Thursday, 3 September 2020

#TravelInspiration: Our best mountain stories

There’s a strange emotion that surges when one looks upon a towering mountain. It’s an unexplainable, deep-seated warmth in your soul that makes you draw closer to this mysterious, imposing presence. It’s a mixture of joy and fear, of reverence and respect. It’s a sense of the magnitude and power of Mother Nature, as well as a realisation of your own humble place in this vast universe.

No two mountains are the same: Some are fiercely majestic with soaring peaks, ragged ridges and deep ravines, while others are gently undulating hills with wide valleys. Naturally, many stories in previous issues of SilverKris and Silkwinds have been dedicated to these unpredictable yet staggeringly beautiful peaks, and the journeys undertaken by our writers and photographers to these often remote areas have unearthed plenty of fascinating gems.

Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark
Stunning landscapes at the Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark

Our feature on the UNESCO-listed Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark in Vietnam, for instance, is a showcase of a refreshingly unspoiled landscape – in spite of its turbulent history. Here’s where you can learn about the different ethnic tribes who live in and around the geopark and admire the sprawling limestone outcrops of all shapes and sizes, as well as other striking features such as steep canyons, underground rivers and vast caves.

Lake District
A misty valley in Borrowdale in the Lake District National Park

England’s Lake District National Park is another worthy mention, thanks to its otherworldly beauty of windswept mountaintops, dramatic valleys criss-crossed with idyllic country lanes, sparkling waterfalls and deep, clear lakes. Borrowdale is a particularly magical wonderland, offering a myriad of landscapes to feast your eyes on – from meadows to wild moors and craggy fells, to forests and clear streams.

Nepal
The peak of Machapuchare, which can be viewed from the Mardi Himal Trek

Our photo essay on Nepal’s Mardi Himal Trek brings you from glades of moss-covered rhododendron trees to rugged villages to starry views of jagged peaks. Spanning roughly 49km, the high-altitude trek takes between five to seven days to complete and gifts the hiker with some seriously spectacular and unforgettable scenery for their efforts.

Darwin
Untouched nature at Litchfield National Park in Darwin

And this piece on camping overnight in Darwin’s Litchfield National Park offers an intimate encounter with the natural world, as our writer is plunged into the remote wilderness. Besides scenic waterfalls, open woodland, swamps and a forest-fringed plunge pool, there’s also plenty of opportunity to appreciate the plethora of wildlife and foliage native to the area.

Big Sur
Big Sur’s rough and ragged coastline

Big Sur, California’s famed coastal drive, will bring you across bridges nestled under cliffs as you weave your way along a weathered coastline. A stop at Partington Cove is a must, but it requires you to complete a quick and steep hike through a tree-lined canyon to a scenic rocky beach, then through a tunnel to Partington Point where you’ll be rewarded with a spectacular view of cliffs, waves and rocks.

Zurich Lake Lucerne
Lake Lucerne, bordered by the craggy Alps

Lastly, our feature on the picturesque Lake Lucerne in Zurich is a love story to the crystal-clear azure waters and its surrounding Alps. The chairlift to Fronalpstock opens up to spectacular views of cows grazing along the mountainside, Swiss cottages and green fields nestled beneath rocky snow-covered peaks.

SEE ALSO: Wildest dreams: Saving Cambodia’s Cardamom Mountains

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