Visited Sites Dennis Nicklaus

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Recent Reviews Dennis Nicklaus


Town of Chichicastenango (T)

Dennis Nicklaus - 11-Jun-19

Town of Chichicastenango (T)

Chichicastenango was a fascinating small city to visit. You don't come for nature's beauty, ancient stone artifacts, or grand palaces, but for its unique living culture.  The people and their culture descend from the ancient Maya, and  that heritage still infuses everyday life.  The evolution of culture is on evident display, a mix of the modern and the ancestral. Sometimes in easily visible things like the traditional clothing, sometimes in many more subtle ways, like the cartoonish mask of a colonial Spaniard used in a local folk dance. The ancient religious practices mix unabashedly with Catholicism.  The pretty colonial church on the plaza mayor had the most incense-saturated atmosphere I have ever been in

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Cité de Carcassonne et ses châteaux sentinelles de montagne (T)

Dennis Nicklaus - 16-Mar-19

Cité de Carcassonne et ses châteaux sentinelles de montagne  (T)

I'm happy to contribute the first review of this area!

I visited 7 of the 8 sites across four days October of 2017.  The only one I missed was Termes.  I came primarily to see the castle ruins, such as the ones nominated here, but there are so many other beautiful natural and historical man-made places to visit that I was thinking this was my new favorite part of France. If you like castle ruins, this is the place for you! They are best visited with your own car, although be prepared for narrow, winding, mountain-side roads with no guard rails between you and a steep drop off. Visiting in the shoulder season was great because it meant very little traffic, and I had a few of the castles to myself.

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Fortified City of Carcassonne

Dennis Nicklaus - 05-Mar-19

Fortified City of Carcassonne

I loved Carcassonne with its massive stone walls, pointy turrets, and the inner castle of Chateau Comtal.  Sure, Viollet-le-Duc may have taken some artistic license, but the overall result is really fantastic.  Part of my enthusiasm for the city may be from the time of year that I visited. I visited in late October -- the weather was crisp and fine, and the crowds very small. I might feel differently if I had been fighting the summer hordes. I had an easy time getting photos with no people during the early morning or evening. I made it my base for a few nights, staying a couple blocks outside La Cite'

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Palenque

Dennis Nicklaus - 20-Feb-19

Palenque

The ancient Maya city of Palenque amazed me in its diversity.  After walking in the main upper entrance, you first come across a row of pyramids. The last of these is the famous Temple of the Inscriptions, which holds King Pakal's elaborate tomb.  I was disappointed that you can no longer enter this famous pyramid and the burial chamber inside.  But you can enter the adjacent Pyramid/Tomb of the Red Queen for a look around.

 

Next, I proceeded to the huge Palace complex at the center of the site.  This elaborate structure has a lot of interesting details such as the astronomical observatory tower. It has several parts to explore, as well as providing nice views over many other buildings of the city.  After exploring it, I walked down to the Temple of the Count and the North Group, a set of lesser buildings that are near the site's ball court. I then made my way towards one edge of the site, visiting Group B and the Group of the Murcielagos (bats), which are some lesser buildings, but still sort of fun to wander through the small labyrinth of their remaining walls

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Tikal National Park

Dennis Nicklaus - 19-Feb-19

Tikal National Park

Tikal was the first ancient Maya site that I ever visited, and it remains my favorite one. I've since visited about 20 others, but Tikal still stands above them all.   The combination of the lush jungle and the steep pyramids poking above the canopy with their delicate roof combs above the  top temple rooms was just fantastic.  I loved the combination of the imposing pyramids with the detailed hieroglyphic stellae and the occasional giant stucco mask.  You get it all at Tikal, whereas other places, like Calakmul, for example, disappointed me a little because it didn't have much of the finer art, like stellae, while it had plenty of impressive massive buildings

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Dennis Nicklaus
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Rating Stats
Cracow 5
Iguacu 5
Masada 5
Rhodes 5
Uluru 5
Uxmal 5
Arles 4.5
Kandy 3