I read this article – Peru pushes to make Inca city one of world wonders – and immediately thought ‘that instantly gets my vote’. I think Machu Picchu is amazing. It’s astounding. Fully intend to visit sometime in the next 5 years. But anyway.. I went to the official “New 7 Wonders” website and I’m now not sure which one I’d vote for. There’s too much wonder in the world! So, I thought I’d put forward my list of 7 (whittled down from the ‘official’ shortlist of 21).
Before I do though, in case you’re wondering (get it?) here’s the old 7 Wonders of The World: Great Pyramid of Giza, Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Temple of Artemis, Statue of Zeus at Olympia, Mausoleum of Maussollos, Colossus of Rhodes and the Lighthouse of Alexandria. (Click on the image to see them). They’re all rather good, but it’s either the Pyramid or the Temple of Artemis that does it for me. Or maybe the Lighthouse. Actually, ignore that, it has to be the Pyramid. It’s the only one I’ve seen and can vouch for it’s wonder. And it is wonderful.
Moving onwards.. here’s my ‘7 New Wonders of the World’ (in no particular order)
1. Great Pyramid of Giza
photo by sabbagh
It’s my favourite wonder of any epoch. Just the fact that it’s still standing, 4,500 years after it was built is worth a mention, but it’s everything about it that means it should be on any list of this type without a second thought. How was it built? Why with such attention to detail? What actually is it? I have no idea. But I do know it’s awesome in every sense of the word.
2. The Colosseum
photo by tony_burbage
Or, the Flavian Amphitheatre if you want to get picky. 50,000 Romans used to cram in to watch undeniably horrific things on a regular basis but did any of them ever sit back and appreciate the structure they were sitting in(?) Numbered seating, tickets, multiple entry points, a mass of underground tunnels, retractable awnings.. The blueprint for all stadiums since, not to mention an amazingly massive yet ornate building. What have the Romans ever done for us?
3. The Acropolis
photo by RobW_
I’m not sure if this counts as cheating, because nature did most of the work but I suppose the addition of the various structures separates this place from Uluru and the like. The Parthenon is obviously the crowning glory but the whole site is really worth exploring. Probably best to wait til the scaffolding has come down.. but then, that could be decades away. So ignore that.
4. Machu Picchu
photo by Matthew Clark Photography
The Lost City of the Incas which apparently wasn’t even really a city.. more of a house in the hills type of thing for nobility. It’s another one of those things that you just think “how?!”. I think that’s probably the main factor for a wonder in my eyes.. and this definitely has it. If you consider the possibility that the Incas didn’t use wheels, it just adds to the confusion. So I try not to think about that. What I do think about is how I can convince my girlfriend to think that trekking through the jungle and sleeping in tents would be a good holiday. One day.
5. Easter Island Statues (Moai)
photo by Kenny Maths
These monolithic heads (and shoulders) were possibly the first ‘wonder’ type of thing that I ever read about. I seem to remember having a book about them when I was a very wee nipper. Since then, I’d like to say I’ve grown up slightly, but my fascination for these carvings hasn’t really diminished. Some of them are immense (the largest being 10m high, weighing 75 tonnes) and there’s just so many of them (hundreds!) it’s baffling.
6. Angkor Wat
photo by Kenny Maths
I think that the whole city of Angkor looks amazing but it’s the centerpiece temple that gets all the attention. Aesthetically jaw-dropping, this temple is a glorious example of expert masonry. The whole thing is intricate and just great. Strangely, every time I see a picture of it, I cant help but think that it looks like it’d really hurt if you fell out of the sky and landed on it. Picture that for a second.
photo by webmink
The final one was quite difficult for me to choose. While I definitely knew it wouldn’t be the Statue of Liberty, or the Eiffel Tower (how are they even on the list?!?!) I was torn between a few .. But I eventually settled for this. Slightly out of blind patriotism and slightly because it’s only up the road from me, but mostly because it’s actually quite cool. Briefly, I just want to say that I don’t think that they should let nutters run all over it wailing and rubbing stones or whatever they do. We went there and had a nice cream tea on the grass a few summers ago and while it was a really nice day, it would’ve been better if the cross-legged, arms-outstretched, too-old-to-be-doing-that numpties weren’t there. Oh well. The site has such a long documented history, charting the development of the stone circles, and yet we still don’t actually know what they’re there for. Estimates reckon that construction (to get to the state that we recognise it at) would’ve taken hundreds of years which is just insane. Why so much effort? Boggling.
And there you have it. My 7 choices for the ‘New Wonders’. I still don’t know which one I’ll actually vote for but there’s a few months before the deadline (7.7.07 – very clever). Go and vote for your pick.. then tell your grandchildren that you helped come up with the list. It’ll be well impressive.