Travel to high latitudes for a dreamy winter in the northern hemisphere 

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4 years ago

The northern hemisphere has entered the coldest season. Let's go all the way north to the high latitudes, and enjoy the charm of winter through snowshoe trekking, chasing aurora, reindeer sleigh and other activities.


Colorado, USA


Colorado is inevitably dizzying: it's 1000 meters above sea level, which is unique in the United States. The capital, Denver, is also known as the "One Mile High City". To the west of Denver is the Rocky Mountain Front, and there is no shortage of exciting heartbeat among the towering peaks. Here you can carry out all kinds of imaginable adventure activities, especially snow and ice projects. The town of Estes Park is located right next to the spectacular Rocky Mountain National Park, and there are many travel agencies in the town organizing winter activities.


For a touch of warmth in the snow and ice, head to Stanley Hotel's bar, which serves thousands of whiskies. This century-old hotel is the prototype of the hotel in Stephen King's The Shining. However, it is different from the horror atmosphere in the book: When the snow capped the mountain, it was actually a very pleasant residence.


Hokkaido, Japan

If you want to enjoy the winter scenery, you don't need to go to Hokkaido, the northernmost tip of the four major islands of Japan, just come to the Japanese Alps. Although it is at the same latitude as Morocco, it has the northern scenery wrapped in silver. But Hokkaido, after all, has the wildness and open space rare in Japan, and it is definitely fruitful to visit here.

The typical representative of this feature is Kushiro Wetland National Park, which covers an area of ​​more than 250 square kilometers. The wetland of the park is famous for its rare red-crowned cranes. Although the red-crowned crane is a migratory bird, it lives in the Kushiro Wetland for many years. Winter is the best time to see the red-crowned cranes, and Shirayuki makes them stand out. There are five other national parks worth exploring in Hokkaido, where you can see great swans above the volcanic volcanic lake, and the wonderful landscape where steam rises from the snow-covered crater.


Transylvania, Romania


Even in the middle of winter, Transylvania's daylight is still 9 hours long, and travelers have plenty of time to explore the villages surrounded by mountains and the majestic castles. The famous Brown Castle on the cliff looks like the residence of the Earl of the Vampires, especially for those looking for a place to stay overnight in the vast forests and snowfields-the castle that suddenly flashes in front of them is awesome. . The small town of Sighisoara has lively coloured houses that slightly offset the solemn atmosphere of the castle. It is said to be Vlad's birthplace and its authenticity is questionable, but it does rank on the World Heritage List. The splendid architecture of Sibiu has few creepy sights (the eye-shaped windows of many traditional houses should be an exception), and in many ways it reminds of Venice's coffee culture.


Canton of Valais, Switzerland

In Zermatt, whether you are skiing or relaxing on the terrace, you will have a loyal partner: the world famous mountain Matterhorn. When overlooked, its pyramid shape makes it instantly recognizable. Although the car-free ski resort Zermatt is a star resort in Valais, the surrounding scenery is not to be missed: Switzerland's highest peaks surround the entire area, and the Alps' largest glacier, the Aletsch Glacier, is also there. here.

You can climb to Zermatt at an altitude of 3899 meters (the highest altitude that can be reached by the Alps ski lifts), and then speed back more than 2,000 meters back to the village along the roundabout on the snow slope. Non-ski enthusiasts can also have the ultimate experience here, such as a 30-minute train journey along the Gornergratbahn railway, Europe's highest open-air railway. The canton of Valais is a condensed version of Switzerland. The western valley is the French-speaking area and the eastern part is the German-speaking area. Following the "iron curtain", people call the dividing line between the two cultures Röstigraben. Incidentally, fried potatoes are the main side dish here, especially suitable for replenishing calories in cold seasons.


Prague, Czech Republic

Although there is no real evidence, we still think that the density of Prague's "silent corners" is higher than that of other capital cities-no matter where you are in the city, winding alleys, baroque porches or hidden secret bars are all within easy reach. In the high season, tourists like the old city center are usually uncomfortable, but in winter the number of tourists will drop sharply (except Christmas and New Year). In the preparation phase of Christmas Eve, the Old Town Square will transform into a wonderful Christmas market. While tasting gingerbread and mulled wine, the locals will also relive traditional seasonal delicacies such as beef stew and dumplings. When winter goes to spring, the charm of Prague is not diminished. During the carnival Masopust before April fast, fireworks and masquerade will bring the festive atmosphere to a climax.


Alberta, Canada

Icefield Avenue is one of the best viewing highways in the world. This road connects Lake Louise in Banff National Park with the town of the same name in the adjacent Jasper National Park. It is about 235 kilometers long and stands along Abel The Canadian Rockies over the Tower Plain extend all the way. These relatively young peaks in geology are majestic in winter and do not lose the verdant sights of summer, but there are fewer travelers on the roadside.

This self-driving journey is not easy. You need to be equipped with snow tires, and you must be careful to cope with inconveniences such as no gas station operation in winter, almost no mobile phone signal, and changes in road conditions caused by snow and wind. But as long as you plan carefully, you will have the opportunity to see the beautiful icebergs and frozen waterfalls, and you will have the opportunity to see the ibex and other adaptable alien species. Don't be afraid if you are not sure about winter roads: you don't need to stay away from town, you can also enjoy the charm of two national parks around Lake Louise and Jasper.


Stockholm, Sweden

The Swedish capital in the severe winter season, the sun will set before 3 pm, but there is always a reliable alternative-refreshing with coffee before going shopping. If buying gifts according to the list is a hassle, Stockholm may be your savior-Christmas fairs and seasonal specials every December, to add glory to this year's famous city of creativity, simple and radical The design contrasts with traditional Swedish handicrafts.


Southern Ring Road, Iceland

Iceland's main highway and is open year-round except in blizzard weather. However, if you are not interested in traveling around Iceland (even in summer), then you may wish to start from Reykjavik and follow the southern coast to Höfn or Eilstadzi. Alluring attractions not far away.

Among Iceland's many waterfalls, the Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss are on the ring road. Despite the icy and snowy surroundings, the two waterfalls are still flowing down, which is very spectacular. Continue along the road, passing by a glacial lake with icebergs floating on the surface. Although it is not possible to kayak the lake in winter, there is another interesting activity: you can participate in an adventure team tour organized by IceGuide to explore this strange world every year by digging ice holes.


Lofoten Islands, Norway

The gorgeous northern lights in the night sky are the perfect combination of science and myth. To see it for yourself, you need the right approach and a bit of luck. In a way, "going north" is a good suggestion: Usually, just a few latitudes across the Arctic Circle is the ideal place to observe. Also remember to go to a more remote place, so that the impact of artificial lights can be minimized, and the vision must be wide.

In the Lofoten Islands in northern Norway, you can enjoy the aurora dance with its own water reflection special effect. Local hostels, such as Lofoten Opplevelser, arrange aurora "safari" tours, but the aurora may appear at any time in the long night-you need to wait patiently. On the Lofoten Islands, houses are red and yellow in color, and the colorful old fishing villages line the mountains and the sea. Many tall houses in the village are now rented out to tourists. The main road of the archipelago is centered on the pivot town of Svolvaer, which stretches between the islands and leads to the town of Å, one of the shortest-named settlements in the world, and the surrounding mountains. Magnificent like a cathedral.


Lapland Region, Finland

The messy hooves in the snow, the smooth antlers rushing through the forest-these are common sights in the Sápmi (Lapland) region. The Lapland region is made up of northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia. The Finnish Lapland region is the world-famous hometown of Santa Claus (to be precise outside Rovaniemi). But since it can swim more than 200,000 animals in this high latitude area, why bother with Santa's eighty-nine reindeer?

Head to the border town of Utsjoki, where you can take a reindeer sleigh ride, or dine in a Sammy hut while listening to the traditional folk songs of the ancient Shaman yoik. If you greet the New Year in Utsjoki, you can even go to Norway and experience another midnight countdown. In the southern village of Inari, there are more activities related to reindeer, such as snowmobile rides to grazing camps. You can feed the reindeer first, then enjoy the cake and coffee by the fire.


Svalbard, Norway

This island group is located in the high latitudes of the Arctic, and the charm can be summed up briefly: the northernmost point of the globe that can be reached by commercial flights-although there is a 12 degree latitude difference between Longyearbyen, the main city of Svalbard and the Arctic ( More than 1280 kilometers), but the former is already the closest to the North Pole where most people can go.

Human beings have built many of the "northmost" places in the world here: schools, hotels, cinemas, swimming pools, ATMs, barbecue shops, and craft breweries. However, outside Longyearbyen, warning signs clearly delineate the range of human activity: polar bears patrol the frozen shores, inspiring Philip Pullman's creation of the armored bears in Dark Matter. Traveling by snowmobile or dog sledding must be accompanied by an armed guide.

In 1925, Svalbard became Norwegian territory, ending the history of free movement between whalers, fur hunters, and miners. The Soviet Union was one of the countries that was allowed to establish an enclave here, and now Piramiden, which has become a ghost town, as well as the Barents Fort, which still has residents, have Russian logos and Lenin statues. When I visit, I feel a sense of confusion, I don't know where I am.

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