In this podcast, we'll visit 200 Wonders of the World, from the Pyramids to the Great Barrier Reef, to tell the story of our people, our civilization, and our planet. My name is Caroline Vahrenkamp, and I'm a travel junkie. The world is filled with amazing places that reflect the greatest achievements of human accomplishment. In these uncertain times, understanding our great shared history may help to bridge the divides between us. And if not, it will be a fun ride anyway! We'll discuss the history of each place and the story of the men and women who lived there. We'll cover travel notes, examine what else to see while you're in the area, and dig into the local cuisine. Expect a new episode every two weeks. And thanks for listening!
The Registan of Samarkand
Ulugh Beg was the Astronomer King of Samarkand, who built a madrassa and observatory to chart the stars. Wonderful astronomer. Not much of a king. His madrassa though stands on, one of the three grand buildings of the Registan square.
Scott Chesworth of the Ancient World and Nadeem Ahmad of Eran ud Turan both visited Uzbekistan just before the pandemic, and they join us with tales of gorgeous tilework, empty museums, and more plov (Uzbek rice pilaf) than you can imagine.
The Duomo of Florence
The story of the largest masonry dome ever built id the birth of the Renaissance. But the real story is the artists': petty, bickering, intensely human geniuses like Brunelleschi and Ghiberti.
Bry Rayburn of the Pontifacts Podcast comes by to talk about her favorite city in the whole world. We share our experiences and love of stracciatella gelato. Plus bistecca alla fiorentina.
The Karst Islands of Ha Long Bay
Thousands of limestone pillars rising from the bay, clothed in jungle green. Listener Emma Browning, who was just there, shares her experiences cruising the islands.
Most Americans expect an episode on the Vietnam War of the 1960s, but I'm discussing another superpower's invasion and failure in Vietnam. The Yongle Emperor is getting Robert McNamara'd into submission by freedom fighter Lê Lợi. There are magic swords, marketing guys with water metaphors, and cá kho tộ, catfish caramelized in a cl
The Forbidden City of Beijing
The Forbidden City, a city within the city, and the Yongle emperor's crowning achievement, is almost too big to comprehend. The Yongle Emperor also sent out Zheng He and the Ming Treasure Fleet to exert China's superpower influence.
Chris Stewart from the History of China podcast returns to talk about the Forbidden City and the great naval voyages, while listener Jesse Oppenheim returns to discuss visiting the palace as well as sharing some Beijing taste treats, like Mao's favorite braised pork belly.
The Floating Rock Gardens of Ryloth
I contributed a mini-episode for the No Redeeming Qualities podcast's annual Star Wars Day special. To spare you from grown men complaining about the sequel trilogy, I offer you this.
In the early days of the Clone Wars, separatist forces tried to conquer Ryloth, an outer rim trading point. One man led the Republic garrison: Jedi Master Ima-Gun Di, who would visit the Floating Rock Garden, a unique place where the wind's force makes the impossible real. When you're on Ryloth, try Gruuvan Shaal Kebabs!
The Temple of Heaven of Beijing
A majestic pavilion crowned in blue, the Temple of Heaven stands as one of the architectural triumphs of the Yongle Emperor, a man responsible for three wonders.
Chris Stewart from the History of China podcast appears to take us on a whirlwind adventure that made his father emperor of all China and the path that proved his son a chip off the old block.
In addition, listener Jesse Oppenheim returns to discuss visiting the Temple and eating Peking Duck, which you can't make at home. So try zhajiangmian.
Caroline is a great podcaster, I look forward to hearing plenty more of this great podcast
Love this podcast!
Thank you Drew for taking us away at a time when we should be at home.
Part history, part storytelling, part travelogue, part cultural and food review; you never really know how Drew will take a monument from history, and weave a story around it. Keep it up!