Well it’s a new week, and today I’m writing about some of the world’s most special destinations – seven of them in fact – the Seven Wonders of the World. You know, I had no idea what they were! Well, okay, I knew the Pyramids were one, and also I would have guessed a few of them such as Petra, but I certainly couldn’t have given you a full list. I was watching a series on Youtube about someone visiting them all in seven days – stay tuned for more of that on Saturday coming, but by watching this series I actually learnt what the list is of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Apparently in 2007 100 million people voted to decree which were the new ‘Seven Wonders of the World’, and they decided on – the Pyramids (Egypt), Petra (Jordan), the Colosseum (Italy), The Taj Mahal (India), The Great Wall of China (not sure which country), The Statue of Christ the Redeemer (Brazil) and Chichen Itza (Mexico). Only the very last one on the list there am I yet to visit! So I felt very chuffed.
So I want to tell you about the seven that I have seen. I do wonder about the list, because frankly I would have thought that surely Angkor would be there, and probably Bagan. But they can only fit seven. They are all man-made too, I presume that was a pre-requisite? So, in order of which I’ve seen them, the six!
- The Colosseum
So, Italy’s Colosseum was the first wonder I ever visited in my life, back firstly in 1986. I was 11 and have no recollection of this whatsoever. I returned in 1999 and frankly didn’t spend very long there. Which was a mistake. I thought I didn’t even go inside but I have two lousy pictures of the place, and one is inside.
What I always remember about this structure is that, aside from the Gladiators and the lions etc who entertained the masses, they also used to flood the thing and sail boats on it. I feel I didn’t really do the place justice when I was there and if I return to Rome one day I will certainly try to check out the Colosseum properly. Built around 70AD.
- The Great Wall of China
What is it? The ‘only structure you can see from space?’ someone once said and it got quoted loads. But it isn’t true either I’m sure I heard. Well, I visited in 1986 as an 11 year old again, and this is one I do have memories of. But much more recently I visited it from Beijing in 2017. You really get blown away by its undulations and the fact that it’s held together so very well for centuries. Not to mention the fact that you stand on the wall and watch it go up and down hills in both directions forever as it seems.
The wall is really many walls which were connected, and runs at over 21,000 KILOMETRES, which when you think about it is quite insane. That’s like the east coast to the west coast of Australia more than five times over!
- The Taj Mahal
The Taj is beautiful, an almost perfect structure in Agra, India. I visited it in 1999, and was lucky enough to get in on a Friday morning, when it was free. Still, it’s worth paying for! I can’t speak for how it is now, but it seemed like the part of Agra it was in was very run down in 1999, so it certainly provided a contrast.
Marble is a beautiful stone, and this is said to be the most beautiful building ever built for love. Built in the 17th century to house the body of Shah Jahan’s wife, it stands over the river Yamuna.
- The Pyramids of Giza
I visited the Pyramids of Giza, just outside Cairo, back in 1999 and again really need to return one day. Now we are talking about structures that date back nearly 5000 years from today. Three main, large pyramids, six smaller ones but there are many more too. You really are dwarfed by these things, and of course you have the Sphinx there watching over you too.
A pretty special place, they seem to almost rise out of nowhere, but with suburbs all around them. I never got to go inside one, which I regret to this day. I would say that the Pyramids are probably the most impressive of all these wonders.
Petra is an ancient city in Jordan. It is built in and around a valley, and has been inhabited since around 7000 BC but this is not how far back most of the structures date. The region saw many influences, including the Romans in the early years of AD. The Treasury building is the most recognisable of all landmarks in Petra, and is the first site of the ancient city you get when entering via this amazing path through the mountains. It dates back to the first century AD.
But there are a number of other buildings, many rock hewn (these are the ones that have survived best) and also you can run up and down the hills for amazing views. I visited in 2009.
- Christ the Redeemer
So I guess this was the one I felt maybe didn’t deserve to be on the list. I was in Rio in 2016 and took the train up the hill to see this very large statue. The views were spectacular of the city and beaches below, and the statue itself does have something special about it. But when you consider the places that didn’t make the list, well, I think they made the wrong call on this one. Not that I didn’t love it, but hey – Macchu Picchu, Angkor, Lalibela, Cuidad Perdida… this list goes on.
Christ the Redeemer was built out of soapstone and designed by Paul Landowski. It’s 30 metres high and 28 metres wide, and was erected in 1931.
So, what do we think? How many have you been to, and are there any you think should be on the list but aren’t? And if so, which ones miss out? Please do comment! Thanks for reading today – May the Journey Never End!