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Sunrise Over the Masada Desert Fortress

View of the surrounding mountains

It was 3am when we awoke. Darkness engulfed us as we left Jerusalem behind us and wounded down the valley towards the ancient desert fortress of Masada. Poised at the edge of the Judean Desert, Masada looms above the sands, overlooking the Dead Sea and the Moab Mountains in Jordan. At just 1,300 feet high, it’s perfect for a morning hike – providing [...]

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Photoblog: Scenes from the Holy City of Jerusalem

Western Wall and Dome of Rock

In Jerusalem, the smell of Christian incense mingle with the aroma of Muslim spices, while the sound of Koran prayers weave its way magically into the whispers of Jewish myths. It is several worlds merged into one: where Christians, Jews, and Muslims live side by side. In a city where three different religions co-exist, a [...]

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Under the Sand: What Lies Beneath Australia’s Red Center

thorny devil

The desert that sprawls across Australia’s Red Center may look vast and barren – but looks can be deceiving. Underneath the sand lies a whole different world. Australia has one of the largest diversity of lizards in the world, with over 860 species throughout the country. Most of them are endemic to the region – which means that they cannot be found anywhere else on the [...]

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Inside Sweden’s ICEHOTEL

Main entrance of ICEHHOTEL

Amidst the gorgeous Narnia landscape of the Swedish Lapland stands ICEHOTEL, the world’s first hotel built entirely of ice and snow. It’s hard to believe that everything here is made of ice, until you see it for yourself. We recently visited the ICEHOTEL on a daytrip from Abisko and were blown away by this work of [...]

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Photoblog: Nordic Charm in Trondheim

Of all the places we visited on the Ice Run, Trondheim has got to be the biggest surprise for us. Surrounded by fjords,  the city is a charming Nordic enclave rich in history and traditional flair. The town itself is tastefully built around a hill, studded with narrow cobble stoned alleys, classic Norwegian houses and [...]

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Dancing Skies: Catching the Northern Lights in Abisko, Sweden

At the Aurora Sky Station

Continuing on with our Ice Run, we zip through the border by train into the Swedish Lapland, where we saw some of the most amazing sights in the region. The Northern Lights were what first drew us to Lapland, and they didn’t disappoint. *** Swathes of green lights danced and shimmered across the sky, almost [...]

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Huskies, Reindeers and Santa in the Finnish Lapland

A white reindeer

For the first leg of our Ice Run journey, we’re exploring the Finnish Lapland, one of the coldest parts of Europe. Here’s the first of the month-long series. Enjoy! *** We’ve just spent the past few days in a winter fantasy world, almost as if we had crossed centuries and continents into the world of [...]

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Kodak Moment: Cruising through Lemaire Channel in Antarctica

Cruising into Lemaire Channel

The bright sunshine bounced upon the glassy water surface, reflecting off all the white surrounding me –the white from the icebergs that floated past us, the white from the mammoth mountains that enveloped us and the white from the glaciers that slide off ice cliffs. It was a gorgeous morning, with the sun lighting up the [...]

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Antarctica in Photos: Icebergs, Glaciers and Penguins

Our first landing on Dangor Island

Ice in various shapes and shades of blue sparkle and shimmer under the midnight sun. A few crabeater seals and Gentoo penguins squawk and wiggle on the ice floes nearby, surrounded by water so crystal clear the reflection of the sun’s rays is almost blinding. It’s fiercely quiet; all we can hear are the crackling of the glaciers in [...]

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Magic Underwater: Swimming with Jellyfish in Palau

Green, green, green all around me. Besides a few strands of dirt, I could hardly see anything in the dark, emerald water. But I swam on, armed with nothing more than my snorkeling mask and fins, into the darkness. My group of friends had plunged in earlier, leaving me alone, slightly nervous in this jade [...]

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Sharks, Rays and Boobies: Heron Island in the Great Barrier Reef

Heron island from the harbor

A giant manta ray flaps across the sandbar under the spearmint blue water beneath my feet. A brown-footed booby soars overhead, while an egret swooshes to the water surface and nabs his catch for the day. We’re out on the beach taking a morning stroll, but scenes from the Animal Planet are unfurling upon us. This is Heron Island, a coral cay [...]

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A Quiet Corner of the World: Isla Coronado, Baja California

An empty beach

The warm Mexican sun kissed our shoulders, as we looked out into the horizon. A trail followed the boat as it skimmed the surface of the water, and white glass beads sprouted from the sides of the boat that cut the surface. The deep cerulean water hugging the islands in the near distance became lighter and lighter, [...]

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An Island of Inspiration: Tasmania

Cradle Mountain

We’ve just spent a week exploring Tasmania, an island 150 miles (240 km) away from mainland Australia – so similar yet different in every sense of the word. Having been separated from the continent about 10,000 years ago, Tasmania and its wildlife have evolved into a unique world packed with endemic flora and fauna. It [...]

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Photoblog: Sunrise in Uluru, Australia

the sun rising

Blinding rays of orange flashed across the vast desert like a laser light show. But this was nothing more than the work of Mother Nature. As the vermillion ball of fire rose quickly above the flat horizon, it splashed a kaleidoscope of colors onto the originally monochromatic scene. What was grey and black in the [...]

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Australia’s Red Centre in Photos

Uluru

ot, dry and harsh, Australia’s Red Centre is extremely inhospitable, and at the same time, intriguing. But as we found out over the past week in Central Australia, it is far from empty and lifeless. Dotted with patches of spinifex and eucalyptus trees, the desert is home to massive sandstone mountains as well as unique [...]

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