Ryan Gruss

#1 – 10 Awesome Places

Hey world, I’ve finally got around to setting up this blog, so now all I’ve got to do is write something!! If you were wondering about why I’ve decided to put a picture of men jumping off a cliff on my first post, it’s because it looks cool, but also blogging is a jump into unknown territory for me!!

Onto the first post, I’ve decided to share with you 10 places around the globe that fascinate me with their architecture, culture & community. These are by no means my 10 favourite places, just those that hold a certain intrigue & charm for me (in no particular order).

#1 – Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town, RSA

Camps Bay, RSA

Cape Town is a special place for many tourists around the world, attracted to the deep blue of Camps Bay or the perfect vistas on the Garden Route. As my mum is a Capetonian, this place represents a part of who I am and the city has an undeniable energy at its heart.

# 2 – Colonial America

Independence Hall, Philadelphia

Independence Hall, Philadelphia

Having studied the 1776 American Revolution, I have become increasingly fascinated by the colonial east coast of the USA. From Boston to Philadelphia, the colonial story is an inspiring tale of patriots breaking the oppressive hold of the British Empire & nowhere can it been appreciated more vividly than on the east coast of America.

#3 – Meteora, Greece

Meteora, Greece

Meteora, Greece

It often surprises me that when I mention ‘Meteora’, I tend to see puzzled faces. Meteora in Greek means ‘middle of the sky’ and you can see just why this monastery is an incredible feat even today. Perched effortlessly on a rock, it is amazing to even consider just how the monks built this, let alone survived.

#4 – Copenhagen, Denmark

Nyhavn, Copenhagen

Nyhavn, Copenhagen

Whether it’s the Lego-like colours & uniformity of the buildings or just the electric heartbeat of a Scandinavian capital, I can’t help but be impressed by Copenhagen. The city is now establishing itself as a world name, not only for its beautiful setting, but also in gastronomy (Noma is the San Pellegrino Top Restaurant in the World) and technology.

#5 – Atacama Desert, South America

A road through the middle of the Atacama Desert

A road through the middle of the Atacama Desert

Why put the driest place on earth in a list of awesome places? Good point, but for me, the Atacama is as equally fascinating as a plentiful rainforest. With its infinitely blue sky and 1,000km open plateau, there’s a reason this desert is a hotspot for astrological research in the 21st century (plus – who wouldn’t like to drive high speed down one of those roads)!!

#6 – Paris, France

A bistro in the streets of Paris

A bistro in the streets of Paris

I’m a foodie at heart & I also love speaking French – so Paris is an obviously inspiring place for me. There are few other places in the world where you can walk into any bistro on a back street, and the food will be sensational. Pour moi, ça c’est la vraie charme du Paris!!

#7 – Library of Celsus, Ephesus

Library of Celsus, Ephesus

Library of Celsus, Ephesus

When I visited Ephesus a few years ago, the Library of Celsus instantly took me aback in its grandeur and the fine details of its exterior façade. To me, it seemed like the architectural companion to Petra in Jordan, both monuments are breath-taking in their own right!

#8 – New Zealand

Mt Aspiring, New Zealand

Mt Aspiring, New Zealand

New Zealand is the jewel of the South Pacific Ocean and probably the inspiring place in the world for me. From the snowy peaks of the South Island to the warmer climate of Auckland’s Bay of Islands, New Zealand is full of life in all its abundant forms. Plus, they’ve got a great rugby team and my dad’s a Kiwi!!!

#9 – Prague, Czech Republic

Charles Bridge at night

Charles Bridge at night

The international connections don’t stop there for me, my grandad was from the Czech Republic so I’ve been incredibly lucky to visit Prague a number of times. For me, this city feels like an Italian Renaissance city with its majestic castle and charming streets – out of place in a region of Europe that weathered a harsh Communist period.

#10 – Zambezi River, Zambia

Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River

Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River

There’s something great about fast and freely flowing water & in Africa, I always think of the Zambezi River. Many have heard of the famous Victoria Falls or white river rafting, but this river serves more of a purpose – it is one of Africa’s silvery-white veins, regulating the climate and serving the diverse wildlife.

Thanks for reading this post!! What other awesome places would you add?

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This entry was published on October 20, 2013 at 12:26 pm. It’s filed under Culture, Food & Drink, History, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

4 thoughts on “#1 – 10 Awesome Places

  1. At first I thought that was you jumping!

  2. All these share one quality: They are beautiful. Why do we seek beauty? And what is it, really?

  3. Ryan, you have selected very beautiful places of the world! Amazing! Thank you for sharing!

  4. Great choices! I’ve been to six of them. I’d add Machu Picchu and Yellowstone National Park.

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