Friday, December 31, 2010

World Heritage: 2010 in Review


Last year, I said
"I don't anticipate a big haul next year, but one conference near an iconic World Heritage Site (on the level of Stonehenge) intrigues me. Stay tuned..."
Well, the conference originally was supposed to be near the Pyramids, then got moved thousands of miles away. To top it off, it didn't look interesting enough to go, and it was too close to the boys' birth for me to travel.

So the lack of a big haul was prescient. My two trips out of the country, to Montreal and Singapore, were not sufficiently close to the locations of any World Heritage Site. So I didn't visit any new sites this year.

But that doesn't leave me empty handed. On further review, the inscription of Jeju Volcanic Island and Lava Tubes in 2007 appears more interesting. It consists of three sites: Geomunoreum, Seongsan and Mount Halla. Digging through my photos from my first trip to Jeju, in 2001, turns up one labeled, "Me, on top of Sunrise Peak". A little searching leads me to the discovery that "Sunrise Peak" is the English name for Seongsan.

With the new sites inscribed this past summer (none of which I've visited), my total is now 47 out of 911, or 5.2%. It's a rounding error away from last year's percentage (which should have included Jeju, but didn't).

What does 2011 hold? The most promising item is a return trip to Korea, where two World Heritage sites look to be within public transportation of the conference site.  There's also the possibility of picking up one in Hungary, if a conference there turns out to be worth the trip.

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