In 2007, a new list of ‘world wonders’ was compiled by public vote. Now officially known as the ‘New Seven Wonders of the World’, they replace the wondrous structures originally listed by the ancient Greeks, of which only one, the Great Pyramid of Egypt, remains today.
The Great Wall of China is famously known as the only man-made object visible from space. Built in 220 BC and 1368 to 1644 AD, it linked together existing fortifications and its purpose was to prevent Mongol tribes from invading China. Today, less than 30% of the wall remains in good condition, but visitors can enjoy a day trip to one of the many sections of interest or undertake a hiking trip of several days traversing the longer sections.
Machu Picchu, which translates as ‘old mountain’, is a 15th century (1460 to 1470 AD) settlement built ‘in the clouds’ at 2,430 metres above sea level on the side of Machu Picchu mountain in Peru. It was abandoned by the Incas, the exact reason why still remains open to debate, and became a ‘lost city’ for over three hundred years. It was rediscovered in 1911 by Hiram Bingham, an American explorer. Today, visitors can get there by walking the Inca Trail, a four-day trek on average, or by taking the train, a journey of about 90 minutes.
Built in 1630 AD as a mausoleum to honour the memory of the wife of the fifth Muslim Mongol emperor, Shah Jahan, the white marble Taj Mahal is considered to be a perfect example of Muslim art in India. Visitors can learn about the history of the building, with an inexpensive audio tour available in five languages.
Built in the centre of Rome as a celebration of all things Roman and the glory of the Roman Empire in general, the design of the Roman Colosseum (70 to 82 AD) is one that is still used today in the building of modern sports arenas all around the world. Although now in ruins, it is still possible to get a sense of the amphitheatre experience, and to imagine yourself as one of the 55,000 spectators who would have been entertained there.
Perhaps one of the world’s most recognisable monuments, the statue of Jesus, officially titled Christ Redeemer, stands 38 metres tall and looks over Rio de Janeiro from the Corcovado mountain. It was finally completed in 1931 after five years of building and it has since become a symbol of the welcoming warmth of the Brazilian people themselves.
On the edge of the Arabian Desert, Petra (9 BC to 40 AD) provides an impressive example of Middle Eastern culture. As the capital of the Nabataean empire, visitors to Petra today can see the remaining tunnel constructions and water chambers that demonstrate why the Nabataean people earned a reputation as ‘masters of water technology’.
The pyramid at Chichén Itzá, built before 800 AD, was the last Mayan temple to be built in the political and economic centre of the Mayan civilization. Structures such as the pyramid of Kukulkan, the Temple of Chac Mool, the Hall of the Thousand Pillars and the Playing Field of the Prisoners can all still be seen today.
If it is your dream to see all of the Seven Wonders, it is clearly going to take some planning, as you will be travelling to China, Peru, India, Italy, Brazil, Jordan, and Mexico. As this is not something you can do over a weekend, the first thing you must do is work out how much holiday time you have aavailable. If you have a realistic amount of time, you could choose to make a ‘round-the-Wonders’ trip out of it, but you could also devise a longer term plan, maybe choosing one or two Wonders to visit each year.
The next thing you must do is research the best time of year to travel to each destination. For example, the best time to visit Petra is early in the year, from January to May, as these are the coolest months. If you intend to walk the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, the best months are May and June, as they are in the dry season. The summer months can be uncomfortably hot in India, so a visit to the Taj Mahal is best planned between October and March. The coolest months of May through to October are the low season months in Rio de Janeiro and, although you may get rained on, the cost of your trip can be lowered significantly. Interestingly, August is the peak month for tourism in Rome, but it’s also the month in which most locals ‘escape’ the city. This means that the spring or autumn months are best if you’re hoping for a truly authentic Italian experience.
The next consideration is the order in which you wish to visit the Wonders. In the case of Machu Picchu, there are restrictions on the number of people who can travel and camp on the Inca Trail at any one time, so, if you intend to join an organised trip, booking a long way in advance becomes essential to secure a place. The accessibility of each location will also have a bearing on the amount of time needed to make the most of your trip. For example, you can fly directly to Rio de Janeiro and go straight to the statue of Christ Redeemer on the day you arrive, but you can’t fly directly to Petra, so additional transportation times must be factored into your overall holiday schedule.
Once you know where you want to go, when you want to go, and how long you want to go for, all that’s left to do is to book your ticket and make any other you travel arrangements needed, such as accommodation if you’re travelling independently. The more information you have about where you’re going before you go, the more enjoyable your trip is likely to be. So, read up on your destination on the eGuide Travel website and learn from the experiences of those who have been there, done that, and got the t-shirt before you!
Write a Comment
Like this? Share it with your friends
You can be the first to write a comment.