Friday, July 13, 2007

Gotta Love the Number Seven

There has been some sort of internet voting for Seven New Wonders of the World. The Great Wall of China, Petra, the statue of Christ the Redeemer at Rio de Janeiro, Machu Picchu, Chichen Itza, the Coliseum, and the Taj Mahal.

I've only seen one - the Collesium. I wasn't even very impressed. I mean, it's cool from the outside and all, but the inside isn't terribly exciting. This doesn't do my travelling cred much good, does it?

The Ancient Seven are the Great Pyramid at Giza, the Lighthouse at Alexandria, the statue of Zeus at Olympia, the Colossus of Rhodes, the temple of Artemis at Ephesus, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

Only the Great Pyramid is still standing and I haven't seen that one either.

Then there are the other lists, of the medieval and modern worlds. Typically representative of the seven medieval wonders are Stonehenge, the Colosseum, the Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa, the Great Wall of China, the Porcelain Tower of Nanjing, Hagia Sophia, the Leaning Tower of Pisa but sometimes might include the Taj Mahal, Cairo Citadel, Ely Cathedral, and Cluny Abbey.

So, I've seen the Colosseum and Stonehenge. Here I start to sound like quite the idiot, because I wasn't overly impressed by Stonehenge either. I can't tell you if that is because you can't get anywhere near it these days or what. But I liked Callanish better.

The modern list was complied by some engineers. The CN Tower, Channel Tunnel, Empire State Building, Golden Gate Bridge, Itaipu Dam, Delta Works, Panama Canal.

Here I've been through the Channel Tunnel and up the CN Tower. The Channel Tunnel is very unexciting - just like a normal train trip, without any particularly great scenery even, with a dark bit in the middle. I quite like the CN Tower as tourist experiences go - that lovely glass floor makes me ill every time, the view is great, the gift shop always yields funny pictures, and I played my first and I think only game of Lazar Tag there with Lindsay (or maybe Daniel? or both?) years ago. We went because working in Wild Water Kingdom gave me free or reduced entrance to a ton of local attractions. Embarrassingly, I hadn't even heard of the Itaipu Dam or the Delta Works. Let's blame this on the fact that engineers are involved...

A charming man called Howard Hillman came up with some tourist travel wonders of the world. His man-made travel wonders of the world are: Great Pyramids of Giza, Great Wall of China, Taj Mahal, Machu Picchu, Bali, Angkor Wat, Forbidden City, Bagan Temples & Pagodas, Karnak Temple, Teotihuacán .

I've been to Angkor Wat. It was incredible. Cambodia was incredible. I think this is perhaps the best trip I've taken so far, and it only lasted a week. But that might be good too - I didn't have time to get tired of travelling or overloaded on sights.

His natural travel wonders of the world are: Serengeti Migration, Galápagos Islands, Grand Canyon, Iguazu Falls, Amazon Rainforest, Ngorongoro Crater, Great Barrier Reef, Victoria Falls, Bora Bora, Cappadocia.

I haven't seen any!

The Natural wonders compiled by CNN: Grand Canyon, Great Barrier Reef, Harbor of Rio de Janeiro, Mount Everest, Polar Aurora, Parícutin volcano, Victoria Falls. And the Underwater wonders: Palau, Belize Barrier Reef, Great Barrier Reef, Deep-Sea Vents, Galapagos Islands, Lake Baikal.

Not only haven't I seen any of these, some of them seem very unlikely future trips. And I can't scuba dive.

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