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8 Earthy Destinations

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Tree bark, dirt, sand dunes, mountains. Smokey brown places.
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6816 Balabanovo, Bulgaria
I was on a business trip to Kardjali, which is small town about 3 hrs from Bulgaria's capital, Sofia. I was amazed everyday I was in Kardjali to find that this small place that's never heard of by many people, has many beautiful natural formations...
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Seoksu-dong, Manan-gu, Anyang, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
Anyang, located just outside Seoul, is an incredible place for a day trip. The Anyang Art Park has numerous sites to see—including this maze-like staircase. The park, situated in a valley, is a perfect place to spend an afternoon in any season.
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Yagul, Universidad, Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
Monte Alban and Mitla are the well-known Zapotec ruins near Oaxaca, but Yagul is worth a visit too. It was absolutely empty the day we were there, and it's overgrown, unkempt, and has an amazing view over the valley.
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Swakopmund, Namibia
It was our last day in Namibia and we decided to sign up for a sandboarding lesson in Swakopmund. Our two guides took us out to the desert where, after a strenuous hike up the dune, we strapped on snowboards and helmets and rode down the orange...
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Siwa Oasis, Qesm Siwah, Matrouh Governorate, Egypt
Siwa is a desert oasis in the heart of Egypt's Great Sand Sea, just 30km east of the Libyan border. Traditionally constructed of sand, salt and mud, many of the town's buildings literally melted away in the torrential rains of 1926, leaving behind...
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Levant

A route created by local guide Yamaan Safady ensures that hikers arrive at Petra the way pre-Christian-era travelers did: out of virgin desert, no tour buses in sight. The six-day, 50-mile “back door” route begins in the Dana Biosphere Reserve; at...

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Latin America
In February, off the coast of Southern Baja at Todos Santos, the setting sun turned the beach into an artist's palette of pastels after a day of whale-viewing at the steep shore. The hulking creatures came so close to the shoreline that my...
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Antelope Canyon has been on my "must see" list for a very long time so you can imagine my excitement when I got there. I love how the lighting and shadows made the most interesting palette of colors hug the sexy curves of the canyon. The land...
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When it comes to ice cream, there is still only one place in Rome. It has been the best since 1900. I love Giolitti not only for the great gelato, but also because it hasn’t changed since I was a little girl. 39/06-699-1243. By Pepi Marchetti...
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Mendoza, Capital Department, Mendoza Province, Argentina
Winemaker Santiago Achával of Achával-Ferrer winery has helped Argentine malbecs earn international recognition. He loves skiing at Valle de Las Leñas resort because of the pure air and views of Mendoza from the top of the slopes. "There’s nothing...
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Ocean Park, Hong Kong
There's no better way to chase the sweltering Hong Kong summer heat than at the homegrown Ocean Park. At the Waterfront is Aqua City, where you'll find an Old Hong Kong town, perfect for capturing those holiday photos. By night, cool down with the...
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Mürren, 3825 Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland
More so than most places, Switzerland offers serious skiers the chance to fly down unblemished mountainsides—especially in Mürren. The town is blessed with powder-packed bowls that maintain fresh snow for days after a big fall, drawing...