A few years ago, I was lucky enough to go to Nepal for a holiday. It was two weeks of amazing sights, experiences and people and I had a great time. But one memory stands out ( and as this was before the digital age, I only have memories and not digital photographic evidence) and it was a Wow moment- A moment when something just takes your breath away- for the sheer beauty or spectacle of what you see.
My 'Wow' moment in Nepal, was standing looking towards the Annapurna Mountains at dawn and realising what you thought were clouds were actually the tops of the Mountains. It was so beautiful and such a peaceful serene image, that I must confess it literally did bring tears to my eyes-( Yes I admit I'm a complete softie!)
But it's one memory that will always stay with me- A real wow moment.
So I started to think about other times, when reality really did surpass the hype, or when the scene in front sends shivers down your spine as you realise how lucky you are to be in such an amazing place.
Hunting through my albums, I found a few images that record those special times and thought I'd share them.
Some are iconic, some are pretty special and some are just pretty! But to me, the experiences, all had the wow factor.
An amazing sunset, Christmas week, 2012, at Temperung, Sabah,Malaysian Borneo. I am so lucky to live in such a lovely place and this is only a couple of hours drive away. You can almost guarantee fabulous sunsets.
Salar de Uyuni, The spectacular salt desert in Bolivia- I've never experienced anything that looked so white against the blue. It's hard to believe its salt and not snow. Although it sure felt cold enough for it to be snow, despite the bright sunshine. But when you are at one of the higher places above sea level in the world-3,656 m, you soon realise why its so cold at night!
Another South American wonder, another day break. Dawn sunlight filtering across the Huayna Picchu and onto the Machu Picchu below. It was built around 1485 at the height of the Incan Empire and is an UNESCO world heritage site. Despite the hoards of tourists that are there- It's still a beautiful place and definitely a wow moment!
A personal favourite- made even more special with a whole load of snow- New York's Central Park, Love It!
This one is much nearer home-(well it was when I lived in England!) I took this is September a couple of years ago overlooking Ullswater in the Lake District. It was late afternoon and the sun was trying to break through a bank of grey cloud. It's a pretty picture- but also pretty special, as it's my home county.
Wow, Just look at the colour of the sand and sea- Oh yeah- and don't forget the great big seal lion that's basking there. Yep, Paradise indeed. Galapagos Islands, 2008 and I was sooooooo lucky to have spent some time there. What more can I say:)
Another South American Image. Another piece of Bolivia, Another early Morning. Dawn at the Volcanic Hot Springs.
A little closer to my Asian Home- And not a natural image- but still a wow moment- the first time I looked out of my hotel balcony window and saw this nightscape of Singapore. It was very impressive.
Wow, In a totally different concept. A view that was amazing for many different reasons- One for the sheer amount of people crammed into the field, Two, the sheer realisation that I was actually at the Glastonbury Festival and three, that it wasn't actually raining! Well, not then anyway. WOW!
How iconic an image- It just says Greece, doesn't it. The crisp blues against the white and the brilliant sunshine of Santorini.
Another Sunset. This time against the backdrop of the Burj Khalifa, Dubai.
I think this is the epitome of iconic geographical places- The Grand Canyon. I defy anyone who has seen it not to say wow on their first encounter!
Finally, The latest wow moment for me, was a view of Ha Long Bay in Vietnam- It wasn't the greatest of weather but it made for a very ethereal view.
I'm so very lucky to have visited so many beautiful places and these are just a few personal choices, but I'm sure as I think harder, I could probably think of a few more- My family home back in the UK for instance...Not at all a grand view, but a very welcoming one.
What about you? Where are your wow places?
Thanks for visiting mine,
Until next time, Amanda x