How about something breath-takingly different for a vacation? Instead of Paris and London, why not make a change and discover some magical places where none of your friends have been before.
Main picture: Lofoten Islands, Norway
Represented here are stunning photographs of twenty of Europe’s World Heritage Sites. All are equally sublime and it would be extremely difficult to select any one as being the best as all are equally as excellent.
Main picture: The Ring Of Brodgar at Night in Orkney Islands. It is a phantasmagoric place with a beautiful starlight by Joan Gosa Badia
When I first heard about the reports of the heaviest snow falls in the Eastern USA for over 30 years I was sceptical. Maybe my natural cynicism at the Texan exaggeration – I know that the snow was in New York state and not in Austen Texas – aspect of American culture made me blase about the severity of the snow storm. A quick glance at some of the astonishing photographs emerging fr0m the USA rapidly disabused me of that notion.
The worst affected area appears to be the town of Buffalo in New York State where 6 feet [2 metres] of snow has been reported. The rate of the snow fall could rapidly trap people at work, on the highway and more embarassingly at their lovers apartment. Of course they could always claim without fear of contradiction that they were trapped in their vehicle somewhere. Meanwhile they were enjoyed an uninterrupted 48 hours in a romantic tryst!
Main picture: Don’t let the snow in!
Imagine swimming underwater anywhere. What will one normally see? Sand and rocks. That is not so in the case of the Gruner See – the Green Lake – in Styria, Austria. During the winter, the lake is only 1–2 m deep and the surrounding area is used as a county park. However, during the spring, when the temperature rises and the snow melts, the basin of land below the mountains fills with water. The lake reaches its maximum depth of around 12m from mid-May to June. Beneath the water one can view grass and not sand and mud. Looking up, one can spot the tops of the trees under the water.
A truly surreal experience
Have you ever considered why life is not a bland monotone? Imagine for a minute if it were. How boring would life be! Rather it comprises the strident highs of a tweeter and the thumping lows of a bass. It is the opposites and their interaction that makes life sweeter.
Switch on one’s favourite melody and close your eyes. Let the sound flow over and through you. One is enraptured by the interplay of the various components – the lead with its highs, the bass with its lows, the keyboards with its melody and the drums with its beat.
Main photograph: A bamboo forest in China