Seven Wonders of the World for 2022

January 03 2022 – Seven Wonders of the World for 2022

Antarctica 

Wednesday 5 January 2022 marks 100 years since Ernest Shackleton’s death. He was in Antarctica at the time, on his fourth expedition there, attempting the first circumnavigation of the continent. He never completed that mission, but it was a fitting end for one of the greatest polar explorers in history.

Antarctica captivated Shackleton all his life and it’s easy to see why. It is both the largest desert on Earth and the largest single mass of ice on the planet, covering some five million square miles, almost double the size of the entire United States. In places, the ice is more than 15,000 feet thick. Entire mountain ranges are buried under the frozen bulk. Icebergs bigger than cities calve into the sea (the largest ever seen was seven times the size of London).

Antarctica is known as the ‘Last Continent’, and its preservation has never been so crucial. That, perhaps, is what kept drawing Shackleton back, and what keeps drawing people here to this day. To see it with your own eyes is a wonder unlike any other: killer whales breaching the arctic depths, colonies of emperor penguins tens of thousands strong, a world of pure wilderness.

 

Grand Avenue of the Sphinxes, Luxor, Egypt

Ever since archaeologist Howard Carter opened the tomb of Tutankhamen a century ago, the world has been under its spell. But while King Tut gets much of the fame, his tomb is only one part of the extraordinary Valley of the Kings, which holds dozens of the elaborately decorated burial chambers of some of Egypt’s greatest pharaohs alongside its most treasured temples and monuments.

And it just got better. The Grand Avenue of the Sphinxes was unveiled on 24 November 2021 following decades of painstaking restoration. Linking the ancient temples of Karnak and Luxor – two of Egypt’s most spectacular archaeological sites – this 3,000-year-old, 1.7-mile road, which is lined with hundreds of statues of sphinxes and rams’ heads, was once used for religious parades and festivals. For centuries it was buried in sand and lost to history. Now, for the first time, it can be walked again.

Northern Lights, Yukon, Canada

Watching the dancing colours of the Northern Lights is one of the most awe-inspiring experiences on the planet: waves of green, pink and blue sway across the night’s sky, shimmering like a giant’s fire.

No matter how you see them, the Aurora is always an incredible experience. But now there’s a new way, which elevates that wonder up to another level. The ground-breaking Aurora 360 experience is an exclusive Northern Lights viewing flight, which takes you 36,000 feet above the clouds to give you the closest and most immersive view possible.

Departing from Whitehorse, deep in Canada’s Yukon territory, the private charter jet holds just 70 seats and is guided by dedicated Aurora scientists, guaranteeing you’ll fly straight to the heart of the action.

When the Indigenous people of the Yukon witnessed those fiery lights they saw the spirits of animals and their ancestors soaring above them. Now, for the first time, you can do more than stand in awe. You can soar with them too.

Colosseum, Rome, Italy

The Colosseum is the ultimate symbol of the might of the Roman Empire. For more than 400 years this enormous amphitheatre, the largest and grandest of its time, staged some of the bloodiest gladiatorial battles in history. Upwards of 50,000 people at a time would watch people and animals battle to the death in carefully orchestrated theatre.

They needed a staging area. So, the architects designed an elaborate series of tunnels underneath the arena’s floor to house the gladiators, and cage the beasts, as they readied for combat. For close to 2,000 years, no one has been allowed to enter. Until now.

525 feet of underground walkways and chambers were opened to the general public on 25 June 2021 for the first time. Walk in those gladiators’ footsteps and it’s easy to imagine the roar of the crowd, the sharpening of swords, the brutality, and ingenuity, of one of the biggest empires the world has ever known.

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