Tagged: travel

Garden of Love at Château de Villandry: Most Romantic Gardens in France [40 PICS]

February 17th, 2012 Permalink

While researching castles built for love, we stumbled upon another castle located in Villandry, France. But it was the magnificent gardens that were built for love — and even the French name jardin de l’amour sounds divinely romantic. While these gardens have serene elements like Chinese gardens, the Château de Villandry gardens have been called the most romantic and beautiful gardens in France. There is a love story behind Love Garden and the entire estate was designed with romantic symbolism from the Renaissance era. The Villandry has three garden styles, a formal water garden, a 2-part ornamental garden with topiary hedges ripe with symbolism for love including for the “Garden of Love” and the “Garden of Music,” and a huge decorative kitchen garden (potager). The gardens of Château de Villandry are an UNESCO World Heritage Site. We’d never seen anything like it. Welcome to the most romantic gardens in Loire Valley, France! [40 Photos]

Jardin d'amour - jardin de 'l'amour tendre' Garden of Love -- Tender Love

Jardin d’amour – jardin de “l’amour tendre”. Garden of Love — Tender Love. Château de Villandry has a great love story to go along with the breathtaking Renaissance gardens that embody romance. A young Spanish doctor, Joachim Carvallo, met and fell in love with a young American medical research intern, Ann Coleman. She was the daughter of a master blacksmith from Pennsylvania. They sunk all of their money into the castle of Villandry and worked tirelessly on their passion of restoring it. They converted part of the estate into a hospital to take care of the wounded during WWI, but after the war, went back to their passion of transforming the romantic park at Chateau de Villandry, originally created by Jean Le Breton, into a stunning design of romantic gardens that still exist today. Photo #1 by hamadryades

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Romantic Architecture? 15 Castles Built for Love

February 12th, 2012 Permalink

Love is the most powerful force that exists. In the throes of love, your feet are nowhere close to the ground but floating in the clouds. Love has inspired all types of art, poems, novels, plays, music and paintings. After Cupid shoots an arrow through the heart, some people are so inspired as to erect architecture. We’re not talking about building a Love Shack, but of big-scale and divinely romantic architecture such as castles built for love. Margaret Anderson once said, “In real love you want the other person’s good. In romantic love you want the other person.” Castles built by love seem like both. There are many examples of architecture built for love, but to celebrate Valentine’s Day we wanted to hone in on castles love built. While this amazing architecture seems like something out of a fairy tale, and a wonderfully romantic way to say I Will Always Love You, not all end with happily ever after. The irony is that almost all of these grand displays of love ended in tragedy. [15 Castles presented in 83 Photos]

Aerial view of Boldt Castle and some of the Thousand Islands in the Saint Lawrence River - Castles Built for Love

Happy Valentine’s Day! If you are a bah-humbug type of person on this holiday of romance, then perhaps you can at least appreciate all this architecture that was constructed for love? As many of us can appreciate beautiful castles, perhaps even saying “I love it” there are some castles that are divinely romantic since they were built by love and to honor love. This is an aerial view of Boldt Castle and some of the Thousand Islands in the Saint Lawrence River, near Alexandria Bay, New York. George Boldt had this five-acre castle estate built out of love for his wife. He planned to give his wife Boldt Castle on Valentine’s Day 1905. As you will see in many of these castles built for love, there is a reoccurring theme of tragedy striking at the heart of love. Photo #1 by Teresa Mitchell / Howcheng

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Abandoned Snowy Post-Apocalypse? 41 Photo Scenarios of Snowpocalypse or Snowmageddon

February 4th, 2012 Permalink

Snowy landscapes can alter a viewer’s perception of the scene, sometimes making it seem deserted and surreal as if the world has ended and a blanket of white descended. This had us musing on what a post-apocalyptic Earth might look like IF the world didn’t burn, but the people disappeared for some reason or another. In some of these photos, it seems as if the few lone Apocalyptic survivors are out and about to view the rebirth of the world 2.0. While this is a bit bizarre to be pondering, all of these winter snow photos struck a chord with us in harmony with what the world might look like after the Apocalypse. Most of the people would undoubtedly be gone, so seeing ‘survivors’ would be few and far between. In our Snowpocalypse or Snowmageddon scenarios, buildings would be abandoned and a quiet world would be wrapped in a heavy white blanket of snow. Some people love winter, the cold and the snow — perhaps even the photographers who captured these unbelievably beautiful and snowy landscapes that seem to us as if they could portray a world after the Apocalypse. [41 Photos]

A Snowy Ski lift on top of Åreskutan, in Sweden

Sweden: A snowy ski lift on top of Åreskutan. Photo #1 by Anders Carlsson

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ISS Envy: Breathtaking Views of Earth

October 1st, 2011 Permalink

We envy the International Space Station astronauts with their window on the world offering breathtaking views of the Earth and of the universe as a whole. Outer space may become the next frontier for vacations. If that becomes a reality, and we can book a space hotel with an eye in the sky overlooking Earth . . . wow, talk about a room with a view! Who would not want to go? We love to stargaze the majestic Milky Way, but crews from the ISS can also planet-gaze down at Earth. We also love NASA images and have looked at the space-walkers and photos captured from the ISS during Endeavor’s last-ever space walk. Granted there are many countries with space programs and spacecraft taking awe-inspiring photos of Earth—so these images were not entirely captured by the ISS—but they made us dream of taking a space vacation. When we see any of these out-of-this-world pictures, we get ISS envy because those space station expedition crews get to live with those magnificent views for extended ‘vacations.’ Here’s a very small but wowza collection of 34 breathtaking pictures of Earth, and of spacecraft approaching the ISS, as well as two incredible videos.

View of Aurora from ISS

Normally, we look up at amazing auroras, but the ISS crew is fortunate enough to have and captures auroras like this to give us an entirely different perspective of the phenomena. Photo #1 by NASA

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Enchanted Adventure: Alpine Lakes Wilderness (38 PICS)

September 25th, 2011 Permalink

Alpine Lakes Wilderness consists of 390,000 acres of rugged wilderness spanning the Cascade Range of Washington state and parts of Wenatchee National Forest and Snoqualmie National Forest. There are over 700 mountain lakes and over 300 miles (480 km) of Forest Service class one and two streams. The terrain includes craggy peaks and ridges, deep glacial valleys, granite walls and forests that are picture perfect and ready to enchant visitors &#8212 especially in autumn. It is an adventurers’ delight: nature lovers, backpackers, mountaineers, hikers, photographers. We love these pics, but they are but a tiny slice of this Alpine Lakes Wilderness piece of heaven dropped down on earth for adventurers to enjoy. [38 Photos]

Enchantments basin from Prusik pass

Enchantments basin from Prusik pass. Enchantment Basin has been called the crown jewel of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area. Photo #1 by Jeffrey Pang

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Animal Safari: Wildlife that makes you say WOW! [40 PICS]

July 14th, 2011 Permalink

Africa is not the only place on Earth to go on a safari, but it surely offers some of the best safari adventures around. Most of the African safari reserves have all the big five animals: the lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo. It’s now always easy to get photos of all on them on one safari, especially the nocturnal leopard. But these photographers did a great job of sharing with us the beautiful beasts they captured with their camera while on safari. So sit back and relax, let’s do some animal watching on this virtual safari. [40 Photos]

On Safari - Leopard in Heat

While on Safari in Africa, the photographer snapped a shot of this female leopard up in a tress and in heat. The male approached on the ground, but she “made an even louder racket and let out a loud bark at him.” So the male turned away and sauntered off. She jumped down and followed him. ;-) Photo #1 by Steve Jurvetson

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Beautiful & Bewitching Black Forest (33 PICS)

June 24th, 2011 Permalink

The Black Forest in Germany is so dense with pine trees that it blocks out most of the light in the woods and that’s how “Black Forest” got its name. The German name for the Black Forest wooded mountain range is Schwarzwald. Like the Halong Bay, gorgeous jewels in an emerald sea, and Volcanic JeJu, Island of the Gods, the Black Forest is one of the elite 28 finalists in the competition to name the new 7 Wonders of Nature. The beautiful Black Forest is a gigantic nature park, calling to nature lovers and adventurers . . . and for those with an active imagination, it’s said that Germany’s Black Forest possesses a “rich mythological landscape. It is said to be haunted by werewolves, sorcerers, witches who haunt the darkness, and the devil in differing guises, so watch out. Fortunately, there are dwarves that live within the woods who like to help people and try to balance the scales.” [33 Photos]

Fall Colors of Black Forest

Fall Colors of Black Forest. Imagine that beauty times 4,600 sq miles. Long ago, this forest was so thick that is was impenetrable to people and to sunlight. Photo #1 by Andreas Wonisch

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Awe-inspiring Antelope Canyon (30 PICS) Navajo Nation Tribute Part 3

June 16th, 2011 Permalink

The mysterious, magnificent colors of Antelope Canyon make it the most photographed slot canyon in the American Southwest. This masterpiece of color is located near Page, Arizona, and the Lake Powell area. We’ve looked at Canyon de Chelly National Monument and magnificent Monument Valley, but in Navajo Nation tribute part 3, we’re looking at Antelope Canyon. This is actually made up of two slot canyons. The Navajo name for Upper Antelope Canyon is Tsé bighánílíní, which means “the place where water runs through rocks.” Lower Antelope Canyon is Hasdeztwazi which in Navajo means “spiral rock arches.” Antelope Canyon was formed mostly by erosion of Navajo Sandstone due to flash flooding and water rushing through the rocks. The risk of flash floods is but one reason Antelope Canyon is not accessible without a guide. Yet people come from all over the world to visit the Navajo Nation and to try out this photographic extravaganza. [30 Photos]

Upper Antelope Canyon

Upper Antelope Canyon is at about 4,000 feet elevation. It is the most popular of the two canyons since the upper has a fairly flat ground which requires no climbing. Also because the glorious shafts of sunlight are most common here. The spectacular canyon walls rise 120 feet above the streambed. Throughout the year and depending upon the time of day, nature will surprise you in this amazing canyon with the changing masterpiece of color variations, sunbeams, and visible textures. Photo #1 by James Marvin Phelps

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Gorgeous Jewels in an Emerald Sea: Halong Bay [40 PICS]

June 11th, 2011 Permalink

In northern Vietnam, east of Hanoi, is a gorgeous gem of nature which is famous for its stunning rock formations. Ha Long Bay translates to mean Descending Dragon Bay. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of 28 finalists in the New 7 Wonders of Nature competition. It’s certainly not hard to see why with these breathtaking images. Ha Long (or Halong) Bay has a magnificent collection of 1,969 limestone monoliths that are dotted with jungle vegetation. The core of the bay has 775 islets. There may be 3,000 or more incredible islands of all various shapes and sizes rising up like jewels from an emerald sea. It would be easy to imagine pirates hiding behind the massive and sometimes hollow monoliths that hide gigantic caves. Birds can almost always be heard singing and monkeys can be seen playing on these monolithic islands that feature secluded beaches, grottoes, caves, and lakes. Welcome to Ha Long Bay, one of nature’s paradise locations! [40 Photos]

Titov Island overlooking Vietnam Ha Long Bay New7Wonders of Nature

Titov Island overlooking Vietnam Ha Long Bay. Will this be crowned as one of the seven finalists in the “New 7 Wonders of Nature” competition? Photo #1 by Alex Stoen

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Amazing Cliffs of Norway: Adrenaline Junkies’ Paradise [33 PICS]

June 6th, 2011 Permalink

Norway has absolutely beautiful landscapes, including crazy cliffs that call to people to climb up them and then BASE jump off the top. Here’s a look at some of those incredible cliffs as well as insanely dangerous switchback roads to get to those amazing cliffs in Norway. Thrillseekers, photographers, hikers and climbers take in these majestic views of nature. And then, there’s BASE jumpers who have a much more extreme need for adrenaline. Charles Lindbergh once said of his adrenaline rush, “It is the greatest shot of adrenaline to be doing what you have wanted to do so badly. You almost feel like you could fly without the plane.” Here in Norway, as if they’ve turned into Superman, some adrenaline junkies do fly without a plane.
[33 Photos]

Preikestolen, Norway

Preikestolen cliff goes by many names. The massive cliff is 604 meters (1982 feet) above Lysefjorden, Norway. Photo #1 by Arjan Veen

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Creepy, Crusty, Crumbling: Illegal Tour of Abandoned Six Flags New Orleans [75 Pics]

May 19th, 2011 Permalink

Like little kids, we all experience a happy rush, a delighted thrill, when going to play at an amusement park. Yet when an amusement park is abandoned and an eerie silence settles over the rusty and crusty decay, the setting seems to twist the atmosphere of enthusiastic excitement into a suffocating blanket of dread. The place takes on creepy vibes and freaks people out. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and ripped the heart of fun and the amusement out of this park. Almost six years later, Six Flags in New Orleans is unnaturally silent, no lines and no laughter. This 140-acre surreal setting has morphed into a nightmarish land of twisted dreams. It seems as if the post-apocalyptic atmosphere might be the perfect place to make a zombie movie. As if lured by a distant echo of scattered screams and the ghost of good times, urban explorers venture out of curiosity and capture the moments and crumbling scenes. They share with us in a virtual urban exploration tour of this creepy abandoned amusement park – Six Flags New Orleans. Most of these photos are very recent, as in taken during 2011, nearly six years after Hurricane Katrina tried to swallow New Orleans and Six Flags. A special thank you to the urban explorers who risked arrest, and possible zombie attack, to go in and shoot these current shots of Six Flags, and then gave us permission to use their copyright photos. This is about twice the size of a normal post here, so we hope you really enjoy this virtual urban exploration tour into the defunct amusement park Six Flags New Orleans. [75 Photos]

Cool Zone - abandoned Six Flags - New Orleans

Eerily silent in the forsaken amusement park, the Cool Zone is creepy; it’s like an ominous omen of what is to come in the forlorn and forgotten abandoned Six Flags in New Orleans. Photo #1 by © lostlosangeles / facebook.com/lostlosangeles

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Christ the Redeemer Statue – 1 of 7 New Wonders of the World (45 Inspiring Pics)

April 20th, 2011 Permalink

Christ the Redeemer is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. As such, the Cristo Redentor statue in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, is photographed by thousands each year. Christ the Redeemer statue speaks a bit differently to each photographer who captures the image as seen in their magnificent mind’s eye. Their talent, a blessing to be sure, has been collected here to celebrate Easter and Christ. We love these pics! [45 Pictures]

From Back - Christ the Redeemer overlooking Rio De Janeiro

It’s been said of Christo Redentor: “The statue of Christ the Redeemer, though majestic, is not the main attraction. What impresses most visitors is the breathtaking panoramic view. Almost every major city attractions can be enjoyed away from the top. The Sugar Loaf, the Guanabara Bay, the Lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean are the points that stand out in the landscape” ~ Andre Sampaio. This photo is an example of that. Taken from the back – Christ the Redeemer overlooking a beautiful and panoramic Rio De Janeiro. Photo #1 by Artyominc

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