15 March 2012

Surreal landscapes

What better to inspire us to travel the world, than the world itself, in all its inexhaustible beauty. Over hundreds of millions of years the earth has been evolving on its amaranthine spin, and with the turning of the centuries and times eternal tick parts of our earth have been sculpted into beautiful, sometimes other worldly designs, unreal landscapes of unfathomable natural beauty; vivid arid terrains, unimpeachable anomalies, spellbound formations, magnificent mountains and kaleidoscopic hues; irregular forms sculpted from mother nature’s delicate hands. Take a look at our favourite surreal landscapes that really do have to be seen to be believed.

WADI RUM, JORDAN

One of the most stunning desertscapes in the world, this vast, timeless land omits a palpable  air of breathtaking beauty. Also known as the Valley of the Moon, Wadi Rum is the largest wadi in Jordan. The valley floors, some 900metres above sea level, are scattered with uniquely shaped mountains that tower out of the pink desert sand in a visceral display of stunning natural beauty. In springtime the desert sands effloresce, the hills green and sparkle with the myriad hues of some 2000 species of wildflower. Poppies, anemones and the rare black iris, Jordan’s national flower, all bloom in abundance.

SALAR DE UYUNI, BOLIVIA

Located in Southwest Bolivia, Salar de Uyuni is the world’s largest salt flat. During the winter rainy season Uyuni’s vast 4,085 square miles lay out like a magnificent mirror to the world. The mesmerising salt crusted horizons of this saline wilderness appear to melt into the piercing blue sky. Visitors can tiptoe over the flats creating the illusion that they are walking on the clouds. Made up of the remains of the giant prehistoric Lake Michin which meandered over the land some 40,000 years ago, the salt flats are a visual masterpiece of unimaginable natural beauty.

Fairy Chimneys, Turkey

CAPPADOCIA, TURKEY

This magical land sprinkled with terracotta fairy chimneys, or hoodoos, is home to some of the most exceptional natural wonders on the planet. These tall, spindly spires of rock protrude from the bottom of the dusty, barren badlands, creating an almost make-believe landscape. Due to its inland location and high altitude, Cappadocia has a markedly continental climate, in the summer the hot dry sun drapes over the fairy chimneys, by winter, they are capped with a thick layer of pure white snow.

PAINTED DESERT, ARIZONA, USA

This long expanse of badland hills, although barren and austere, is mesmerisingly beautiful. Multitudinal hues scintillate from the layered flat-topped mesas and buttes, poking up in to the sky with aplomb. Christened El Desierto Pintado by the Colonial Spanish, this arid rainbow landscape is breathtaking, from the pale blues, lavenders and greys of the north portion to the rusty reds, oranges and pinks of the south. This is a surprising land of scenic wonders and fascinating terrain.

CHITTAGONG SHIP-BREAKING YARD, BANGLADESH

On the shore of the Bay of Bangal lies a derelict stretch of beach home to one of the most unique and awe-inspiring landscapes in the world. For the past 35 years this beach has been the world’s primary site for dismantling large ocean vessels. The skeletons of these tremendous ships pepper the beach like iron ghosts. Nothing goes to waste, even the the last drops of oil from the tanker’s are drained and resold. The setting sun burns like a ball of fire over the yards in the evenings, draping over the remains of these former kings of the ocean, bathing them in a warm rusty glow.

TAKE ME THERE:

If you fancy seeing any of these magnificent natural wonders in all their glory, why not make it happen, visit Black Tomato for more information on booking a trip.

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