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Category: World Heritage

Around Porto

Around Porto

I frequently end my retrospectives of travel visits with a variation of “didn’t do it justice, need to come back”. There may be a dozen major destinations in Europe that I can claim great familiarity with, but most of the places are usually given a relatively brief look-over. Who is…

Belize Reef Islands (and WHS #171)

Belize Reef Islands (and WHS #171)

One of the gorgeous days while in Hopkins, we went on an “island hopping” expedition to visit several cayes that are strung along the Belize Barrier Reef. Some of these tiny islands are nothing but greenery atop sandy banks, while others are built up with resorts and even have small…

Chasing World Heritage: #170 (Tikal)

Chasing World Heritage: #170 (Tikal)

Tikal is one of the most important monuments left behind by the Mayan civilization. The history of the huge – in the context of times – city spans over fifteen centuries, reaching its apex between 200 and 900 CE before rapidly declining at the beginning of the 10th century. It…

Chasing World Heritage: #169, part 1 (Bursa)

Chasing World Heritage: #169, part 1 (Bursa)

Before the Ottomans captured Constantinople in 1453 and made the newly renamed Istanbul their capital, the seat of the Ottoman Empire for over a century was in Bursa, where a succession of sultans developed the city around several commercial and religious focal points. Here is the perspective from my hotel…

Instanbul: More from Fatih

Instanbul: Fatih beyond Sultanahmet

The Golden Horn – the estuary of the Bosporus – divides the European side of Istanbul into what is historically known as “the old city” and “the new city”. The former is officially called “Fatih” and extends beyond the Sultanahmet area that we explored before. This set looks at a…

Istanbul: Sultanahmet, Topkapi, Cistern

Istanbul: Sultanahmet, Topkapi, Cistern

As my very first – and very short – trip to Istanbul perfectly illustrated, you can claim reasonable familiarity with the main sights of Istanbul by spending just a few hours in or around the Sultanahmet area. There is a high concentration of prime points of interest in Sultanahmet, which…

WH chase: Another fragment of Antonine’s Wall

WH chase: Another fragment of Antonine’s Wall

I already mark the Frontiers of the Roman Empire World Heritage Site as visited (#74 on my list) on the strength of the brief stop in 2015. Considering that the inscription lists 414 locations, a passing look at a single one clearly stretches the definition of “visited”. Improvements are welcome.…

Edinburgh, again

Edinburgh, again

On my third visit to Edinburgh, a full day exploring the wonderful city center was the least I had to set aside, including several landmark visits and a large walkabout circuit. The skies were dreary in the morning, turned cloudy blue for a short time midday, and then reverted to…

Chasing World Heritage: #167 (Neolithic Orkney)

Chasing World Heritage: #167 (Neolithic Orkney)

While in Orkney on the recent trip, we mixed a history-seeking outing into our scotch-centric itinerary. A group of monuments known as the “Heart of Neolithic Orkney” offers a remarkable record of life on this remote archipelago that dates back 5,000 years. Of the four locations, two can be visited…

Chasing World Heritage: #165 (Panama City)

Chasing World Heritage: #165 (Panama City)

The World Heritage site in Panama City, inscribed for being the oldest continuously occupied European settlement on the Pacific coast of the Americas, comprises two components. Both somewhat confusingly have the moniker “old” in their names. Casco Viejo (or Casco Antiguo) is the historic heart of the city but is…

Nice, as a city on the Riviera

Nice, as in “a city on the Riviera”

The capital of the French Riviera may enjoy continuous fame as “the playground for the rich”, but it is in essence a big city with big-city attractions. Certainly, there are plenty of visual highlights to be found in town, and yet its cultural offerings – museums, theaters, varied cuisine –…

Chasing World Heritage: #164 (Bet Guvrin)

Chasing World Heritage: #164 (Bet Guvrin)

Israel has ten World Heritage sites – and on my first trip a few years ago, I visited nine of them. The tenth – Bet Guvrin-Maresha National Park, inscribed on the list for its fairly unique conglomeration of distinct-purpose cave complexes – was on the itinerary back then as well,…

A few from Jerusalem

A few from Jerusalem

This is far from a tremendous addition to my Jerusalem portfolio first started in this post. There are several overlapping reasons for the paucity of my photographic output on this recent visit. I will not bore you with them. A few reasonably good shots are in here somewhere. The doors…

Chasing World Heritage: #163 (Padua Frescoes)

Chasing World Heritage: #163 (Padua Frescoes)

On my only past visit to Padua some years ago, I focused on at the time its only World Heritage property, the botanical garden. In 2021, Padua acquired another World Heritage designation, an eight-part site exhibiting 14th-century frescoes that revolutionized the art of mural painting. The town is less than…

Around Venice Lagoon

Around Venice Lagoon

Every guidebook to Venice out there mentions three lagoon islands – usually sequenced as Murano, then Burano, then Torcello – as fairly unmissable targets on a Venetian itinerary. I hold a potentially unpopular opinion that only Burano rises to a must, while the other two are more of a special-interest…

Around Venice (cont. cont.)

Around Venice (cont. cont.)

In a true walkabout manner, let’s start this set with assorted canal views, the majority of which represent sestiero of Dorsoduro. And a few façade close-ups. That last one above is the standout neo-Gothic house known as La Casa dei Tre Oci, the Three-Eyed House, located on Giudecca. The three…

Around Venice (cont.)

Around Venice (cont.)

Let’s continue our wanderings around La Serenissima. Starting with yet another elevated viewpoint – the top landing of Scala Contarini del Bovolo. It is not as high as some of the other platforms we already visited. Nonetheless, it offers excellent perspectives toward major landmarks. Close proximity of rooflines provides a…

Around Venice

Around Venice

I walked a lot in Venice. (And occasionally took the vaporetto.) The map of the city on my phone contained well over a hundred various points of interest – museums, churches, squares, bridges, etc. – and every day I followed a route that loosely led me from one to another.…