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21

I've just been in Rovaniemi, Finland a couple of weeks ago. It's currently impossible to see the aurora as the 24-hour day is in place; obviously you need a dark sky to see it. However, Rovaniemi is just by the Arctic circle, is easy to get to (fly or train from Helsinki overnight), and is also the home of Santa Claus! I stayed at the Borealis ...


21

First I have to say that is very difficult to answer your question, because is near impossible to say "hey, this volcano will be launching lava on this dates". If you remove Hawaii from your list, I believe the only places you can see lava are: Mount Erebus: Antarctica, not very easy to reach and really difficult to climb. Has a lava lake. Erta Ale: ...


18

I would work this out strategically, and look up lists like The Ten Most Active Volcanoes in the World. There are approximately 1,500 active volcanoes in the world today and 75 percent of them are located in the "Pacific Ring of Fire." On average, 50-70 volcanoes erupt every year. As the article text below provides descriptions, I've included photos along ...


18

There are no Polar Bears in Antarctica, except for at Zoos. There are also no Zoos in Antarctica. So all up, you're pretty safe.


15

According to this Wikimedia image you can find cheetahs around Africa and Middle East. Image is in public domain One of the easiest places to see Cheetahs (I saw a lot there) is Masai Mara National Park (Kenya).


13

It comes down to the definition you want to adopt but apart from the Northern and Eastern periphery (especially Russia), I think there is no real wilderness in Europe. You can have some feeling of remoteness in parts of the Alps but the region has been inhabited for centuries and shaped by humans in many subtle ways. You are also never really far from ...


12

Right, despite missing out on the first day of my tour there while my train broke down, the rest of the gang went and unfortunately for me, I missed out on an opportunity to see Nessie. One day though, one day... Firstly, you need to be aware of the geography. Loch Ness is in a natural cleft between Fort William and Inverness in the Scottish Highlands, ...


12

Yes, this is possible, but I guess only if you have your own vehicle. I have done two road trips together with 3 friends through France experiencing all the things listed, except for the vultures. On both road trips we didn't have a clear goal in mind, and chose a destination from day to day. The first road trip was around the Vosges mountains, on the ...


11

This map shows the tropical rain forest in the whole world. As you can recognize, the rain forest in Africa are geographically located closest to Europe. Other references also state that the rain forest in Gambia are the closest rain forest to Europe, for example here. A quick matrix flight search turns out that you can get there from central Europe (I ...


11

Would you believe, Wikipedia has a list of dolphinariums! I won't list them all, but basically there are several in Germany (Allwetter Zoo Münster, Duisburg Zoo, Tiergarten Nürnberg) and Lithuania is also pretty close, depending where in Poland you are (Lithuanian Sea Museum, Klaipėda) - but I'll leave it to you to check out the list.


10

The Pilar Festival is held every year around the second week of October in Zaragoza. The festival features a huge flower offering on October 12th in which thousands of flowers are piled into a gigantic pyramid in the center square next to a huge basilica. It's a great photo op.; here's a (not so good) picture I took of the flower pyramid from last year's ...


10

Parks in Paris' vincinity: Bois de Vincennes and, a bit wilder, the Bois de Boulogne. Even though large and not in Paris center, these are both city parks, and you should not expect anything wild there. Closest “real” forest to Paris: Fontainebleau forest. This one has a few deers, but you should not expect to see any (French Wikipédia says less than one ...


10

I would also recommend Pacaya in Guatemala, it is easy to get to and you can stand pretty much next to the lava, even though many people have melt their shoes while doing this. The main reason why I would recommend Guatemala is that there are several other smoking volcanos in the area. My highlight in Guatemala though was watching an erupting volcano from ...


10

Well yes and no. Because it depends what you mean by "near Sydney". Sydney is too far north to have penguins but further south there are plenty of penguins at Phillip Island in Victoria. That's a bit over 1,000 km or 600 miles away from Sydney. There is a very famous "fairy penguin parade" near a town called Ventnor that you can begin reading about on ...


9

I was in Iceland for a weekend in March and although we did see the Northern Lights, they were quite dim and not that spectacular. The guide did say that only a few days earlier they had a really good one. Wherever you go, try to allow a number of nights to get out and see them as you may not get lucky on your first try.


9

Not my region (lavender is mostly found in Provence, but there are occasional fields in other regions), so I need to rely on Wikipedia. Lavender flowers from late June to late August. It is typically harvested well before the flower wilts, because the heat makes the essence rise towards the flower's glands, so the plant's aroma becomes less strong as the ...


9

Ah! There are loads of places around the British Isles that your friend could go to see these fabulous little birds. The Atlantic Puffin can be found in places like the Pembrokeshire Coast the Isle of May the Farne Islands These folks have a nice write-up of some of these places and a few others. And these folks in Scotland have even briefly described ...


9

If you're expecting to wash / play with a 'family-owned' elephant, perish the thought! Elephants are expensive creatures to care and feed for, and you aren't going to find personal families owning elephants. Here's what you can do: go to a wildlife sanctuary / national park in India. Mark's answer mentions Jim Corbett National Park, which is in Northern ...


9

In Germany, the Zoos of Nürnberg and Duisburg have Dolphin exhibits/shows (another one in [Münster] will be shut down this fall). The one in Nürnberg is probably closest to you and also seems to be the largest. But note that there's considerable controversity about whether keeping Dolphins in indoor pools constitutes animal abuse, given that even the largest ...


9

I am not sure this answers your question but here it goes: If you travel into the sea at night you will be able to find the most beautifull sky. From my experience, being around 15 miles offcoast should already give you a very nice sky panorama. Another option is finding a dark sky reserve. It's just like a natural reserve but applied to the sky. Some ...


8

There are a few things about California that are simply difficult concepts for people to get their heads around. It doesn't matter whether or not you've been to the US before; even if you've lived in the eastern US your whole life, you'll still get bit by these when visiting California. Here's two of them: Public transit You can generally get from one part ...


8

On the Kona side of Big Island, a lot of companies offer daily a trip to snorkel or SCUBA-dive with manta rays at night. I guess you can also just swim there and join the party if you're unwilling to pay, but I don't think that's simple or safe to do, especially as this is a night activity. I did a dive there recently and it was absolutely amazing, easily ...


8

(Image credit: Connie Lianto) Mount Merapi is an active volcano in central Java, Indonesia and most recently erupted in 2010. Visitors typically make the town of Yogyakarta a base from where there are organised tours which ascend part of the mountain by car and then begin ascent on foot past/around midnight to summit before dawn. If I recollect correctly ...


8

You can see Puffins in UK as well. I recommend to use data from ornithologists like BTO or RSPB. For example, let's have a look at BirdTrack map output: http://blx1.bto.org/birdtrack/results/index.jsp?o=BOU_ORDER&r=20 In "Animated maps" field select "Puffin", year 2011, months from Jan to Dec and the map will animate its occurence during the year :-)


8

If you and your girlfriend are willing to go for a hot summer hike and cold swim, there is Upper Little Stoney Falls in the Jefferson National Forest - Hanging Rock Day Use Area, near Dungannon, Virginia. Waterfall photos: http://www.waterfall-picture-guide.com/upper-little-stoney-falls.html


8

San Diego is located in a desert region, which means that unless it has rained recently (it is expected to rain from time to time from November through March), there will be flowers only in irrigated parks. If you have the opportunity to go look for flowers in January through March (or later if it rained a lot), then parks like the Mission Trails Regional ...


8

There are a lot of possible day trips from Reykjavik to explore the surrounding area. If you only have the chance to do one I would suggest the Golden Circle, the tour will pick you up from your hotel and return you to it at the end of the day. During the day you will see geysir - the water spout that others are named after. Whilst geysir doesn't erupt ...


8

Don't forget that you are not alone to look for quiet places. Everywhere that you can go to with a car, other people can as well. Therefore, I would recommend remote places that are not accessible by car, or at least with a restricted access. For example: remote parts of mountainous regions such as the Pyrénées, but stay near the French/Spanish border. ...


8

Yes, the 2014 winter was very warm, tulips were already being cut mid-April and everybody was speaking about that. Still, I am pretty sure Keukenhof will not depart from its planned opening (to wit, in 2014 it will be opened until 18 May) and going early or late in the season is always a bit more risky. There will in any case be flowers in the park, even if ...


7

You are looking to walk the Camino de Santiago. It joins hiking, nature, historic architecture, photo opportunities and is very cheap (eat about 6-8 € per meal and sleep 4-8 €). Additionally, you'll know the real Spain, meet interesting people (mainly Spanish, but you can find people from around the world and you will complete one of the mythical mid age ...



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