national geographic has a list of their top 10 vistas, and while i’ve only been to 8 of those 10 (all except ireland and serengeti, though i’d love to see both someday), i find myself in disagreement with most of the rest. so, without further ado, here is my list of top 10 vistas that i have seen, in no particular order. definitely an ever-changing list, but as of the end of september, 2012, this is it.
mediterranean coast of turkey
View of the Mediterranean from Alanya Castle (Alanya Kalesi)
the alps from the top of the klein matterhorn
The cable car from Zermatt takes you to the “Top of Europe”, 12,736 feet above sea level.
Besides seeing the “real” Matterhorn up close (err, closer), you are high enough to peer over the top of the Alps in Italy
istanbul from a rooftop
You can read more about this amazing sunset experience, and view an interactive panorama, over at an earlier post.
the great wall of china at mutianyu
Take the chairlift up and the toboggan down!
The countryside easily dwarfs The Wall
Whether you see Manhattan from the Empire State Building, the Top of the Rock, the Staten Island Ferry, the Brooklyn Bridge, or from across the Hudson in Jersey (or all of the above), there’s no denying the iconic status of what you’re looking at.
paris from the eiffel tower at night
Not only are you treated to the Tower itself all lit up, but to see Paris aglow far beneath you — magical. Apologies for the blurry (film!) picture. I prefer riding the elevator up but walking down.
angkor wat at dawn
Most people watch from outside to see the sun rise over the temple, but I made my way in the dark to one of the inner courtyards where I was mostly by myself. Not a life-changing moment, but very close.
(and yes, i know it’s a portrait video — shame on me!)
zürich from uetliberg
Take the train up into the mountains at the edge of the city and just look down. There’s even an overlook tower for you to get higher up (just don’t do it during a blustery storm and nearly get blown off…ahem).
The ropeway takes you over forested mountains and steaming sulfur vents, ultimately descending to the banks of Lake Ashi. with Mount Fuji looming in the distance. When the gondola passes over the first mountain, there’s a big whoosh and the Boiling Valley opens up beneath you. Don’t forget to eat the kuro-tamago eggs for longevity!
the south african sky
personally, my favorite is the nighttime sky from the back of a safari jeep on the way back to the lodge. so many stars, so much peace (i even have a tattoo of the southern cross on my right arm to remind me of this). but alas, i didn’t/don’t have the equipment to make a decent picture of that, so you’re stuck with the sky in all its glory during other parts of the day.
(Yes, Virginia, this is the current background picture for the blog.)