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Second Visits

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Author winterkjm
#1 | Posted: 8 Jul 2013 01:35 | Edited by: winterkjm 
I was just pondering my 2nd visits to world heritage sites. In light of my upcoming return journey to Yosemite and reading about some of Els 2nd visits. Thoughts about the value of visiting a exceptional property more than once? Counting the WHS that I've visited twice (or more) comes to (10).

I was wondering if any other fellow travelers have some particularly worthwhile memories on your 2nd visit to a WHS? Here are a couple of mine.

- Imperial Palace - Far more enjoyable experience 2nd time around. Less busy, less hot, and I had so much time to explore the more remote side sections of the palace.

- Great Wall - My first visit was at Badaling. I do not think I need to elaborate. My 2nd visit was a far more remote section, I saw 3 total people during 4 hours of hiking the wall! This particular section was in a state of decay and crumbling, an unforgettable experience.

- Changdeokgung Palace - I've visited this palace (5) times! Every single time with a different guide, and a slightly different route. All 5 visits were in 2008, the tour has been slightly altered since then. I really got a feeling for the layout, authentic or rebuilt structures, Confucian principles in relation to palace design, and a variety of seasons for the Secret Garden.

- Gyeongju - First visit (winter season) was the classic itinerary Daerungwon Tumili, Anapji Pond, Cheomseongdae Observatory. My 2nd visit (summer season) I was a tour chaperone for 3rd graders! It was so much fun with kids, and I got to visit 2 other areas I didn't visit the first time. Poseokjeong Pavilion, and a part of Namsan Mountain.

Looking forward to my 2nd visit to Yosemite. First visit was for 2 days in the fall (great time). This coming visit will also be for 2 days, both days camping (1 day inside the park, 1 day outside). I am planning to visit some of the places I didn't visit the first time and including some longer hikes to more remote areas.

Author kintante
#2 | Posted: 8 Jul 2013 04:07 
As I live in the heart of Europe, it's far more common to me to revisit WHS. I count 43 sites I visited at least twice, which is quite a lot given that my total is under 300. To list my memories on each revisit would be a bit exaggerated, so I focus on the reasons and opportunities to revisit WHS. For me there are different reasons to revisit a site:

• I go there while visiting family. I have family in Italy and Peru. Even though I know the sites near their homes or on the way it's too tempting not to revisit. That's the case for Lima, Cusco and Machu Picchu in Peru and Florence and Ravenna in Italy. Somehow you always find something you missed the times before, so I never get bored.
• I revisit a major city. Most European frequent travellers have been more than once to the major European city like Rome, Paris, London, Berlin, Amsterdam or Barcelona. I'm no exception. And every time I'm in there I revisit the WHS. No option for me to be in Rome and not even come close to the coliseum or Vatican City.
• I revisit a WHS on a Sunday trip from home. I have several WHS within reach for a day trip. If the weather is nice and you've got some time, why not visiting a place you haven't seen for a few years but you remember is beautiful? I don't need any planning at all to visit places like Berne or Reichenau Island in Germany.
• I don't like the pictures I have. I'm obsessed with having decent pictures of all of the WHS I visited. So I revisited a few sites that were bothering me as the weather at the time of my first visit was bad or had no good camera with me. Just for this reason I revisited e.g. Ferrara, Crespi D'Adda, Modena (btw the finally finished the bell tower), Pisa, Lübeck, Cologne, Berlin, Monte San Giorgio and Vienna. I'm not done yet. There are still a few places I'd like to have better pictures.

Especially if you visit WHS that cover a larger territory you're not always able to see all of it. So a revisit often does make sense. Further, the feeling is different in winter, summer, high or low season. Of course I would not do as many revisits if each revisit would require more than a weekend trip. The actual holidays are reserved for new WHS.

Author winterkjm
#3 | Posted: 8 Jul 2013 13:13 | Edited by: winterkjm 
As I live in the heart of Europe, it's far more common to me to revisit WHS.

I've mentioned it before, but it is terribly difficult to be a WHS enthusiast in the United States! Consider within 2,000 km from Los Angeles there are only (14) WHS!!! (9) in the Western US and (5) in Northwest Mexico. Contrast this to being a Parisian, 2,000 km from Paris would incorporate (nearly) all 400+ WHS in Western Europe!

I do hope the Frank Lloyd Wright nomination is inscribed soon. Then I will have a local WHS.

I'm obsessed with having decent pictures of all of the WHS I visited.

An excellent reason for a revisit. All of my return trips have yielded an improved collection of photos.

Somehow you always find something you missed the times before, so I never get bored.

Definetly the case for me as well.

Author kintante
#4 | Posted: 10 Jul 2013 02:28 
I do hope the Frank Lloyd Wright nomination is inscribed soon. Then I will have a local WHS.

Really hope that too. Trips to the States or Canada have been rather low on my wish list, as you need a lot of time and a lot of domestic travelling to see a decent number of WHS in one trip. On a good 3 day trip in Europe I can see up to 8 WHS without feeling like I missed something essential. Plus, as mentioned before, you can always revisit.

Nevertheless I'd love to see some more of the US. Especially the Grand Canyon is on my bucket list. How many WHS and tentative WHS in Western USA do you think I could visit on a 2 week trip? I have direct flights to from LAX or SFO and I have concessions on most US carriers so I'd probably fly whenever it makes sense.

Author winterkjm
#5 | Posted: 10 Jul 2013 03:58 | Edited by: winterkjm 
Fly in/out of Phoenix, AZ. Rent a Car. Best season to visit is late Fall or Spring, NOT in the Summer. If you are limited only to SF or LA then Yosemite National Park (2-3 days), Redwoods National Park (2-3 days), Frank Lloyd Wright Buildings (Marin County Civic Center (just north of San Francisco) or Hollyhock House (Los Angeles).

WHS (5)
Grand Canyon National Park
Mesa Verde National Park
Chaco Culture
Taos Pueblo
Carlsbad Caverns National Park

TWHS (3)
Petrified Forest National Park
White Sands National Monument
Frank Lloyd Wright Buildings (Taliesin West)

Additional worthy stops:
Wuptaki National Monument
Sunset Crater National Monument
Aztec National Monument (outlying property of Chaco culture)
Bandellier National Monument
Guadalupe Mountains National Park (former TWHS)
Saguaro National Park (former TWHS)
Casa Grande National Monument (former TWHS)
Mission San Xavier del Bac (former TWHS)

Base Cities:
Phoenix/Scottsdale (1 night)
Flagstaff (3 nights)
Durango (2 Nights)
Santa Fe (3 nights)
Carlsbad (2 nights)
Las Cruces (1 night)
Tucson (2 nights)
Phoenix/Scottsdale (1 night)

MapQuest (32-35 hrs) *depending

Author meltwaterfalls
#6 | Posted: 10 Jul 2013 06:32 | Edited by: meltwaterfalls 
I think Kintante has covered all of my reasons for revisiting places, so I don't have too much to add to that.

I certainly like the return visits. I don't feel as rushed as I don't feel I have to see everything that is a 'must see'.

I'm also a little worried about revisiting places that I have had a great experience at previously. I'm not sure if revisiting Skellig Michael would slightly ruin the wonderful memories I have of my visit. Whilst I enjoyed my re-vist to the Plantin Moretus, it wasn't quite as magical as the first trip.

Large cities especially can take some time to loosen up and repeat visit can draw more out of them. My second visit to New York was a revelation, I really fell in love with the place. Vienna also somehow improved from its already high regard.

I do also think that sometimes repeat visits can have an adverse effect. Paris currently sits as a city that I appreciate the vast charms of but I actually find a little grinding to visit, perhaps it is that mild familiarity breeds frustration, or maybe it is that one too many changes at Chatelet/les Halles will suck the life from anyone.
N.B. If there are any Parisian out there that think this is a slight on their city don't worry it seems to be a passing thing. I used to actively dislike London, now I couldn't really contemplate living anywhere without a tube station.

winterkjm I will be interested in your revisit to Yosemite, we are going to be in Salt Lake City again this autumn and are looking into viable trips, Yosemite is a potential one so will be interesting to hear what you find. The nearest unvisited WHS are perhaps just that bit too far for our itinerary (Redwood, Glacier, Carlsbad).

Author kintante
#7 | Posted: 10 Jul 2013 09:36 
Thank you winterkjm, this will be a serious option for next year. My only US experiences are NYC and Philadelphia. I somehow doubt I have seen the true US so far.

Author meltwaterfalls
#8 | Posted: 10 Jul 2013 11:45 
Thank you winterkjm, this will be a serious option for next year

Not sure if you saw this but there was a discussion on this last year in case this can whet your appetite.

I must admit I never have a strong desire to visit the US partially because it feels so familiar and I like to travel for variety, and partially because it is so tough to pick up new WHS. However I always end up really enjoying my visits there. I can thoroughly recommend a visit to the South West as winterkjm has suggested, it felt different to the rest of the country, New Mexico was especially nice.

winterkjm do you know much about El Picante, I just noticed it is contiguous with one of the Islands of the Gulf of California site. A potential 2 sites and a new country if I get my itinerary right.

Author winterkjm
#9 | Posted: 10 Jul 2013 13:45 | Edited by: winterkjm 
I have contemplated a road trip to El Pinacate for a couple years now. It is 8 hrs drive from LA to Puerto Penasco, which is the de facto base city for El Pinacate. Most trips or tours originate from this city. El Pinacate has a brand new visitor center that is powered only by solar energy.

The problem? My wife is concerned about visiting Mexico. Puerto Penasco is really a beach city, in which nearly all tourists are from Arizona. From what I hear it is probably the safest city anywhere near the border. Nevertheless, while my wife would "eventually" love to visit Mexico, I don't want to push her too much when she feels uncomfortable.

El Pinacate stands as a "future trip"

Weekend (2 nights)
1) Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
2) El Pinacate

As you mention the Colorado River Delta is part of the Islands of the Gulf of California, while I am tempted to consider this in any trip to Puerto Penasco, it is quite a ways northwest along Highway 3 (newly built). Secondly, there is little to no visitor facilities, so I am unsure how to make a proper visit (Golfo de Santa Clara seems to be the gateway town). I have to be realistic, if I want to convince my wife to take this trip, limited driving in Mexico is a plus. To visit Puerto Penasco, if you cross from Lukeville, AZ the drive is under 1 hr. By the way driving in Mexico does REQUIRE Mexican Car insurance.

Concerning Yosemite, this is my 2nd visit. The first time I visited the park over 2 days. Unforgettable experience, one of the best National Parks in the US. That trip was 4 years ago, I am looking forward to seeing many areas I was not able to visit the first time, and visiting some of the historic aspects of the park as well. During this trip I will camp both days, very excited. My review is URL 2nd from the top. I may update my previous review, or write a new one all together.

Interesting note about Yosemite, there is a concerted effort to reduce visitors & cars in the park. Several parking areas are being removed from Yosemite Valley, a tram service now runs to Mariposa Grove, and park buildings are being destroyed or moved to eventually transform Yosemite Valley more to its original setting.

Author winterkjm
#10 | Posted: 10 Jul 2013 14:15 | Edited by: winterkjm 
Kintante, a trip to California is certainly worthwhile. While I promote the Southwest trip, because it is fantastic and I have visited most of the places, the cost expense will be high because of gas, hotels, and renting a car.

Flying into San Francisco would be an excellent trip.

WHS (2)
Yosemite National Park (4 hrs from SF)
Redwoods National and State Parks (6 hrs from SF)

TWHS (1)
Frank Lloyd Wright Buildings (Marin County - 1 hr from SF)

Additional worthy stops:
John Muir Woods National Monument
Sonoma and/or Napa Valley
Northwest CA towns - Eureka & Trinidad
King's Canyon/Sequioa National Park
Giant Sequoia National Monument
Mammoth Lakes & Devil's Postpile National Monument
Mono Lake

San Francisco is a great American City
Public transportation is easy
Golden Gate Bridge
Excellent Restaurants
Largest Chinatown in the World (I suggest the dim sum)


Also consider that many sites you may visit are "world class" and far more impressive than your average WHS. Example: Kings Canyon/Sequioa National Park, Mammoth Lakes, Bodie, and the Golden Gate Bridge. (In most countries these would already be WHS)

*Particularly Kings Canyon/Sequoia National Park (Giant Forest Grove - Location of 6/10 largest trees in the world)

Author joycevs
#11 | Posted: 12 Jul 2013 14:46 
Although I prefer visiting new places, revisiting has it's charm too and since I live in Europe it's pretty easy. Also, I like extending visits; for example every time I drive through Belgium I try to visit some new towns that have a belfry or beguinages.

Next week I'll start working as a tour guide in Sri Lanka so I will revisit 7 out of 8 WHS (I was there 2,5 years ago). And this time I'll probably visit Horton Plains in stead of Knuckles Range (both are part of the Central Highlands WHS).

Author meltwaterfalls
#12 | Posted: 16 Jul 2013 04:51 
It is 8 hrs drive from LA to Puerto Penasco

Thanks for the info. LA is now looking like a very likely destination for us but perhaps I can focus on trying to get to know the city properly rather than dashing off on trips to desert volcanoes.
Next week I'll start working as a tour guide in Sri Lanka

Wow sounds exciting, I'm very envious. Is that a one off thing or a more permanent move?

Author joycevs
#13 | Posted: 16 Jul 2013 05:35 
It's a thing I will continue doing every now and then next to my regular office job (I won't be able to make a living out of being a tour guide and I like being home with friends and family too ;-) )

Author winterkjm
#14 | Posted: 16 Jul 2013 05:40 | Edited by: winterkjm 
LA is now looking like a very likely destination for us but perhaps I can focus on trying to get to know the city properly

Yeah, I saw your review of Yosemite where you mentioned LA is one of your least favorite cities. I am sorry to hear that! It really is a great city, but it is without a doubt one of the LEAST visitor friendly metro areas in the US. It takes time to "get to know" the city.

You can only truly see the city if you have a car. Secondly, traditionally many cities have a "main" area, LA is really a series of neighborhoods/districts/cities. While crime in LA is down to historic lows, it is easy to accidently wander into a neighborhood that you may not feel comfortable.

- Modern Architecture (Wright, Neutra, Greene & Greene, Gehry, Schindler, Naïve Art, Art Deco, Movie Palaces, Spanish Colonial)
- Museums/Galleries (Getty Center, Getty Villa, The Huntington, LACMA, Norton Simon, MOCA)
- Revitalization of Downtown (Art Walk, Summer Concert Series, Rooftop Lounges, Grand Park Events, Coffee Shops)
- Hiking (Griffith Park, Runyon Canyon, Santa Monica Mountains, Eaton Canyon - Angeles National Forest, Vasquez Rocks)
- Beaches/Coastline (Point Dume State Beach - Malibu, Ranchos Palos Verdes)
- Islands (Catalina Island, Channel Islands National Park)
- Food (The diversity of LA makes food a real treat)

- Traffic
- Concrete and Pollution (air quality is however the best its been in decades)
- Urban Sprawl
- Metro Rail (Small, but rapidly expanding)
- Summer Tourism Crowds
- Overrated tourist destinations (Hollywood BLVD, Disneyland, Universal Studios, Venice Boardwalk, Santa Monica Pier)
- Parking can be difficult
- City is not walker friendly (at least bike lanes have been installed everywhere)

Author meltwaterfalls
#15 | Posted: 16 Jul 2013 06:44 | Edited by: meltwaterfalls 
Cons: Overrated tourist destinations (Hollywood BLVD, Disneyland, Universal Studios, Venice Boardwalk, Santa Monica Pier)

:) ah the focus of my previous visits, in fact I think that is pretty much all that I have seen on my two trips with my parents, throw in bad traffic and the 'welcome' from immigration staff at LAX and you may start to understand my antipathy.
I'm keen to try and see a little more of it this time around and travelling independent of a tourist itinerary has brought great rewards in Chicago and New York.

- City is not walker friendly

Perhaps this is what has put me off in the past. Walking around a city is the thing I love most and part of the reason I love European old towns so much, the streets are too narrow to get too many cars in there so people have to walk. Reducing everything down to human scale makes interaction with your environs so much easier and intuitive, and 'accidentally' stumbling into a pub/ cafe is much easier if your don't have to worry about driving.
I think that is why I enjoyed Santa Fe so much last year as well, it was a little different to other US cities in that it was much more walkable.

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