81 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
    • 4.8, 160 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 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!

    066 - Angkor Wat

    066 - 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
    065 - Monument Valley

    065 - 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
    064 - The Old City of Sanaa

    064 - The Old City of Sanaa

    At the southern end of Arabia, Yemen was once rich from trade and frankincense.  By the 11th century, two strong queens led it back to prosperity, particularly Arwa Al-Sulayhi.

    Among Arwa's accomplishments was refurbishing the Great Mosque of Sana'a, Yemen's  capital, whose medieval old city features gingerbread-like skyscrapers.

    Charlie from the Almost Forgotten podcast joins us to discuss Arwa and other historical figures that we've forgotten. Plus saltah!

    • 43 min
    063 - The Western Group of Temples at Khajuraho

    063 - The Western Group of Temples at Khajuraho

    THIS EPISODE CONTAINS EXPLICIT CONTENT.

    Temples sit in the hills of central India. Built by the Chandela dynasty, they are well preserved testaments to medieval power, but they are best known for their many erotic images.

    Anirudh Kanisetti of the Echoes of India podcast returns to discuss the Chandelas, their connection with tantra, their views of sex, their run-ins with the famed Turkic warlord Mahmud of Ghazni, and how it all relates to India's political environment today.

    • 1 hr
    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

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
160 Ratings

160 Ratings

Normandy9 ,

Excellent Show! Very Informative!

Drew has thrown combined wonders, history and food all into one show. It sounds overwhelming, but Drew presents it in a way where it flows seamlessly. Drew discusses his experience of the wonders he covers and if he hasn't been there, he will bring on people who have been. Excllent show and I can't wait for more!

Mimi62916 ,

So informative AND fun!!

Every episode is beyond thoroughly researched but Drew’s explanations are so well paced and intelligible that it never feels like information overload. So entertaining and enriching!! Thank you Drew!!

pajero pantano ,

Well rounded

Good mix of light hearted convo, recipes and mythology stories, to detailed, personal stories of travel and deep historical lessons.

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