Saturday, December 10, 2005

World Heritage: Year In Review

2005 is drawing to a close, so I decided to update my World Heritage page with the sites I visited this year.

I made it to five more sites, starting in February, when Christina and I went to Paris. Paris itself is a World Heritage site, for a number of reasons, including the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower, both of which we toured. (Christina made it to Versailles, but I was stuck in conferences and unable to join her.)

The first three quarters of this year were busy, but not from a World Heritage perspective. In October, however, we took a vacation to San Juan, Puerto Rico, whose Spanish fortifications constitute a World Heritage site.
In November, we spent two weeks in England, which allowed us to visit two more sites -- Blenheim Palace and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. Those are the ninth and tenth UK sites I've visited -- over one third of my total sites. You'd think the US would be top of the list, but I've made about twelve visits to the UK since '93 and really enjoyed touring it. The US is a little bit harder to tour around -- and we have six fewer sites.

My final World Heritage site of the year was Mahabalipuram, which I visited during my recent trip to India. (More pictures to follow.) These approximately 1300-year-old sculptures were some of the farthest away sites I've visited, but oddly reminded me of some Mayan ruins.

I've now seen 29 sites -- less than four percent of the total. They're adding sites faster than I can see them. So unlike my Nebula project, the end is not only not in sight, it is absolutely impossible. (Until I become fabulously rich and spend several years doing nothing but globetrotting to these sites, I suppose.)

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