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New7Wonders: 5 down, 2 to go

The list of the 7 Wonders of the World is around 2000 years old. Between 2000 and 2007 there was global survey called New7Wonders that ended with a new list of 7 more modern Wonders of the World. During my travels I had the chance to visit some of them - two of which weren't even officially listed as New7Wonders at the time I was there. As of today I have visited 5 of the New7Wonders. I just recently payed a visit to the only wonder in Europe, the Colosseum in Rome. This blogpost is about my travels and pictures of these New7Wonders. I hope to finalise this list one day. What I like about this collection is that it is easy to see the improvement in my photography between 2005 and 2017 as well as the technical capability of the analogue and digital cameras used. Some of the shots from China and Peru were even shot on slide film as you can easily figure out.

Great Wall of China, People's Republic of China, 700 BC (April 2005 and April 2009)

 

I have been to China five times up until today mostly due to my former job position. I visited the People's Republic of China in 2005 for the first time together with my father and stayed for three weeks. In 2005 as well as in 2009 I payed a visit to the Great Wall of China, my first of the New7Wonders and the only one I visited more than once. There are a few touristy spots of the Great Wall easily accessible from Beijing. I was in Badaling as well as Mutianyu. During the time visiting we were the absolute minority of non Chinese guests there. Interestingly enough this is the only spot of the five wonders I don't have a picture of me being there. Therefore I put a picture of my father Hans in.

 

 

My father Hans during our visit at the Great Wall in 2005
My father Hans during our visit at the Great Wall in 2005

The iconic shot of Machu Picchu when you arrive
The iconic shot of Machu Picchu when you arrive

Machu Picchu, Peru, 1450 AD 

(October 2005) 

Machu Picchu is a 15th century Inca site in the Peruvian rain forest in the Urubamba region. During a three weeks trip with two colleagues of mine to Bolivia we spent some five days in Peru to visit Cusco and Machu Picchu. We took the train from Cusco and I got really sick during the ride to Machu Picchu due to the so called "Soroche" (altitude sickness). I mean really sick! You can easily tell that I wasn't feeling too well from my selfie down below. I spent the day basically sitting in the sun enjoying the view.

 

The Inca site is situated on a mountain top at 2400 m above sea level. It was built in the classic Inca style with polished dry-stone walls. A stunning place with some excellent views and a well-deserved New7Wonder of the World.

The look and feel when you have altitude sickness
The look and feel when you have altitude sickness

This is what you are welcomed with when you enter Petra: The famous Khazne al-Firaun
This is what you are welcomed with when you enter Petra: The famous Khazne al-Firaun

Petra, Jordan, 312 BC (February 2011)

My best friend Axel mailed me a brochure with Petra on its cover. I saw some pictures of it before but I really did not have an idea about the place. We decided to travel to Jordan in 2011 for ten days - shortly after the Arab spring started in Tunisia. During the second half of the trip we drove to Petra (the name derived from the Arabic Al-Batrā). Petra was the capital of the Arab Nabateans and built in 312 BC. The Nabateans were nomadic and made use of Petra's proximity to trade routes. The incense trade route from Oman split in Petra towards Gaza and Damascus. This position gave the Nabateans a hold over the trade along the route.

 

Petra is famous for its rock-cut architecture in sandstone and designed as a necropolis - a city for the death. It remained unknown to the western world until 1812. Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt described it as "a rose-red city half as old as time". It is interesting to see that some buildings look like they were finished yesterday and some really faced some hard winds during the centuries and look very "washed out". You can't reduce Petra to its two or three iconic spots. It is a massive place were you can easily spend days in. Compared to what I knew before about the place it is very much underrated and most probably my favorite of the New7Wonders.

 

Me at the massive Khazne al-Firaun front in Petra
Me at the massive Khazne al-Firaun front in Petra

Taj Mahal, India (February 2013) 

The Taj Mahal (meaning Crown of the Palace) is a mausoleum in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India. It is built with ivory-white marble and is beautifully situated at the Yamuna river. Emperor Shah Jahan (17th century) built it for his favorite wife Mumtaz Mahal. Construction was completed in 1643 and employed some 20.000 artisans. In 1983 it was named UNESCO world heritage site for being "the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage". Almost 8 million tourists come to visit yearly. Since 2007, it is one of the New7Wonders. I visited India with my friend Axel in February 2013. Unfortunately, we did not have luck with the weather that very early morning. Although it is a really crowded place it is still worth a visit.

My very early morning flashlight face at the Taj Mahal
My very early morning flashlight face at the Taj Mahal

Colosseum, Italy (March 2017)

As of March 2017 I have visited 5 of the New7Wonders. The only one in Europe that is by far closest to my home came last so far. We spent almost a week in Rome and before paying a visit during the day I took my tripod to enjoy some more or less quiet time in the evening.

 

The Colosseum is a Flavian Amphitheatre completed 80 AD. It is the largest amphitheater ever built. Some 50.000 to 80.000 spectators were able to watch gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions and dramas based on classical mythology. Today the Colosseum is partially ruined due to earthquakes and stone-robbers, but still an iconic architectural landmark of Imperial Rome. Check here for my Colosseum blogpost.

 

Don't ever miss a picture of yourself in front of the New7Wonders
Don't ever miss a picture of yourself in front of the New7Wonders

With the Colosseum in March 2017 I have seen 5 of the new wonders - 2 more to go. The 2 spots missing are Chichen Itza, Mexico; 600 AD, and Christ the Redeemer, Brasil; 1931 AD. I have been to Rio, but just for a stopover at the airport. Actually, I was on my way to Bolivia and Peru in 2005 to visit Machu Picchu. So these 2 missing wonders become part of my bucket list.


Camel parking in front of the Great Pyramid
Camel parking in front of the Great Pyramid

Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt, 2560 AD

And then there is the original Wonders of the World of which only the Pyramids of Giza are still in existence. I thought I add this to this list since I have been there in November 2014. You can find the whole list of the original wonders here. If you want to see more of my Egypt trip click here.

November 2014: Me in front of the Pyramids of Giza
November 2014: Me in front of the Pyramids of Giza

Which of the New7Wonders did you visit already? Comment down below!

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