May 18 2008, 05:37 AM
I am looking for people, registered on TravelPod, intrested in sharing information, photo's & experiences on all subjects related to the Unesco - World Heritage Cites in order to encourage the public awareness on World Heritage conservation.
Over the last fifteen years I have travelled to more then 85 natural and/or historical & cultural sites of the 851 cites currently inscribed on the WHList.
May 18 2008, 06:24 AM
I'm living between two UNESCO World heritage Cities: Kotor - Montenegro and Dubrovnik Ė Croatia, both 50 km away. Mostar (Bosnia and Herzegovina) is some 150 km away from my place. Those three cities was former Yugoslavia one of most popular tours.
Further 200km away, there is breathtaking Durmitor Mountain (Montenegro) with the deepest canyon in Europe (Tara Canyon), Bridge of Mehmet Pasha Sokolovic in Visegrad (Bosnia and Hercegovina)250 km. In Serbia Stari Ras and Monastery Sopocani (300 and some 450 km) and Monastery Studenica (less than 500 km).
So if you are interested for visiting this places, I will glady help with tipsínítricks, off the beaten paths or anything that will help you on those places.
May 18 2008, 08:53 AM
Thank you for your kind invitation. How coincedent, I was just reading an article on the Medieval Monuments of Kosovo ( Decani Monastery, Patriarchate of Pec Monastery, Gracanica Monastery and the Church of the Virgin of Ljevisa ) who reflects the high points of the Eastern Orthodox Byzantine-Western Romanesque eccliasiastical culture ( wall paintings, frescoes ) between the 13th and 17th century. Very nice indeed.
Last year I was investigating a autumn trip through the Balkan region in order to make a fotographic journey amongst the Orthodox - Romanesque remains. The still political unstable situation of the region ( Kosovo/Servia ) influenced me to postpone my visit to the area. What is your opinion to this matter? Will 2008 be a better period to travel?
May 18 2008, 10:17 AM
Autumn in Serbia, wooow I love it
Don't bother with political situation here. Serbia hasn't got shaking moment just from 1949 to 1991, all other periods are some kind of trouble
but people there live with that. Nowadays political situation is kind strange and hard to describe, but there is not war and donít have any problems. Kosovo declared independency during last year, but do we (Serbs) accept that, or not, Kosovo was independent since 1999. I actually donít know real situation in Kosovo, where are situated most of Monasteries that you mentioned, under strong supervision of UN and EU forces. Kosovo is heart of Serbian soul and history. If you are inshore about visiting Kosovo, I will suggest you tour trough Montenegro and Montenegrin Monasteries. You will find part of the story, because many of those monasteries were erected after 14century, when Patriarchate of Pec were moved from Kosovo to Montenegro due to Turk invasion on that part of Serbia (old name Rashka). History of Serbs are too difficult to be described in just one post, so I will suggest to find more on wikipedia.
Also, just for information, in many churches and monasteries in Orthodox Christianity, you are not allowed to take photographs of interior. Believe me, because Iím professional photographer
May 20 2008, 09:33 AM
Like I said before, you can use my blogs about Quebec City.
Jun 13 2008, 01:37 PM
Old City of Acre, Isrealhttp://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entri...331309375489318
The Los Glaciares National Park, Argentinahttp://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entri...86760/tpod.html
Iguazu National Park, Argentinahttp://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entri...48400/tpod.html
Pantanal Conservation Area, Brazilhttp://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entri...25520/tpod.html
Macchu Picchu, Peruhttp://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entri...tml#ENTRY_START
Independence Hall, Philadelphia PA, USAhttp://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entri...59460/tpod.html
Statue of Liberty, NJ USAhttp://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entri...34180/tpod.html
Jun 15 2008, 04:05 AM
without denegrating your excellent idea, i'd like to ask a question...
do you think becoming a unesco world heritage site is a double-edged sword at best?
the places i've visited (and i have to say, it isn't as comprehensive a list as yours or the laor family), seem to be overrun with tourists, surrounded by locals attempting to extract as much money as possible out of them... is this something you have noticed as the norm at these places, and do you think it causes more harm than good?
for instance, i was enchanted by luang prabang the first time i visited, but was very disappointed when i returned, mainly for the reasons cited above.
Jun 16 2008, 11:01 AM
I don't know too much about UNESCO sites either BUT I think these places are so well known in history books etc. etc. that it doesn't matter if it's got the UNESCO stamp of approval on it or not. People will go to these places no matter what.
Jun 16 2008, 11:11 AM
i wouldn't entirely disagree with that, but the numbers would be nowhere near what they are when they do become unesco sites...
...is the purpose of unesco, when they 'honour' a place of history as a heritage site, to protect that site, or to ensure as many people as possibly (preferably responsibly i'm sure they would say) visit?
Jun 16 2008, 01:01 PM
Hmmm... I see... Well I know that Quebec City has become more "plastic" since it was declared a UNESCO site. Does that qualify as protection? Did that make it better or worse? I dunno...
The Rideau Canal is now a UNESCO site too, but I don't think that will change it very much. We already have quite a plastic atmosphere around the canal, an entire commission (the NCC) created especially for upkeep of the canal and Parliament Hill etc. etc. So I'm sure a lot of these places already have similar things as we do... do these organizations help? I also don't know the answer to that either...
Jun 16 2008, 05:17 PM
Well I recently visited quite a few in Croatia/Bosnia... some were packed, some were not so, so I don't think its UNESCO per se, a lot of other factors must come into play.
Like Dubrovnik was massively busy in the day because its a major cruise ship port of call, whereas Split was virtually empty in comparison. Regarding the protection issue: Dubrovnik has been very well protected, whereas I felt the old town of Split really hadn't... maybe the quality of the protection contributes to the popularity of the place, and thats a benefit of UNESCO?
Jun 16 2008, 07:55 PM
yeah, that's my question really... i'm not dead set against unesco designation as i don't know enough about the sites to be able to say it's a universally bad thing, but i suppose i'm trying to be a devil's advocate and just raise the issue.
i would imagine that, like most things, it's an individual thing based on many circumstances. what i'm attempting to find out is whether there is a trend of designated sites losing their essence, physically deteriorating due to volume of visitors, and encouraging the byproduct of a hawker trade in the area - which creates a HUGE list of other problems with the local population.
the protection point raises another question. is it better to wrap a place in plastic to preserve it, or let it fade naturally - all things die eventually, but isn't it more dignified to let them go gracefully rather than embalm, put on show and charge ridiculous prices to walk past in a long file?
Jun 17 2008, 09:31 AM
Hmmm...yeah... it's probably best the plastic way, for the local economy etc. etc. It might not be as "authentic" but at least some people can make a living off of it.
I grew up in Niagara Falls, and let me tell you, without the protection of the Niagara Parks Commission, we would have nothing, it would be so disgusting there.
Jun 17 2008, 10:43 AM
i was there at the start of 2006, and i was gobsmacked - i thought they were in the middle of nowhere (naively), and there they sat surrounded by hotels and traders sucking the moeny of tourists... the falls themselves were fantastic, but the whole experience was diminished immensely by all the farce around them...
...btw, the canadian falls were better than the american ones...
Jun 17 2008, 12:48 PM
You thought they were in the middle of nowhere BECAUSE of the parks commission though... that strip of land with not much on it but people and grass? That would be majorly commercialized if there was no organization protecting it. You would've known all about the grossness if it wasn't for them stopping business interests from cashing in.
Jun 18 2008, 09:20 AM
I don't think a UNESCO designation does anything for tourism. Most of the places we've been to we never knew they were UNESCO sites until ... well until I looked at the site on Friday.
UNESCO designation has more to do with promotional campaigns, bragging rights, funds (of course) and the ability to yell louder when some politician scum wants to destroy an area so his nephew the developer can put up some disgusting McMansions.
Jun 18 2008, 12:29 PM
Hmmm, yeah you're probably right on that one, politicians seem to listen to Big Fancy Titles and Acronyms (BFTAs)
Jun 18 2008, 02:02 PM
So, starlagurl - how about adding a UNESCO World Heritage badge to Travelopd?
Jun 18 2008, 02:03 PM
What do you mean? Like your Local Expert badge? What would be the qualifications for that?
Jun 18 2008, 03:09 PM
QUOTE(starlagurl @ Jun 18 2008, 03:03 PM)
What do you mean? Like your Local Expert badge? What would be the qualifications for that?
No. When someone visits a UNESCO world hertige site they can somehow mark it as that and choose from a dropdown which then puts a UNESCO logo on their blog with a link to either the whole list (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list
) or an individual location (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/570
This could be a whole new feature on Travelpod maybe even start a working relationship with UNESCO.
I'm waving my consulting fees for credit to the idea.
Jun 18 2008, 03:11 PM
Ha, that is beyond my scope, but I will forward it to the developing guys.
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