Amid lockdown and isolation, #TravelTuesday just isn’t the same right now. Regardless, I’m full of optimism and hope that this will be over soon, and I’ll be able to get moving around the planet once again. I’m Dave Williams, here every Tuesday on ScottKelby.com, from the UK to all of you.
This week, my post is inspired by the seemingly endless reminder that I’ve had three trips cancelled or postponed, along with two conferences. I can’t wait to be back to normal and get out on some photographic missions, and I know I’m not the only one.
What I want to do today is show you where I most want to go back to, and ask you where you most want to go.
Monument Valley, summer of 2019, as seen at sunrise from the balcony of my hotel. Monument Valley is a strange place. It has a feel to it. It feels naturally peaceful and powerful. This Colorado plateau is packed with tales of lore from the Navajo Nation, and from every angle, at every time of day, there’s something incredible to cast our eyes on. These buttes have featured in many movies, including Forrest Gump and many movies by director John Ford, and when you see them, you’ll understand why. Taking the 17-mile dirt road through the park is worth every last moment, with such enchanting names for the features as Hunts Mesa, Artist’s Point, and Mystery Valley.
A Rocky Mountain sunrise, like this one in the Canadian Rockies just outside Jasper, Alberta, is simply incredible. The vast expanse of nothing but wilderness in all directions, save for a small town here and there, really puts nature and life in perspective. Approaching the Rockies from the plains of Alberta is stunning in itself, with these gargantuan mountains rising suddenly out of nothing, and the range itself has so many inaccessible valleys and unchartered peaks that there really could be anything going on there and we’d be none the wiser. If I were isolating here, rather than at home, there’d be no shortage of inspiration.
Zermatt, Switzerland, is the picturesque and iconic inspiration behind the Toblerone logo. Or rather the Matterhorn is. The pointed, angled mountain rises above the skiing town of Zermatt, which in turn lies at the end of the road (and train tracks) and is a force for green efficiency. The only vehicles allowed in the town are electric, and this has resulted in an unrivaled peacefulness nestled in the Swiss Alps. The view over the town towards the epochal mountain is a nice easy walk away from the cafes and chocolate shops of the middle of town.
The Bean, or Cloud Gate, in Chicago, IL, is something you can see all alone, but right now, I wonder how many fewer people are seeing it than usual. Inspired by liquid mercury, the design reflects the city skyline and distorts it to focus the attention to the sculpture, whilst simultaneously merging it with its surroundings. To see this all alone requires a very early alarm call, and the hope that yours was the only one.
Plitvice Lakes in Croatia—normally heaving with tourists, both local and international—is one of the major draws to the country, alongside the Game of Thrones filming locations in Dubrovnik and Split. An isolated experience in Plitvice is rare but well worth hunting down for the serenity of the peaceful, running water and the azure blue hues of the lakes as they cascade into one another.
When I visited Estonia I wasn’t anticipating the remoteness of the farmland outside of Tallinn. The wintry scenes were akin to something straight outta Lapland.
If you want next-level remote, the Faroe Islands is where you’ll find it. The population of sheep outnumbers the human population, and the only airport (with both of its gates) is at the exact opposite end of the country to Tórhavn, the capital. The chances of bumping into somebody on even the most popular hiking trails are slim to none. It has a feeling which combines Scotland and Iceland, with extraordinary, dramatic scenery.
Speaking of Iceland, sparsity is easy to find here. The power of nature is demonstrated with every turn through this rugged, young landscape. Geothermal activity is evident throughout the whole country, divided diagonally with a rift separating the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates. It’s no surprise that tourism here has skyrocketed, with tourists significantly outnumbering residents at quite a rate. I know I go on about Iceland a lot, but there’s a reason!
Brazil has been hard-hit by the Coronavirus, so hopefully, their recovery will be good, but here’s a view of the beach at Copacabana with just one person walking with his display of sunglasses to sell to the unprepared tourists. The bustle of this contemporary city is shown in relative calm here.
In stark contrast, Venice is a place I can’t wait to see filled with guests again. This region of Italy has been hit hard by the virus and Venice is basically a ghost town. The local economy, like many others, is highly-dependant on tourism to survive, so when all this is over I can’t wait to revisit some of my favourite places on this planet to show my support and do my little bit to bring everything back to life.