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Blogs from: Ladakh

Adolescent Spinning – Ladakh, India


Photo of the Day – Adolescent Spinning – Ladakh, India

I’m not sure this child fully understood the meaning behind spinning these stationary buddhist prayer wheels, however as he walked slowly down the row of golden cylinders he spun them with a focus tantamount to the elderly that passed before him, creating a powerful scene for me as I watched silently through my camera’s lens.

Adolescent Spinning - Ladakh, India

Snaking Himalayan Road – Ladakh, India


Photo of the Day – Snaking Himalayan Road – Ladakh, India

Tucked deep into the himalayan mountains in northern India you will find a collection of serene buddhist monasteries built along the most unimaginable landscapes. It can take hours to reach these remote communities from your hotel in the city of Leh. Luckily, the journey on this trip is almost better than the destination.

I’m not sure God ever intended for man to build roads up the steep himalayan mountains, but over the years man got creative and built snaking roads like the one you see in this picture to climb these treacherously steep mountains.

Snaking Himalayan Road - Ladakh, India

Himalayan Delivery Truck – Ladakh, India


Photo of the Day – Himalayan Delivery Truck – Ladakh, India

The Himalayan Roads in Northern India are absolutely one of those places where it’s more about the journey than the actual destination. Steep, narrow and just downright dangerous, the basic roads that connect all of the remote monasteries and far away towns offer some of the most beautiful views you will ever see in your life.

Cruising along the roads back in 2010, the most common vehicle we passed were these colorfully decorated Indian trucks. Every one of them had its own unique identity and it was fun to watch the drivers pass by in their pimped out rides!

Himalayan Delivery Truck - Ladakh, India

Himalayan Roads – Leh to Manali Drive – Ladakh, India


Photo of the Day – Himalayan Roads – Leh to Manali Drive – Ladakh, India

This is now the second photo we have shared of the Himalayas. Oddly, both of the photos were shot through glass. This one is shot through the dirty windshield of a beat up van (the other was shot out of a plane window at 30,000 feet).

Will and I found ourselves in Northern India trying to make our way south to Delhi. We had read some blogs describing this crazy 18 hour drive you can take across the second highest road pass in the world south from Leh to Manali. In exchange for a small amount of rupees we were given two small seats in a cramped van and a driver who looked like he possibly had slept only a few hours that week. Off we went!

The ride was terribly uncomfortable – bumpy, cold, nothing great to eat, nowhere to use the restroom, and I swear the exhaust from the engine was being pumped directly into the car. Additionally the drive was just flat-out dangerous. For the majority of the trek we found ourselves riding along sheer cliffs with hundred plus foot drops. The “road” was not paved and it was covered with ice and snow on many parts. Absolutely nuts!

However, this ride was probably the most beautiful drive of my life. I highly encourage you to scroll through a photo-essay-of-sorts of the ride. I had my point and shoot in my hand for the whole ride and every 30 minutes or so I would take a snap out the front of the van. Enjoy!

Himalayan Roads - Leh to Manali Drive - Ladakh, India

Himalayan Glaciers – Bird’s-Eye View – Ladakh, India


Photo of the Day – Himalayan Glaciers – Bird’s-Eye View – Ladakh, India

Taking pictures out of grease smudged, double-paned commercial aircraft windows is generally not recommended. Your results are 99% guaranteed not to be worthy of sharing with your friends – although I’m sure regardless of the results they will still ultimately get uploaded to Facebook! If you are daring enough to try, make sure to first turn that flash off and…well – pray.

This shot was taken with a basic point and shoot on a flight from Delhi to the north Indian city Leh. The scene flying over the Himalaya mountains was absolutely breathtaking. My face was glued to the window from the minute we entered the mountain range and I could faintly hear Sigourney Weaver narrating the scene through my headphones as it passed beneath me (think Planet Earth).

I’ve traveled close to 1,000,000 miles (2,000 hours in the air) on planes 30,000ft above the earth. Most of the time the view is nothing more than clouds or endless fields of corn, but every once in a while you get a free view of something spectacular below. This scene over the Himalayas ranks as one of the top 5 commercial airplane views I’ve ever had.

What’s the best view you have ever had out of a plane?

Himalayan Glaciers - Birds Eye View - Ladakh, India
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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
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