Monday, 25 March 2013

Piltup Corner: The Notre-Dame de la Garde

In the comments section recently, Piltup suggested Marseille's Notre-Dame de la Garde as a candidate for my Wonders list. I decided against it in the end, mostly because the church/cathedral genre of Wonders is an intensely competitive one, but he pointed me towards some photos he'd put up on the forum. I thought these, with his comments, were worth sharing here, as the Notre-Dame de la Garde is just the kind of thing I'm looking for and would very easily fit into my "Unofficial Wonders" category.

The original post can be found here (written, originally, January 29th 2013)

Last Sunday I went to Notre Dame de la Garde which is a basilica at the summit of Marseille's highest hill, the result being that it can be seen from quite far away and from many areas of the city.

Monday, 18 March 2013

New Additions To The List: Part 5 (Mini-Edition)

I recently updated my list of candidate Wonders to visit, adding two - the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, and Florence Cathedral, and removing Albi Cathedral and Derinkuyu Underground City. I considered but rejected many others, from what was a strong list, including the likes of Milan Cathedral, Castel del Monte, and Mada'in Saleh.

But a rejection is not necessarily final. I don't go in for the whole double jeopardy style of judgement, and will happily reassess a place given further evidence, or following a sustained campaign. After all, I want the best list possible, in the end.

And thus, following a very gentle campaign from Varwell, a man known for his pro-Scottish stance, I have decided to add Scotland's very own Forth Bridge to my list.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

My Microsoft-Funded Travels

To date, my Wonder hunting has involved an eight-month travel around Asia, and two separate trips to France. I'm only about 25% through: travels through the Middle East, Europe, North and South America, and a few other locations such as Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Dubai, and Ethiopia are ahead. It's not unreasonable to wonder how I can pay for all this. Well, may I present some of the funding, on behalf of Microsoft.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Burness Corner: Agra Fort

The latest in the series of snippets from the blog of my erstwhile travelling companion, Burness, as well as a short interview, on his views on a World Wonder. This time: Agra Fort.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

New Additions To The List: Part 4

My list of potential Wonders hasn't been a fixed one since I begun this mission, rather it's been a constantly evolving one, as subsequent tweaks (here, here, and here) have demonstrated. I feel that my final list is getting closer, as the majority of the existing list has now been researched and is ready for previewing, and over the course of the last few years most of the world's notable landmarks have come my way to either be added to the list or rejected as being not quite what I'm looking for. Nevertheless, I continue to be surprised by stumbling upon or being led towards striking structures that had somehow escaped my attention.

Recently, two types of structure have been capturing my interest: cathedrals, and unusual and unique buildings. Cathedrals, first of all, are perhaps the most consistently high quality of any genre of structure around. In Europe especially, they are spread liberally, and are generally magnificent. Add in churches, and I could quite easily have over a hundred churches and cathedrals alone on my Wonder list. Perhaps if someone wants to finance me over the next twenty years visiting a "1000 Potential World Wonders" then I can include them all; otherwise, I have to be discerning. Already we have the Notre-Dame de Paris, Chartres Cathedral, Amiens Cathedral, The Sacre-Coeur, Ely Cathedral, Cologne Cathedral, St Peter's Basilica, St Paul's Cathedral, St Mark's Basilica, Santa Maria della Salute, the Sagrada Familia, and the Church of St George at Lalibela, as well as locations such as the Kremlin, Mont Saint-Michel and Avignon Papal Palace where churches are intrinsic to the structure, not to mention the former church of the Hagia Sophia. The bar is set high: any new additions must at the very minimum meet or surpass these in expectation. Just being big and beautiful is not enough, they must stand out from the crowd.