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My Top 10 of the last year
Posted by: HoboSylvain | 2014-06-13 19:44:55 | Coban, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala
Keywords: summary, UNESCO
When I present my journey to people, they usually ask me what I preferred so far. I find it impossible to answer that with a single answer. Why? Because I've had so many different and interesting experiences I cannot pick only one. Instead I present what I liked most in various categories, and that what I'll do here too, in no particular order.

Nature

For their magnificence: the Canadian Rockies.  It's a dream of every Canadian (even from Québec) to see those extremely impressive mountains.  The Canadian Rockies' summits are a bit lower than the American ones, but their difference of elevation with their surroundings is much greater making them more spectacular to view.

Canadian Rockies in Banff.


For its incredible richness and diversity, the Yellowstone park in the USA.  The experience to be in the largest concentration of thermal sources in the world and the impressive colours the various pools produce, it's really stunning.

For it's uniqueness within the butterfly world, the Mexican retreat of the Monarch butterflies.  Being surrounded by thousands of butterflies, some of which flew all the way from Montreal (and faster than I could have done it on my own power by walking or cycling!) is truly magical.

Cities

In the USA, I did a farewell tour of my favourite cities, and. Chicago again won my heart and gave her best looks to my camera.  Her skyline still amazes me.

Skyline of Chicago.


Among the new cities I've seen for the first time, I'd divide them in large cities (over a million of population) and small ones. 

In the larger ones, the race is very close, but I have to go for Guatemala City.  I didn't have the occasion to write much about it, but it's a very rich city in terms of architecture, the city is very clean, transportation is very efficient and it has all the amenities of a world-class city.  I couldn't fully enjoy it because of health issues and the beginning of the rainy season, but I loved it.  What made me chose Guate over the second place city is that everyone apparently hates it.

In the smaller cities, the winner is Guanajuato, hands down.  No close race over this magnificient colonial city, doubled with marvels of civil engineering (tunnels in the city mountains) and an extremely rich artistic culture (of public art and its Cervantes festival).

History

I've visited many sites with history dating back up to 5 000 years.

In the precolonial era, before year 1 500, my favourite site is... Monte Alban.  This site near the city of Oaxaca has one of the richest history, and their technical achievement is mind boggling (they chopped the top of an isolated mountain to make an artificial plateau and underground water reservoirs).  The site was also used at different eras by the three major civilizations of the current territory of Mexico.

In colonial era (1 500 to 1 850), the winner on this journey could have been Guanajuato, but I'll pick a second one... Campeche.  Its fortified walls reminded me a lot of Quebec City (which could have been the overall winner, but I didn't visit it during this past year).  On top of that, it's by the ocean and offers stunning colours.

Fortified wall of historic Campeche.


For modern era, the New York statue of liberty.  I didn't climb it this time around but I did on many occasions before.  I pick it because of all the importance this statue represented for waves of immigrants reaching the new world and it is a beautiful piece of art.

Country

Finally, I have to give a global prize to Mexico.  I've spent six months all over this great country and I still have the desire to visit it again and again.  I especially liked the Southern half of the country with its great weather, delicious cuisine, the local people, the rich pre-Hispanic sites, the colonial cities and the proximity of the oceans.

What do you think of my choices?


Related posts:
Southern Guatemala
What I've seen in Mexico
Ouro Preto
Modern Ensemble of Pampulha
Cuenca

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