“So where d’you wanna go,
How much you wanna risk?”
– Something Just Like This, Coldplay
What would life be like, were I blind and deprived of my sense of sight? I grew up reading storybooks in the middle of the night by the moonlight, which might explain why I started wearing glasses at a rather young age. Nonetheless, I am thankful that I am still able to visually appreciate the all that lay before me in my travels, and to bring them home through photography.
Allow me to take you to three different continents with out of this world sights and sites in this post. We shall begin with somewhere a little closer to (my current) home: Ely, here in England. When my best friend visited me just before my PhD viva, we decided to do a brief daytrip to a nearby town — Ely became the place of choice.
Ely was small and cute, but the sizeable cathedral left quite an impression. As I walked past one of the towers, I looked to the top and captured the photo above. To my mind, this tower resembled very much like Isengard — tall and imposing; dark but quite impressive too in a rather macabre way. These Gothic masterpieces never fail to ignite my imagination, and I begin to think of otherworldly things.
The snowy steppes of inner Kazakhstan are up next:
In my quarter-century of living, I had never had the pleasure of seeing or touching snow — at least, certainly not in the abundance I encountered in Kazakhstan for the first time. I was very pleased then to see, throughout our fourteen-hour train journey from Astana to Almaty, that the sight that greeted us outside our compartment window was virtually nothing but snow-covered steppe-land.
I could not tell where the snow-covered slopes ended and the sky began — they all blended into one single, uniformed landscape that was rather soothing to see. I spent many hours on this train journey reading Dostoevsky, but when I was starting to get motion sickness, this remedial sight awaited me. Kazakhstan in the winter is definitely an experience not to be missed.
From Central Asia, let us proceed to East Africa — more specifically, to the heart of Masai Land in Kenya:
Taken on my maiden safari journey last summer, I recall standing in our safari vehicle as I captured this burning sunset on my phone. Unlike in Egypt, where you could actually observe this great ball of fire descend behind the sand dunes, sunsets here in the savannah look more like a wall of fiercely burning fire in the sky that slowly extinguishes with the onset of twilight. The changing hues of the light bring this sunset to life — they looked, to me, like dancing lights that certainly took their time to fade.
From Africa to Asia, and Europe in between, I’ve had the pleasure of bearing witness to incredible landmarks and landscapes that grace this Earth. But this is only the beginning; more elsewhere awaits discovery.