NATURAL WONDERS AROUND THE WORLD

Being both a list-maniac and a globe-trotter means that I have a never-ending bucket list of places I want to visit and countries I want to travel to.

Technically it’s not a list, because it’s on an Excel sheet, so I guess you’d call it a spreadsheet. Anyways, this plethora of monuments, ruins, heritage sites, palaces and religious places has one particular special section entitled Natural Wonders. And as the name itself specifies, it concerns those spectacular vistas, amongst which are forests, waterfalls, mountains, caves, and deserts which were created solely by Mother Nature, and which, for the most part, remain untouched by man.

This part of the list is extensive, and I’m sure many more target locations will be added to it in future. Dreams, like stars, are infinite. Here are some of the places I wish to visit, and journeys I hope to make someday. Of course, dreams never take practical issues, like money or time, into account, so I don’t actually know when, or if ever, it’ll be possible for me to go there. Still, one can always hope!

The Aurora Borealis – This is not, strictly speaking, a place, and yet there are many places where one can admire it. The Northern Lights have been something I’ve wanted to experience ever since I was a little girl. My mind knows that, scientifically, it’s a phenomenon which takes place when there are “collisions between electrically charged particles released from the sun that enter the earth’s atmosphere and collide with gases such as oxygen and nitrogen.” And yet, the thought of a naturally-produced light show sounds truly magical. Sometimes referred to as Polar Light, this sky display can be admired in different places such as Alaska, USA,  Northern Canada, Northern Russia, Norway, Sweden, and Finland.

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The Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA – Considered by many as the eighth wonder of the world, this huge canyon distinguished by its fascinating layers of red rock is a natural formation which makes one really wonder at the millions of years it took for Planet Earth to sculpt it. There are various trails one can journey along while wandering around the enormous canyon. It’s essential to have a guiding map, if not a guide, as well as basic hiking provisions like water and a means of shade. One must also remember to check the weather. The canyon averages 10 miles across and is a mile deep along its 277-mile length. The Grand Canyon Village, found on the Southern rim of the canyon, is a historic district and a must-see. It also hosts a Visitor Centre which provides a number of shuttle buses with different routes. Other places to target are the Toroweap Overlook above the Colorado River, and Desert View, near the Eastern edge of the Colorado National Park.

 

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Niagara Falls, Canada – Straddling the border between America and Canada, the name actually denotes three different waterfalls; Horseshoe Falls, the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls. Maybe it’s because there are no waterfalls in Malta, or maybe because running water has always had a calming effect on me, but Niagara Falls has always been one of the places on my bucket list; the power of water personified.

 

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The Door to Hell, Turkmenistan – This is thought to have originally been a natural gas field which collapsed into an underground cave, becoming a natural gas crater. It has never stopped burning in around 50 years. When the locals discovered the crater full of boiling flames, mud, gas and unquenchable heat, they dubbed it with its present name. I can only imagine what looking down at that incandescent hole must be like! Not a place to go if you suffer from vertigo! Explorer George Kourounis, who was the first person to lower himself into the depths of the crater on an expedition partly funded by National Geographic, says the experience is surreal and that this is what he imagines an uninhabited red planet would be like.

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Have you visited any of these places? What natural wonders do you wish to travel to?

Let us know in the comment section below.