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The southern Tuscan town of Pitigliano (about 100 kilometres south of Chianti) perches splendidly on a volcanic plateau, its ancient honey-coloured houses, city gates, aqueduct, churches and fortress built right to the edge of the rocky ridge. Etruscan tombs over 1500 years old dot the hill-face. With some of the more timeless Tuscany hotels, it is a wonderful small town that warrants exploring for ....Continue Reading >>
To establish European thinking and religious beliefs with the indigenous Indian population three hundred years ago, the Spanish built a modest mud-brick and wooden church on the site of an old Incan temple in a small village about forty kilometres south of Cusco. Arriving late in the afternoon in dull light, the church certainly didn’t inspire any wonder, and I wished I’d stayed on the bus to Cusco. ....Continue Reading >>
While out of season, I recently tripped across this photo from around ten years ago of the small town of Newfane in southern Vermont at the peak of the kaleidoscopic fall colours. The contrast of the white-washed county court house and church with the rich red, bronze and golden leaves makes for a visual feast. More photos from a trip through New England show Vermont in fall. ....Continue Reading >>
If John and Mary Shakespeare had not borne a son, William, who proved to be the world’s finest English language writer and playwright of all time, then it is doubtful whether the travel wonder of Stratford would have progressed beyond a pleasant English market town. Rather, people gather in their hordes to make a literary pilgrimage to Stratford-upon-Avon and “The Bard”. Stratford has captured ....Continue Reading >>
Many years ago I overlanded, hitched, trucked, boated and hiked through Africa, the planet's most adventurous continent. Of the numerous countries travelled, Congo and Central African Republic somehow stole my heart as the real dark continent. Ironically rich in valuable minerals, both are tragically war-torn, underdeveloped and with little semblance of a controlling central government. Regional lords ....Continue Reading >>
Lavenham is a delightful old English village with a disproportionately large church and delicately balanced medieval half-timbered houses. It looks as if a strong breeze could blow these ones over, though they've probably been there for 400 or 500 years. Ironically, the leaning house was the office of the local real estate agency when I took this photo!One of the regulars at the local bar jocularly ....Continue Reading >>
As Christianity spread throughout the Scandinavian countries from the tenth century, numerous churches were built - many from wood (called stave churches) as it was the most readily available building material. Only around 30 of these superb stave churches survive including the one pictured above built around 1150 in the small village of Borgund surrounded by verdant pastures at the end of Norway's ....Continue Reading >>
Deep in the Black Forest in south-west Germany, lays a timeless gem of half-timbered houses and cobbled streets. Delightfully untouristy, this medieval travel wonder is a mixture of city gates, narrow laneways, and steep-roofed, romantic houses with scarlet and white blooms dribbling from their window boxes.In the 24 days up to Christmas, the salmon-pink baroque town hall (rathaus) in the triangular-shaped ....Continue Reading >>
In a small hamlet only twenty kilometres south from the capital, Ljubljana and twenty kilometres north of the remarkable Škocjan Caves, lays the dramatically sited medieval travel wonder of Predjama Castle. Seemingly growing from a yawning cavern, it was cleverly built in the twelfth century to take advantage of the natural high walls of the rock face.In the late 1400s, renown thief and baron, Erasmus ....Continue Reading >>
With a population variously quoted at 17, 18 and 23, the tiny medieval travel wonder of Hum on the Istrian peninsula in western Croatia is officially listed by the Guinness Book of Records as the smallest town in the world. Such a moniker swells this village of little more than a dozen grey stone houses with hundreds of visitors in the summer months. The overcast spring day that I visited, there seemed ....Continue Reading >>
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Welcome to Travel Wonders

My name is Mark and I’m a keen traveller. In fact, over the last 25 years, I’ve travelled to every continent and over 80 countries. This blog is about the most memorable destinations – the places I regard as the travel wonders of the world. I’m also a keen photographer, and have taken nearly all the photos you’ll see. During my travels, I’ve met some incredible people, seen inspiring places, viewed extraordinary wildlife and scenery and had some amazing experiences, and I’m writing these stories not only to entertain but primarily to inspire others to discover their own travel wonders.

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