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Middle East
At Nasser’s stables, I hoist myself up into the saddle of a mottled Arabian mare. She’s small, but spirited, and we canter for a while into the dark gray void that appears abruptly at the edge of Giza and doesn’t end until it spills into the...
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Al Haram, Medina 42311, Saudi Arabia
A steady stream of pilgrims files past deserted merchant stalls. Sleek Mercedes and muscular Fords are forced to pull to the curb, unable to penetrate the accretion of foot traffic surging toward the end of the road. There, like Disneyland on...
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In November 1951, Eric Shipton, Michael Ward, and Sen Tensing Sherpa crossed Dinjung La, a high pass between the Kingdom of Nepal and Chinese-occupied Tibet. While surveying the vast Menlung glacial basin along the central spine of the Rolwaling...
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Stairways, Kathmandu 44600, Nepal
Late that afternoon, we reach the confluence of the Rongshar and Menlung rivers, where a promontory of ancient glacial shelf rises several hundred feet above the two swollen rivers. On its summit, the blackened tin roof and broken adobe walls of...
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Delphi 330 54, Greece
The belly button of the world lies eighty miles northwest of Athens, where the southern slope of Mount Parnassus, cut deeply by cascades feeding the River Pleistos, drops precipitously into the Gulf of Corinth. High above the ravine in a cleft...
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Ormos Vatopediou , Mt. Athos, Mount Athos 630 87, Greece
Sipping ouzo, I ask Gerhard what brings him back to Mount Athos year after year? The question seems to catch him off guard. “Some places are special,” he says. “Some places you feel more at home than…at home.” He chuckles, surprised at his...
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Mount Olympus, Litochoro 402 00, Greece
Above the tree line, a wiry twelve-year-old named Pericles and his taciturn papous—grandfather—accompany me along the trail that crosses beneath the steep needles of Mytikas, a five-hundred-foot crag that soars to the summit of Olympus. “You come...