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Ventana - An Enchanting Resort in BIg Sur

Summary: I love Ventana. I highly recommend visiting  and exploring the landscape at Lime Kiln and Andrew Molera State Park which I've blogged about here. Please note this is #notsponsored . Yes, that means we paid our own bill! Lots of details in the following review. including a Post Ranch vs Ventana comparison.  Can you tell there's something exciting beyond this beautiful gate? There's something special about Big Sur, a magic in the light, the presence of the Pacific, the cliffs, beaches, redwood forests and the murmur of the surf. It's one of my favorite places in California. I couldn't think of anywhere else I wanted to be to celebrate turning fifty, because it's a place where there's a sense of nature, space and light and a wide horizon. We've been to Big Sur many times and for a celebration there are two fantastic hotels vying for your attention. The exclusive, modern and very private, cliff top Post Ranch Inn and on the other side of the road the …

167 World Heritage Sites in 53 countries

Spectacular Moai on Rapa Nui (Easter Island) Chile 2009
I've been ruminating on UNESCO's World Heritage Sites and decided to work out how many of them I have visited. Yes, I know it's geeky but that's nothing new, see this post titled When Did I Become a Counter?  My current total is 167 in 53 countries which was rather more than I expected, clearly there are more of these places than I imagined! I've never thought about it  much before as we don't specifically seek out sites because they're designated. In fact, we're surprised at some  of the places that are listed. For example,  we enjoyed the mosaics at Um er-Rasas in Jordan (and wonderfully there were no other tourists there)  but it would be hard to say that  they were of, "universal cultural importance" without specialist knowledge of their historical context and importance. I guess I'll take them at their word. Obviously this sort of thing is easier to see at the pyramids! 

There is just so much variety in the sites that it's hard to know how one can even see them as a coherent category. For example, sometimes a single building is listed (such as Blenheim Palaces) and other times it's a region (The Tasmanian Wilderness) or a city (Timbuktu). There are cultural sites (Great Zimbabwe) and sites of physical beauty and importance (Ha Long Bay). Other places you'd expect to see do not appear on the list, such as the extraordinary and important Temples at Bagan in Burma. They have not been designated by UNESCO due to ongoing conflicts with the government over appropriate  restoration.

So, here's the list of all the sites we've seen, all of the photos are from trips we've taken. 
What is your favorite World Heritage site or one you'd recommend?

Sydney Opera House with the Harbor Bridge in the foreground, 2010
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
     Mostar reminds us that wars can be created between neighbors and friends, Bosnia
Iguazu Falls  from the Argentinian side, this is only a small section af all there is to see

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