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Sand Castles of Morocco – Ourzazete, Morocco

 

Photo of the Day – Sand Castles of Morocco – Ourzazete, Morocco

These “Sand Castles” are part of Ait Benhaddou a village located on the original caravan route between the Sahara Desert and Marrakech. The village has been aided by UNESCO, but many of its roots, people and traditions have withstood the test of time.

The structures you see here are massive and make up the homes and village which are still lived in today. I couldn’t help but imagine them as something a jubilant youngster would try to build with sand along the coast.

Sand Castles of Morocco - Ourzazete
 

The Colorful Cathedral – St Basils – Moscow, Russia

 

Photo of the Day – The Colorful Cathedral – St Basils – Moscow, Russia

St. Basils Cathedral is one of the most iconic Cathedrals in the World. In fact, I would go so far as to say that it is one of the most iconic buildings in the World, period.

What makes the Cathedral eye-catching and iconic are its 9 unique and colorful onion domes. These domes represent the 9 chapels within the Cathedral itself. While the exterior is unique and colorfully chaotic, the interior was a bit dull in my eyes. Perhaps it was seeing the outside and then going inside, but how many of you have ever seen a photo of the interior of St. Basils? Now, don’t get me wrong, the interior is interesting in its own way. I find most things that are over 400 years old somewhat fascinating, but it pales in comparison to the exterior.

The Colorful Cathedral - St Basils - Moscow, Russia
 

A Chicago River Nightcap – Chicago, USA

 

Photo of the Day – A Chicago River Nightcap – Chicago, USA

Although often referred to as the second city, there is certainly one thing Chicago can boast above New York City – the epic Chicago River. The Chicago River perfectly slices into Chicago’s mass of high-rises and provides incredible points of view to truly feel the size of some of the World’s best architecture.

This was one of my first ever HDR photos – probably my 3rd ever actually. I think it does a pretty good job of showing off the towering lights that you can be submersed in while wandering the streets of downtown Chicago.

A Chicago River Nightcap - Chicago, USA
 

Path Through The Sky – Petronas Towers – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

 

Photo of the Day – Path Through The Sky – Petronas Towers – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Nothing quite says “wow” like standing below the Petronas Towers at night and looking up through the bright lights at the massive bridge connecting the two steel masterpieces together at the 41st floor. Every time I look at this view I find myself scratching my head, wondering how in the hell the bridge was lifted up and put into place between the two buildings.

Path Through The Sky - Petronas Towers - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
 

The Mighty Italian Stadium – Colosseum – Rome, Italy

 

Photo of the Day – The Mighty Italian Stadium – Colosseum – Rome, Italy

Before visiting the Colosseum for the first time, it is an absolute must that you sit down and watch the movie Gladiator. Since today the Colosseum sits in partial ruins, you need the action packed images from the film to really help bring this Roman spectacle to life!

The Mighty Italian Stadium - Colosseum - Rome, Italy
 

Candy Land Castle – Church of Spilt Blood, St. Petersburg, Russia

 

Photo of the Day – Candy Land Castle – Church of Spilt Blood, St. Petersburg, Russia

Every time I look at this picture I immediately think of Candy Land! You know, the kids game with all of the different types of candy as the “players”. I played this game a lot and to me the Church of Spilled Blood makes me think of a giant real-life castle made out of candy.

The intricate painting of the domes and walls lend itself to M&M’s, Laffy Taffy, Hershey Kisses, Candy Canes and an assortment of other candy that makes my mouth water right now! Or perhaps I have lost it :)

What do you see?

Candy Land Castle - Church of Spilt Blood, St. Petersburg, Russia
 

Deserted Ancient Pyramids – Teotihuacan – Mexico City

 

Photo of the Day – Deserted Ancient Pyramids – Teotihuacan – Mexico City

We arrived into Mexico City off of a redeye flight from San Francisco back in June. Still recovering from the short night of rest at 30,000 feet, we jumped into a car and headed 30 miles north of Mexico City to the famous Pyramids of Teotihuacan.

When we arrived we were excited to see that our car was the only one in the parking lot next to the entrance. For the next hour we walked around this archaeological masterpiece undisturbed as nobody else, including the large tourist buses, were up that early in the morning.

Crowds definitely have an impact on your experience when you visit ancient ruins. It is much easier for you to create images in your head of what life was like thousands of years ago in these parts when you aren’t distracted with other tourists everywhere you turn. When you have the opportunity, you should always aim to be the very first person to arrive in the morning at whatever site you are looking to explore.

Deserted Ancient Pyramids - Teotihuacan - Mexico City
 

Kasbah in the Valley – Ourika Valley, Morocco

 

Photo of the Day – Kasbah in the Valley – Ourika Valley, Morocco

The literal translation for Kasbah is the ‘quarter in which the citadel resides’, but many times today, a Kasbah is a large home. This Kasbah is actually now a hotel, restaurant and shop all in one. We pulled over on our (my Mom and I) way through the Ourika Valley outside of Marrakech.

The Kasbah was re-built and is owned by a French man who has now turned this beautiful old fort into a full-service inn. What you can not see in the photo is the view from the Kasbah. If you were standing on the terrace or staying in one of the rooms with the windows you see here, you would have a fantastic view of the low Atlas mountains the the river that runs down them.

Kasbah in the Valley - Ourika Valley, Morocco
 

Window to Ait Benhaddou – Ourzazete, Morocco

 

Photo of the Day – Window to Ait Benhaddou – Ourzazete, Morocco

On a day trip to Ourzazete, we toured the incredible Ait Benhaddou. Ait Benhaddou is a very old kasbah built along the original route from Marrakech to the Sahara. This Berber village is literally something out of a movie as it has been featured in films such as “The Mummy”, “Gladiator”, and “Prince of Persia”.

Climbing around this hillside village was a ton of fun and a place I would like to spend more time exploring. There seemed to be an infinite number of paths, nooks, and small buildings to explore while you work your way to the top. I capture this shot near the top while looking through one of the many archways. What a view.

Window to Ait Benhaddou - Ourzazete, Morocco
 

The Backside of Angkor Wat – Siem Reap, Cambodia

 

Photo of the Day – The Backside of Angkor Wat – Siem Reap, Cambodia

The backside of Angkor Wat is often missed due to its iconic front entry including the perfect reflection pool. Yes, the front is incredible, but in some regards the rear of Angkor Wat is even more special. How many people have actually seen the back of Angkor Wat?

If you look closely you’ll see a Buddhist monk, a scooter, and other than that, nothing. And that is the point! It is unreal how few people there were on the backside versus the front. This is a simple reminder to make sure you explore all of these incredibly iconic places from head to toe and front to back.

The Backside of Angkor Wat - Siem Reap, Cambodia
 
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The Top 100 Places in the World
1 Great Wall of China
2 Pyramids of Egypt
3 Machu Picchu
4 Serengeti Migration
5 Galapagos Islands
6 Grand Canyon
7 Angkor Temples
8 Antarctica Cruise
9 Taj Mahal
10 Iguazu Falls
11 Amazon Rain Forest
12 Great Barrier Reef
13 Bora Bora
14 Victoria Falls
15 Bagan
16 Petra
17 Potala Palace
18 Karnak
19 Mt Everest
20 Cappadocia
21 St Peters Basilica
22 Fjords of Norway
23 Jerusalem Old City
24 Burj Khalifa
25 Borobudur
26 Forbidden City
27 Kashmir Valley
28 Li River Cruise
29 Ladakh
30 Alhambra
31 Louvre Museum
32 Perito Moreno Glac.
33 Banaue Terraces
34 Colosseum of Rome
35 Easter Island
36 Venice Canals/Alleys
37 Kathmandu Valley
38 Wat Phra Kaew
39 Yellowstone NP
40 Pompeii
41 Rio Panoramic View
42 Palace of Versailles
43 Dubrovnik
44 Golden Temple
45 St. Basils Cathedral
46 Vatican Museum
47 Florence Cityscape
48 Acropolis
49 Amalfi Coast Drive
50 Kremlin
51 Hong Kong View
52 TerraCotta Warriors
53 Mezquita Cordoba
54 Chichen Itza
55 Damascus Old City
56 Shwedagon Stupa
57 Sahara Desert
58 Mont St Michel
59 St. Marks Square
60 Egyptian Museum
61 Hagia Sophia
62 Angel Falls
63 Delphi
64 Teotihuacan
65 Baalbek
66 Banff NP
67 Santorini
68 Matterhorn
69 New York Skyline
70 Neuschwanstein
71 Chartres Cathedral
72 British Museum
73 Prague Old Town
74 Burj al Arab
75 Yangtze River Cruise
76 Yosemite NP
77 Hermitage Museum
78 Torres del Paine
79 Chambord Chateau
80 Lijiang
81 Portofino
82 Great Ocean Road
83 Tongariro Alpine
84 Las Vegas Strip
85 Tikal
86 Topkapi Palace
87 Sydney Opera House
88 Eiffel Tower
89 Luxor Temple
90 Kerala Backwaters
91 Golden Gate Bridge
92 Cinque Terre
93 Metropolitan Mus
94 Uffizi Gallery
95 Ayers Rock
96 Cliffs of Moher
97 Pacific Coast Hwy
98 Shanghai Skyline
99 Glacier Bay NP
100 Wulingyuan
Cappadocia  Cappadocia, Turkey
 
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