Choosing Between the Ancient, Modern and Natural Wonders of the World

For my Liebster Award win a couple of weeks ago I had to answer some questions, and number 7 was “If you could only see one set of Wonders (Ancient, Modern and Natural), which would you choose and why?”

The question was much more complicated than it first seemed, and required a bit more analysis, so I decided to give a quick answer on my Liebster Award win page and go into a bit more depth here. Enjoy!

The view over the Grand Canyon

Firstly, what are the wonders? The question posed by Emma asked about the Ancient, the Modern and the Natural Wonders of the World. I’ve listed them below, along with a few of my thoughts about each place.

ANCIENT WONDERS

  • Great Pyramid of Giza.
  • Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
  • Statue of Zeus at Olympia.
  • Temple of Artemis.
  • Mausoleum at Halicarnassus.
  • Colossus of Rhodes.
  • Lighthouse of Alexandria.

Only the Great Pyramid of Giza is still in existence as the rest have all been destroyed, which is a shame as the descriptions of them all sound fantastic. At school I learnt all about the Egyptians and how and why the pyramids were built, so I do hope one day to be able to get to Egypt and see them, however the current troubles in the area means it won’t be any time soon.




MODERN WONDERS

  • Chichén Itza, Mexico.
  • Machu Picchu, Peru.
  • Petra, Jordan.
  • Great Wall of China.
  • Colosseum, Italy.
  • Taj Mahal, India.
  • Christ the Redeemer Statue, Brazil.

This list was compiled by New7Wonders in 2011, and was created to give us some Wonders of the World that we are able to visit.

Chichén Itza was one of the largest Maya cities, and features distinctive stepped pyramids. The Maya people have always fascinated me as they were so advanced such a long time ago. Today we are used to globally shared ideas, but why did pyramids get built in both Egypt and Mexico? Such similar thought processes from such far away places. I hope one day to spend time in Mexico thoroughly exploring the region and the history of its people, as well as including a visit to this wonder.

Machu Picchu is somewhere I am desperate to get to.  As with Chichén Itza, I am fascinated by ancient civilisations, and the remote Inca citadel is somewhere I would love to explore. A trek is involved to access it and I would also really like that challenge.

I first remember seeing Petra during Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, but I assumed it was a movie set. When I realised it wasn’t it went straight on to my must see list. Petra is a city carved out of rock, which is such a difficult concept to imagine. Not built out of rock. Carved. I need to go!

The Great Wall of China is not something I need to see all of (at over 13,000 miles long that would take quite a while!), but it is something I would definitely like to see a part of. China also has pandas and the Terracotta Army, so I will be making a trip over there at some point I am sure.

Alongside learning all about the Egyptians in school, I also learned a lot about the Romans. I spent a lot of my childhood in York, a Roman city that still has its original wall, so the Colosseum and Rome as a whole is somewhere I have wanted to go for a long time. 2017 is the year I will get my chance as I am travelling to Italy in September, so I can tick one modern wonder off my list!

The final two on this list are places I would of course like to be able to say I have been to, but they aren’t places I will go out of my way to visit.

India is somewhere that doesn’t appeal to me to visit (please respond below if you think I should!), and a giant mausoleum isn’t somewhere that I would be desperate to see. I am sure the Taj Mahal is impressive, but it’ll have to wait.

Brazil is the birth place of my favourite racing drivers (Felipe Massa and Tony Kanaan), but the contrast between the rich and the poor in the shanty towns is something that makes me a bit nervous. If I were to go to Brazil is would be to explore the culture in Rio and Sao Paulo, as well as go to Curitiba (because I once did a Geography project on the city). While there I am sure I would see Christ the Redeemer up close, but unlike Chichén Itza, Machu Picchu and Petra, I wouldn’t go solely to see it.

NATURAL WONDERS

  • Grand Canyon in Arizona, USA.
  • Northern Lights.
  • Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
  • Victoria Falls in Zambia/Zimbabwe.
  • Mount Everest in Nepal.
  • Paricutin volcano in Mexico.
  • Harbour of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

I am a big fan of the natural world and Geography was one of my favourite subjects at school. The world is filled with some many stunning natural wonders, and condensing them all into just seven seems harsh (what about Yosemite? Niagara Falls? Uluru? Yorkshire?). This list, like the previous, was compiled by New7Wonders, and certainly provides a great starting point of natural places to see.

This list contains the only place of the 21 on this post that I have been fortunate enough to visit; the Grand Canyon. This was a place I really wanted to see, and last year I joined a Topdeck tour that included a visit to this Natural Wonder. Nothing could have prepared me for the scale of the place though. The part I saw was 18 miles across, and such a distance is really difficult to comprehend; it almost looked like a 2D painting someone had put just out of my reach. As part of my trip I also had a helicopter tour over the canyon which helped me more appreciate its scale and its impact on the planet.

The Northern Lights are a phenomenon I would love to be able to witness firsthand, and I wouldn’t have to travel far to see them as in the right conditions they can be seen in Scotland. Maybe in the winter?

At some point I hope to get to Australia and part of that trip would have to include a visit to The Great Barrier Reef. Unfortunately I’m not great at swimming, so I would need to figure out a way to actually see it, but I’m sure I would figure something out!

Victoria Falls is also somewhere I would go see if I was visiting the area. I was fortunate to see Niagara Falls in 2007, as well as more waterfalls than I could possibly count in Iceland in 2008, so I am sure Victoria Falls would be spectacular to witness. There was also a rumour that my Grandad had flown over it when training for the RAF during WWII, so it would be nice to see something he had seen.

There’s also a rumour that he flew around Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world… Climbing mountains has never been something that has appealed to me, especially after completing the Shine marathon last year in absolute agony (the marathon is a 26 mile walk round London for Cancer Research at night), but I’m sure seeing Everest would be impressive.

In Iceland I was able to walk up a little volcano, so I think that’s my luck used up for volcanoes, sorry Paricutin. Volcanoes absolutely terrify me, so ideally I would like to stay as far away from them as possible! Hopefully I will get to visit Pompeii in September, a lesson in the power of volcanoes…

The final place on the list is the Harbour of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. The harbour was created by erosion from the Atlantic, but being mostly water its impact is far less than the Grand Canyon which was eroded by water vertically down. As with Christ the Redeemer, if I get to Rio I would like to take in all its sights, but Rio isn’t high on my ‘to visit’ list.

So, If I could only Choose One set..?

It would have to be the Modern Wonders.

I have a strong love of Geography, and I love seeing the natural places of the world, but I have seen mountains, volcanoes and harbours in many other places, so I’m not sure what makes these three worth my travelling to.

The Modern Wonders however amaze me as humans made them, in times when technology isn’t what it is today. Even today they would be quite difficult to create which makes them all the more impressive. I get to see my first later this year, and hopefully the rest will follow very soon!


Which would you choose? Leave me a comment below with your thoughts – I would love to hear them!

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