Category Archives: Travel Features

The Quirkiest Climbing Walls to Visit Around the World

One night I found myself researching outdoor climbing destinations on Pinterest for holidays. Between the various pictures of sweet overhang routes in Spain and the vertigo-inducing mountain climbs in South America, some truly original indoor climbing walls caught my eye. Now I know what you’re thinking, travelling to a foreign country for climbing only to go to an indoor gym sounds a bit….anti-climatic? A complete contrast to the ‘dirtbag lifestyle’? But take a look at the following below and tell me you’re not at least intrigued! Continue reading

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How to Make the Most of your Grand Canyon Trip in a Few Days

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Nothing can prepare you for your first sight of the Grand Canyon. Photos, videos and drawings fail to live up to seeing this iconic landmark’s expansive size and striking reddish hues in person. In fact, it can take months to fully explore the Grand Canyon and appreciate its rivers, scenic points and geology, and the park is one of those unique places you can return to at different times and see an entirely new side of it.

Visiting the Grand Canyon at all is a treat for the eyes and senses, but to fully appreciate its beauty and rugged landscape in a short space of time, I would recommend exploring the park over the course of several days at different times. Not only will you be able to avoid the crowds of tourist buses at peak times, you might also be able to see sites and critters no one else gets to see, or even have the park to yourself! Continue reading

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Sailing the High Seas in Search of Monterey’s Sea Life

The link between Monterey Bay and the sea is inescapable. Its unique ocean habitats have made the area home to seals, sea otters, dolphins, whales and albatrosses, which in turn has transformed the land surrounding the bay into all things sea life: from the world-renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium, to Fisherman’s Wharf, heck even in John Steinbeck’s literature Monterey’s relationship with the sea is featured.

And so, with the opportunity to see the aquatic residents of this area up-close and in their own natural habitat, we boarded a ship with the Monterey Bay Whale Watch Centre and headed out to sea.

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Finding California’s Big Sur

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Big Sur is one of California’s most popular tourist destinations, and with its dramatic coastline scenery and exotic flora and fauna, it is not difficult to understand why people flock here. As it is also a popular stopping point for road trips, we pinned it on our map and waited in anticipation to explore its hiking trails and beach spots.

However when the park experienced a flash flood, landslide AND a forest fire in quick succession prior to our arrival, it seemed our hopes would be dashed as much of the park. Luckily though, the Ragged Point Inn & Resort came to the rescue.

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Making the Most of Yosemite in One Day: the Valley Loop Trail

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Yosemite is one of those places that you can spend years exploring, learn every mountain name and walk every path like a grizzly ol’ mountaineer, and still find something new to discover. Each season transforms the park into a different world, making it an easy place to return to year after year.

My first visit to Yosemite was during the spring, with the snow running off the mountains and the waterfalls tumbling at full throttle. With only a day to explore this expansive park however, I knew we had to find a walk that enabled us to see as much of Yosemite’s landscapes as possible. After spending a hefty amount of time deliberating whether to chuck it all in and become a forest ranger, I used all of my self-restraint and common sense, and decided to go with our second plan: walk the Valley Loop Trail.

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Measuring just under 12 miles in total, the Yosemite Valley Loop Trails follows the park’s old wagon trails, incorporating the main features of the valley in the process. While the trail is available to hike year-round it really comes into its own in the spring, where the snow run-off from the mountains supercharges the waterfalls in the valley. Continue reading

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Exploring San Francisco on Two Wheels

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If there was one word to describe California, it would be diverse; from its desert to mountainous landscapes, its metropolitan cities and whistlestop cowboy villages, to its weather, one can find anything and everything in this state. With this in mind, California was a natural choice when it came to choosing a destination for our road trip, and what better starting point than San Francisco?

With a reputation of being one of the world’s greenest cities, San Francisco is easy to walk around and explore, as long as you have calves of steel to take on its many hills! With a city of that size though, it soon became apparent that we needed to swap our two feet for two wheels. And so we rented some noble steeds from one of San Francisco’s many bike shops and meandered along the coast towards our destination: the Golden Gate Bridge and Sausalito. Continue reading

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Walk ‘The Line’ in London

Get your weekend cultural fix and dose of healthy exercise in one go with The Line, London’s first contemporary art walk. With works by artists such as Damien Hirst, gin distilleries to explore and pubs to wet the whistle by canals, all located within this east London walk, one might be mistaken to think they had walked in on a hipster’s paradise.

The Line begins near the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and meanders through the canals and the Meridian line to North Greenwich. Dotted along the way are intriguing works of art, such as this stony-faced chap:

 

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Walking with Giants in Northern Ireland

Years ago, the Irish giant Fionn mac Cumhaill was challenged to a fight by his rival the Scottish giant Benandonner. However the two were separated by the North Channel, and no matter how much the other tried neither could cross the water. So anxious was Fionn to brawl against Benandonner he built an enormous causeway across the channel to the Scottish side. Fionn defeated his rival in the clash, but Benandonner, frightened Fionn might follow him, destroyed the causeway as he retreated back to Scotland.

Or so the legend goes, anyway. Geologic study asserts the Giant’s Causeway in the Republic of Ireland was formed when volcanic activity around the region of Antrim caused highly fluid molten basalt to push through chalk beds and form an extensive lava plateau, the contraction of the basalt caused it to take the shape of spindly pillars.

Looking at the basalt columns in reality, I preferred the giant story.

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Exploring Reykjanes’ Explosive Environment

At first, Reykjanes might not seems like much of a sightseeing destination. For miles around, the lava fields spread like one expansive, flat blanket. In fact, if you happen to be driving along the coast during inclement weather, it can seem forbidding and barren. If you have a little faith however (and good direction) the road inland will lead you to some of Iceland’s most unique geological features. Continue reading

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Getting Steamy in Iceland’s Reykjadalur

To find Reykjadalur, you simply need to follow your nose.

Literally translating to ‘steamy valley’, this landscape is filled with hot sulphur pits and bubbling rivers you can even take a dip in! Continue reading

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