Eight Wonders of the World

The ancient Greeks believed that there were Seven Wonders of the World. These included the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, the Mausoleum of Maussollos at Halicarnassus, the Colossus of Rhodes, and the Lighthouse of Alexandria. Not surprisingly, they were all located around the Mediterranean.

In 2001, the Swiss-based New7Wonders Foundation launched an initiative to select the New Seven Wonders of the World. Much to the annoyance of Egypt – home to the only surviving remnant from the original Wonders of the Ancient World – the Great Pyramid of Giza was in contention with such 20th century marvels as the Statue of Liberty in New York and the Sydney Opera House in Australia.

The results, announced in the summer of 2007, were as follow: the Great Wall of China; Petra, an archaeological site in Jordan; Christ the Redeemer, a statue of Jesus Christ built atop Corcovado Mountain in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro; Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas, in Peru; Chichen Itza, a pre-Columbian architectural site in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula; the Roman Colosseum, an amphitheater located in the heart of Rome, Italy; and the Taj Mahal, a mausoleum located in Agra, India, which was built by a Mughal emperor in memory of his favourite wife. The Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt was named an “honorary candidate,” bringing the total to eight.

Continental Airlines has launched an on-line auction, allowing frequent flyers to bid their miles on a premium round-the-world trip, visiting the Eight Wonders of the World.

“We are pleased to celebrate joining Star Alliance by bringing this unique auction package to our most loyal customers,” says Mark Bergsrud, Continental’s senior vice president of marketing programmes and distribution. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

The winning bidder and a companion will travel from their hometown to Continental’s Houston, Texas, hub at Bush Intercontinental Airport in the United States.

From there, they will travel by business class on Continental and other Star Alliance airlines, making stops at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Rome, Italy; Delhi, India; Cairo, Egypt; Beijing, China; Mexico City, Mexico; and Lima, Peru. They will stay at Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide properties and take private tours of each of the Eight Wonders. Bidding closes on 9 December 2009.

Copyright: Michael Taylor

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