Category Archives: Inspiration

New Inscription in 2014

I know, I know, I haven’t written for a while. I was sick, we moved, we traveled and one year has passed. I’m ashamed, really and my thought now is to revive my blog, bring it back to life, put new ligt on new and old sites, tell you abou my travels to existing places and places that I visit that may or may not be on the list. Welcome back!

Here’s the list of new sites for this year and in some cases some short comments from me. Mostly personal comments. Let’s go!

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Water lilly in Okavango Delta in Botswana.

The following cultural properties have been inscribed on the World Heritage List

  • Bolgar Historical and Archaeological Complex, Russian Federation – medieval city of Bolgar is part of this site on the shores on Volga River. I’d like to go there some day. Do I dare go to Russia? I’m not sure right now.
  • Bursa and Cumalıkızık: the Birth of the Ottoman Empire, Turkey – City of Bursa, a part of Ottoman empire. Turkey has for a long time been on my want-to-go-to-list.
  • Carolingian Westwork and Civitas Corvey, Germany – Looks nice, looks tempting, maybe not impossible soon.
  • Caves of Maresha and Bet-Guvrin in the Judean Lowlands as a Microcosm of the Land of the Caves, Israel – Tempting, interesting, but as long as the political situation looks the way it does, I can only dream.
  • Decorated Cave of Pont d’Arc, known as Grotte Chauvet-Pont d’Arc, Ardèche, France – Nice caves with prehistoric art. I’m interested in ancient times, caves and ancient drawings, so yes, this sounds very interesting.
  • Erbil Citadel, Iraq – great citadel in the city of Erbil. Looks interesting, but as long as Iraq is not too stable I’m not going to travel there.
  • Historic Jeddah, the Gate to Makkah, Saudi Arabia – gate to Mekkah sounds like a very interesting place. It’s probably important to many as well. For me it will wait until the political situation in the area is more stable.
  • Monumental Earthworks of Poverty Point, USA – 19th century plantations in the Mississippi Valley in a place that has been used for over 2000 years. Interesting and yes, I want to visit it.
  • Namhansanseong, South Korea – was designed as an emergency capital for the Joson dynasty (1392–1910), in a mountainous site 25 km south-east of Seoul. Its earliest remains date from the 7th century. I’d like to visit this one as well.
  • Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir, Palestine – The Battir hill landscape comprises a series of farmed valleys, known as widian, with characteristic stone terraces, would be nice to visit, but…
  • Pergamon and its Multi-Layered Cultural Landscape, Turkey – monumental temples, theatres, stoa or porticoes, gymnasium, altar and library were set into the sloping terrain surrounded by an extensive city wall. Yes, please!
  • Precolumbian Chiefdom Settlements with Stone Spheres of the Diquís – Costa Rica – nature and archeology. Four archaeological sites located in the Diquís Delta in southern Costa Rica, which are considered unique examples of the complex social, economic and political systems. I loved Costa Rica, so I’d like to see this one as well.
  • Pyu Ancient Cities, Myanmar – Pyu Ancient Cities includes the remains of three brick, walled and moated cities of Halin, Beikthano and Sri I’d like to travel moer in Asia, so this one is very possible as well.
  • Qhapaq Ñan, Andean Road System, Argentina , Bolivia (Plurinational State of) , Chile , Colombia , Ecuador , Peru – This site is an extensive Inca communication, trade and defence network of roads covering 30,000 km. May’be I’ll travel part of them one day.
  • Rani-ki-Vav (the Queen’s Stepwell) at Patan, Gujarat, India – Rani-ki-Vav, on the banks of the Saraswati River, was initially built as a memorial to a king in the 11th century AD. Stepwells are a distinctive form of subterranean water resource and storage systems on the Indian subcontinent. I don’t know. India has always been a place I’d like to go to and something that can wait till later.
  • Shahr-i Sokhta, Iran – Shahr-i Sokhta, meaning ‘Burnt City’, is located at the junction of Bronze Age trade routes crossing the Iranian plateau. Both yes and no, I’d love to see Iran, but I’m not sure if it’s safe enough righ now.
  • Silk Roads: the Routes Network of Chang’an-Tianshan Corridor, China , Kazakhstan , Kyrgyzstan – a 5,000 km section of the extensive Silk Roads network, stretching from Chang’an/Luoyang, the central capital of China in the Han and Tang dynasties, to the Zhetysu region of Central Asia.The Silk Roads has been a dream for a long time.
  • The Grand Canal, China – The Grand Canal is a vast waterway system in the north-eastern and central-eastern plains of China, running from Beijing in the north to Zhejiang province in the south. I’ve been wanting to go to China for a long time, so why not.
  • Tomioka Silk Mill and Related Sites, Japan – a historic sericulture and silk mill complex established in 1872 in the Gunma prefecture north-west of Tokyo. Japan is also on my most-wanted-list.
  • Van Nellefabriek, Netherlands – Van Nellefabriek was designed and built in the 1920s on the banks of a canal in the Spaanse Polder industrial zone north-west of Rotterdam. Looks rezlly cool. Too bad I missed it last time we were in Holland.
  • Vineyard Landscape of Piedmont: Langhe-Roero and Monferrato, Italy – This landscape covers five distinct wine-growing areas with outstanding landscapes and the Castle of Cavour, an emblematic name both in the development of vineyards and in Italian history. Sounds really nice.

The following natural properties have been inscribed on the World Heritage List

  • Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area, India – This National Park in the western part of the Himalayan Mountains in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh is characterized by high alpine peaks, alpine meadows and riverine forests. Forget what I said about India. I’d love to see it.
  • Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary, Philippines – a mountain ridge running north-south along the Pujada Peninsula in the south-eastern part of the Eastern Mindanao Biodiversity Corridor, the Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary has an elevation range of 75–1,637 m above sea level and provides critical habitat for a range of plant and animal species. I was to Philippines ones. I loved its nature and I’d love to visit this one.
  • Okavango Delta, Botswana – This delta in north-west Botswana comprises permanent marshlands and seasonally flooded plains. It is one of the very few major interior delta systems that do not flow into a sea or ocean, with a wetland system that is almost intact.Been there, seen it, agree! And I’d love to go back!
  • Stevns Klint, Denmark – This geological site comprises a 15 km-long fossil-rich coastal cliff, offering exceptional evidence of the impact of the Chicxulub meteorite that crashed into the planet at the end of the Cretaceous, about 65 million years ago. Denmark is not too far from me, so it’s possible.

The following mixed property has been inscribed

  • Trang An Landscape Complex, Viet Nam – on the southern shore of the Red River Delta, Trang An is a spectacular landscape of limestone karst peaks permeated with valleys, some of which are submerged, and surrounded by steep, almost vertical cliffs. I loved Viet Namn when I was there and I’d love to go back.

The Committee also approved extensions for the following sites

 

Many new sites, few updated. Well, I think it’s time to travel again!

 

//Monika

 

 

 

 

 

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New inscriptions and extentions in the UNESCO’s world heritage list

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Namibian desert, Dune 45

It’s that time a year, new sites apperon the list, some old sites are updated and extended. Here you can read all about then on UNESCO’s own site. I’m excited, especially when I see some sites I’ve already visited. Some I’ve written about, some are still to come. And more travels will come, thats cool!.

Here are the new inscriptions and exrensions:

New sites

Extensions of earlier sites:

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Namibia, Fish River Canyon, not a site, yet

Political or not

There have been critical voices saying that many of the nominations and chosen sites are very much political and there are other sites that drserve more the list, but don’t matter that much politically. I might agree that some of the sites seem to have been chosen mostly of political reasons, but many are not. I hope that maybe this might be a way to keep people visiting the sites and realize hiw beautiful our world is. If the politics have to be involved to protect our world, it’s environment and peoples freedom, why not, but if the reason is making money by attracting more tourists, I’m not so sure.

Well, that’s all for now. Keep travelling and keep visiting amazing places!

//Monika

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Making Swords for the Army at Wira

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Some time ago I wrote a post about Engelsberg iron works, that is a world heritage site in the middle of Sweden. I mentioned another place in that post, namely Wira iron works, which I find as nice as the former one. So why is the former a world heritage site, but no the second one, nor the other places just like these two, that must also exist.

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Green surroundings

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Museum

Wira bruk or Wira iron works is a village and an historic iron works in Österåker, near Stockholm in Sweden. Wira bruk was founded around 1630. On the basis on a monopoly granted by a royal privilege it manufactured most of the rapiers and swords for the Swedish army into the mid 19th Century.

The royal privilege lasted until 1775, but the forge continued to supply weapons to the Swedish armed forces into the 19th Century and later manufactured civilian products, such as axes and scythes, into the mid-20th Century. Wira bruk is now a museum.

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Inside the smithy

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Inside the smithy

Sounds pretty much like Engelsberg, maybe even better, so why is only Engelsberg mentioned like special and unique? Is it because Wira is too close to Stockholm and someone wanted to spread the special places? I agree that today Engelsberg is better preserved, maybe due to the place being a wUNESCO World Heritage site. But back in the days life and work here were pretty similar.

The village looks pretty similar, they both have dark red houses where worker lived, both have a small museum, although the one at Wira is as interesting, both have an old smithy. The one at Wira is older and more destroyed by time, but you can visit it. Engelsberg have a mansion that is private and not possible to visit and Wira has iron workshop, where you can buy real iron stuf. From small hooks and can openers to larfe grills.

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Mysterious grave inside the smithy

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The water wheel

The both places are located by water and both places have water wheel. The mosquitos where larger at Engelsberg and we saw more frogs there, at least when we went there and Wira had more ducklings in the lake.  Wira have also Wira games at the end of each summer with dance, song and old music.

While being in Wira smithy we discovered an old, mysterious grave. Why is it here? Who was he? Why was he burried here and not, as others, by the church? Did he do anything wrong? It’s interesting, disturbing and I’ve been trying to find answers. Maybe one day I will find out.

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Beautiful red smithy

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In the village

I have no idea why the one is a world heritage, but not the other. I mean there is another site that contains over hundred old houses in another part of Sweden, several miles apart, so why not these?

I’ve been to Wira several times at least. It’s cute, picturesque and beautiful place. It’s perfect for a summer excursion with or without picnic and the museum is really interesting. Last time we were here we saw a family of duckling with mother duck and the previuos time we saw cows in the field behind Wira. So near city and in the nature.

//Monika

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How Green is Green? Costa Rica vs Bwindi in Uganda

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The daily prompt today is about jealousy and green eyes and the color green. The first part is not really my piece of cake, but I love green. I love the fresh color of spring grass, I love the green trees and I love green jungle with all its creatures, the tiny and the huge ones. The jealous part, well, I’ve been jealous sometimes. It’s mostly about someone else getting something that I want or going somewhere where I want to go. But life is too short to sit and be jealous. Let’s do something about it. Enjoy life, try to live it as best as you can.

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The jungle is green, so are its creatures

This post is about my trip to Costa Rica compared to my trip to Bwindi and Uganda. Green jungle in the both parts of the world. Green monsters (with black eyes living in the both jungles. Tiny creatures and huge creatures. Insects, birds, lizzards and wonderful monkeys and apes. The green world is wonderful.

My previous posts about Costa Rica are here and here, so I will not describe the trip. Let’s go for the green parts and compare to Bwindi. Are all the jungles the same? What is similar and what is not? My post about Bwindi and its gorillas is here.

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Tiny ants carying green leaves for their nest

 

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Green frog under a green leaf

Rain forest in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a green place, no questions about it. There is rain forest, plants grow on top of each other, the humidity is high and rain days many. A neighbour country, Nicaragua has desert, sand, draught. Unfair? Our guide said that it was due to Nicaragua cutting down it’s rain forest. When there is rain forest there is lots of humidity from its plants that drop down. From the water drops the clouds are created, since the air is warm, and clouds raise to the sky and fall down as rain. And so on. When you cut down the forest there is nothing to start the process, there is no homidity to drop from the trees and soon the cut down forest becomes a desert with only sun to make it worse.

Creatures of the forest

Costa Rica kept the forest and its creatures. Most of them are tiny. The biggest we saw was a crocodile. The are several types of monkeys and lizards and birds and turtles.

We saw tiny ants occupied with carying leaves. They are using them in their nests. Pretty cool sight. We saw also small green frogs under the leaves. There are also poisonous frogs, but we didn’t see them and they are not green.

There were many birds in Costa Rica, but only the tiny humingbirds were green. And fast.

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Even the tiny hummingbirds are green

Bwindi impenetrable forest in Uganda

Now let’s go to Uganda, from Latin America to Africa, from tiny creatures to bigger onces, from rain forest to impenetrable forest. And still green, still wonderful and still warm. The jungle here is dense, it’s situated high in the mountains, so the hiking is hard, very hard.

Bwindi in Uganda, or Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, is a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the few places on this planes where there are gorillas. They are not green, but black, their eyes are black as well and these are not monkeys, but apes. And huge. The silverback that we saw weights about 250 kilos. Imagine a creature like that climb trees. And they do, pretty fast.

 

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The jungle in Bwindi is green as well

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The black beast hiding in the jungle

Creatures of the forest

Other creatures of the forest are not as green and tiny as in Costa Rica either. We passed killer ants. The forest rangers told us to RUN when we encountered them. They bite hard, over and over again until they or you die. Not so nice.

There are also chimps, elefants buffaloes and other large animals in Bwindi, but we saw only gorillas. And the ants. And pretty many mosquitoes. I would say that the creatures of Bwindi are more dangerous and deadly that the onces in Costa Rica and not as green.

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Green jungle, black gorilla

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Beauty and a beast in one

What is better

I loved Costa Rica and I loved Bwindi. They are both better, both are worth visiting, both are green. Let’s say: green is better. Green is life, green is hope. Jealousy? Let’s give it another color. Green is too good.

Over and out.

//Monika

 

 

via Daily Prompt: Green-Eyed Monster.

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Planning is half the fun, skipping plans the other half

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I love planning my next trip. To put all the details in place, to plan routes, hotels, times, trains, even food, that’s a great joy. We can go there in the morning and stay here and there and look at the stars at night and eat at this great restaurant. Ok?

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Beautiful Bled in the morning sun

While planning we often sit and discuss world problems and sip a glass of wine. When the morning sunshine should arrive we usually go to bed having a great plan. The plan is also a starting point to buy flight tickets, that’s somehow important. And the planning part ends here.

My boyfriend hates plans. He doesn’t see the use of them, he thinks that it’s more fun to be spontaneous. Are we so very different? Not really. I love spontanity as well, not knowing what tomorrow brings, come up with a new idea, that’s not part of the plan and realze it the very next second.

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Happy

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The castle

And the trip finally arrives. The previously planned in every detail trip. Very usefull from the plan is flight there. Everything else is a guideline, an option that can be altered or skipped. Even the trip home, if the cat feeding person is aware of that.

Lets take a look at a trip we made few years ago to Bled in Slovenia. Just before the trip we decided to visit some friends in southern Sweden, so we almost missed the flight. Being there was planned and for how long, but that changed too. One day I realized that we could visit my friends in Ljubjana, they had some time to meet us, so we went to visit them. We did some other things not really according to the plan, like visiting Skocjan Caves, he coast and mountains. It was a fun trip, beautiful views, like a postcard.

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Enjoying Bled

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Old houses

Bled is a wonderful little town with slow pace, lots of tourists and the Alps surrounding it. Being in Bled is like just beeing, just existing. Eating typical Bled cakes or the best ice cream in the world (from several places). I’ve had better, but it’s just a feeling, right there and then.We went up to the castle (I don’t like stairs) and took the boat to the island with old church on it (I like boatrides more than stairs if there are no waves), we swam in the lake (it was fun, but cold water is really not my thing) and then we left for more adventure, according to the non-existing plan.

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Out in the field

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Castle

Bled is by the way another place that is not a UNESCO’s world heritage site, but in my eyes it sure could be.

When we got bored with Bled we took a train and went to Cracow, but that’s another story.

//Monika

Daily Prompt: Comfort Zone.

via Comfort Zone – planning is half the adventure, changing plans the other half.

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