Friday, 28 November 2014

Model Wonders: Part 6 (Europe Edition)

Despite the many, many requests I get, on a daily basis, from big-name magazines and academic journals, offering big money to enquire after and photograph my collection of miniature World Wonders, I always refuse. "No," I tell them, gently but firmly, "I don't want to tarnish the purity of my collection. It would be like a celebrity mother selling pictures of her baby. There are some things which should not be exploited for commercial gain. This is one."

However, for my dear reader, I am more than happy to show you the European collection of models from my recent travels. Here they are.

(please note: I would also be more than happy to exploit this for commercial gain if any big-money magazines really are interested. Likewise, a baby, should I acquire one.)

Palace of Versailles

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Burness Corner: The Forbidden City

My erstwhile travel companion from September 2011 to April 2012 gives his views upon the Wonders we visited. Today, Beijing's Forbidden City.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Unofficial Wonders Part 3: Europe

There's more to life than just official Wonders - there are unofficial ones too. I encountered a load of them on my recent travels, as recently highlighted, and so here are some more. Unscheduled and unresearched, they all stopped in me in my tracks in the way that a busy father, possibly with a freshly-made gin-and-tonic in hand, might stop suddenly upon seeing his children playing happily in the garden and think, "Yeah, things are pretty good." Does that imply that I secretly regard myself as the father of all monumental construction and that the world is my garden? Hmm, no, I didn't mean that. I'll take the gin-and-tonic, though.

These are all from Europe and are just the examples I happened to jump into a photograph with. There could have been many more - Italy alone is so stuffed with castles and cathedrals and medieval towers that if it were a pepper, then it would be, well, really too stuffed for its own good. Yet, what a tasty pepper.

Temple of Olympian Zeus, Greece

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Burness Corner: Ellora Caves/Kailasanathar Temple in Ellora

It has been over a year since my last Guest Corner, and over 18 months since my erstwhile travel companion, Burness, gave any of his views. Burness travelled with me through Asia, from September 2011 to April 2012, visiting 14 countries and 22 candidate Wonders. He initially showed some enthusiasm for writing up his own opinions and submitting to my short interviews, but this eventually waned. However, after numerous gentle reminders, I have managed to get a few more interviews from him. Today we have the Ellora Caves of India, with particular focus on its main temple, Kailash Temple, also called Kailasanathar.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Model Wonders: Part 5 (Americas Edition)

It may have been a dream (I can never quite tell), but just the other day I was ambling down the street when a group of youth stopped me. "Nev," they said as one, "It goes without saying that we closely follow your visits to prospective World Wonders, and have enjoyed your recent visits to the Americas and Europe. However, we recall you used to buy models of your Wonders, as we saw originally here, then here, then here, and finally (but still over two years ago) here. Do you still do such a thing, and if so, will you be making an update on your purchases over the last year?"

"Thank-you for your kind words and enquiries," I responded, after a moment's consideration. "I have indeed been buying models of all my Wonders, plus a few other ones too. Look, here they are:"

Machu Picchu

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Unofficial Wonders Part 2: The Americas

There are 105 candidate Wonders on my list, but they are not the be-all and end-all: I don't think they are the best 105 structures and sites out there. They just constitute my shortlist to filter down to an eventual top Seven. It's not uncommon when I'm Wonder hunting to encounter something off-list. Some of these I already know about, some are a surprise, but I feel they deserve at least an honorary mention.

I call these Unofficial Wonders and there surely hundreds, if not a lot more, out there.