Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Seven Wonders of the World

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”
–St. Augustine
It's nice to know that some things never change. People like to travel and tourism goes back to ancient times. There were tour-guide books as early as 400 BC but instead of the 1000 Places to See Before you Die, ancient Greece recommended the Seven Wonders of the World:
Later lists in the Middle Ages replaced the Ishtar Gate with the Lighthouse of Alexandria. That's a shame really because the Ishtar Gate (pictured above) is the only item on this list I've seen. The Ishtar Gate was reconstructed in the 1930s at the Pergamon Museum in East Berlin out of material excavated at Babylon. I highly recommend the Pergamon Museum; my wife & I both loved it. I had no idea that the Ishtar Gate was so famous (my wife says, duh, the plaque said it was a 7 Wonder). I was more impressed by the Pergamon Altar which the musuem is named after.

This original 7 Wonders List has spawned many imitators over the centuries like the 7 Engineering Wonders, the 7 Wonders of the Underwater World, 7 Wonders of the Industrial World, and so on. Since most of the places in the original list are destroyed, sites compete to be listed as one of the 7 Wonders of the Modern World
Other sites sometimes included on such lists:
Of these I've seen two, an advantage of having lived in Naples, Italy for nearly three years as a teenager, namely the Colosseum in Rome and the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Bottom Line

The reason I wanted to discuss this is that there is a new list of Seven Natural Wonders of the World announced by New7Wonders. This group used a combination of public voting (ala American Idol style via phone and Internet)and an expert panel led by the former head of UNESCO to select the winners which were announced on October 11. National Geographic provided photos of each wonder.
  1. Iguazú Falls on the border of Brazil and Argentina
  2. the Amazon Rain Forest
  3. Halong Bay, near Hanoi, Vietnam
  4. Jeju Island, South Korea
  5. Komodo National Park, Indonesia
  6. Puerto Princesa Underground River, Philippines
  7. Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa
Now this list and any list should be taken with a grain of salt. There are accusations that the New7Wonders is just a marketing scam (which they deny).

I'm must more impressed by the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites:

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. Grand Canyon viewed from the South Rim in the morning and from the river in the evening.
2. Yellowstone after the first snow in the fall.
3. Mt Denali.
4. Seward bay from a small boat during the silver run.
5. Driving from death valley to hike Mt Whitney in August.
6. Sunrise from Emerald bay overlook
7.Lying on your back watching the climbers on half dome in Yosemite.
8. Kayaking Waldo lake

December 3, 2011 at 4:18 PM  

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