There are so many epic places to visit in the world that a lifetime can not be enough. However for a geologist, as myself, the curiosity is about landscapes and land forms.
When a geologist travels, he or she sees the world quite different. For instance geologist sees not fossils but once lived creatures that do not any more exist. Where the average person sees epic landscapes, Earth scientists travel millions of years to witness how they were created.
The top ten places to visit, the bucket list of a geologist
Although I did not have yet the chance to travel in this way yet, my travel list is long and has some of the most epic places in the world.
My places of interest include volcanoes, caves and canyons. Some of the places are very much active and geological thing are happening, like volcanoes. On the other hand there are places are well ‘dead’ but there are nature sculptures to amaze you.
For this article I narrowed the list to 10 places that take my breath away (and I hope they do to you) and hopefully I will visit them soon.
This is the list I believe every geologist, and Earth lover, wants to have a mind when they are wandering Earth.
Wave Rock, Australia
Australia is an amazing country, which is famous for its natural beauties. Particularly, most famous are its beaches and its reefs.
However there is the Wave Rock which is located in the Hyden Wildlife Park. In specific, it is a natural rock with a shape of an ocean wave. In addition it was formed this way because of the deep weather of the rock (granite).
Except of its natural beauty, it has cultural significance for the locals. They believe it was the creation of the Rainbow Serpent, a creator god showing the importance of water in human life.
Ring road, Iceland
Iceland seems to have it all for travelers interested in natural wonders. Hence glaciers and active volcanoes are excellent ingredients in nature-based tourism.
One of the best way to see most of them is to travel along the Ring road, the main route of Iceland which is 1332 km long.
Depending on the season you are travelling there are many attractions to visit along the road. Hence attractions include waterfalls, hot springs, glaciers, lakes, beaches and islands.
Trees are a rare presence in this part of the world so you can see, and take photos, these places without obstacles.
In case you do not know what happens after a volcanoes awakes, you can visit Naples. The area has two unique places that you should visit them both: mountain Vesuvius and ancient city of Pompeii.
The two sites are connected with a story started in 79 A.D., when Vesuvius erupted and buried Pompeii in ash. The place is very impressive as you see the mountain behind the ruins of the ancient city.
However the tragic figures of the victims in the ‘Garden of the Fugitives’ are the ones which attract the most visitors.
Antelope Canyon, Arizona
America is a great place to visit and discover its nature. Hence thousand of tourists every year visit the famous Grand Canyon and Yellowstone.
However for me the most spectacular is the Antelope Canyon in Arizona. Its is one of these places you want to draw or take photos or write poems about.
It makes you thank god for water and flood that shape the rock to this beauty. In addition shapes and light play together to make pictures that can take your breath away.
Sarakiniko beach, Milos
Greek islands are always an appealing destination for all of us. Moreover the blue waters and the endless sun are equal to relaxation and fun.
Yet there are a number of volcanic islands that are also in my own list. On the one hand there is Santorini, which is a volcano’s crater.
But there are also other islands, like my own favorite, Milos. Although I traveled to this island before, it is one of those places I feel I must visit again and again. It feels like once is not enough, maybe because of Aphrodite (‘Venus de Milo’).
My favorite place of the island is Sarakiniko beach. It is another place where waves and volcanic rock have worked together to give amazing shapes to the beach. It is no wonder the beach is compared to moon landscape.
Danxia Rainbow Mountains, China
Rainbow Mountains within the Zhangye Danxia Land form Geological Park are, what Forbes called them, ‘Earth’s Paint Palette’. These mountains have many vivid colors: red, green, yellow and blue.
Colors seem to be man-made rather than natural and therefore it is consider a natural wonder.
Furthermore mountains are mainly sandstone with iron and other trace metals. Therefore minerals oxidized since they are at the surface if the Earth giving these unique color palette.
Fingal’s Cave, Scotland
United Kingdom has not so many mountains as to hills, except from Scotland. Maybe that is why I love more the landscape of that specific kingdom.
Yet what I love the most is Fingal’s Cave. At its entrance you see these pipes, the lava columns, which they seem out of a fiction novel.
The cave is spectacular, that has inspired many authors and composers. However, firstly, James Macpherson’s poem was the one baptizing the cave and making it famous.
Someone from the Mediterranean region, the arctic landscape seems so much majestic and…cold. However this is not why I want to go to Svalbard of Norway.
I make a promise to myself to see the Northern Lights and I heard this is the ideal place to do so.
This archipelago is between Norway mainland and the North Pole. Glaciers and cold is, of course, an everyday life here but the Lights are too beautiful.
So, not long now, I imagine myself with a cup of hot tea under the night sky, amazed by the Lights.
Now that is one difficult thing to do: climbing the Himalaya. However none said you need to reach the top.
Geologically speaking is impressive to see what the closure of two plates has done. About 50 million years ago the collision of Indian plate and Eurasian plate closed the ancient ocean of Tethys and created these high mountain rage.
However there are more attractions to see, except from these mountain giants, like the glaciers and the lakes. Ecology of these mountains is also interesting with rich biodiversity. On the other hand cultural diversity is shown in every aspect of life, from architecture to languages and religions.
Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park, Madagascar
Lastly, but not least, Africa is one of the most epic places to travel. There are so many places to visit and adventures to live.