On the eastern coast of China, a once-bustling fishing village blends seamlessly into the hillside, reclaimed by the ivy and moss of the lush, green landscape. The village, located on Shengshan Island, is part of the Shengsi Islands, a smattering of over 400 islands just south of the mouth of the Yangtze River.
Lake Baikal, known as the “Pearl of Siberia,” is the world’s oldest and deepest known lake. Reaching depths of nearly a mile, the ice layer on the surface reaches a thickness of over six feet during the winter months. Lake Baikal’s crystalline ice formations and its endless palette of reflected colors are more reminiscent of an artist’s canvas than a simple body of water.
Once used as a base for Italian and German submarines during World War II, Bassins de Lumières, or “Basins of Light,” serves a far different purpose today. Located in Bordeaux, France, the over 13,000-square-meter space will open to the public in April of 2020 as the world’s largest digital art center.
One of the most compelling figures to emerge from World War II wasn’t a military hero or a world leader. It was a young Jewish girl with a front-row seat to the Holocaust, who kept a diary of her most candid thoughts and observations. Her story serves as a reminder of the horrors of antisemitism, racism, and discrimination, even today.
Just on the fringe of the Arctic Circle, the Finnish city of Rovaniemi is an idyllic setting for the “home” of one of the world’s most universally beloved figures: Santa Claus himself. Surrounded by rolling hillsides and crisp, clean air, Rovaniemi seems to have leaped straight off the cover of a postcard.
For years, Santa Claus has been busy “making his list and checking it twice,” but the man in the red suit has come a long way from his humble beginnings to the Santa the world knows and loves today.
Christmas trees are a beloved tradition for people all over the world, symbolizing the end of the year and the joy of the holiday season. Long thought of as a religious symbol, it may come as a surprise that the earliest origin of the Christmas tree dates back to ancient, paganistic rituals.
In the late 1800s, the bustling town of Oatman, Arizona, was overflowing with miners who hoped to stake their claim on some of the millions of dollars in gold and silver from the surrounding mountains. The town was named after a Mormon teenager named Olive Oatman who, as the locals tell it, was captured by Apache warriors, sold to a Mojave tribe, and eventually freed after five years of captivity.
The Sandhills Curiosity Shop, opened by Harley Russell and his late wife Annabelle, is one of the few stores with countless items on display, but nothing is actually for sale. Instead, the shop is a showcase of decades’ worth of Route 66 memorabilia, proudly displayed in every square inch of the property.
Some people dream of tropical climates and hot, sandy beaches when they plan a vacation – the hotter, the better. For those who prefer a cooler destination, the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival in Heilongjiang Province, China may be just the place.