For the keen traveller, what makes a place special? Sometimes it’s the place itself, a beautiful landscape that captures the heart. Sometimes it’s the people, making you feel comfortable and welcome. Or maybe it’s all about the activities, whether you’re into bird-watching or gallery hopping, an adrenaline-junkie or culture buff.
Like hallelujah in the big sky country
Just like forever and ever is wideChris Whitley
This week’s Lens Artists challenges guest host, Karina of Murtagh’s Meadow, asks us to share ‘places that are or were special’ to us, and I confess I struggled for a while in putting together this response. That’s partly because I have already shared my special places in previous blog posts. My home city of London; my ‘second home’, Newcastle; and my special memories of Paris. And partly because I realised, when I look further afield at all the places I’ve been privileged to visit, I don’t actually have a single special one.
But one thing that ties together many of the places that have most lifted my heart is a sense of openness. Despite being a city girl and loving to live in a city, when I travel I’m drawn most to big skies and vast landscapes, wide expanses of ocean or land. So here are just a few of such ‘big sky’ places that have felt very special to me.
The Atacama Desert, Chile
View from the Mirador de Kari just before sunset
Entering Wahiba Sands
The view from Sharaf al Alamayn
New Mexico, USA
In Bandelier National Monument
At the top of Emory Pass
The view from Capulin Volcano
A storm approaching Sandstone Bluffs in El Malpais National Park
Looking out from Jackson Lake Lodge in the Grand Teton National Park, late afternoon
View of the Big Horn area near Sheridan
Washington State, USA
On Hurricane Ridge in the Olympic Peninsula
Early morning by Lake Crescent on the Olympic Peninsula
An evening mokoro ride in the Okavango Delta, Botswana
The view from Mount Paektu, North Korea