Sunday, April 19, 2020

Sunday, April 19, 2020

favorite drives and train rides

Posted by Hippobean at 1:29 PM
In Hippo's Travels:

1. South Island West Coast, New Zealand -
Much like the CA coast, driving along NZ south island west coast was stunningly spectacular. rugged, dramatic mountains and glaciers, rivers and lakes. From Oamaru along the Waitaki river with its many hydro-electric dams, the turquoise water, I was stuck to the window mesmerized. From Omarama along lake pukaki, water so clear blue like the sky fell into the lake. unobstructed views of Mtn Cook. the drive leaving Queenstown along lake wakaitipu, romantic, misty hills, clear turquoise water. along the Grove Arm of the Queen Charlotte Sound, the crepuscular sunlights on shakespeare bay. hauntingly beautiful! riding shotgun meandering through the Aspiring National park, the majestic mountains with spotless snow and prestine clear water lakes. Passing along the Makaroa river and the twin lakes, the hawae and the wanaka, was absolutely beautiful. So many spectacular drives the Hippo even made a 'gorgeous drive' page. NZ south island west coast most gorgeous drive ever! NZ Hippo's no 3 country.

2. Golden Route Geiranger, Norway
From Tollstigen to Geiranger, hairpin bends down to the Geirangerfjord, precipitous mountains, and vantage points with most stunning spectacular breathtaking views looking down to the fjord. Norway, Hippo's number 2 country.

3. The Kings Highway, Jordan -
From Amman to Aqaba on the Red sea, this ancient highway passes through bedouin camps, camels roaming the deserts, hydro-electric dams, mtn Nebo, crusader castles, biblical towns, roman sites, past the Dead Sea and Petra into Aqaba. All in about 5 hours time. Hippo did it twice. Amazing drive with lots of historical sites along the way. When flying into Jordan the second time, I've observed a line of lights below delineating the route of this ancient road. Wow, how much more awesome can this ancient road be?

4. Glacier Express, Switzerland -
Open your eyes. You're in the Glacier Express. Just sit back, relax and look out the window. Eat, drink and be amazed. Welcome aboard! From St Moritz to Zermatt - a journey over 7 hours, with glimpses of steinbocks chasing each other over rocky ridges, paths and river streams meandering up and down through glaciated mountain landscape, in and out of tunnels, snow on the ground, through lush valleys, where each view is more spectacular than the last. MediumSnowie said: Welcome aboard!

5. Tram ride in HK island,
Hong Kong -
Evening with typhoon signal no 3, in torrential rain we rode the tram crossing the width of the island. Click clacking on the narrow gauge combined with the sound of the falling rain, the hustle bustle of people under umbrellas, and the slow passing of faintly illuminated shops and neighbourhoods, this was the most sentimental and nostalgic tram ride.

6. Columbia Icefield Parkway,
Alberta, Canada -
From Jasper to Banff, along the Continental Divide, craggy, lined with glaciers, sheer cliffs and thundering waterfalls. driving down the bend on 93, water running down the cliff walls, the Weeping Walls. Stopping every now and then for big horn sheep crossing. Jumped out of the vehicle to pet them! Awesome! Most heart stealing in North America. Mooso loved it too!

7. Pan American Highway, Argentina -
The PanAmerica Highway starts in Alaska and ends in Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego. In this spectacular stretch of the Southern Andes, isolation, jagged snow caped peaks, tundra, rivers and lakes. although not the tallest in the world, the Andes are Hippo's favorite mountain range because the range is so romantic and ends at the tip of the american continent, gateway to antarctica. If you look hard enough you might see Antartica from the end of the PanAmerica Highway. Loved it!

8. The Carpathians, Transylvania, Romania
A long day travelling through the southern Carpathians, the Transylvanian Alps. Dark, cloudy and mysterious, the mini bus windows were moist. Such a sentimental journey. So attuned with the Dracula legend. I've enjoyed this ride to the max. Loved loved the Carpathians in Transylvania.

9. Road travel, Portugal
Ancient trams up and down the hills in lisbon. bus to different lisbon neighbourhoods. Along the mediterranean coast in algarve with a local friend from Lagoa, hitting all the beaches, Albufeira, Armação de pêra, to Portimão and all the way to Sagres. Bus from north to south, cutting through small traditional towns, stopping at Viana do Castelo, Bom Jesus, Braga, Guimarães, Porto, Coimbra, Figueira da Foz, Tomar, Mosteiro da Batalha, Alcobaça, Nazaré, Calcas da Rainha, Santarém, Sintra, Queluz, Lisboa, Évora, Ourique, with many pit stops on the way for a bica or garoto or a glass of vinho tinto. Memorable drives. Saudades. Reminiscing ...

10. From Rykjavik to Vik , Iceland
Moon like landscape. Highways bare as if in harmony with the distant mountains. Thundering waterfalls along the way. Reached Vik in bright sunshine, then suddenly a fierce snow storm. Incredible drive in incredible landscape.

Runners up:

1. From Zabljak through Durmitor, Montenegro -
Suddenly a stretch with dark hills, moonlike landscape. Then white granite mountains with vast lush valleys. Green meadows with picturesque abodes. Skirting around the mountain along Piva lake with gorgeous views of the bridge below. Not a long drive which only made it the more precious.

2. Train to Machu Picchu, Peru
From Cuzco, through the Urubamba valley along the Urubamba river, hills under the clouds and lush meadows. Once in a lifetime experience.


Road trip, Israel -
From Tel Aviv, up north till we reached the border with Lebanon. Along the way, Caesarea, Nazareth, Haifa, Acre, and stayed overnight at the Kibutz Kfar Giladi. Then south to Capernun, Tiberias and the Sea of Galilee, Masada, Jericho, Jerusalem, Qumran, the Dead Sea, the Negev, all the way to Eilat on the Red Sea. The entire length of Israel. Climate from subtropical to arid desert. Absolutely most wonderful and heart throbbing experience. Loved loved the road trip in Israel.



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