One of my favourite features in Lonely Planet magazine is the one that appears right at the start, which includes lots of images taken by readers. Lots of magazines do this – photography magazines, travel magazines, hiking magazines; it’s all about drawing the reader in with some beautiful imagery but also with the “you too” idea – these aren’t official press photos, these have been taken by our readers, “you too” can experience these views with your own eyes.
The premise is that readers send in their travel photographs and tell a bit of a story about the moment it was taken. These postcards from people’s travels are meant to inspire us to share our stories with others, and to add certain places to our travel bucket lists.
I thought I’d take inspiration from Lonely Planet and share some of my favourite travel photographs, by way of telling you the five places I think you should add to your travel bucket list.
Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA
I am absolutely certain that you are not surprised this photograph is here. It really is going to take some beating as far as travel memories go. Here I am sat on the edge of the Grand Canyon, looking over the Colorado River, just enjoying the view. Taken by LincsGeek, we were a few days into our Wild West tour, which is right up there as the best travel experience of my life and one I would definitely recommend to anyone who wants to see some of the most amazing scenery in the world. A photograph simply doesn’t do this place justice, it has to be seen for real to appreciate the sheer vastness of that one-mile-deep and ten-miles-across hole.
Goreme, Cappadocia, Turkey
Hot air ballooning at sunrise is quite a spectacle wherever you are in the world, but here in Goreme in Cappadocia it’s something altogether more stunning. The moon-like scenery formed by volcanic activity thousands of years ago is definitely best seen from above. And when you are amongst a hundred or more other hot air balloons, thousands of people enjoying the same view, it is even more special. Turkey is a vast country with so much to offer, and floating up into the sky for a different perspective is well worth it.
To experience real winter you need to go north, where the days are short and the temperatures are oh so cold. Ruka is in Finnish Lapland, not quite into the Arctic Circle but not far off. As far as beauty goes, this place has it sorted. On our coldest day in this resort town we managed about half an hour outside before we needed to go back in and sit by the fire, but it’s so stunning the bother of putting on all those layers is definitely worth it. If you’ve never experienced frozen hair (including inside your nose), this is a must. And there is such a wide range of things to do even if you don’t ski this is a great place for a week away this winter.
Timmelsjoch Pass, Hochgurgl, Austria
Who doesn’t like a mountain view? This particular one is from Hochgurgl high up in the Austrian Alps (Obergurl just up the road is the highest village in Austria), at the start of the Timmelsjoch Pass. The road, a toll road very popular with motorcycles and cyclists, winds its way between Austria and Italy, and offers some completely awesome Alpine views in the summer months (it’s closed in winter). We took a road trip down to Obergurgl in last summer so you should check out that post too, it was well worth the miles. The Alps are perfect for fresh air, amazing views, some great hiking, and just feels and looks majestic.
Kinder Scout, Derbyshire, UK
You don’t have to travel a long way to find postcard worthy scenery and memories. This photo was taken within a couple of miles of the start of the Pennine Way, on the way up to Kinder Scout in Edale, Derbyshire. The Peak District here in the UK is such a special place and everyone should explore it if at all possible. I guess my point here is to make the most of the places you have on your doorstep, and just get out and enjoy them whenever you can. If you’ve never done a decent day hike then I would recommend Kinder as the perfect place to try it out; some beautiful views, all kinds of terrain, a fairly easy-to-navigate path, and a decent challenge of a circular trek that can be done in daylight hours.
Where in the world would you like to send me a postcard from?
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