Worldly Vistas: Impenetrable Forest

 

Bwinidi Forest, Uganda photographed by Ann-Rhea S. FitchBwindi
Photographed in Uganda

 Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is appropriately named! The bamboo and thick ground cover of ferns, vines, and other plant growth severely hinder direct access on foot. No matter. It was worth the challenge since half of the world’s endangered mountain gorillas live here.

The forest has been recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization as a World Heritage Site for its biological significance.


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Worldly Vistas: Venice of the East

 

Suzhou, China photographed by Ann-Rhea S. FitchSuzhou
Photographed in China

Founded in 514 BC, Suzhou is located on the lower reaches of the Yangtze River and only 61 miles from Shanghai. It remains a major  economic center and has a growing population of over 5 million people! Yet, what makes it so interesting to me are the city’s canals, stone bridges, pagodas, and  gardens.

The Classical Gardens of Suzhou are on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.


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Worldy Vistas: Agra Fort

Fort Agra, India

Agra Fort
Photographed in India

A historical fort in the city of Agra, it was the main residence of the emperors of the Mughal Dynasty until 1638, when the capital was shifted from Agra to Delhi.

Shah Jahan built the beautiful Taj Mahal in the memory of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. At the end of his life, Shah Jahan was deposed and restrained by his son, Aurangzeb, in the fort. It is rumored that he died in one of its towers that had a view of the Taj Mahal.

The Agra fort is a UNESCO World Heritage site.


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Worldly Vistas: Dubrovnik

City Wall, Dubrovnik, CroatiaCity Walls, Dubrovnik
Photographed in Croatia

The walls of Dubrovnik are a series of defensive stone walls whose construction began in the 7th century. The bulk of the existing walls and fortifications were constructed during the 14th and 15th centuries, but were continually extended and strengthened up until the 17th century.

The walls run an uninterrupted course of approximately 6,360 ft in length, encircling most of the old city, and reach a maximum height of about 25 82 ft.

This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.



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Worldly Vistas: Tallinn

Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn
Photographed in Estonia

Located on the Baltic Sea, Estonia’s capital retains its walled and cobblestoned Old Town. From up on the hill, it looks like a fairytale town, with its 15th century towers standing guard. At ground level, there are quaint streets with cafes, shops, old churches and the Gothic town hall.

Tallinn is the oldest capital on the Baltic. And, although part of the former USSR, it maintained its unique heritage. The Old Town is a UNESCO-protected site.


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Worldy Vistas: Macau

Macau - Chinese special administrative region

Centre of Macau
Photographed in Macau, China

Here is another beautiful place inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, the center of Macau is a beautiful collection of streetscapes, churches and temples. It assimilates both the Chinese and Portuguese cultures that make Macau unique.

Although Macau is best known as a gaming playground, it is also a culturally interesting place to visit.


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Worldly Vistas: Kinabalu

Early morning in Kinabalu Park, Borneo

Early Morning in Kinabalu Park
Photographed in Borneo

Located in the State of Sabah on the northern end of Borneo, Malaysia, Kinabalu Park is dominated by Mount Kinabalu (more than 13,400 feet), the highest mountain between the Himalayas and New Guinea. It has a very wide range of habitats changing at various elevations.

Kinabalu Park has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Centre of Plant Diversity for Southeast Asia. Maybe these interesting trees are but an example of why!


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Worldly Vistas: Temple Ruins

Ta Prohm, Cambodia

Ta Prohm
Photographed in Cambodia

Ta Prohm was built in the Bayon style largely in the late 12th and early 13th centuries. and is a templae at Angkor in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

After the fall of the Khmer Empire in the 15th century, the temple was abandoned and neglected for centuries. In the early 21st century, when an effort to conserve and restore the temples of Angkor began, the École Française d’Extrême-Orient decided that Ta Prohm would be left largely as it had been found. But as of 2013, Archaeological Survey of India had restored large parts of the temple complex, mostly to protect the fragile ruins from the huge influx of tourists.

The trees that grow out of the ruins are perhaps its most distinctive feature. UNESCO inscribed Ta Prohm on the World Heritage List in 1992.


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Europe: Cat on a roof

Cat on the Roof, Riga

Riga “Kitty”
Photographed in Latvia

Riga is a lovely city and has some fascinating touches, including many rooftop cats! The historical center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, noted for its Art Nouveau/Jugendstil architecture and 19th century wooden architecture.

In the area? It’s worth a stopover to spend a day exploring this beautiful place.


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Asia: Treasury First View

Petra, Jordan

Petra
Photographed in Jordan

Petra is famous for its rock-cut architecture and water conduit system.  It was established possibly as early as 312 BC as the capital city of the Arab Nabataeans. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985.

I took this photo as we came to the end of the Siq (the narrow passage that leads into Petra) and it is the first view of what lays ahead!


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