Category Archives: Travel

#20 – Uluru (Ayers Rock), Alice Springs, Australia

The massive Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, is a sandstone rock formation in central Australia. Officially located in the Northern Territory, Uluru is an inselberg (literally “island mountain”) which is a leftover section of a mountain range after erosion has removed the original mountain range. The formation is home to ancient wall paintings, springs, and caves. Uluru stands 348 meters (1,142 ft) tall. It is popular with photographers during sunset when it appears to glow red. Many visitors opt to enjoy a steep hour-long climb to the top of Uluru. Uluru is located inside the Uluru – Kata Tjuta National Park and visitors must pay a $25 fee to enter the area. There is a nearby airport for those interested in a short and easy visit to Uluru. Visitors wishing to stay longer can find accommodation in the nearby town of Alice Springs

#20 – Neushwanstein Castle, Germany

Built in the late 1800s, the Neuschwanstein Castle in the state of Bavaria in southeast Germany was meant to be the private retreat of the reclusive King Ludwig II of Bavaria, but he died before it was completed. The castle was opened to the public in 1886 and it has seen over 60 million visitors since then. The Neuschwanstein Castle was built in the Romanesque Revival style and was the inspiration for Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty castle. The castle is one of the most popular in Europe and currently sees over 1.3 million visitors a year and as many as 6,000 per day in the summer months. The castle overlooks the Hohenschwangau valley and is near the tourist town of Fussen where accommodation can be found.

so ballin.

#19 – Sossusvlei, Namib Desert, Namibia

The towering red sand dunes of Sossusvlei in the Namib Desert are one of the most spectacular sights to be seen in Namibia. Sossusvlei itself is a clay pan fed by the Tsauchab River. In addition to the sea of red sand dunes, Sossusvlei is also home to the Dead Vlei, meaning “dead marsh”, an eerie white clay pan filled with dead Camelthorn trees. This area is contained within the Namib-Naukluft Park which is in turn a part of the Namib Desert, the oldest desert in the world. The best time to visit Sossusvlei is at sunrise or sunset when the colors are the most vivid and the sun is not too hot. Accommodation near the area ranges from luxury resorts, to mid-range lodges, to numerous campgrounds.

#18 – Preikestolen, Norway

One of the most famous tourist attractions in Norway, this massive 604 meter (1982 feet) tall cliff in Forsand, Norway is known by any of these five names: Preikestolen, Prekestolen, Preacher’s Pulpit, Pulpit Rock or Hyvlatonnå. Those who make the steep 3.8 km (2.4 mile) trek are treated to an amazing view over the Lysefjord. There is a lodge and a youth hostel nearby, and more accommodation can be found an hour away in the city of Stavanger.

#17 – Angel Falls, Venezuela

Angel Falls is the world’s highest waterfall at 979 meters (3,212 feet). Because the water falls so far it becomes a fine mist which can be felt a mile away before it reaches the ground below. The falls spill from a cliff near the summit of Mount Auyantepui into the Kerep River (also called the Rio Gauya). Named after the American aviator Jimmie Angel, Angel Falls is located in the state of Bolívar in Venezuela and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The falls is becoming a popular tourist destination, but it is still difficult to visit. To get to the base of the falls one must fly to Canaima camp and embark on a river trip from there. River trips can be taken only from June to December, as the river is too low in the dryer months. Alternatively, one can book an aerial flyby of the falls, but a view of the falls is not guaranteed as they are usually surrounded by clouds.

#16 – Meteora, Greece

The Greek word Meteora means “suspended in the air”, and our words meteorite and meteorology come from the same root. The conglomerate rock at Meteora, Greece, has eroded into fantastic peaks upon which medieval monks built monasteries, several of which are still active. The isolated monasteries of Meteora helped keep alive Greek Orthodox religious traditions and Hellenic culture during the turbulent Middle Ages and Ottoman Turk occupation of Greece (1453-1829). In 1988, UNESCO declared Meteora to be a World Heritage Site. It is also only a few hours away from Mount Olympus which is open for hiking and exploration. Good parts of the area to stay in are Kastraki, which is a small town with awesome architecture, cobble streets, and monasteries. Also, the larger town of Kalambaka is recommended.

#15 – Dolomites, Italy

So first, I want to apologize for not doing these posts for the past few days…I had the most stressful art history exam to study for and I could not think about anything else. But I had that test today, so hopefully I will be able to post one every day again 🙂

The Dolomites are a section of the Alps mountain range in Italy. Besides the spectacular views, visitors to the Dolomites can enjoy skiing, snowshoeing, snowboarding, ice skating and sledding in the winter months, and hiking, mountaineering, mountain biking, base jumping, paragliding and hang-gliding in the summer. The Dolomites were recently declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in August, 2009. Marmolada, the Dolomites’ largest peak, stands 3,344 meters (10,972 feet) tall. The Dolomites span three Northeastern Italian provinces: Belluno, Bolzano-Bozen and Trento. Accommodation can be found in any of the many cities and villages in the area.

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