Since 2010 I have been on 14 different trips with G Adventures. The fact that I’ve been on so many trips should give you an indication of what I think of the company. Not only have I been on 14 different trips with G, but I’ve traveled with them to all seven continents and to 40 countries and territories around the world. I’ve had dinner with the founder, attended their annual corporate meeting, and have served as an ambassador for the company.
I guess I know the company about as well as anyone who isn’t an employee can.
This article isn’t a review in the same way that a movie review is. This isn’t intended to criticize, praise, or compare so much as it is intended to give you an overall idea of what you can expect when you are on a G Adventures trip. Each tour is a difference experience, so it is impossible to provide a review which covers every possible trip. Also, even though I’ve been on 14 different tours with G, they run hundreds of tours around the world, so your mileage may vary.
The property includes the mining sites of Almadén (Spain), where mercury (quicksilver) has been extracted since antiquity, and Idrija (Slovenia), where mercury was first found in AD1490. The Spanish property includes buildings relating to its mining history, including Retamar Castle, religious buildings and traditional dwellings. The site in Idrija notably features mercury stores and infrastructure, as well as miners’ living quarters, and a miners’ theatre. The sites bear testimony to the intercontinental trade in mercury which generated important exchanges between Europe and America over the centuries. Together they represent the two largest mercury mines in the world, operational until recent times.
There are two sites in two different countries which are part of this world heritage site. Almadén, which is in Spain, and Idrija, which is in Slovenia.
I visited the property in Spain and this post will deal with visiting the mine in Almadén.
NOTE: There is no risk of mercury of poisoning in visiting this mine. Mercury in its liquid elemental form is very dangerous. However, you will not see any silverly liquid in the mine. The Mercury is in the form of Cinnabar, which is a red mineral created when mercury bonds with sulfur to create Mercury Sulfide (HgS). The only place you will see liquid mercury is in the visitor center, behind glass.
If you look at a map of the World Heritage Sites in Spain, Almadén sort of sits by itself, at least a 2-hour drive away from any other world heritage site. You could visit on a road trip from Madrid to Seville, but otherwise, you will probably have to make a special trip to visit. I drove out of my way to visit when going from Trujillo to Madrid.
Many people shy away from industrial heritage sites, but they are my favorite types. Learning how the items which made our modern world are an important part of our heritage, and visiting places like Almadén are an important part of that history.
This Month’s Image was taken in Mada’in Saleh, Saudi Arabia Tablets | iPhone 6/7/8 | iPhone 6/7/8 Plus | iPhone X Most Desktops (will adjust for size) | Large High-Resolution Format (Retina and 4k Monitors)
The Archaeological Ensemble of Mérida, located in Extremadura, Spain, has its origins in the year 25 BC when Augustus completed the conquest of the North of Hispania and founded the Colony of Augusta Emerita. The city was created as an idealized model of Rome and was the capital of Lusitania, the western-most province of the Roman Empire. Following Diocletian’s reform, it functioned as the capital of the Diocese of Hispania. It was also temporarily the royal seat of two Germanic peoples – the Suebi and the Visigoths – and under the Arabic dominion, Mérida was one of the three border capitals of Al-Andalus, together with Toledo and Zaragoza, ensuring control of the western part of the Iberian peninsula.
The modern city of Mérida has been built on top of Emerita; yet, archaeological remains are well preserved and still evidence the Roman city. The 22 component parts of the property comprise an area of 31 ha. These include buildings for entertainment (theatre and amphitheater), the public architecture of the Forum and other spaces of power (provincial forum), engineering works (bridges, the dike, cutwater and clean and wastewater systems), and religious buildings, such as the Temple of Diana or the Temple of Marte. The property also includes excellent examples of private architecture, such as the Casa del Anfiteatro, La Casa Basílica, or Casa del Mitreo, which represent daily life. Most of the elements are located within the walled area of the Roman colony, but some are found outside its walls, such as the dams, aqueducts or thermal baths of Alange, in a natural environment and a landscape that has remained comparable to one of Roman times.
Mérida is a city in the Extremadura region of Spain with a population of 60,000. The city was originally founded as a Roman colony and it is best known of its Roman ruins.
The Roman ruins in the city are probably the best in the entire Iberian peninsula and among the best in the world. In addition to the signature Roman theater (see above), there is also a well-preserved aqueduct, one of the longest Roman bridges in the world, an amphitheater, arches, and a circus. The museum of Roman artifacts is one of the best museums of its kind that I have ever seen in the world.
Mérida should easily be on any list of top places in the world to visit to see Roman ruins and artifacts.
From the Old Town of Cáceres World Heritage inscription: The Old Town of Cáceres is an urban ensemble of 9 hectares surrounded by a wall of 1,174m, located in the Autonomous Community of Extremadura in the southwest of the Iberian Peninsula. Cáceres has been a trade route city and a political center of the local …
It was a rainy day in November but the cloudy and gray sky, combined with half-destroyed buildings and ghostly railway tracks, seemed like the ideal scenario for photography. I was wandering around industrial warehouses with broken windows and rusted Soviet machinery. I bumped into a Lenin bust which was surrounded by weeds and located in …
This Week in Travel – Travel News Podcast. Regular hosts Jen Leo, Chris Christensen, and I are joined by this week’s guest Warren and Karen Binedell from ourtravellingfamily.com who are starting a trip volunteering around Europe with pets and 3 teens.