116 episodes

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!

Wonders of the World Caroline Vahrenkamp

    • History
    • 4.9 • 32 Ratings

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!

    096 - The Humble Administrator's Garden of Suzhou

    096 - The Humble Administrator's Garden of Suzhou

    He was from the richest city in Ming China, or one of the richest, and after his checkered political career, he came home and planted a garden.  500 years later, we can still visit his garden and marvel at the humility of Wang Xianchen, the Humble Administrator. This episode is a pleasant diversion beforewe get back to the big stories.
    And we'll have Suzhou "smoked" fish while we're here!
    Sources:
    Clunas, Craig. Fruitful Sites: Garden Culture in Ming Dynasty China
    Lonely Planet China

     
    Photograph CC4.0 by wikicommons user Another Believer

    • 23 min
    095 - The Migration of the Monarch Butterflies

    095 - The Migration of the Monarch Butterflies

    Monarch butterflies are tiny, ephemeral creatures, whose audacious color patterns makes them beloved across a continent, yet few realize how remarkable their migration from Canada and the US to their winter ground west of Mexico City really is.  Listener Livia Montovani joins us to talk about visiting the mountain reserves where hundreds of millions of butterflies spend their winter.
    We'll also cover the conquest of Mexico and the personalities involved, from Motecuhzoma of the Mexica to Cortés of Spain to the controversial role of la Malinche, the formerly enslaved woman who translated for the Spainiards. It's a story with no heroes, but it needs to be told.
    And we'll make carnitas at home with salsa verde!
    Sources:
    Baumle, Kylee, The monarch: Saving our Most-Loved Butterfly
    Dennis, Peter. Tenochtitlan 1519-21: Clash of Civilizations
    Diáz dl Castillo, Bernal. The True History of the Conquest of New Spain
    Dykman, Sara. Bicycling with Butterflies: My 10,201-mile Journey Following the Monarch MMigration
    Fehrenbach, T.R. Fire & Blood: a History of Mexico
    Keeling, Stephen et al. The Rough Guide to Mexico 
    Levy, Buddy. Conquistador: Hernán Cortés, King Montezuma, and the Last Stand of the Aztecs
    Sainsbury, Brendan et al. Lonely Planet Mexico
    Photograph by pendens proditor CC 2.0

    • 1 hr 4 min
    Update and Intelligent Speech

    Update and Intelligent Speech

    A brief update about the show!

    • 15 min
    094 - Chambord Chateau

    094 - Chambord Chateau

    Just a little 440-room hunting lodge built among other chateaux in France's Loire Valley, Chambord is the grand dame of them all.  Built for François Ier, it betrays the influence of the Italian Renaissance, specifically of Leonardo da Vinci, François' teacher and mentor.
    Gary Girod, host of the French History Podcast, joins us to discuss François and his place in French history, while listener Sarah Demetz shares her experience visiting the chateau and the Loire.
    Plus fish in a lovely white butter sauce!
    Sources:
    Horne, Alistair. Seven Ages of Paris
    Isaacson, Walter. Leonardo da Vinci
    Nuland, Sherwin B. Leonardo da Vinci
    Price, Roger. A Concise History of France
    Rick Steves Loire Valley 
    Vasari, Giorgio. Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects
    Photograph by Patrick Giraud CC 3.0

    • 1 hr 7 min
    093 - Vatican City

    093 - Vatican City

    The largest episode on the smallest country. It's the city-state home of the Catholic Church, a neighborhood of Rome, home to some of the greatest art in the western world.
    In the early 16th century, the Catholic Church began to turn Rome into a capital glorious enough to serve as the capital of Christendom, and in the process, the popes drove Christendom apart. And Michelangelo was there the whole way.
    Bry Rayburn from the Pontifacts podcast joins us to talk about some of the most epic popes in history, from Alexander VI to Paul IV: the good, the bad, and the ugly. We talk about Michelangelo, the role of the papal patrons, Martin Luther, the Swiss Guard, and so much more!
    Plus a mysterious pasta recipe from the Vatican cookbook!
    Sources:
    Beck, James H. Three Worlds of Michelangelo 
    Buonarroti, Michelangelo. Michelangelo's Notebooks: The Poetry, Letters, and Art of the Great Master
    Cahill, Thomas. Heretics and Heroes: How Renaissance Artists and Reformation Priests Created Our World
    Garwood, Duncan. Lonely Planet Rome
    Graham-Dixon, Andrew. Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel
    Phillips, Charles. The Illustrated History of the Popes: An Authoritative Guide to the Lives and Works of the Popes of the Catholic Church, with 450 Images
    Rick Steves Rome 2020
    Rome, Insights Guides
    Scotti, R.A. Basilica: The Splendor and the Scandal: Building St. Peter's
    The Pontifical Swiss Guard. The Vatican Cookbook: Presented by the Pontifical Swiss Guard: 500 Years of Classic Recipes, Papal Tributes, & Exclusive Images
    Wallace, William E. Michelangelo: The Artist, the Man and His Times

    • 1 hr 43 min
    The Hieronymites Monastery of Lisbon

    The Hieronymites Monastery of Lisbon

    The enormous church on the banks of the Tejo, carved with ropes and knots and anchors as though it were going to sea itself, represents the vast wealth and untold adventure of Portugal's Age of Discovery. Portuguese king Manuel I commissioned the monastery upon learning of the success of Vasco da Gama's first expedition to India, the longest sea voyage undertaken to that time, a voyage that would seal the fate of three continents. For good and ill.
    Listener Maria Fernandes joins to talk about her home country, and we wax nostalgic on the pleasures of Portugal, a country I very much like, including my favorite dessert of all time: pastéis de Belém.  
    Sources:
    Clark, Gregor. Lonely Planet: Portugal
    Cliff, Nigel. The Last Crusade: The Epic Voyages of Vasco da Gama
    Payne, Stanley G. A History of Spain and Portugal
    Taborda, Joana. Lisbon
    Photograph by Concierge.2C (CC BY-SA 3.0)

    • 1 hr

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
32 Ratings

32 Ratings

Stars 99 ,

Love this podcast!

Thank you Caroline! More please!!

egypt fan ,

Great podcast

Caroline is a great podcaster, I look forward to hearing plenty more of this great podcast

snoort27 ,

Great podcast

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!

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