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500 Places to See Before They Disappear
Hill of Tara
Tara is one of my favourite places on the planet and the only place where I feel my Irish heritage (see my blog article on Travellers below). Just like Stonehenge, the magic of this place will be lost forever with the completion of the ill-advised M3 from Dublin to Cavan. Despite widespread protests at all levels, the Irish government is going full-steam ahead. The danger of this development is not the motorway itself but the housing estates that are already planned (probably on rezoned land owned by friends/family of past Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern) that will spring up at every junction. One such junction is planned a short distance away where the Tara Na Ri pub currently stands and will seriously impact the site. At least the housing crash might delay this abomination.
Please visit the TaraWatch links at the end of this article and add your voice where you can.
Bonnie Alter, London on 10.30.08
Arthur Frommer usually writes guide books about where to eat and visit in Paris, but even this super-enthusiastic traveller is getting worried about the state of the world's environment. To explain the rationale behind the latest guide book, called "500 Places to See Before They Disappear", the author says: "The devastation wrought by climate change and direct man-made interference is familiar to all of us. But this book is a carefully chosen list of last-chance destinations that eco-conscious travellers can enjoy - if they move sharpish - for possibly the last time." So put aside guilt about the flying for the moment and let's dream about the most beautiful, striking and unspoilt places to be visited on this last trip of their lifetime.
Locations are listed by topic, not country, so there are subjects such as Sea & Stream, From the Mountains to the Prairies, Big Skies, Going to Ruins,City & Town, Where History Was Made, Tarnished Gems of Architecture, and Disposable Culture. This one includes vanishing structures like wigwam motels in the southwest of the USA. The natural wonders include the Hill of Tara (pictured) in Ireland which is under threat due to a proposed highway running close by, and the Dead Sea in Israel because it may run dry.
The guide also includes many architectural spots that are under threat due to redevelopment pressures. This includes New York's Little Italy, and the Taj Majal in India. Others are in danger due to lack of money for restoration, such as the oldest parish church and the Battersea power station in England.
Image by Arpinstone
In the US, the Everglades are in trouble because of agricultural and development pressures. Lower water levels and pollution haven't help either, with the number of bird species falling by a whopping 93%. Fenway Park in Boston, built in 1912, and the oldest baseball park in the major leagues, is on the list due to threat of demolition. Frommer's 500 Places to See Before They Disappear Via : The Observer