Sunday Special – Tikal, Guatemala

Found in the dense Guatemalan rain forests in the northeast of this Central America country are the ruins of ancient Mayans. One of the largest and most significant archaeological sites is Tikal. This pre-Colombian city was an important political, military, and economic area and was inhabited from 600 BCE to 900 CE.  The site of  Tikal not only includes its buildings and monuments it encompasses the vast jungle and nature surrounding it. The area is located within Tikal National Park in the Peten Province and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979, including both the historic buildings and the diverse nature of the land.  Tikal is a popular place to visit by both those touring Guatemala and day trippers from Belize’s San Ignacio Town as it’s only 2 hours away.


A wild turkey making its way around Tikal – Photo credit: Adam Jones from Kelowna, BC, Canada, Wild Turkey Struts by Temple II – Gran Plaza – Tikal Archaeological Site – Peten – Guatemala (15870775832)CC BY-SA 2.0


Sunday Special – Hadrian’s Wall, England

The reach of the ancient Roman Empire was quite an expanse. At the time of Emperor Hadrian (117 – 138 CE) parts of what is now modern-day north Africa, Turkey, Europe and England were under Roman rule. In hopes of preventing invasions from the northern “barbarians” and to maintain his northernmost border Hadrian had the wall built. This wall, much of which remains standing today, runs 117.5 km (73 miles) from east to west from Wallsend to Bowness-on-Solway in Northern England. Today, it is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Visiting this ancient wall is relatively easy. Many sections have cycling paths or can be seen on foot. Hadrian’s Wall Path spans the length of the wall and is often quite close to it.  Walks, farms, castles and Roman history can be experienced at many places along the wall. Additionally, it is completely unguarded, thus allowing people to touch or stand on it should they desire. Though one may want to remember that doing so may damage this part of English history.


Portion of Hadrian’s Wall near Housestead, England (photo is Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons)


Remains of Housesteads Roman Fort along Hadrian’s Wall (photo credit: Owned and taken by Mediatus via Wikimedia Commons)

The Map Project – India

Hello! Here is the next and last (but only for the time being I hope) installment of The Map Project. It has been great reading the posts and seeing what these kids have learned. Perhaps when I get back to doing a few short trips now and again they can give their insight once more. I hope you have all enjoyed this feature of this blog as much as I have. Today Rhiannon is telling us about India.


Hi! This is Rhiannon again! I am going to be writing about Goa and the Taj Mahal!! Eeva liked Goa but she LOVED the Taj Mahal! Enjoy!

The day Eeva went to see the Taj Mahal was very hot and humid!  There were many people there but she really liked seeing it in person. She sent us many pictures on her cell phone of it.

Around 20 000 people worked day and night for twenty two years to complete the construction of the Taj Mahal. It is one of the 7 wonders of the world and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Taj Mahal was completed in 1653 and was started in 1632!

At different times in the day the Tah Mahal appears to be a different colour. Some people believe these changing colours depicts the changing moods of a woman.

The cost of the construction of the Taj Mahal was around $320 million dollars!!

Eeva sent me a postcard of the Taj  Mahal for my birthday!

Goa is a strip of land 110 kilometres long and 60 kilometres wide.  The climate is tropical with a June to September monsoon, when rainfall is approximately 400 cm.  Eeva was visiting Goa at the beginning of this rainy season.  For the rest of the year, humidity is surprisingly low and average daily temperature is 27 C. The coolest months are November to February when night temperatures can fall to 20C and a pull over maybe worn.

Most of the people that live in Goa, 1.2 million! are Roman Catholic.  There is a large minority of Hindus and various sects of Islam.   Goa’s own language is Konkani but Marathi, Hindi and Portuguese are also spoken, along with English.

The major industries in Goa are mining, agriculture (fruit and coconut and spices), fishing and tourism.

Can you name animals from India?

Here are a few!

  1. Indian Elephant or Asian Elephant
  2. Asiatic lion
  3. Lion tailed Macaque
  4. Great Indian Rhino
  5. Leopard
  6. Neelgai
  7. Royal Bengal Tiger
  8. Wild Donkey
  9. Nilgiri Tahar
  10. Chinkara
  11. Pangolin (an anteater!)
  12. Indian flying fox

All photos taken and owned by Eeva Valiharju/Wanders The World

The stunning Taj Mahal

The stunning Taj Mahal

Close up of the Taj Mahal. Agra

Close up of the Taj Mahal. Agra

Just a cow wandering the market area in Goa

Just a cow wandering the market area in Goa

Anjuna Beach, Goa

Anjuna Beach, Goa


My first trip to Europe was with my dear friend Izabela. After spending three weeks in England I met up with her in Amsterdam. That began our super fast fun 3.5 week tour of The Continent. One of our stops was in city of Cologne (Koln), Germany. The hostel we stayed in was on one side of The Rhine River and we crossed a bridge twice daily. One our way to the city centre we would amble past the stately gothic Cologne Cathedral. This stunning building that took centuries to build looms along the Rhine and is a source of pride for its cities inhabitants. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is one of the most visited sites in all of Germany. 

Cologne Cathedral @Nite...

Although I found the exterior intricate and stunning, it was the inside that wowed me. Ornate, elaborate and a bit foreboding I found myself looking skyward to its detailed ceilings, in awe of the art of its architecture. A small person in a giant world. 

Photo credit: Flickr – Sanjib Behera