My wife and I are planning our upcoming trip to Norway and we’re trying to decide whether it’s worth the effort to take a boat called the Coastal Steamer up to the Western Fjords…places with pretty much unpronounceable (and unspellable) names like Geirangerfjord and Naroyfjord (names, several letters of which, do not seem displayable here because they are, well, weird-looking letters). Well, there I was contemplating whether these places would be worth seeing, and I discover that they are both top scorers in the World Heritage Site rating piece over at National Geographic.
The whole World Heritage Site system is wonderful. Think of it as the original 1000 Things to Do Before You Die…even though there are only 833 of them currently. The process of giving places around the planet World Heritage status began back in 1973 when UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) was entrusted with administering the program in an effort to identify and protect places of “outstanding universal value.”
The list of sites ranges across a wide spectrum of both natural and man-made places from astonishing ruins like Angkor Wat to, well, as I pointed out here, the Norwegian fjords.
Anyway, these places are always worth pointing out and the nicely done ranking system here at Nat Geo is a helpful guide for anyone putting together their personal “life-lists”.