New Seven Wonders

When we were in India, there was a bit of a buzz about the New Seven Wonders project, I don't know if it was reported in the UK. The project seeks to find a near consensus for a new 7 wonders of the world. Of the seven wonders of the ancient world only the great pyramid survives.

The project recently announced a short list, with some predictable and some surprising (to me) choices.

They are the Acropolis in Athens, Alhambra in Granada, Spain, Angkor in Cambodia, Chichen Itza in Mexico, Christ Redeemer in Rio, the Colosseum in Rome, The Easter Island Statues, The Eiffel Tower in Paris, The Great Wall in China, Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey, Kiyomizu Temple in Tokyo, Japan, The Kremlin/St. Basil in Moscow, Macchu Picchu in Peru, Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany, Petra in Jordan, The Pyramids at Giza, The Statue of Liberty in New York, Stonehenge in England, The Sydney Opera House in Australia, The Taj Mahal in Agra, India, in Timbuktu in Mali.

To my shame there are some places on this list that I don't have an immediate image, to my mind a potential seven wonder should conjour that mental image immediately, the Taj Mahal does this, for instance.

The wonder should be somehow iconic too, virtually impossible to reproduce - and to my mind it should be unique, big. Wondrous. To me, as much as I love the place, this discounts stonehenge. It is an impressive stone circle, but there are many stone circles in this area, Stonehenge IS a wonderful place, to be on Salisbury plain at Stonehenge - especially when you are lucky enough to get a rare time when the number of people is relatively low - can be magical, but is it a wonder? I don't think so.

I think I'd go for the Pyramids, The Taj Mahal, The Colosseum, The Easter Island Statues, Macchu Picchu, The Acropolis and either Petra or Timbuktu.

I'm a little biased, perhaps, toward the old - hence no Eiffel tower or Sydney Opera, but it seems to me that a wonder must stand the test of time, in a couple of centuries the Opera House might go on my list, but not yet.

What this project has done is given a new set of holiday destinations! From this list of 21, I have seen only three, the Eiffel Tower, Stonehenge and the Taj Mahal.