Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The "Seven Wonders" Parlor Game

With six of the original Seven Wonders of the World no loner standing, a group called New7Wonders is sponsoring a poll to pick seven new wonders of the world. They've narrowed things down to a list of 21:
  • Acropolis, Athens, Greece
  • Alhambra, Granada, Spain
  • Angkor Wat temple, Cambodia
  • Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico
  • Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Colosseum, Rome
  • Easter Island Statues, Chile
  • Eiffel Tower, Paris
  • Great Wall, China
  • Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey
  • Kiyomizu Temple, Kyoto, Japan
  • Kremlin/St.Basil's, Moscow
  • Machu Picchu, Peru
  • Neuschwanstein Castle, Fussen, Germany
  • Petra ancient city, Jordan
  • Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
  • Statue of Liberty, New York
  • Stonehenge, Amesbury, United Kingdom
  • Sydney Opera House, Australia
  • Taj Mahal, Agra, India
  • Timbuktu city, Mali
The only one of those sites that I've visited is the Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto. It's quite nice, but I'd pick the Todaiji Temple in Nara with its giant Buddha over the Kiyomizu. The rest all sound like fascinating places, but personally if I had to pick seven from the list, I'd definitely go with the Pyramids at Giza and the Great Wall of China, and then for the next five, probably Angkor Wat, Chichen Itza, Easter Island, the Eiffel Tower, and Machu Picchu. Maybe the Taj Mahal over one of the other sites.

What do some of the rest of you who may have seen more of these in person think? What would you add to the list? Wikipedia has some other wonder lists people have compiled.

One good source for ideas is the much larger list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites; I've visited three in Japan, one in Mexico, and nine in the United States (including Puerto Rico). A couple of those weren't really "full" visits, just brief drive-throughs and such.

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