巴尔干湖上的木板路 Boardwalk over Balkan lakes
Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia
In a country more famous for its coastline, about a million visitors each year venture inland to amble along these boardwalks and marvel at spectacular lakes and mountains. Plitvice Lakes National Park is the oldest and largest of Croatia's national parks. The big attraction is the series of 16 descending, turquoise-colored lakes, connected by subterranean karst rivers, and above ground by streams and waterfalls. The lakes are separated by natural dams of travertine, which is deposited by moss, algae, and bacteria. The water changes color from green to azure to gray depending on the angle of the light and the density of minerals and organisms in the water. About 11 miles of wooden boardwalk make it easy for people to wander among the lakes, falls, and caves that are open to visitors year-round.
The 115-square-mile park was established in 1949 in what is now central Croatia, near the border of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 1979, Plitvice's unique beauty put it on the list UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The lakes seem to magically disappear into the moss-covered earth, and then reappear downstream, proof enough that these woods are indeed enchanted.
蓝色新西兰 Blue Zealand
Lake Tekapo, New Zealand
The striking electric-blue waters of Lake Tekapo are caused by extremely finely ground rock particles suspended in the melted waters of glaciers in the nearby Southern Alps. Snowmelt from the range feeds two similarly stunning lakes in the Mackenzie Basin of New Zealand's South Island, Lake Pukaki and Lake Ohau, which share their neighbor's remarkable turquoise color and mountainous backdrops. New Zealand's highest peak, Aoraki/Mount Cook, reigns in Mount Cook National Park, seen in the background of this image.
The name Tekapo is a misspelling of the Māori word Takapō, which means 'to leave in haste at night.' But if you are one of the region's many visitors, you may find the nighttime even more mesmerizing than the day. Lake Tekapo is a certified Dark Sky Reserve, one of the world's largest. With night skies almost completely free of light pollution, stargazing doesn't get much more vibrant, and tours cater to manuhiri (visitors) interested in astro-tourism. If that's not reason enough to stay the night, the area's abundant skiing and fishing opportunities might be. There's certainly no need to leave in a rush.
Rydal Water in the Lake District, Cumbria, England
Reflecting winter skies and frozen fells in our homepage image is Rydal Water, one of the smallest but prettiest lakes in the Lake District. Rydal Water is one of the two lakes most associated with William Wordsworth, one of England’s greatest poets. (The other is neighbouring Grasmere, to which Rydal is connected by the River Rothay.) Wordsworth lived around these bodies of water, first at Dove Cottage and later Rydal Mount, between 1799 and 1850, writing some of his best-known works and hosting leading lights of the Romantic movement, including his friend, Samuel Taylor Coleridge. To the western edge of the lake is Wordsworth’s Seat, a rocky outcrop said to be the writer’s favourite spot.
Rydal Water is in a glacial valley, one of 13 valleys in the Lake District. Partly owned by the National Trust, it sits at the foot of Loughrigg Fell and has been known to freeze over on winter days like this one. You can walk around Rydal Water and take in Wordsworth’s former homes as well as passing by Rydal Cave in the hill above the lake. Surrounded by woodland, pasture and craggy fells, with several historic properties and beautifully designed landscapes, this is an inspiring place for aspiring poets, whatever the season.
Kochelsee in Bavaria
To English speakers, this is Lake Kochel. To German speakers, it's Kochelsee. Whatever you call it, this popular recreation spot in Bavaria looks great all decked out in winter white. Imagine how quiet it must be when the lake is blanketed by snow. Now stretch your imagination further to the warm summer months when the shores of Kochelsee are busy with tourists out to get a dose of nature. The lake is just an hour's journey by car or train, south from the Munich. Visit during summer and you're likely to see windsurfers gliding across the surface of the lake.
'Smoking nights' in Austria
Behold the lovely Tannenbaum ('fir tree' for you non-German speakers). Here in Tyrol, Austria, Christmas Eve marks the first of three Rauchnächte, or 'smoking nights.' A long-standing Tyrolean tradition, people in this Alpine region burn frankincense and herbs in homes, barns, and stables to avert bad fortune. The custom is then repeated on the other two 'smoking nights,' New Year's Eve and the night before Epiphany.
It's said that everything that happens on these nights is of great significance, including one's dreams. Whatever you dream on smoking nights is thought to be a message from above foretelling what the next year may bring. Pardon us while we drift off to the holiday carol 'O Tannenbaum,' currently playing in our heads. Sweet dreams!
The picturesque lake in the Allgäu high Alps
The Schrecksee in the Allgäu High Alps has the reputation among mountain hikers as being the most beautiful mountain lake in the Alps. We don't want to commit ourselves, but given this magnificent record, it's undeniable that he's definitely making it into the top 10. The picturesque mountain lake lies at 1,813 metres in a cauldron-like high valley, surrounded by six Allgäu mountain peaks called Knappenkopf, Kirchendach, Kälbelespitze, Kastenkopf, Lahnerkopf and Älpelekopf.
The ascent to the Schrecksee takes about three hours from Bad Hindelang in the Oberallgäu. A good basic level of fitness is a prerequisite for almost 1,000 meters of altitude. There is a good chance of encountering marmots and eagles along the way. And those who are not sensitive to the cold can take a refreshing swim in the idyllic lake after the strenuous ascent. This is probably why the Schrecksee got its name because its water is still shockingly cold even in midsummer.
阿尔高阿尔卑斯山的Schrecksee湖被登山者誉为阿尔卑斯山上最美丽的山湖。我们不想作出承诺，但鉴于这一辉煌的记录，不可否认的是，他肯定会进入前10名。风景如画的山湖位于1813米处，坐落在一个像釜一样的高山谷中，周围环绕着六个山谷Knappenkopf, Kirchendach, Kälbelespitze, Kastenkopf, Lahnerkopf和Älpelekopf。
Are you older than this lake?
If you were born before summer 1991, the answer is yes. Sorry if you already felt a bit long in the tooth, but it's true: Before 30 years ago, Lake Pinatubo was just a rumble in Mount Pinatubo's magma-filled belly. It was a calamitous eruption on June 15, 1991—one of the 20th century's most powerful—that blew off Pinatubo's original summit and formed a vast crater, which gradually filled with water as greenery reclaimed the summit.
Located about 50 miles from the Philippines' capital of Manila, the crater was for many years a niche destination for hardy hikers, requiring days of travel to reach. More recently, a 4x4 road and tended hiking trail were added, reducing the rugged journey to a day trip.
Spirit Island in Maligne Lake, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada (© Jeff Penner/EyeEm/Getty Images)
A photographer's paradise
If you are dreaming of an escape to paradise, look no further. Welcome to one of the most photographed sites in the majestic Canadian Rockies. Located in Jasper National Park in Alberta, the scenic Maligne Lake is 22 kilometres long, making it the largest natural lake out here. In the middle of this lake, sits the iconic Spirit Island which is only accessible via tour boats or private boats. The glacial, azure-blue waters, pine trees and snow-capped peaks frame Spirit Island, epitomizing the beauty of Jasper. In addition to admiring the natural beauty here, visitors can engage in activities such as hiking, fishing and kayaking during summer and skiing and snowshoeing in the winter.
An island in the Highlands
Here in the Scottish Highlands, there's something about the rugged environs of Glen Etive that has tickled the imaginations of both ancient and modern storytellers. A glen is a long, narrow valley and this one is especially beautiful. It has strange footnotes in both Irish and Scottish folklore. The name itself translates to 'little fierce one' and is given in honor of Etive, the Gaelic goddess long associated with nearby Loch Etive.
According to an Irish myth, Glen Etive was founded by the tragic heroine Deirdre and her lover Naoise after they were forced into exile. In Scottish folklore, Glen Etive is said to be the home of a mythical creature called a Fachan--a giant cyclops with one leg, a single tuft of hair, and a lone hand protruding from its chest. Glen Etive has caught the attention of modern storytellers as well, drawn to its history and beautiful scenery. A surprising number of TV shows and major films, like 'Braveheart' and the James Bond installment 'Skyfall,' have shot on location here.
Glen Etive is also one of Scotland's 40 National Scenic Areas, and is a favorite destination for white water kayakers, who journey here to shoot down the series of rapids, falls, and pool drops along the River Etive. Hikers trek the mountain trails around Ben Starav to the southeast and the Glen Coe mountains in the north. Some of these of hikers are known as 'peak baggers,' who make it a game to summit every peak in the region. So far, about 4,000 or so people have completed the entire list of 284 Scottish peaks, or 'munros' as they're known locally.