Monthly Archives: December 2010

UNESCO World Heritage Site #123: Historic District of Old Quebec

Posted by on December 9, 2010

UNESCO World Heritage Site #123: Historic District of Old Quebec

UNESCO World Heritage Site #123: Historic District of Old Quebec

From the World Heritage inscription:

Québec was founded by the French explorer Champlain in the early 17th century. It is the only North American city to have preserved its ramparts, together with the numerous bastions, gates and defensive works which still surround Old Québec. The Upper Town, built on the cliff, has remained the religious and administrative centre, with its churches, convents and other monuments like the Dauphine Redoubt, the Citadel and Château Frontenac. Together with the Lower Town and its ancient districts, it forms an urban ensemble which is one of the best examples of a fortified colonial city.

Quebec City has quickly become one of my favorite cities in North America. It is the closest you can come to a European city without going to Europe. It is probably the most French city in Quebec. The surrounding area is also lovely and merits exploration.

View my complete list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Question & Answers #5

Posted by on December 9, 2010

It has been a long time since I’ve done a Q&A, so I figured now would be a good time to take a break from my photo editing and answer some questions. Questions came from my Facebook Page and from Twitter.


Photography

This photo always bothered me. I felt if I had a better camera or a faster lens, I could have taken better photos of Notre Dame in Paris

This photo always bothered me. I felt if I had a better camera or a faster lens, I could have taken better photos of Notre Dame in Paris

I had several people basically ask the same question. Dana Byers, Lou Lauer, Maureen Billingham from Facebook and Erin De Santaigo from Twitter all want to know what sort of camera gear I use.

For the first 3.5 years of my travels, I used a Nikon D200. About two months ago I upgraded to to the Nikon D300s and so far I’m pleased with the purchase. The low light performance is much better than the D200, which was my biggest complaint with the camera. I was tempted to get a Nikon D3, but I couldn’t justify the cost, in addition to having to replace all my lenses with full frame lenses.

I carry three lenses with me: (more…)

UNESCO World Heritage Site #122: Miguasha National Park

Posted by on December 8, 2010

UNESCO World Heritage Site #122: Miguasha National Park

UNESCO World Heritage Site #122: Miguasha National Park

From the World Heritage inscription:

The palaeontological site of Miguasha National Park, in south-eastern Quebec on the southern coast of the Gaspé peninsula, is considered to be the world’s most outstanding illustration of the Devonian Period known as the ‘Age of Fishes’. Dating from 370 million years ago, the Upper Devonian Escuminac Formation represented here contains five of the six fossil fish groups associated with this period. Its significance stems from the discovery there of the highest number and best-preserved fossil specimens of the lobe-finned fishes that gave rise to the first four-legged, air-breathing terrestrial vertebrates – the tetrapods.

It is always difficult to photograph world heritage sites that are of paleontological or anthropological significance. You can’t take photos of fossils in situ. Taking photos of a museum isn’t that interesting. Thankfully, Miguasha is located on the very beautiful boundary between the St. Lawrence river and the ocean.

View my complete list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites

UNESCO World Heritage Site #121: L’Anse aux Meadows

Posted by on December 7, 2010

UNESCO World Heritage Site #121: L'Anse aux Meadows

UNESCO World Heritage Site #121: L'Anse aux Meadows

From the World Heritage inscription:

This archaeological site at the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula of the island of Newfoundland contains the excavated remains of an 11th century Viking settlement consisting of timber-framed turf buildings (houses, workshops, etc.) that are identical with those found in Norse Greenland and Iceland at the same period. The site is thus unique evidence of the earliest known European presence on the American continent.

It is a difficult journey to get to L’Anse aux Meadows. It is a 3-4 hour drive from the nearest city of note in Newfoundland and it is at the most extreme northern tip of the island. Once you get there, the only evidence of the original settlers are some small mounds in the shape of a house. The current buildings are reconstructions based on what they think the buildings would have looked like.

That being said, the historical significance of this place can’t be understated. This is where humanity first met up after going in different directions after leaving Africa. It was the first time Europeans set foot in North America and was the precursor to the eventual colonization of the continent by Europe.

View my complete list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites