Tag Archives: World Heritage Site

Pisa, The Leaning Tower

The early morning traffic din was enough to wake the dead and the weather inspection revealed a most unsatisfactory situation.  There was a bit of rain in the air and there was a mizzle that hung over the river and shrouded the buildings on the other side in a hazy mist.  I can’t remember but I expect that I complained about this, when the weather is poor I usually do.

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Salamanca and Valladolid

 

We arrived in the UNESCO World Heritage city of Salamanca just after midday, easily slipped into an underground car park and made our way into the city.  On every visit to Spain I seem to be visiting a new World Heritage Site so when I counted them up I was interested to discover that I have now been to sixteen and that is over a third of them.

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Travels in Spain – The Royal Palace of Aranjuez

Arunjuez

It is hardly surprising that with forty-three listed sites Italy has the most World Heritage Sites but for those who think of Spain as nothing more than a country of over developed costas with concrete condominiums, marinas and golf courses it might be a shock to learn that Spain has forty sites and is second highest in the exclusive list.

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Dubrovnik, Pearl of the Adriatic

Dubrovnik mostly sky

We were relieved to find that despite a gloomy weather forecast on Croatian breakfast TV the sun was shining again because there was much more of Dubrovnik yet to see so after an excellent buffet breakfast at the hotel we caught the bus once again into the city.

The streets were busy this morning and the bus quickly filled up as it crawled through the early morning traffic competing with local people going to work and a procession of taxis ferrying people from the cruise ships in the harbour making their way like us to the old town.  Even though it was early it was already heaving and we had to negotiate crowds of people as we entered the city walls for the second time.

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Croatia, Dubrovnik and a High Level Walk

Dubrovnik from above

After we left Bosnia there was still fifty kilometres to go and the worrying thing was that we were leaving the clear blue skies behind and travelling south east directly towards nasty black rain clouds.  I complained about this (several times) and was chastised for negative thinking but it really didn’t look very promising at all and my mood was in freefall.  Despite the weather the scenery was good with tall pepper grey mountains covered in lush green trees to the left, scarlet poppies dancing by the roadside, velveteen blue sea to the right and a very good view over the emerald islands.

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Portugal, Guimarães – European Capital of Culture 2012

As the first capital of Portugal, Guimarães is known as the place where the country was born – ‘The Cradle City’.  In 1095 Count Henry of Burgundy, who had married princess Teresa of León, established in Guimarães the second County of Portugal and on July 25th 1109 Afonso Henriques, son of Count Henry of Burgundy, was born here and it was where Duke Afonso Henriques proclaimed Portuguese independence from the Kingdom of León, after the Battle of São Mamede in 1128, declaring himself to be Afonso I, King of Portugal.

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World Heritage Sites

Segovia

In 1954, the government of Egypt announced that it was to build the Aswan Dam, a project that proposed to flood a valley containing priceless treasures of ancient civilizations.

Despite opposition from Egypt and Sudan, UNESCO launched a worldwide safeguarding campaign, over fifty countries contributed and the Abu Simbel and Philae temples were taken apart, moved to a higher location, and put back together piece by piece.  At last the World was collectively protecting its treasures and hopefully never again will something magnificent like the Colosseum of Rome or the Parthenon of Athens be torn down and destroyed by following generations of rebuilders.

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