Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Burness Corner: The Bodi Tataung Standing Buddha

After a considerable delay, Burness Corner returns, featuring the views and thoughts on the World Wonders we saw together, from my esteemed travelling companion, Burness. This time: the Bodi Tataung Standing Buddha in Monywa, Burma.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Model Wonders: Part 4

Many people say to me, "Nev, I love hearing about the world's greatest man-made structures, especially when I can see photos of you standing next to them. However, I love it even more when you buy cheap, tacky models of them and put them on your website."

To which I say, "Well, here's some more."

(For the first three in the series, click here, here, and here.)


Tuesday, 14 August 2012

New Additions To The List: Part 3

As said before, my list is not a fixed one. New suggestions arise, or new light is shone on previous landmarks I'd chosen not to add, or I quite simply hear about something for the first time; likewise, Wonders on my list, sometimes seem less appealing upon further scrutiny. Thus, I tinker a little, and add, reject, and remove places from my list, as done twice already: here and here.

Here are the current amendments.

1. Albi Cathedral, Albi, France. ACCEPTED.

Friday, 3 August 2012

The Bagan Question

23 Wonders down, and almost a year since I first began my Wonder hunting, and I have to admit that something is bothering me. That something is "The Bagan Question".

Especially observant readers may recall that during my review of Bagan I disqualified it and instead focussed on one of its major temples, Ananda Temple, as my Wonder. The crux of my argument was this:
Bagan forces me to think hard about my definition of what a Wonder is. Because everything I have described so far is a sprawling area the size of Manhattan with around 3000 brick ruins. Can that be described as a single Wonder? I would never consider Manhattan Island to be a single Wonder; instead I have selected both the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty as candidates, with Manhattan being the impressive surrounding context. But perhaps comparing a modern city to a set of ancient ruins is disingenuous. Nonetheless, I find it hard to reconcile Bagan with being a single sight - and I feel a Wonder should be a single sight. A Wonder doesn't need to be a single building, but it needs to be a relatively compact entity of associated buildings. Bagan might have been built by one kingdom, but it was built over hundreds of years by many different kings, and is a series of buildings rather than a specially designed set of buildings.
Basically, Bagan was too big, too sprawling, too diverse to be considered a single entity, a single Wonder. There being no official authority on what qualifies and what doesn't, I've had to make it up as I've gone along as to what can be considered a Wonder and what can't. Stripped back to its very basics, we can go to the dictionary for their definition (of wonder as a noun):