There are seven wonders of the world, seven seas, seven dwarfs – and let’s not forget about the seven sins – so we decided to jump on the seven train and give you our very own list of seven lesser-known but still fantastic places to visit.
Since Mother Earth has been so kind as to lend us her creation, it would be a shame to not see and admire some of her finest – and weirdest – work. Are you up for that, and do you want to add some truly unique locations to your travel list? Well, then let’s have a look at the seven least known wonders of the world!
Our first wonder, the rock-cut tombs, is found in Turkey and is part of the remains of the ancient Greek city of Myra. These are no ordinary tombs: they are actually cut into the stone wall, making it look like a little vertical village. Our ancestors sure knew how to create amazing rock-cut architecture!
Inside the tombs you’ll find figures of the deceased and their relatives carved in stone – it’s clear that this necropolis was the final resting place for the wealthier members of the Myran society, even kings and queens. What makes these tombs so special isn’t just their age and fine engineering: they also look nothing like any other ruins in the area. A visit is like traveling back in time and getting a glimpse of what life was like thousands of years ago.
Located in the middle of China’s mountain range and quite close to Huayin, this wonder, a trail to reach the highest peak of Huashan, is not for the faint hearted. Not at all. In fact, it’s known as one of the most dangerous hiking trails in the world – has your inner daredevil started sensing anything yet?
To get to the highest of the peaks you first need to walk up stair after stair of carved steps, before you find yourself on a mountain wall walking some tiny planks, with only a chain nailed into the rock to keep you from falling very, very far down. While scary, the adrenaline rush and the breathtaking views will make it worth it – and if you’re not a daredevil, there are cable cars to take you to some of the peaks, so that you can still enjoy the fantastic scenery.
Why two lakes, you ask? Because these bodies of water have a lot in common, and now you can choose between lovely Australia (Lake Hillier) and equally lovely Senegal (Lake Retba)! So, what makes these lakes so similar then? Firstly, they are both close to the ocean, and contains a lot of salt (think Dead Sea levels). Secondly, the water in both lakes is pink.
Pink? Yes, it’s pink. The color comes from a certain type of algae, and doesn’t change when the water is moved into a container. Pretty cool, right? Just imagine the wonderful photos you can take by these amazing lakes. And, they’re safe to go swimming in too, but you might want to bring your moisturizer. Salt water does dry out the skin, after all.
You aren’t tired of salt yet, are you? Good, because the next wonder has even more of it: Salar de Uyuni, located close to the Andes in Bolivia, is the largest salt flat in the world. IF you don’t know what a salt flat is (we didn’t either), it’s what it sounds like: a bit, flat area covered in salt and other minerals.
What makes it so special is that it’s almost completely flat, giving you a huge open space touching the horizon – you can catch a glimpse of mountains in the distance, but that’s it. Still not impressed? Well, how about this: after rainfall, the flat is covered in a thin layer of water, making it the largest, and quite possibly the most beautiful, mirror in the world.
When walking along the scenic streets of Paris, it’s hard to remember the winding network of tunnels underfoot, and that’s a shame because they’re very fascinating, albeit rather eerie. Most tunnels are the remains of ancient stone mines and unless you want to wander around in the underground for days, going exploring on your own is not a great idea.
What is a great idea, though, is to give the ossuary a visit: when the Parisian graveyards started to get overcrowded, the bones of the deceased were brought into the Catacombs instead, and were arranged into decorations as well as walls – have a look at the Tibia Rotunda made of skulls and bones – not your average support beam. Although it’s a bit macabre, a visit to the Catacombs will quite possibly turn out to be the most engaging history lesson you’ve had in years.
Look at that, you’d almost think we planned to have this wonder and the previous one next to each other; that is not the case, it’s just a happy coincidence. So, this door, does it really take you to hell? No, probably not, and it’s not really a door either: it’s a large crater in Turkmenistan containing a fire that has burned for almost half a century.
What started the fire, then? It was actually a drilling platform looking for natural gas reserves that collapsed into the ground, creating this fascinating crater. In order to make sure the gas wouldn’t leak out, it was set on fire – a fire what was believed to last only a few hours. Well that didn’t happen, so now you can go watch this a bit creepy, but also very beautiful, hellhole. Just don’t carry any flammables.
If you need to cool down a bit from all the fire, here’s the perfect place to go: the Alaskan Mendenhall caves, a partly hollow glacier where you can see all the stages of water, from running to completely frozen. That is pretty cool (excuse the pun) in itself, but the caves, the caves! Imagine a tunnel of soft yet solid waves of shimmering blue, with light dancing on the ground.
In the beautiful ice caves there’s no need for imagination because the floaty, blue ice sky is actually there. While definitely worth it, the caves are quite hard to get to: you either have to cross a lake in a kayak or do a fair bit of hiking, but hey! That’s a little adventure in itself.
So, do you think you’re gonna visit any of these amazing and fascinating places? Why not combine them with another trip that you’re planning, or you can tick them off one by one, it’s up to you. And please let us know if you’d want to see even more wonders of the world!