• Feature: New Seven Wonders Of The World Part 2

    New Seven Wonders Of The World, Part 2

    By Ron Blehm (7 July 2007)

    This is the second part of my FS2004 tour of the New, Seven Wonders of the World.

    The "New 7 Wonders of the World" campaign was begun in 1999 by Swiss adventurer Bernard Weber, who thought it was, "time for something new to bring the world together" and to "symbolize a common pride in global cultural heritage." Since only one of the former Seven Wonders is still in existence, they started looking for new "wonders." Initially nearly 200 sites were presented for consideration but the final list of 21 has been in place for over a year and the final seven (winners) will be announced on July 7th, 2007, (07/07/07) in Lisbon Portugal.

    From Baghdad it is an easy 600-mile flight in a custom-painted Gulfstream-V, over to Al Aqebah in Jordan - very windy landing by the way (image, right).

    Twelve = Petra, Jordan:

    This ancient city in southwestern Jordan, built on a terrace around the Wadi Musa, or Valley of Moses, was the capital of the Arab kingdom of the Nabateans and center of caravan trade. It continued to flourish under Roman rule after the Nabateans' defeat in AD 106. The city is famous for water tunnels and stone structures carved into the rock, including Ad-Dayr, "the Monastery," an uncompleted tomb facade that served as a church during Byzantine times (and made famous in films such as the Indiana Jones series).
       

    From here it is an easy flight in a Dash-8 Q400 over to Cairo.

    Thirteen = The Great Pyramids Of Giza, Egypt:

    The only surviving structures of the original seven wonders, the three pyramids were built as tombs for pharaohs 4,500 years ago. Nearby is the Great Sphinx statue, with a man's face and a lion's body.
       

    On my way out of Egypt I toured the second of the former seven wonders, Fourteen = Pharos Lighthouse At Alexandria, Egypt: This amazing structure, said to tower between 380 and 440 feet high, was both a landmark and later a lighthouse which warned ancient sea-going travelers. It, along with the original city of Alexandria and Pharos Island itself, was lost under the Mediterranean Sea centuries ago. I saw a television show recently about scuba diving off the coast of modern-day Alexandria, where you can still see ruins of the ancient city (image below, left).

       

    Stop number Fifteen = The Mausoleum Of Halicarnassus: The best guess for this is the city of Bodrum near the Syrian boarder or at the very least, somewhere south of Adana, Turkey. Now please do note, these former wonders don't exist in the real world, so I wouldn't expect them in the FS world either but, it's still fun to get the lay-of-the-land and to see where these famous landmarks WOULD have been (image above, right).

    I then switch into a Jetstream-31 and continue along the southern Turkish coast (image below, left) to number Sixteen = The Greek Isle Of Rhodes where once stood "The Colossus", a structure (and even city) that makes Rome's Colosseum look like a child's toy. Today little evidence remains of this thriving Greek Metropolis - only the new city of Rhodes (below, center and right).

           

    Next stop is number Seventeen = The Temple Of Artemis At Ephesus: Believed to be near modern-day Apasa or Izmir. From Greece it is an easy hop over to the western coast of Turkey and this scenic bay which was likely the ancient city of Ephesus, made famous by the Biblical apostle Paul and his letter to the Ephesians (image below, left).

       

    Next we change into a smaller Dash-8 and make the hop up to another candidate for the new list, number Eighteen = Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey: (image above, right) The soaring cathedral, also called the Church of Holy Wisdom, was built in 537 at Constantinople. In 1453, when Constantinople fell to the Ottomans, it became a mosque complete with domes and minarets. When Turkish President Kemal Ataturk turned it into a museum in 1935, Christian mosaics that had been covered up by the Ottomans were again revealed (images below). Even though this isn't one of MS' "detailed cityies" I had hopes for Istanbul and...well...its in the real world but I sure couldn't find it in FS! "Darn!"

       

    Staying in the Dash-8 I continue back over into Greece now (image below, left), we swing by Athens to see stop number Nineteen = The Acropolis In Athens, Greece: A million people come here each year to see the marble temple - including the ruins of the columned Parthenon - and statues of the Greek gods and goddesses dating from the fifth century BC. An interesting architectural note here is that the Parthenon is actually about 6-10 inches higher in the center - the steps and foundation are arched up in the middle, in order for the structure to appear level. Now what's up with that (image below, right)?

       

    Next stop is the final of the originals, Twenty = The Statue Of Zeus At Olympia, Greece: I took an ATR-42 from Athens to the ancient city of Olympia and obviously, this "former wonder" is no longer there (below, left) but after a couple of laps around the city I was ready to head deeper into Europe (below, center).

           

    Next, I hop back into a Gulfstream-V for the not-so-quick jaunt up to Moscow, Russia (image above, right).

    Twenty-One = Kremlin and St. Basil's Cathedral, Russia:

    Onion domes with golden cupolas surrounded by red brick walls are at the heart of Moscow's Kremlin, a medieval fortress converted into the center of Russian government. The Kremlin once symbolized Soviet communism. The Cathedral of "St. Basil the Blessed" on adjacent Red Square features nine towers of different colors. It was built by Czar "Ivan the Terrible" in the mid-16th century. I find it hard to fly past here without trying to land on Red Square. Wait, didn't I read about that somewhere else? (Sorry for the photos, it was getting late in the day.)
       

    From Moscow I took a 757 down to Innsbruck, Austria. (By the way, guess what...it was snowy!)

       

    Twenty-Two = Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany:

    The inspiration for the Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland, Neuschwanstein is a creation of "Mad King" Ludwig II of Bavaria, who had it built in the 19th century to indulge his romantic fancies. Perched on a peak in the Bavarian Alps, the grey granite castle rises to towers, turrets and pinnacles and contains many paintings with scenes from Richard Wagner operas which were admired by King Ludwig. Okay, this really is a great castle but...once again, frustratingly, it's not in FS! Any developers out there want to take this one on?
           

    The next leg calls for a little CRJ, Innsbruck to Rome, Italy.

       

    Twenty-Three = The Colosseum, Rome, Italy:

    The 50,000-seat amphitheater in Rome was inaugurated in AD 80. This multi-purpose arena featured labyrinthine passageways, dungeons, false floors and could even be flooded to allow ships to battle it out before a live audience. Christians were fed to the lions and thousands of gladiators dueled to the death here. The arena has influenced the design of other modern stadiums around the world (below, left and center).
           

    From Rome it is a longer flight, in a Boeing 735, in to Central Mali, along the edge of the Sahara Desert (image above, right).

    Twenty-Four = Timbuktu, Mali:

    Two of West Africa's oldest mosques, the Djingareyber, or Great Mosque, and the Sankore mosque built during the 14th and early 15th centuries can still be seen here in the Sahara. Founded about AD 1,100, Timbuktu was a flourishing caravan center in the Arabic world and a leading spiritual and intellectual center in the 15th and 16th centuries, and included one of the world's first universities. No shock here, this ruin too is lacking in FS (below, left).
       

    Next up, an ERJ takes us up into Jolly Ol' England (above, right).

    Twenty-Five = Stonehenge, Britain:

    How and why this circular monument of massive rocks was created between 3,000 and 1,600 BC is unknown, but some experts say the stones were aligned as part of a sun-worshipping culture or astronomical calendar. Today it is a major tourist attraction. Druids and New Age followers gather here every June 21 to celebrate the summer solstice. Finding this was easy, Google Earth showed the airport, the road just to the north, the road divides and you'll want to stay to the right...all this is VFR-accurate in FS and then, "There it is!" (below, left)
       

    It is another short hop in the Jetstream-41 over the channel to Paris, Orly (image above, right).

    Twenty-Six = Eiffel Tower, Paris, France:

    The 985-foot tower, built in 1889 for the International Exposition, symbolizes Paris. (Look, another French structure on the list!) Made almost entirely of open-lattice wrought iron and erected in only two years with a small labor force, the tower - still Paris' tallest structure - demonstrated advances in construction techniques. Amusingly, some initially criticized it as unaesthetic - go figure (below left and center).
           

    From Paris we hop down to Granada, Spain (above, right).

    Twenty-Seven = Alhambra, Spain:

    The palace and citadel, perched above Granada, was the residence of the Moorish caliphs who governed southern Spain in splendor until 1492, when the city was conquered by the Christian forces of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, ending 800 years of Muslim rule. Stunning features include mosaics, arabesques and mocarabe, or honeycomb work. While I also didn't find this new wonder, I did find some very nice little ranches displayed in FS. Man, I could live here!
       

    From the last site it is another easy hop I an KingAir 200 into Lisbon where, very soon, we will discover which of these candidates will be, officially, the "New 7 Wonders of the World."

    I hope you have found this new tour to be interesting, educational and fun. For more information you can visit: www.new7wonders.com

    Ron Blehm
    [email protected]">[email protected]

    Read part 1 here


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