beautifuldestinations

BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS

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While Mount Everest is arguably the most popular of the Himalayas, and a mountain climber’s, well, Everest, the range includes over 50 other mountains that are just as challenging to conquer. Whether you’re in Nepal or Bhutan, two of the five countries the range extends through, the real challenge is to avoid too many stops spent staring at the ranges' majestic stature. (📷: @rawmeyn 📍: Himalayas)
“Paris has always been known for its beautiful architecture and landmarks. We spent the morning at the Arch de Triumph getting time-lapses and hyper-lapses where there were minimal tourists. The morning rush hour was beyond cool to see from above.” (🎥: @loganlambert 📍: Paris, France 🎶: “Remedy” by @alesso )
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Did you know that the Sahara Desert is as vast as the United States, but with about 1/150th of the population density? While you could choose to spend only a day exploring the largest desert in the world, it takes a full day just to make the journey from Marrakech, as pictured here, so it's probably worth planning for a more extended visit. Another fun fact about the Sahara: Every 41,000 years, the desert cycles into becoming a grassland. The next time this is expected to happen is in 15,000 years. (📷: @ilhan1077 📍: Sahara Desert, Morocco)
Close to 20,000 people stare up at Cologne, Germany’s most well-known landmark — the Cologne Cathedral, a testament to gothic architecture and Catholic tradition. “The nave had many 19th century stained glass windows. A set of five on the south side, called the Bayernfenster, was a gift from Ludwig I of Bavaria, and strongly represent the painterly German style of that date.” (📷: @_shot.art 📍: Cologne, Germany)
Drifting above golden dunes dotted with wandering camels and verdant oases — take a hot air balloon in Dubai to experience the true vastness of the region. Rides above the expanse of the desert are available from multiple companies across the city that are typically open from sunrise to sunset. (🎥: @gregskril 📍: Dubai)
The powder-blue walls of Chefchaouen, or The Blue Pearl, stand out brightly in Morocco. According to Jewish teachings, dyeing thread with tekhelel (an ancient dye) and weaving it into prayer shawls evokes God’s power, and that legacy will is carried through the regular repainting of Chefchaouen’s blue buildings. It has been a sanctuary for Moorish exiles from Spain, for Jews and Muslims, and for the Berber tribespeople, since it was founded in 1471. (📷: @kitkat_ch 📍: Chefchaouen)
Make sure to wear rubber shoes if you go kayaking in Aix-en-Provence — you may have to haul the boat over the rocks. The beautiful town is as classy as it gets, with tree- and café-lined boulevards spotted with polished terraces and haughty stone lions, so there’ll be plenty to do once you finally get out of the water. (📷: @onthere 📍: Aix-en-Provence, France)
“It’s interesting how you grow to appreciate things when you get older. As a child, I never really appreciated this amazing city. Now that I’m back, I’ve been so impressed with all that Edinburgh has to offer! Yesterday we spent the afternoon exploring Princes Street and the Royal Mile before having an epic meal in St Andrews Square — I’d highly recommend the place. This morning, I was up early and headed to Calton Hill for sunrise. I’ve never seen footage like this of Edinburgh Castle before, and it makes me really proud to be able to show you guys where I’m from.” (🎥: @tomjauncey 📍: Edinburgh Castle 🎶: "Wallace Courts Murron" by James Horner)
A rush of adrenaline high up in the Zillertal, a storybook valley sandwiched between the Tuxer Voralpen and the Kitzbüheler Alpen. The steam train that chugs through the valley passes fertile farmland and alpine forests. If you’re lucky, you’ll glimpse all the different fishing holes available in the region, from torrential streams to still, calm lakes. (📷: @frauki 📍: Zillertal, Austria)
A birds-eye view of Cochem Castle, where construction started all the way back in 1000 AD. It formerly housed the Palatinate, related to the German Emperors of the time, and also served as a medieval defense structure. Villagers once saved their town from looters with a giant stack of empty wine barrels, but there’s plenty of local wine to go around now. (📷: @manueldietrichphotography 📍: Cochem, Germany)
Floating along a jagged mountain range, like white ghosted silhouettes against the sky, are the scattered, sacred spaces of one of Lampang’s best-kept secrets in Thailand. Wat Chaloem Phra Kiat — also known as “Thailand’s Floating Pagodas” — is a series of stunning temples and pagodas located just an hour and a half southeast of Chiang Mai. These painstakingly beautiful temples cling precariously to a cliff range that juts up over 3,000 feet into the air. There is something alluring in their precariousness — a beautiful dance that teeters on the risk of destruction and the fragility of existence. Have you heard of “Thailand’s Floating Pagodas?” (🎥: @storyofsage 📍: Wat Chaloem Phra Kiat, Thailand 🎶: "Begin" by @shalloumusic )
The Icefields Parkway is the highest, and arguably the most spectacular, road in North America — it’ll take you about as close as you can get to the Rocky Mountains’ summit in your vehicle, with stop-offs to see glacial lakes, misting waterfalls, and views you won’t believe are real. Indigenous Americans and fur traders established much of the route in the 1800s, and the present highway was opened in the early 1960s. (📷: @jguzmannn 📍: Icefields Parkway)
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