Hey everybody and welcome back to this article series about amazing places in the world en where you can find them! I know it’s been a while, I published the last one before Christmas last year (whoops), but as I have time now, I thought I’d make another one. I really enjoy writing these articles, but unfortunately school is kicking my ass and I don't have much time to write. I’m trying to keep this series going, but please be patient with me as my schedule is very busy and unpredictable :)

For this article, I asked all of you lovely people to send in suggestions for places, and I’ve tried my absolute best to find out where the pictures were taken and some background info.

Before we get into the fantastic places, I want to mention the extraordinary Michel (@night_wishes) who recently started doing an article series about magical places, similar to my series. You can check her first article here:

Without further ado, here are some extraordinary places for you!

Castle Neuschwanstein

winter, castle, and christmas image

As requested by

This castle is located greatly hidden in the Bavarian Alps in the south of Germany and almost looks like it’s straight from a fairytale! It was built in the 19th century for the ruler of the time, Ludwig II. The castle opened in 1886 to the public just seven weeks after the king’s death and nowadays thousands of people visit the chambers, towers and halls every day. Quite ironic when you’ve come to think of it, as the castle was built for the sole purpose of Ludwig II having a place where he could be hidden away from the public and live somewhere in a private fantasy world.
In popular media, this castle is known as the castle that Disney's Sleeping Beauty castle is modelled after! So climb up and maybe you'll find Aurora fast asleep at the top of the highest tower haha.

autumn castle

Ta Prohm

adventure, nature, and Cambodia image

As requested by

Ta Prohm is a temple in the Angkor region in Cambodia. Unlike other temples in the region, it is still as good as in the same state as it was when European explorers rediscovered the place. This is why the temple looks like it’s “swallowed” by the surrounding jungle, with roots of trees riddling the complex. The building was founded in 1186 AD by the king of the Khmer empire of the time, and it originally was supposed to be a Buddhist monastery and university. The place has grown popular in particular as the movie Tomb Raider (with Angelina Jolie) was partly shot there.

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Bamboo of Adashino-Nenbutsuji

adventure, nature, and bamboo image

As requested by

¿are you happy?
¿are you happy?
@fairlylocaldreamers  

This bamboo grove can only be found when you also visit the Adashino Nembutsuji temple, as it isn’t public like many other bamboo-viewing points in Kyoto, Japan. The temple itself is amongst natives famous as a place that’s dedicated to lone souls who unfortunately passed away without kin. In memory of them, small stone statues of 8000 Buddhas are placed on the temple grounds. Anyways, since this is about the bamboo forest; the path to the temple that visitors need to take is completely surrounded by beautiful green bamboo. As the place isn’t very crowded, even during busier times, extraordinary pictures like the ones above and below can be taken.

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The next three fantastic places are all requested by

Steffi
Steffi
@Steffi11  

Cathedral of Milan

milan, architecture, and travel image

More known as Duomo di Milano to natives, this church is stationed in the fashion city of Italy: Milan. The duomo is one of the biggest cathedrals in the world and by far the most impressive piece of architecture in the city. With its striking number of 3400 statues, it’s also been said that it holds more statues than any other building in the whole wide world. The building started in 1386, and here comes the gag: it only was only completed in 1965! Due to e.g. lack of money, politics and indifference about the whole project, the cathedral took centuries to complete. It was actually on Napoleon Bonaparte’s orders that the façade got finished (he also got crowned king of Italy at the Duomo) and after that, the final stages took place. Finally, after hundreds of architects and engineers, the building was completed. The cathedral can be found on “Piazza del Duomo”, the city square of Milan, where the arch of the Galleria Vittoria Emanuele, aka Milan’s most famous and Italy’s oldest shopping mall, also happens to be.

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Eltz Castle

castle, travel, and architecture image

Okay now, this castle looks even more like it's straight out a fairytale. You probably won't find Aurora from the Sleeping Beauty up there, but mayble you'll find Fiona or something lol. Okay, this is quite off-topic, I’m aware. Anyways, Burg Eltz (German translation) is located in the hills on the west of Germany, and it belongs to multiple heirs. This is called a Ganerbenburg; basically meaning that the castle is divided over and occupied by different family lines at the same time. These types of castles occurred mostly during medieval times in Germany, which is the case for the Eltz Castle. It was built before 1157 and is still partly owned by the Eltz family that has already been inhabiting the castle for 33 generations.

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Yuantouzhu Park

japan, nature, and flowers image

Because of its distinctive topographic shape, which makes it seem like the area is a turtle’s head resting on the shore, the well-known Yuantouzhu Park is nicknamed as the Turtle-Head park. The peninsula (an area of land that’s almost completely surrounded by water) can be found in Wuxi, East-China and is considered by many the place with the most stunning view over the magnificent Taihu lake. The park itself houses two temples and many, many striking gardens. Especially the sakura flowers that bloom in springtime are a must-see.

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The following three are requested by

Iguazú Falls

Image by ➶

Right on the border between Argentina and Brazil, the largest waterfall system in South America is located: Iguazú Falls. Most of the river flows on the Brazilian side, but 80% of the 200 separate waterfalls that the complex consists of are in Argentina. Some trivia: the height of the highest falls is a striking 265 feet / 81 meters, both countries have created national parks that surround the whole area and the falls take part of a large ecosystem filled with tropical creatures.
For those who believe/are interested in legends, there’s a legend about how the Iguazú Falls was formed. The story goes that the Caigangue Indians that used to rule the place had a chief, and his graceful daughter Naipi could still the river by just looking back at her reflection in the water. She was promised to the god M’Boy (yes, true story) who, according to the Indians, ruled the world and was shaped like a serpent. Anyways, Naipi betrayed the god because she had fallen in love with a warrior called Taroba. M’Boy was pretty pissed about that, as you can imagine, so he drove his serpent body into the ground. This produced a great canyon, and eventually created the waterfalls. Naipi didn’t make it unfortunately; she and her newfound boyfriend submerged in water, never to be seen again.

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See the link below for a stunning 360 degrees angle of the Iguazu Falls I came across when I was looking up the place on Google Maps!!

Salinas Grandes

Image by ➶

Again located in Argentina is an enormous salt flat named Salinas Grandes. Similar to the one in Bolivia that I’ve talked about in my first Fantastic Places article (see below), it provides one of the most out-of-this-world views with miles and miles of nothing but white salt flat structures and the skies above. The sale flat has an area which is called in geological terms is a “fault”, in other words, a displacement of the Earth’s crust caused by mayor rock movements. In the Salinas Grandes' case, a part of the crust lies lower, and rainwater from surrounding mountain ranges accumulates to it. The result of this is a beautiful reflection of the sky in the water, as seen in the picture below. Another interesting part about Salinas Grandes is the square basins that are cut from the flat, these now are filled with water and new salt crystals. It’s actually regular people who cut these squares; they scoop out the old, dirty salt. Water then gathers and crystalizes clean salt.

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Perito Moreno Glacier

Image by ➶

Another fantastic place from Argentina is the Perito Moreno glacier, its located in the Los Glaciares National Park to be a little more specific. This incredibly blue ice-mass spans 121 square miles / 250 square kilometres and is the most famous glacier in National Park. One interesting aspect of it that attracts many visitors from all over (perhaps for the wrong reasons, but still), are the dynamic changes within the glacier. And whenever the glacier moves forward or backwards, ice blocks usually fall from the front walls. Even though this happens, the glacier is quite unusual as it’s one of the only ones in the entire world that’s advancing instead of retreating (due to global warming). The National Park itself houses many stunning lakes, woods and mountains, so due to the area’s natural beauty, the park has been declared “World Heritage” by UNESCO in 1981.

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Salina Turda Salt Mine

As requested by

IDKE
IDKE
@idke_1234  
românia, salt mine, and turda image

Out of all the places so far, this is truly a place you wouldn’t know about, as it’s hidden beneath the grounds of Romania. Salina Turda used to be a salt mine that produced table salt for over centuries, until around the 1930s. After that, the salt mine has been used for many purposes, e.g a place to stock up cheese and a bomb shelter during the Second World War. Since the 90s the place got opened up to the public, and around 2008-2010, it had gotten a necessary transformation. It’s now a full-blown theme park, 400 feet / 122 meters beneath the Romanian surface. You’re able to paddle around in the water and explore the spectacular caverns, there are a small amphitheatre thingy and a ferris wheel, mini golf courses and ping pong tables; all that jazz. The place also happens to be fucking beautiful, so yeah, it’s most definitely worth a visit.

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Vatnajökull

As requested by

Image by hola:)

This ice cap is located in the South-East of Iceland. it covers over 8 percent of Iceland and it’s one of the biggest glaciers in all of Europe with its impressive 8100 square kilometres / 3100 square miles! The name for this extraordinary piece of nature is actually not very impressive when you learn more about it. Vatn, translated from Icelandic, literally means water, and the “jökull” part means glacier. So it’s a Water Glacier. Quite an accurate name, as the ice cap is melting (sorry not sorry about that segue).
Anyways, some of the landscapes in Vatnajökull National Park are surreal-looking. Examples are the Askja Caldera (among other volcanos) or the stunning ice caves that can be found there.

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I’m very tired so I’ll keep it short.

Thank you so much for reading! I’m very sorry that it was long and difficult in some parts, but I didn’t want to let people down who suggested me places, which is why I wanted to give long-winded descriptions :)

This whole article took the span of a week for me to write, so I genuinely hope you liked it. If you did, please let me know! I’m very interested in your feedback haha.

Sincerely yours,

Sabine (@the_night_skies)

My collection for traveling articles:

Other parts of this series:

Iguazú Falls 360 degrees on Google Maps:
https://www.google.nl/maps/@-25.692784,-54.4378678,3a,75y,217.65h,105.7t/data=!3m8!1e1!3m6!1sAF1QipMzuBIqVkgwz2maymaODWdCiN6c9EuKTeZtIJcY!2e10!3e11!6shttps:%2F%2Flh5.googleusercontent.com%2Fp%2FAF1QipMzuBIqVkgwz2maymaODWdCiN6c9EuKTeZtIJcY%3Dw203-h100-k-no-pi-0-ya56.207676-ro-0-fo100!7i6000!8i3000