Latest Community Reviews

Verona

Jakob Frenzel Germany - 12-Nov-19

Verona

September 2018 - my wife and me had spent a few hours in Verona coming back from Tuscany in May 2016. But this time I was going to a conference and spent 3 nights in Verona. My room was just next to Castelveccio and I needed 5 min to the Arena. I already arrived on sunday. so I had 1/2 day and 2 evenings to stroll around the streets surrounding Piazze del Erbe.

It is a beautiful city with Renaissance Houses and a completely intact city center. Highlites were the Arena, Piazzas, Ponti and views to the other side of the Etsch. You could also visit the whole city within 1 day. But that way I could enjoy food, drinks and the atmosphere of the city.

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Grand-Bassam

Lauren USA - 19-Nov-19

Grand-Bassam

Grand Bassam is a beach town about 45 minutes away from Abidjan.  Its UNESCO status comes from the fact that it was a French colonial capital for a few years in the late 1800s.  The capital was moved inland soon after it was established due to an outbreak of yellow fever, leaving behind a cluster of French colonial buildings that still remain today.  Most of the site is on a barrier island.  There was significant flooding in Grand Bassam in October 2019.  When I visited in mid-November, the water levels were still high on the inland side, but water had cleared from the streets and there were few signs of damage.

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Virgilio Barco Library (T)

Zoë Sheng Chinese-Canadian in NZ - 16-Nov-19

Virgilio Barco Library (T)

The library is situated at what looks like the only empty road in Bogota. Entrance is free but you have to put your stuff into a locker to enter the inside rooms, with guards posted to ensure it. Odd. The main attraction is the entrance fountain though, which seems flawed as it doesn't flow entirely center, and the parks around the area make for a nice visit. Inside are modern corridors and spiral staircases which aren't too special. I think this should come on the "nice to see but not WHS" list.

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Grobiņa archaeological ensemble (T)

Jakob Frenzel Germany - 12-Nov-19

Grobiņa archaeological ensemble (T)

August 2017 - actually we planned a trip through the baltic states with our old campervan. Halfway on the way to the ferry, the Engin started striking, eventually we had to be brought back to Berlin and leave the car in front of the car repair, it would take some weeks. Luckily we could rebook the ferry so we started the trip with a small car and tent a day later. After 28 hours on the baltic sea we arrived in Liepaja. We found a nice campground just north and visited the town next morning. That day we wanted to arrive in Jurmala going through Kuldiga. Grobina is just a few km east of Liepaja so we decided to stop here. Nice idea to make a joint Viking sites nomination, but as a Stand alone, it doesnt seem to be very significant

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Nasca Lines

Michael Novins United States - 18-Nov-19

Nasca Lines

In November 2019, I made the eight-hour bus ride from Lima to Nasca on a Wednesday, spent 30 minutes flying over the lines on Thursday morning, and made the eight-hour trip by bus back to Lima that afternoon.  So, nearly a full day of travel for a brief flight over one of the world's most amazing UNESCO World Heritage Sites (securely nestled in my Top 10). The flight over the Nasca desert makes it abundantly clear that so many recent sights lack not only universal, but even national or regional, value.

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Plantations in West Curacao (T)

Zoë Sheng Chinese-Canadian in NZ - 16-Nov-19

Plantations in West Curacao (T)

I went to 3 plantations in one day, and none take very long so it was on the way to one of the best beaches on the island: Grote Knip. There is the "Knip Manor" just outside the driveway with reasonable opening hours. San Juan is also on the way if you take the detour on the smaller road. Once you get to the outskirts of Willemstad it's clear roads. Both of these are on the tentative list because they are untouched, I visited a third one in town (Chobolobo) and took the tour (every hour) but it is a modern distillery and therefore not going to be part of the nomination.

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Belovezhskaya Pushcha / Bialowieza Forest

Jakob Frenzel Germany - 12-Nov-19

Belovezhskaya Pushcha / Bialowieza Forest

August 2017 - this Park was on my must see List for a long time. Finally we had the Chance to visit. We spent the night in a hotel in Białystok before entering the park. The weather was way better today. From polish news we heard about Protests against the timberindustry, cutting Down parts of the bufferzone. Fist thing we saw passing Hajnowka was Trucks with wood. Great! One of Europes oldest forests is not getting 100% protection?

We found a campground in the Main village of Bialowieza and visited the NP house, the village, the historic trainstation. And had some good kotlet schabowy.in the afternoon we drove on the Zebry Zubra, a hiking Trail to the Bisons, which leads through dense forest.

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Old City of Acre

GabLabCebu Philippines - 16-Nov-19

Old City of Acre

WHS#54

Acre is another very unique site in the Holy Land. Just like Jerusalem and Bet Guvrin, it has no equal or comparable sites both in the region and in the world. Really, Acre is 2 cities, one above the other. The city we all see is the walled Arab city with its Ottoman architecture. Below it lies the wonder of the Crusader city, now mostly filled by tourists. Each chamber seems to have been converted into a museum exhibit, complete with colored lights shining onto the stone walls. The architecture is mostly evident in its pointed arches and groin vaults. After this, I pass through the markets and jewelry stores of Ottoman Acre to get to the Tunnels, another Crusader creation

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Um er-Rasas

Squiffy UK - 15-Nov-19

Um er-Rasas

I had to check twice. There, below the catwalk on which I stood, was a man riding a goose. Close by men fished, oblivious to their goose-riding compatriot. It was a most unexpected thing to see – particularly in the ruins of an abandoned church. I’m used to World Heritage Sites which educate and inspire. It’s always nice to find one that amuses too. And in this instances it also encouraged me to study the other mosaic decorations of St Stephen’s Church in greater detail.

The history of Um er-Rasas is a confused one spread across many centuries. The ruins on site today are the remains of a local religious hub from the Byzantine era. The core site is not large, but includes the remains of a large number of churches. And a mile to the north stands a Stylite tower, a 15m tall pillar where Christian hermits would live apart from the world. It was previously known as Kastron Mefa’a. The ‘Kastron’ identifies it as a military camp (‘castrum’) on the eastern edge of the Roman Empire (so, should the current vogue for inscribing every single scrap of Roman limes as a World Heritage Site continue we may see this site inscribed twice)

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The Augustow Canal (Kanal Augustowski) (T)

Jakob Frenzel Germany - 12-Nov-19

The Augustow Canal (Kanal Augustowski) (T)

August 2017 - After Latvia and Lithuania, we entered Poland, an Area which I had not visited with my family so far. we arrived in Wigry NP and it was heavily Raining. And also the next day remained being way too wet and cold for summer. However that morning we drove to Augustow to see some parts of the canal. For a hike it was too rainy, for a boattrip it was too foggy, so we tried to drive close to the canal and cross it a few Times. In Biebrza NP we went to Dębowo, where the canal is eventually merging into the Biebrza. There you can visit some nice wooden locks. However the further we drove the more water was left on the muddy roads. Suddenly we came to a 60cm deep pitch. What a rainy summer that was. We had to go back all the way we came and took the Main road straight to Białystok.

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Bahá’i Holy Places

GabLabCebu Philippines - 16-Nov-19

Bahá’i Holy Places

WHS#53

I visited Haifa on the way to the Galilee in April 2018, and obviously, I had to check out the Bahai Gardens the city is best known for. With a private driver-guide, I was able to see the gardens and the Shrine of Bab both from above and from below. Needless to say, it's a stunning sight to see, and there isn't really any place like this in the world. The gardens show some influence from Persia, where the religion was actually founded, but without the Islamic elements. The Shrine of Bahaullah in Acre seems to also have the same style. Part of the reason it looks so great and shining and pristine, however, is the reason why it might not be a very worthy WHS

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Quseir Amra

Squiffy UK - 15-Nov-19

Quseir Amra

The road east was long and featureless. Dun unremitting grey plains stretched out on either side as far as my eye could see. Trails of dust hung in the air to mark the passage of off-road vehicles. I almost didn’t spot our destination until Amir pointed out to our left, his finger sticky with the juices of the honey-sweet plums we had been sharing. Not much to see, a low domed edifice of pale limestone, isolated among the barren wastes. I was reminded of Luke’s moisture farm home on Tatooine at the start of Star Wars Episode IV.

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Riga

Jakob Frenzel Germany - 12-Nov-19

Riga

August 2017 - After spending the night in nearby Jurmala, which is really, really worth visiting with all its wooden villas  and the nearby Kemeru Nationalpark, we found a campground near the giant hanging bridge, which is just across the river from cetral Riga. We had folding bikes with us. So we explored the city center. We were a bit dissapointed by the hanseatic, old part of the city. A lot was damaged and construction was taking place. Socialistic heritage is torn down. But along the canal it is nice to ride. Up north where we visited the Freedom sculpture and further the  Jugendstil district. Quite something, some of the houses were just amazing. We prefered this part of the Whs. In Riga we only ate Pelmeni. There was a place, with the dish in its Name, which was 1

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Auckland Volcanic Fields (T)

Zoë Sheng Chinese-Canadian in NZ - 15-Nov-19

Auckland Volcanic Fields (T)

"One Tree Hill" got canceled in 2012. The tree on the hill in Auckland got canceled back in 1852, which was then replanted and finally cut down by activists in 2000. People always assume there is a tree at the top, one of Auckland's top sights. In fact there is just a monument to the Māori who got slaughtered here back in the ignorant days. You don't HAVE to go to the Cornwall Park to discover the volcanic fields. I have been to many mounds around the city without even knowing, but here is where they actually point it out with some nice signs, also known as volcanic cones. This is also Auckland's second-largest volcanic field.

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Wadi Rum

Squiffy UK - 15-Nov-19

Wadi Rum

Night fell on the desert. The campfire sank low. Banking up the hard-packed sand behind my head, I lay down on the slope of a dune and gazed up into the infinite. More stars than I had ever seen before speckled the expanse above me, strata of pinpricks overlaying each other. The night sky here above Wadi Rum was no blank, black two-dimensional backdrop. It was crowded  and alive, like the stalls of a theatre seen from back stage as the house lights are dimmed. And on cue the show started. From right to left a bolt of fire streaked the heavens before guttering and dying. A second followed, then two at once, flaming trails hanging in space after their heads combusted in the atmosphere

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Su Nuraxi di Barumini

Jakob Frenzel Germany - 12-Nov-19

Su Nuraxi di Barumini

September 2009 - with my best schoolmates we decided to do an one week trip to Sardegna. After 2 days in Cagliari we rented a car and planned to drive around the Island. I had to pesuade them to go first up north to visit Sardegnas only whs. A pile of stones when looking from outside. But we did a tour going into the beehives, which was  quite impressive. However, after the visit we drove back to the shore. An amazing place I can advise: Piscinas dunes on the westcoast. A memorable experience and the best we have seen on the island.

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Cuenca

Frederik Dawson Netherlands - 14-Nov-19

Cuenca

During my short business trip to Madrid, I had another chance to spend weekend to explored nearby World Heritage sites. I had dilemma between Zaragoza and Cuenca, but decided to visit Cuenca as Aranjuez was possible to visit in the same trip. After spent half day in Aranjuez, I arrived my hotel Parador de Cuenca around 4 PM. My first impression on Cuenca was its unique location, the whole historic town was located on promontory surround by two side of gorges and high hill on the north with lowland entrance from the south with just small creek to separate the old town and the new one.

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Historical-Town Planning Ensemble Tvrda (Fort) in Osijek (T)

Lisu Marian Romania - 13-Nov-19

Historical-Town Planning Ensemble Tvrda (Fort) in Osijek  (T)

From immemorial times, the Danube (the dust-free road) represented the border offered by nature somewhat difficult to cross.The meanders that make up the current water border of Serbia from Croatia receive a major hydraulic inflow from Drava, another blue line that supports naval traffic, but not large ones.It is precisely in this zone of merging the gentle waters of the Drave in the Danube that it is unsettled, it is the historical city of Osijec, a Neolithic preserve of various vestiges.Rome installs its legion here, fixing with the colony the imperial borders now defended by the cohorts Alpinorum and Hispanorum - the name given to the settlement being Mursa

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Hedeby and Danevirke

Jakob Frenzel Germany - 12-Nov-19

Hedeby and Danevirke

July 2019 - on our trip from Hamburg to Denmark we had to stop here for sure. Another German WHS, eventually we want to visit them all. My father told me about his classtrip he did there in the 60th. It was already then a famous site. However, all there is, are some reconstructed moviesetting like huts, a giant grassed dike and many sheep. For us the most interesting part. Museum, souvenirs and the small wooden huts did not interest us that much so we did not bother to pay the rather high entrance fees.

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Santiago de Compostela

Jay T USA - 13-Nov-19

Santiago de Compostela

Pilgrim, you have reached journey's end. The paths through the old town suddenly open up onto a plaza marked with walkways in the shape of the scalloped symbol of the Camino de Santiago, and there, at the center of the rays, pilgrims and tourists alike stop in awe and reflection and gaze up at the Baroque façade of the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral. The cathedral is even larger than it seemed when looking down at the bell towers from the Mount of Joy outside the city. Staffs and backpacks are set down and cell phones and selfie sticks are pulled out. Some kiss the ground in reverance. And then, sometime later, the visitors migrate to the side entrance to the cathedral, and file through the nave and around the altar, mostly in hushed silence

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