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Seasons Greetings and good travelling in 2012!!

Author Solivagant
#1 | Posted: 23 Dec 2011 12:59 | Edited by: Solivagant 
In offering the above wishes to "regular" subscribers to/readers of this forum/Web Site I thought it might be appropriate to try to put together a "Christmas Connection"!!

It hasn't proven easy
a. The newly recognised Palestinian state hasn't yet had the chance to add Bethlehem
b. I had hoped that "Historic Cairo" might have included the Coptic churches of Saints Sergius and Bacchu (Abu Serga) or the Church of the Holy Virgin in Babylon El-Darag – both of which were associated with the Holy Family's "Flight into Egypt" to escape the Massacre of the Innocents. But, of course, the "Historic Cairo" inscription was called "Islamic Cairo" until a name change in 2007 and doesn't include any parts of Coptic Cairo

So, lacking anything better, my list of "WHS with a connection to Xmas" consists of

Land of Frankincense – one of the gifts of the Three Kings!
Prague – Wenceslas Square for the Xmas Carol of "Good King Wenceslas"
Tallin – Said to be the place where the use of the (Xmas) Tree in a Christian celebration of Xmas first occurred. "According to the first documented uses of a Christmas tree in Estonia, in 1441, 1442, and 1514, the Brotherhood of Blackheads erected a tree for the holidays] in their brotherhood house in Reval (now Tallinn). At the last night of the celebrations leading up to the holidays] the tree was taken to the Town Hall Square where the members of the brotherhood danced around it In 1584, the pastor and chronicler Balthazar Russow wrote of an established tradition of setting up a decorated spruce at the market square where the young men "went with a flock of maidens and women, first sang and danced there and then set the tree aflame". The Christmas tree became widely adopted by the Estonians themselves only in the 19th century" (Wiki). Riga also claims the honour – and it also had a "branch" of the Brotherhood of Blackheads. See

Both Cities have a historic "House of the Brotherhood of Blackheads" within the inscribed area. Perhaps we should also have a Connection for "Mediaeval Trade Guilds" .......?

Best wishes to all! And thanks for some stimulating "armchair travelling" via this Website over the past year!

Author Euloroo
#2 | Posted: 23 Dec 2011 20:30 | Edited by: Euloroo 
When Jesus was eight days old he was taken to the Temple in Jerusalem "to do for him what the custom of the Law required"... Luke 2 verses 21 – 38

Happy Christmas!

Author Walter
#3 | Posted: 23 Dec 2011 21:22 
Nazareth is on the Israeli T-list, part of the "Galilee journey of Jesus and the Apostles". It is a mostyl christian Arabic city.

Bethleem might not be officially on the tentative list, it is advertized almost as if:
with a "nomination file" and map including buffer zones.

Maybe Christmas markets could be a connection:
Vienna, Salzburg, Strassbourg, Bremen.

Also Nativity Scene:
Caserta (a huge scene is part of the museum within the palace)
Costiera Amalfitana (grottos and fountains are decorated all year long)
Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy

The Three Wise Kings:
Mount Athos: their presents given to Jesus are allegely held there
to be added to the connection

Best wishes to all, and especially to Els for maintaining such a wounderful website.

Author meltwaterfalls
#4 | Posted: 24 Dec 2011 14:04 
I'm just on a mad dash around on Christmas duties, but just a quick note to say, Merry Christmas and happy travels for the upcoming year.

Author Durian
#5 | Posted: 25 Dec 2011 09:16 
Merry Chistmas and Happy New Year :) Hope next year to be a good year for WHS visit for all.

Author meltwaterfalls
#6 | Posted: 28 Dec 2011 09:23 
I have had a hectic few days with Christmas festivities and have a day to rest before heading off on my annual new year's jaunt. Just wanted to say an early happy new year to everyone and also just post my own little end of year review.

How many new WHS visited: 28 (a personal best with perhaps 1 or 2 more to sneak in before the end of the year)

Best WHS: A tough call but I think Venice, it was everything I hoped it would be, and the crowds were manageable as we went out of season.

Honourable mention: Scorvegni chapel would be the best WHS if it had already been inscribed, Magnificent!

Most disappointing:Ming Tombs, I knew the tour would be a little rushed but it did surprise me how little I got to see, even if it was the supposed highlight.

Biggest Surprise: Varberg Radio station, I was expecting just a dull trot around some well maintained machines but it turned out that there was a great story attached to them.

Best non WHS travel experience: The amazing Korean hospitality, food coupled with the glory that was spending my first night in the country sleeping in a Jjimjillbang (not my review but it is the one I stayed in)

Biggest non WHS disappointment: Lonely Planet's latest editions. I'm not really sure why they felt the need to remove all the bits that they used to excel at (best maps, most intuitive, quick reference inside cover). Oh well it seems I have to head off in search of another default guidebook.

The year ahead: More of the same. A return to my old stomping grounds in the Czech Republic and Belgium, plus I already have trips to Austria and Tallinn set up.
Looking into long distance destinations: a return to Australia, mostly to visit my friends that I have been promising to see for the last few years. Or perhaps persuading some of them to meet me half way in South America, so I can fulfil my promise to myself of visiting all inhabited continents before I turn 30.
Climbing a mountain somewhere is also on the cards.

Anyway, I'm sure no one is that interested in the above indulgence, but I always find it good to post stuff so I can look back in future and see how things changed in the interim.

Wishing you all a Happy New Year and safe travels.

Author elsslots
#7 | Posted: 31 Dec 2011 09:25 | Edited by: elsslots 
Best wishes from me too! And a big "Thank you" for all your ideas, reviews, connections that keeps this website going.

My travel year of 2011 was of course dominated by the RTW-trip. I had no less than 63 new WHS added to my Visited list. Of those I rate Machu Picchu and Hampi the highest, but I also would not have missed Caral-Supé, the Nazca-lines, my trekking in Sagarmatha NP and jungle tour in Manu NP.

2012 for me starts with a trip to Cuba (Jan 7-22). Internet access will be scarce there, so a bit of a holiday away from the laptop too (which will benefit my eyes and brain I guess). Would you save your new connections until I am back on the 22nd? You can go on discussing everything here on the Forum of course without me.

P.S.: in Cuba I hope to visit one still unreviewed WHS, Camagüey. We only have 61 more to go, and then we will have covered them all! Let that be our common travel goal for 2012...

Author alexlove74
#8 | Posted: 21 Feb 2012 04:16 
very late reply to this topic.. just i want to remark the unbelievable score of Els of 63 new WHS in one year!! wow congratulation!! Els, you're gonna to make it in really few years!! I thought my 52 new WHS visited in 2011 would have been a good score for the year, now I know that I gotta work much more hard!!!!! Thank you Els for the wonderfu website!!!! I love it!!! UNESCO should link this site to their official webpage, i.e. "for more details on each site and for sharing travel experience and other topics related to the WHS, please find this very useful link". I suggest to put Els's laptop in the Tentative List for inscription itself!!!!!

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 Seasons Greetings and good travelling in 2012!!

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