Of the new sites, which ones would I like to visit?
- Rock Islands Southern Lagoon: I'm always up for a coral reef.
- Rio de Janeiro: Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea: I'd love to visit there with Christina and see some of the places she remembers from living there in the 80s. And I'd love to see the Christ the Redeemer statue in person.
- Site of Xanadu: I don't know which would be harder to get out of my head, the Coleridge poem, or the Newton-John song.
- Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem: This seems like a fairly iconic destination. Even if it doesn't live up to the hype, it's worth seeing to know whether it is as interesting as it sounds.
For the past week or two, I've been recording a 5-minute program called "World Heritage Wonders," which is produced by NHK, the Japanese broadcaster. The first few I saw were about the Shiretoko Peninsula, and I was afraid they'd all be about the same place -- it almost seemed ike a travel ad. (But did make me want to visit.) But then they moved on to the
Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama, so I wondered whether all of them would be in Japan. The next one, though, was about the Taj Mahal, and most recently I've seen one on the Jongmyo Shrine, which I visited last year. Now I'm wondering whether they'll visit sites outside Asia. Either way, it's enjoyable, and the 5-minute time span is about right for me these days.