The Universe. Some scratches of Beryllium. Diving. The Navel of the Galaxies. Maybe god. Maybe the void. Maybe you. Maybe it's just cryptical

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Newer Mysteries

Planet: Earth
Mood: Active
Song: Building a Mystery * Sarah McLachlan

Since my wonderful friend Manuel will be visiting Peru – one of my premium travel destinations – in a couple of days, I thought I'd write this entry.

The 7 Wonders of the World… A mystery within many mysteries...
6 of them have long been forgotten, since they are no longer in place (the Hanging Gardens of Semiramis in Babylon, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, the Colossus of Rhodes and the Pharos lighthouse of Alexandria). Only one is surviving, the Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt - in photo.

But this coming July, a brand new range of Wonders will be unveiled in Lisbon, Portugal. The candidates for the new 'Wonder 7' include many top tourist spots, such as France's Eiffel Tower of France, USA's Statue of Liberty and Australia's Sydney Opera House (In picture).
I bet those will end up winning the cake prize.

Yet the true ones, for me, are the forgotten ones … While the ones mentioned above are at a crossroad between the newly architectural designs and vacant beauty, I tend to prefer the old-fashioned ones, holding some sort of mystery. Here's a quick look at some of the list's nominees (and some travels tips for you!)

There are the Eastern-flavored ones like Japan's splendid Kiyomizu Temple (built in 798 A.D. - in photo), and the China's Great Wall (the longest man-made structure is also the only visible structure from the Moon), as well as the enigmatic temple of Angkor Vat, symbol of the Khmer Empire in Cambodia.

Moving West, we'll find India's Taj Mahal (built by a Mogul Emperor to his deceased wife), the Cathedral of Hagia Sofia in Turkey (which later became a mosque under the Ottoman Empire), and Jordan's Petra (a city carved in a rock - in photo).

Of course, the three Great early civilizations are all here. The Egyptians are represented with the Pyramids of Giza, the Greeks with their Acropolis (in photo), and the Romans with their Coliseum.

Europe has another share with the earliest dolmens of Europe in Stonehenge (UK - in photo), the Alhambra Palace (Spain), the Neuschwanstein Castle (Germany) and Saint Basil's Cathedral (Russia).

Africa is solely represented with the dual mosques of Timbuktu (Mali) – if you don't count the Egyptian Pyramids.

The most fascinating ones however reside in Latin and South America. Fabulous monuments – which are actually my three favorites – are located there, like Mexico's inscrutable Chichen Itza pyramid (in photo), Peru's land-like Machu Picchu and Easter Island's gigantic statues. A Statue of another kind – the Christ Redeemer Statue in Brazil – wraps the 21-site selection.

If you made your choice, you can vote online through this link:



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