Nick Kuzmyak Profile

I only truly left the country (Canada doesn't count) for the first time in 2008, and have wanted to continue traveling ever since. Having a 9-5 job makes things difficult, but I've been privileged enough to study abroad, work abroad, and occasionally take work trips, so I'm still ahead of my goal for now: as many countries visited as I am years old.

I first found out about UNESCO sites while researching an upcoming trip, and have been enamored with the whole concept ever since. Along with Atlas Obscura, I use UNESCO to help plan my trips to new countries. I figure, if the UN thought it was important, I should probably visit.

This site taught me that that thinking is a bit optimistic (considering the politics of UNESCO), but at least there's a good chance that the sites one visits are at least somewhat important, and sometimes even spectacular.

Visited Sites Nick Kuzmyak

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Legend

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Recent Reviews Nick Kuzmyak


Cahokia Mounds

Nick Kuzmyak USA - 10-Sep-20

Hard to rate this one, since it depends on what metric you're going for. The site itself is pretty enough, and Wizard's Mound offers great views of the surrounding countryside and St. Louis, but archaeological sites are always a tough sell unless you study the stuff. Also, walking around an open field at -15C was not super fun.

Besides the relatively boring tourist aspect (though the museum is nice enough), this is a really important site. Not just because it had been the largest city in the US until Philadelphia eclipsed it in the late 1700s, but because that city had been built by indigenous people. The size, importance, and longevity of the settlement kind of remind me of the early writings on Great Zimbabwe: white settlers couldn't believe that the "savages" they'd fought upon colonization could have been capable of building such magnificent earthworks. To those who with an open mind (beyond what is taught in school), it really blows open the concept of "American history" to a much longer and more interesting timeline

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Bahla Fort

Nick Kuzmyak USA - 10-Sep-20

Beautiful site, but the fort wasn't accessible when I went there (2012). From what I recall, it had been under some sort of renovation since the early '90s, so I wasn't expecting to see much anyway. Therefore: not many stars for the site itself.

However, the surrounding old town of mud-brick houses, date palms, and aflaj irrigation canals (not a part of that listing) was really interesting. Just wandering through the maze of old, nearly silent streets more than made up for the disappointment of not being able to go inside the fort itself.

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Al-Hijr

Nick Kuzmyak USA - 01-Sep-20

My impression of this site was personally 5-star, but I'm also relatively new to UNESCO sites and may not have a great standard for comparison.

I had just quit a job in Saudi Arabia and asked that my visa remain open a bit longer (since I'd never get one again), and immediately set my sights on Madain Saleh (the actual Nabatean part of the site). Getting there was not easy, especially since you need to somehow first get a Saudi visa - good luck if you're not on Hajj or an oil/diplomatic worker. A site visit permit was also required back in 2010.

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Profile Data

Name
Nick Kuzmyak
Country
USA
Most Impressive
St Kilda
Proposal
French Quarter, New Orleans

Recently Visited WHS

Update 24.09.20

Reviewed TWHS