Orkneys extension for those who are interested. Or else how about Serbia and the newly inscribed Stecci?

I guess the criteria we followed this year were valid: somewhere quite cheap to get to in August, feasible for a group of around 15-20 or more, and if possible announced as early as possible.

Author evilweevil
Partaker
#3 | Posted: 28 Sep 2016 14:43 
Sounds really interesting to me, but we would have to reschedule the meeting to spring or autumn. As Nan mentioned, August in southern Spain may be a bit unpleasant.

Author kintante
Partaker
#4 | Posted: 29 Sep 2016 03:45 
I agree that 10 is too low. This would be a matter of negotiation to exceptionally raise the number to at least 20 for our tour or provide at least 2 tours that day, so we can visit splitting up. Also reserving tours over 2 days might be an option. I would absolutely be happy with a meeting in September to avoid Spain's high season. But in my experience, Spain in high season would overall still be cheaper than e.g. Edinburgh/St Kilda in low season.

The clear advantage of Gorham is that basically none of us visited the place. It's very hard to find something in Europe that even our top travelers didn't visit so far. And as the usual goal of each of us is to update our count with every trip, a get together in Andalusia would make most members happy I guess.

How about we start negotiation with the Gibraltar Museum and if we don't manage to get at least 20 people into the cave the same day we start looking for a different location?

Author meltwaterfalls
Partaker
#5 | Posted: 4 Oct 2016 10:16 
kintante:
How about we start negotiation with the Gibraltar Museum

I just heard back from them, having put out some feelers for a potential group visit next September. Rather than paraphrase and miss out potential key details this is what they said.

Gibraltar Museum:
In theory we could accommodate a visit, particularly if planned in advance. September is a busy time, as we have an annual conference and I am not sure of the dates yet.

We can take up to 17 people in one go down to the caves – we are restricted to a maximum of 20 at any one time because access is through a secure area (and we would need ID/passport numbers). But we could do two trips, each with Museum guides.

Another possibility you might want to consider is a trip by boat first, as the views from the sea are probably the best way to understand the site. One of the dolphin boats runs regular Sunday morning trips with a commentary by Clive Finlayson, and Clive does sometimes also act as a guide in person. The web site is http://www.dolphin.gi/ There are other companies but I am not sure whether they run similar trips.

Finally, the Mediterranean Steps are part of the World Heritage Site. A challenging walk (not for those with vertigo), but a good way to see the topography and natural heritage. We could also provide a guided tour of the Steps if that was of interest.

The Museum is the main information and interpretation centre, but there will also be a viewing platform with information at Europa Advance Road overlooking the site. There are also a lot of other heritage sites to see, including tunnels, siege exhibitions etc.

All the visits would be weather dependent. The caves cannot be accessed within 48hrs of very bad weather in case of rock falls, and easterly winds can make crossing the boulder field difficult. The other possible issue is that very occasionally we cannot have access through the secure area because of manoeuvres. We don't (obviously) usually get much notice!

So, we would need date[s], numbers of people and when confirmed ID details, and what you wanted to do (caves, Med Steps, boat or combination).

Let me know what you think would work for you and we'll see if we can arrange it.

So would anyone be keen on this? Not sure if September will quite work for the museum team, but I've asked if October is a possibility.

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#6 | Posted: 4 Oct 2016 13:23 | Edited by: Solivagant 
meltwaterfalls:
So would anyone be keen on this? Not sure if September will quite work for the museum team, but I've asked if October is a possibility.

It sounds a great opportunity and Mr+ Mrs Solivagant would be "up for it". BUT August is an awful time to travel in Europe unless you really have to, September isn't much better and, in any case isn't convenient for the Gibraltarians, October seems potentially to be getting into "bad weather" bearing in mind what they have said about "storms".
What is the problem with going earlier? Late May or June? Longer days, fewer people, cheaper to fly and stay, cooler/fresher weather.....?

Author clyde
Partaker
#7 | Posted: 4 Oct 2016 13:24 
I would be keen and I wouldn't mind visiting in August or end July either. I'll do some research on the Med Steps just in case but I'm game.

Author meltwaterfalls
Partaker
#8 | Posted: 4 Oct 2016 17:17 
I just went for September as it was what we had done previously.

Yep I wouldn't fancy July or August, it becomes very expensive for flights from the U.K. to Spain then and the area will be at its busiest.

Later May or Early June could work for me, though I couldn't get to anything before then.

Author elsslots
Admin
#9 | Posted: 5 Oct 2016 05:53 
meltwaterfalls:
I just went for September as it was what we had done previously.

I'd like to join also, meltwaterfalls! (and happy someone else is doing the organizing part this time)

Just pick a date that suits you.

Author meltwaterfalls
Partaker
#10 | Posted: 6 Oct 2016 05:34 
Great will happily do the correspondence to work out a feasible time to visit, the person I was liaising with is now off on leave for three weeks, so I will pick it up when they are back.

Just from a personal logistics view September is better for me, with June and May or October be the next best alternatives, but that may not necessarily work with the Gibraltarians/ Llanitas (just discovered that is a locally use demonym!).

Author GaryArndt
Partaker
#11 | Posted: 7 Oct 2016 10:52 
I'll be in Spain in October anyhow for a conference. I also need to get to Doñana National Park which is the only site in Andulasia I haven't been to.

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 WHS Get-together 2017 - The planning

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