You know you’re a culture geek when movement on UNESCO’s World Heritage List catches your eye. With the World Heritage Committee’s 2007 wheeling and dealing wrapped up, hardcore travelers everywhere are rearranging itineraries to include some of the list’s 22 newbies and perhaps skip the first-ever former World Heritage Site.
First, the bad news: Oman’s Arabian Oryx Sanctuary was bumped from the list. It’s the first time the committee has removed a site, saying that Oman failed to preserve the sanctuary’s “universal value.”
On the bright side, some IgoUgo member favorites are among the additions, bringing the list to 851 sites. Ottawa’s resident cheerleader, girlfromals, is pumped about the inclusion of her city’s Rideau Canal, which the committee praised as the “best preserved canal in North America.” She reports that Ottawans had been waiting for the announcement and are excited about the designation.
In India, Delhi native phileasfogg is praising the addition of a hometown favorite as well. We’ll echo her “three cheers for the Red Fort” and add the complex to our own list of must-see Heritage Sites.
The Sydney Opera House is a rather shocking addition to the list—that is, we’re shocked that the emblematic shell wasn’t already a World Heritage Site. Aussie captain oddsocks is rightly celebratory, speaking for many a traveler when he says, “Right ON! Hooray for the Sydney Opera House!”
Not one to play favorites, he’s equally excited about the addition of Visegrad’s Ottoman bridge in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Other European favorites making their debuts are Corfu, Greece’s Old Town and the historic center of Bordeaux, France.
Ecuador may be the best place to start your World Heritage tour, though: UNESCO placed the Galapagos Islands on its danger list due to preservation concerns. At least there’s no need to worry about rushing to Florida’s Everglades National Park, removed from the danger zone this year.