85 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!

    The Grand Canal of Venice

    The Grand Canal of Venice

    In 1204, Christian crusaders sacked Constantinople, the world's largest Christian city, destroying or pillaging countless artifacts, books, and works of art. Some of those works of art ended up in Venice, for which 1204 represents the beginning of her dominance of the Mediterranean world.

    Vlad Zamfira from Wonderer's History Podcast discusses Venetian history and their role in the calamitous Fourth Crusade, while Kate Storm from ourescapeclause.com talks about her favorite city. And tiramisu!

    • 1 hr 8 min
    Mont-Saint-Michel

    Mont-Saint-Michel

    Mont-Saint-Michel's history connects with one of Europe's most renowned women: Eleanor of Aquitaine. She and her family succeed and fail, leaving stories that echo through time.

    Maura from Historically Badass Broads talks about young Eleanor, while Christine from Footnoting History discusses her later life. Listeners Emma and Laura reminisce on their visits to the Abbey. There's love, lust, disappointment, war, peace, murder, plausible deniability, and some truly horrible, horrible people. And crepes!

    • 1 hr 51 min
    Bonus - Your Questions, Answered

    Bonus - Your Questions, Answered

    A quick break from the wonders narratives to answer many questions about Drew, the show, the wonders, food, travel and more!  Find out which wonders missed the list, why there won't be a WotW cookbook, and why Drew has issues with "synergy" and "win-win" scenarios. Plus a new Demetrios Poliorcetes!

    • 27 min
    The Djemaa el-Fna of Marrakesh

    The Djemaa el-Fna of Marrakesh

    The greatest of squares throbs with life: the scent of spiced, roasted meat, the cacophony of voices and drums, the visual rainbow of color. The Djemaa el-Fna is everything and more. Its history reflects the great medieval golden age of Morocco under the Almoravid and Almohad dynasties, a golden age for prosperity but not necessarily for culture.

    Nitin from Flashpoint History returns to discuss the Almohads and their legacy. Listener Jesse Oppenheim discusses visiting the square. Plus tagines!

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Angkor Wat

    Angkor Wat

    The Cambodian jungle hides one of the world's largest pre-industrial cities: Angkor. Highlighted by its main temple, Angkor Wat, the city's monuments testify to the prosperity of the Khmer empire. From Suryavarman to Jayavarman VII, Angkor's kings led a society built on pushing back the jungle, until the jungle finally won.

    Listener Jesse Oppenheim joins us to discuss visiting Angkor, learning from guides who survived the Khmer Rouge, and fighting through instagramming yogis.  Plus, of course, food.

    • 42 min
    Monument Valley

    Monument Valley

    America's most famous landscape, Monument Valley and its fantastic red-streaked buttes have starred in countless films. Its story truly reflects the people who have lived here for centuries: the Navajo, and before them, the Ancestral Puebloans.

    We'll discuss how the Ancestral Puebloans rose and then collapsed, victims of social breakdown in the face of climate change, and how the legacy of colonial oppression lives on in the dish most commonly associated with the Navajo: fry bread and the Navajo taco.

    • 33 min

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