Much like anyone that travels, there are a number of things that I look for in a destination when I plan to travel or do some photography; architecture, history or natural scenery. Though there are a number of obvious places that have at least two of these, a few of which I have already been to, but there are still a number of places that are high on my to go to list. While I was ranking these destination, I had considered putting Athens as number one on this list, but seeing as I will be there in the coming weeks I decided to leave it off.
Since I have not been to these places, I cannot be as descriptive as was in my other post, My Top 5 Cities for Photography and Travel, but I will try my best to give the idea as to why they would fall on my list of places to see. Additionally, as I have not yet been to these places, I will find images for the headers, and reference where I have found them.
Ancient civilizations are a fascination of mine. The steps humanity went through for such a long time to get to where we are today, and ancient Egypt falls on top of that list for me. Their cultural beliefs are quite intriguing, especially how they changed over time without any external influence. Not to mention that their architectural achievements have stood the test of time.
There was no ancient culture more dominant or that had lasted as long as ancient Egypt’s – referring to the west, China would obviously on top from the east. Even today, their ancient ideologies are still evident in pop culture. The Pyramids, the Sphinx, their scroll work, recreations of their ancient statues of Anubis, Isis, Osiris. While other civilizations had sprung out from the same region, not many had a lasting impression.
The Pyramids and the Sphinx are not the only thing that Cairo (Giza) or Egypt has to offer. They have been conquered and ruled by many other civilizations since then. The Greeks, Romans and the Arab civilizations to name three of them. Of all of these civilizations to rule Egypt, the Arabian Empire had left the most lasting impression on the city and the country, especially architecturally. The Khan el-Khalili, an old mausoleum turned into a large Bazaar, the evolution of the structure throughout the ages is a great example of history in Cairo.
Hawaii is a series of islands and with great natural beauty. Even though I have not actually been there, I think it is safe to say that it is possibly one of the most incredible sights on Earth.
Being comprised of a series of Islands, Hawaii has multiple destinations; however, Honolulu would most likely serve as a perfect base of operations for any photography or sight seeing tour. While it is not the largest of the islands, nor the closest to the most intriguing of the string of islands, but it would have the most to offer locally as the States largest city. Even if you have no interest in staying in Honolulu, it would still act as your way point for any adventure, as most of the states inbound flights will be bring you here, before going to your next destination.
One of the worlds most interesting volcanoes reside on the largest of the islands in Hawaii, both for sight seeing and photography, everyone flocks to Hawaii to see Mauna Loa, the worlds largest and most active Volcano. While this is my number one must see in Hawaii, it is a dangerous destination and as anyone else should I will exercise caution when visiting.
Active volcanoes are not the only sight in Hawaii. Due to it’s volcanic origins, the islands actually have some of the richest soils, which is why it is so fertile, and lush. Much like New Zealand, and other Ring of Fire island nations, the State is home to a number of amazing, lush, scenic areas. Lavender fields, beautiful green beach sides with amazing mountain sides hugging the coast lines, and of all of these natural formations, the most interesting one might be Diamond Head Monument, a dormant volcano located near the center of Honolulu.
Next to Venice, Tuscany is known as one of the most romantic regions of Italy. Florence, the capital of Tuscany, is one of the most cultural destinations to visit in Italy. The architecture, the artwork and the sights of the Apennines mountains in the backdrop of the city. There would certainly be an abundance of great photography in this region. Natural and architectural, including lots of history to see.
As the origin point of the Renaissance era, Florence boasts some of the worlds most incredible architecture from that time in history. Renaissance architecture is not the only thing that dominates this city, but the art work as well. One of Michelangelo’s most well known pieces, David, can be found at the Galleria dell’Accademia.
Tuscany is also known as Italy’s wine region. The region is perfect for growing grape vines that actually rival the taste and body of most French wines; Chianti being the most popular and successful parts of the region. Anyone that loves wine or loves seeing a hilly and mountainous country side, should definitely want to visit this region of Italy.
4. Mont Saint-Michel
A city that is not large enough to even be considered a city, in fact a recent consensus showed it as 42 citizens, but it is not the size of the city that makes it an outstanding sight to see. Regardless of whether photography is your thing or not, Mont Saint-Michel would be an incredible sight for all, especially for the selfie lover.
Situated on the Norman coast, though technically it is 1 kilometer off the coast anyway, during high tide it becomes an incredible setting as an island city. It would be one of the most inaccessible cities to reach when it was built, but it also made it one of the most impossible cities to siege in its time. The origins of the island community are a tad odd, which you can read up about if interested, but it did serve as a strategic point during the 8th century, and thereafter.
The architecture is an obvious desire of mine to see. The narrow streets would make it next to impossible to get a clear shot of the all the incredible stone faced buildings and cobble stoned streets considering the amount of tourists that must walk along these narrow paths; but it would certainly still be an incredible feeling to be on a city so remote, and yet still connected to it’s country.
The southern region of Spain is possibly comprised of three of the countries more important historical cities, and in one of it’s most incredible natural regions. I think I can safely say if you want to do landscape photography or experience Spanish culture, then Andalusia is a must.
There is a lot of history in this region. Previously ruled by the Moors, you can see a lot of their Islamic influence in the architecture, and from what I understand, even in the language of the region. It was taken back by the Spanish in the very late 15th century and has had a very dark history of religious persecution in the following century. Even though all the Mosques had been reconstituted as Catholic Churches, the architecture still boasts the large columned halls that are in layouts of Islamic architecture.
The natural scenery, most particularly at Ronda, is almost surreal; imagine something out of the Lord of the Rings; a city built on the edge of a cliff with a large stone bridge crossing a large gorge. The region is very rocky and hilly, with a lot of history even predating the Reconquest of Spain. Neolithic origins with cave paintings, a Celtic settlement, eventually a Phoenician settlement, but the Ronda that we see today is the result of a Roman settlement.