HERE ARE A FEW DESTINATIONS RIGHT OUT OF THE FAIRYTALES FOR THE ONES WHO WHOULD LIKE TO ESCAPE FROM EVERYTHING AND FORGET EVEN THEMSELVES…
What would someone look for in a journey? Other lives, cultures, or far lands without a doubt… Don’t you think, leaving yourself and your ordinary life behind in the fairytale lands is among the goals of the journey? The ones who would like to run away from everything, even from yourselves, here are a few extraordinary destinations that are right out of fairytales and that would make our journey on this planet worthwhile and special… The journey is on you, but the fairytales are on the planet…
BAGAN / MANDALAY, MYANMAR
A vast city of temples… This ancient city located in the Mandalay region of Myanmar is among the most charming and enchanting places of the earth. Bagan, Pagan with its old name, was the capital city of the Pagan Kingdom from the 9th to the 13th century.
Over ten thousand temples
There used to be over ten thousand Budist temples, pagoda, and monasteries in Bagan savannas when the Kingdom reached its summit between the 11th and the 13th centuries. Today, over two thousand of them still stand. This place is now known as the Bagan Archeological Region. Access from one temple to another using paths and earth roads in the savannahs is possible. Ananda Pahto located in the Old Bagan and Dhammayangyi Pahto located in Bagan are only the two of the many temples that are worth seeing.
NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE / BAVARIA, GERMANY
Ludwig II was such a king whose favorite animal was swan and who used to enjoy poetry, architecture, music, and dislike fighting and guns and draw castle plans while everyone else around him was hunting. The young and legendary king might have given up on his throne but never his romanticism. He is not remembered as the Fairy Tale King for nothing; however, he used to be called as the ‘Mad Prince’ before that. He even took the risk of bankruptcy to become closer to the sky and embarked on building the fantastic Neuschwanstein Castle in a wild hill among the lakes and falls.
The most romantic castle
He worked with a stage designer instead of an architect and had the walls of the castle decorated with scenes from his best friend Richard Wagner’s operas to honor him. The king was also a great supporter of the composer. As soon as Ludwig II died, the castle was opened to public to collect funds to pay for his debts. Being visited by 5 million stay-over guests and 2 million daily visitors every year, Neuschwanstein Castle that was the apple of the eye of Ludwig II is going to make you feel like you are listening to a fairytale while walking down its corridors. The place is located on the Romantic Road, which is the most romantic destination of Germany, and it is where the romance weighs the heaviest.
PAMUKKALE / DENİZLİ, TURKEY
A surprising scene welcomes the ones who arrive in Pamukkale from Denizli through Çürüksu Valley. In the shoulders of the Çökelez Hills, the terraced hills resemble cotton fields that change color depending on the direction of the sunrays from the distance. Once upon a time, there used to be tourist girls who used to pose for the photographers as they swim in those white terraces just as Venus stood in the oyster shell. Those photos would go from hand to hand all over the world, and tourists would crowd this place more and more each day. Nevertheless, you won’t see anyone swimming in the terraces nowadays. This is the only way to prevent the travertine from being harmed.
Swimming in history
All of the travertine pools formed by the spring that has been in use since the ancient times are not always filled with water. The section which is called ‘the front’ used to be the most popular location since it had the most beautiful landscape and it was used to access to all other terrace pools. Today, walking through a certain trail along a canal and swimming in a few pools in the hill are allowed. Swimming among the pillars at the Pamukkale Thermal, located next to the Hierapolis Museum, is a special experience.
BATU CAVES / KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA
Sri Mahamariamman Temple (1873), which was established with an amazing entrance by the first Indian immigrants, and the Taoist temple Sze Yah (1864) that are located at the Chinatown, which is where you can feel the cultural mosaic of Malaysia and its capital Kuala Lumpur the best, are the places worth seeing. A silver horse carriage is taken from this temple to the Batu caves that are 15 km away, accompanied by festivities of the Thaipusam Festival (New Year), which is organized between the end of January and the beginning of February each year. Approximately 15 million pilgrims watch the mind-boggling show of the believers who prick their bodies.
The visitors who would like to access to the magnificent caves that are carved in the giant limestone cliffs about 122 meters in height climb up 272 steps. The golden statue of the god of mind, heart, war, and victory of the Indians, Rob Murugan, stands next to the Batu Caves that consist of chambers that are formed under the limestone rocks about 400 million years ago.
THE DARK HEDGES/ BALLYMONEY, NORTHERN IRELAND
Planted in the 18th century by the Stuart family on the road leading up to their estate, the opposing rows of beech trees later bent over the road and their upper branches intermingled creating a shadowy arboreal tunnel. Today this place is one of the most photographed locations in Northern Ireland. This tunnel, also known as ‘The Dark Hedges’, that is formed by beech trees, which were able to be conserved for 200 years, is also one of the background locations to the popular TV series “Game of Thrones”.
Creepy and fantastic
This natural road, which is so creepy and fantastic at the same time, is almost impossible to see desolate or free of cars. The best time to see this location is the sunset. Moreover, the road having its own ghost called ‘Grey Lady’ that comes out at twilight is among the legends.
GLOW WORM CAVE/ NEW ZEALAND
Damp and dark tunnels… Do they remind you of hell? However, you won’t regret your decision as you look around mesmerized in the Waitomo Glowworm Cave with its underground rivers and labyrinths. Over three hundred caves are located in the region that has been populated by amazed visitors for over a century.
Glowworms create night sky effect
The actual trait of these limestone caverns with stalactites and stalagmites is the glowworms (Arachnocampa luminosa) that are unique to the region and glow during their larva state. Larvas that are attached to the ceiling of the cavern produce glowworm snare of silk threads and as they hang down from the ceiling, they create an impressive sight. Your Waitomo experience doesn’t have to be a claustrophobic one, because the Glowworm Cave looks like an illuminated cathedral. The ceiling of the cave resembles a starry night sky. Floating inside the cave in a boat on its underground lakes and galleries with no artificial lighting is a different kind of experience since the cave is deep and doesn’t get direct sunlight.
ANSE SOURCE D’ARGENT BEACH/ LA DIGUE ISLAND, THE SEYCHELLES
If there were an iconic and picturesque tropical paradise landscape, it would possibly belong to La Digue Island. The emerald green sea, white beaches, and the giant granite rocks shaped by the sea… The ones who are familiar with this island would tell that this landscape belongs to the western part of the island, where the photogenic Anse Source D’Argent Beach is. This world famous beach is enjoyed the best in the evenings: you can swim towards the hills that are covered with jungles and granite cliffs that you cannot get enough of watching in the best light of the day.
Where the time stops
La Digue, where the transportation is enabled through bicycles and oxcarts, gives an impression of the time coming to a halt with its peaceful pace, mostly unpaved roads, paths, traditional life, architecture, and its population of two thousand. The island is a place to rest and enjoy everything about it. A farm called L’Union Estate that derives coconut oil through the traditional methods is located on the way to the Anse Source D’Argent beach.