77 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 Drew 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 Drew Vahrenkamp

    • History

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 Drew 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!

    062 - The Bayeux Tapestry

    062 - The Bayeux Tapestry

    It's the world's greatest comic strip. The Bayeux Tapestry documents the events leading up to the Battle of Hastings and the Norman Conquest. We explore this cheeky document and its tale: the story of 1066, that most crucial year in English history. It's the tale of Edward the Confessor, earl Harold Godwinson, military machine Harald Hardrada, and William the Bastard Duke of Normandy.  There's battles, invasions, and an insane amount of luck.

    Plus, there's an apple pie at the end.

    • 55 min
    Bonus - Lake Ohrid

    Bonus - Lake Ohrid

    A bonus holiday episode! In the mountains of North Macedonia sits Lake Ohrid, a deep, blue lake as old as time. On its shores, Samuel directed his Bulgarian kingdom's last hurrah against the Roman Empire. His opponent: Basil II, known as the "Bulgar-Slayer."  Oh.

    Eric Halsey of the Bulgarian History Podcast covers Samuel and the confrontation with Basil, while Allison Greene from Sofia Adventures discusses visiting Ohrid, its Byzantine-era churches and lakeside charm. Plus ayvar, a red pepper spread!

    • 1 hr 6 min
    3rd Anniversary Bonus - Fifty States Ranked

    3rd Anniversary Bonus - Fifty States Ranked

    People often ask me where they should go when they visit the US. Having been to all 50 states (plus DC and Puerto Rico, which should be states), I can actually answer this. And in this not-at-all-serious episode, I try to answer that question.

    Being a nerd, I created a spreadsheet and complex formula tanking each state in terms of natural scenery, historical sites, charm, cuisine, and debauchery. I share the top ten on this episode.

    For the full list, check out the website: wonderspodcast.com/50state

    • 50 min
    061 - The Volcanic and Geothermal Features of Iceland

    061 - The Volcanic and Geothermal Features of Iceland

    Europe and North America are drifting apart, and the plates diverge in Iceland. Iceland's underground magma and mountaintop glaciers have created a wonderland of fire and ice, the perfect setting for a remarkable medieval culture.

    Noah Tetzner from the History of Vikings podcast discusses Iceland's settlement, the sagas, their government, and their expansion west. In addition, listeners Brian Conn and Quinn Campagna describe their recent trips there. And we'll have skyr after a dip in the hot springs.

    • 1 hr 11 min
    060 - The Fjords of Norway

    060 - The Fjords of Norway

    Carved by glaciers during the Ice Age, Norway's more than 1100 fjords are spectacular. This rugged seacoast nurtured ancient Norway and its ruthless seafaring Vikings.

    In this episode, Lee Accomando of the Viking Age Podcast talks about Harald Fairhair, first king of Norway, and his sons Håkon the Good and Erik Bloodaxe (with his sorceress wife Gunnhild).

    Norwegian listener Kjartan Bærem tells us which fjords are most worth visiting as well as the best lamb dishes. Plus dill-scented gravlax salmon

    • 1 hr 9 min
    059 - The Pyramid of Kukulkan at Chichén Itzá

    059 - The Pyramid of Kukulkan at Chichén Itzá

    You've seen the Pyramid on countless tourism brochures, but what do you really know about the Mayan city of Chichén Itzá and it's magnificent pyramid?

    To help explore the answers, Robert Bitto from the Mexico Unexplained podcast appears with his take on the mysteries of the pyramid. We also talk about the Spanish archbishop who first described the city after having burned nearly all Mayan writings and 2012, the apocalypse that wasn't.

    Join us for some cochinita pibil as we talk about the Yucatán!

    • 55 min

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