Here are my personal Top 10 visits !!
This is my personal evaluation of my visits to different World Heritage Sites.
It is never easy to really evalute all the different sites you have visited, so I have based the list on that specific emotion the visit created.
No 1 - Yellowstone National Park
Some short facts from UNESCO homepage: The vast natural forest of Yellowstone National Park covers nearly 9,000 km2 ; 96% of the park lies in Wyoming, 3% in Montana and 1% in Idaho. Yellowstone
contains half of all the world's known geothermal features, with more than 10,000 examples. It also has the world's largest concentration of geysers (more than 300 geyers, or two thirds of all those on the planet). Established in 1872, Yellowstone is equally
known for its wildlife, such as grizzly bears, wolves, bison and wapitis.
No 2 - Illulisat Icefjord
One of my absolutely most memorable visits.
I first saw it when it was sunset and the day after we walked around the shorelines. The sunset was truly magical.
The Icefjord moves 1 meter per hour and you can sit and hear it cracking.
During this 1 hour the Icefjord realeses ice equvivalent to the amont of water New York city uses during 1 year !
Some short facts from UNESCO homepage: Located on the west coast of Greenland, 250 km north of the Arctic Circle, Greenland’s
Ilulissat Icefjord is the sea mouth of Sermeq Kujalleq, one of the few glaciers through which the Greenland ice cap reaches the sea. Sermeq Kujalleq is one of the fastest and most active glaciers in the world. It annually calves over 35 km3 of ice, i.e. 10%
of the production of all Greenland calf ice and more than any other glacier outside Antarctica. Studied for over 250 years, it has helped to develop our understanding of climate change and icecap glaciology. The combination of a huge ice-sheet and the dramatic
sounds of a fast-moving glacial ice-stream calving into a fjord covered by icebergs makes for a dramatic and awe-inspiring natural phenomenon.
Sunset over the icebergs !
These icebergs are roughly 60-90 meters high. Imagine how much is below the water then.
Leaving Illulisat for Kangerlusuaq with a memorable flight over the fjord.
No 3 - Grand Canyon National Park
Some short facts from UNESCO homepage: Carved out by the Colorado River, the Grand Canyon (nearly 1,500 m deep) is the most spectacular gorge in the world. Located in the state of Arizona, it cuts across the Grand Canyon
National Park. Its horizontal strata retrace the geological history of the past 2 billion years. There are also prehistoric traces of human adaptation to a particularly harsh environment.
No 4 - Skellig Michael
Some short facts from UNESCO homepage: Sceilg Mhichíl is an outstanding, and in many respects unique, example of an early religious settlement deliberately sited on a pyramidal rock in the ocean, preserved because
of a remarkable environment. It illustrates, as no other property can, the extremes of a Christian monasticism characterizing much of North Africa, the Near East, and Europe.
No 5 - St Kilda
The island at the end of the world !
It took us 2 days to get to the Outer Hebrides and then additional 4 hrs by a small boat to get here. The weather was not so nice to us but still you really felt that you were privileged to be here.
Some short facts from UNESCO homepage: This volcanic archipelago, with its spectacular landscapes, is situated off the coast of the Hebrides and comprises the islands of Hirta, Dun, Soay and Boreray. It has some of the highest cliffs in Europe,
which have large colonies of rare and endangered species of birds, especially puffins and gannets. The archipelago, uninhabited since 1930, bears the evidence of more than 2,000 years of human occupation in the extreme conditions prevalent in the Hebrides.
Human vestiges include built structures and field systems, the cleits and the traditional Highland stone houses. They feature the vulnerable remains of a subsistence economy based on the products of birds, agriculture and sheep farming.
The settlement at Village Bay
Cairn, used for storing
The most southern part of the island. Forming the Village bay to the left
The island of Boreray. Home of many cliffnesting seabirds
No 6 - Mesa Verde National Park
Some short facts from UNESCO homepage: A great concentration of ancestral Pueblo Indian dwellings, built from the 6th to the 12th century, can be found on the Mesa Verde plateau in south-west Colorado at an altitude
of more than 2,600 m. Some 4,400 sites have been recorded, including villages built on the Mesa top. There are also imposing cliff dwellings, built of stone and comprising more than 100 rooms.
No 7 - Royal Chitwan National Park
One of my really old trips. Done in 1994 when I was in Nepal for almost 3 weeks hiking, rafting and sightseeing.
I was in Chitwan National Park or just outside for 3 days and 2 nights. 1 night in cottage and 1 night in tent. During the visit
we did canoeing, elephantback and some hiking.
The most memorable excursions where made on the back of an elephant. You really came close to what you wanted to see. We didn´t see any tigers but we saw bengal monitors and jungle cats, and
if you see to statistics these are more rare than the tiger (in 1994 anyhow).
The rank nr 7 is really justified !!
Some short facts from UNESCO homepage: At the foot of the Himalayas, Chitwan is one of the few remaining undisturbed
vestiges of the 'Terai' region, which formerly extended over the foothills of India and Nepal. It has a particularly rich flora and fauna. One of the last populations of single-horned Asiatic rhinoceros lives in the park, which is also one of the last refuges
of the Bengal tiger.
Sightseeing on the back of an elephant !
Armoured Rhino (Rhinoceros unicornis)
Chital (Axis axis)
No 8 - Auschwitz Birkenau
This site really makes your emotions turned upside down.
I will not comment this more than, everyone should pay a visit here to understand what happened and hopefully learn from it.
Some short facts from UNESCO homepage: German Nazi
Concentration and Extermination Camp (1940-1945)
The fortified walls, barbed wire, platforms, barracks, gallows, gas chambers and cremation ovens show the conditions within which the Nazi genocide took place in the former concentration and extermination
camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest in the Third Reich. According to historical investigations, 1.5 million people, among them a great number of Jews, were systematically starved, tortured and murdered in this camp, the symbol of humanity's cruelty to
its fellow human beings in the 20th century.
"Arbeit macht frei"
The complex at Auschwitz
The arrival tracks at Birkenau
Some of the few buildings left at Birkenau
No 9 - The Great Wall
A really quick trip to Beijing for 3 days included a trip to the Geat Wall at Mutianyu ! This October trip turned out to be a perfect visit to the Wall with limited number of turists, autumn colours in the landscape and clear skies.
a day to remember !
Some short facts from UNESCO homepage: In c. 220 B.C., under Qin Shi Huang, sections of earlier fortifications were joined together to form a united defence system against invasions from the north. Construction continued
up to the Ming dynasty (1368–1644), when the Great Wall became the world's largest military structure. Its historic and strategic importance is matched only by its architectural significance.
A short stop on my way !
View over the Wall at Mutianyu
Autumn colours !
No 10 - Brasilia
During a business trip to Scania in Brasil I spent a weekend in the fascinating city of Brasilia.
Some short facts from UNESCO homepage: Brasilia, a capital created ex nihilo in
the centre of the country in 1956, was a landmark in the history of town planning. Urban planner Lucio Costa and architect Oscar Niemeyer intended that every element – from the layout of the residential and administrative districts (often compared to
the shape of a bird in flight) to the symmetry of the buildings themselves – should be in harmony with the city’s overall design. The official buildings, in particular, are innovative and imaginative.