Updated: May 29
Okay, so this next post has come quick enough. Thanks to my job for serving me with enough time to burn. After the previous post, I thought of sharing a few magnificent natural spectacles nature has offered us. However, whether is it worthwhile to spend a chunk visiting a phenomenon? I will leave it to your judgement. So here are the next on my bucket list.
1) Geysers of Iceland
I have always wondered who would have named Iceland so. Nevertheless, I'm sure that the same guy would have named Greenland too. Just for fun, have a look at this meme :p.
Iceland, just as contrary to the name, is sooo green and splendid. The country is so isolated that even the virus in Plague Inc. had trouble infecting anyone here. This place is very well famous for its gravity anomalies and geological activities. It is home to numerous hot springs and active volcanoes, a fabulous combination for the fountains of nature. Going a bit technical, the water is spewn by the scorching geothermal energy through narrow fissures, imitating the volcanic activity. Though the country possesses several such geysers, the currently active one is the Strokkur Geyser. It spouts every few minutes, at times even to a height of 40 metres! It is one of the rarest sights in the World, and Iceland holds the best of those. Ergo, if this interests you, how about a mud bath at the famous Blue Lagoon Spa, some whale watching and a breath-taking view of Gullfoss Waterfall?
2) Northern Lights, Norway
Aurora Borealis, easily spelt as Northern Lights, is a fiddly marvel. This sight has been on my list for ages. I cannot watch the videos of this spectacle without dropping jaws. Such a view will make you wonder about the intricacies of this planet and what more is hidden. The theory behind this mechanism is quite complex, though it can be concluded as the release of charged particles when solar ejections hit the Earth's magnetic field. The curves of lights are, in fact, the lines of magnetic force. Complex enough! So let's stick to the prettiness of the lights.
(Video sourced from the Youtube Channel 'Pascal Zemp')
However, this display can be observed from any Nordic countries, including Iceland. But don't just pack your bag and set out without any background research. Some say that you have to be damn lucky to have seen this dance of lights. Northern Lights are best seen in Northern Norway, that too in the city of 'Tromso' which sits right in the centre of the zone. The lights are perfect when there is a solar maximum, which might not happen until 2024. So, if you are lucky enough to be in Northern Norway at Tromso city in March 2024 between 8pm to 2am, you are in for a treat of your lifetime. And who doesn't wanna ride along this route?
(Image source: Youtube.com, Slate.com)
3) Waitomo Caves, New Zealand
(Image source: Newyorktimes.com)
Is this a star-speckled sky? A galaxy? or a scene out of Avatar? No! they are just glow-worms hanging from the cave roofs. Discovered and opened for tourism a century ago, the number of tourists have only surged over the years. Wanna promote tourism? Learn it from New Zealand. This glow-worm grotto is stated as exclusive to New Zealand, and they earn heavily from it. Once submerged in the sea, these limestone caves are home to a variety of fossils.
Unlike other spots, this cave provides you with a complete package. Apart from the 'star-gaze' boat ride, the cave management promotes rock climbing, abseiling, and zip-lining. The pictures promise an out-of-the-world experience, and I strongly recommend you visit www.waitomo.co.nz for the awe-inspiring videos. And the 'Hobbit'on village is just 100kms away!
4) Salar de uyuni, Bolivia
Would you believe that the Earth has got a mirror to tidy herself up? Here in Salar de Uyuni lies the World's most enormous mirror. This seemingly endless landscape, stretching over 10,000 square kilometres, is the largest salt flat, resulted from the evaporation of prehistoric lakes. Extending over the horizons, the thin sheet of water from the nearby lakes provide a spectacular reflection of the sky above. The place is also a spot for Lithium mining, powering your smartphones. Like the Northern Lights, we have to be aware of the season in which the site becomes a picturesque panorama; widely recommended to visit during the monsoon. And the best part! You can drive through these pans as well. Now you are here, how about an Amazonian boat ride and a trek in the 'Valley of the Moon'?
The list is long as the Earth never stops to mesmerise us. Hence it doesn't stop here. Hoping to come with more posts soon, and till then, "Work, Save, Travel, and Repeat"