There is something magical about watching the sun – be it a fiery orange ball rising up over the horizon at the break of a new day, or melting away into inky darkness turning from various mesmerising hues of yellows, ochres, pinks and purples at the end of one.
Harpreet’s Wanderlust has had this lil corner of the internet for five years now. FIVE YEARS! Can you believe it? I certainly can’t! I have been travelling since my teenage years, but only when I met M did we start to incorporate travel as part of our lifestyle, and so, 2017 marks our ten year anniversary of setting Footsteps Across the Globe! We have had a tonne of adventures and fun moments, and I wanted to commemorate this milestone somehow, so when I was going through my archives I thought what better way to celebrate the existence of my lil space of the blogosphere than to show you, my dear readers some of the stunning moments that make us want to continue to travel, travel, travel!!
Sunrises and sunsets are some of my favourite times of the day. In our jaunts across the globe, M and I have come across many that have taken our breath away, and this post explores some of those moments, in no particular order. As always, thanks for spending a part of your day with me, and, I hope you enjoy reading this post as much as I enjoyed creating it!
Perhaps one of the most captivating sunsets I have ever seen has been the sunset M and I watched melt away from bright, warm colours to a strip of vivid orange and then into nothingness from the top of Table Mountain in Cape Town. South Africa was the first country we visited together, outside of Kenya, and indeed the start of our adventures across the Globe and at the time, we were two very broke yet light spirited individuals with a thirst for adventure and dreams of a life that I am so incredibly fortunate to say that we live right now! This sunset was especially indelible because it sealed our quest to explore some of the most beautiful places on earth and put our experiences out there in some form or another, to inspire and to excite, and so, the concept of this blog was born and many years later, executed. I am so glad that I created this space because there is nothing more humbling and exciting than hearing so many of you come up to me and tell me that you follow my blog, love my writing and use some of the itineraries I have and it makes me want to share even more with you all. My dear Wanderlusters, thank you from the bottom of my heart for spurring on my Wanderlust!
Now, while there is nothing more romantic than watching a sunset together, there is something even more mesmerising about watching day break, especially if it is in an intrepid part of the world. When M and I set out to explore the temples of Cambodia we were asked by many people “Why?” “Why would you want to go there?” And our answer to this question that we still get asked a lot, even today, is: “Why Not?” Travel has in the last few years become a global phenomenon but when we started out, there was a lot of hesitation in exploring what were considered far flung places like Cambodia and Vietnam. I remember getting off the plane in Siem Reap and feeling goose bumps all over me because I just couldn’t believe where we had landed! So, waking up at the ungodly hour of 4:00 am to go and stake a spot in front of the pools of Angkor Wat, to watch day break over the oldest temple in the world and see the sky turn from pitch black to inky grey, fiery orange, deep purple and pink and then blue is a sight that I cannot soon forget.
One of the most beautiful sunrises I have witnessed was that over the plains of Bagan, in Myanmar (former Burma). Indeed, it was the sunrise that dreams are made of, full of magic and promise of a beautiful new day. Day broke as we rose up above the ground in a Hot Air Balloon and watching the sun wake up like a huge orange ball from the edge of the world, its rays shimmering through the mist that enveloped the plains and wrapped itself around the spires of the temples as far as the eyes could see – well that was a sight that made me breathe in and sigh, what a beautiful day to be alive!
And then there are those failed sunrises, because the rain follows you around like a bad smell. There are just certain times of the year when the sun lets you down, and this is what happened to us when we ascended the oldest ancient monument and largest Buddhist temple on Earth: Borobudur. You know how I like to say that the rain follows M and I around like a bad smell? Well, in Indonesia our rainy spells were probably the worst ever, but me being the eternal optimist, there was a slight glimmer of hope that we would be able to watch the sun rise and cast its rays on that single Buddha in the only open Stupa in Borobudur. Nah ah. The Sun Gods weren’t too happy with us that day because just as we started the ascent, it started to drizzle. But as we got to the top, thankfully it stopped and even though the sky was overcast and there were no beautiful hues of purples and pinks, there was still a flash of orange and the clouds lent an air of mystery around this temple, and the energy was still something to write home about. The serenity that shrouded the Stupas that morning is a feeling I would love to replicate every morning. So, even failed sunrises hold the promise of a beautiful day!
The sunsets in Asia seem to be adorned in varying hues of pinks and purples before the sky turns an inky black. It doesn’t seem to matter whether you are in the plains of Bagan or the rice paddy fields of Ubud; the sky always has a show for you when twilight strikes and the day comes to an end! Look at these sunsets – aren’t they simply breathtaking?
Sunrises hold the magic and promise of a new day: a blank canvas of twenty-four precious hours to fill in with some of the most beautiful and precious moments. But, as Bern Williams says
“It is almost impossible to watch a sunset and not dream…”
Dream about the place you are in, pinching yourself because you are here and many a time, never in a million years did you think you would be. Dream about places that your heart yearns to place footsteps in. And dream about sunsets past and sunrises to come. And when you are sat in a boat, bobbing gently up and down in a calm and peaceful river and watching the sun wink goodbye to the world, casting its last golden light of the day over one of the longest teak bridges in the world out in Mandalay, you can’t help but dream about all the adventures you have had in this beautiful country known as Burma.
Very little can compare to the magic of the setting sun over water, be it over the azure blue sea that surrounds the Maldives or the deeper sapphire shade of the ocean in Mauritius and the islands of The Seychelles or a river in the rainforests of Kalimantan. I am an incurable romantic at heart and as cliché as it sounds, a beautiful sunset makes me fall in love all over again: with life and with my husband, because it is hard not to be euphoric when the canvas of the world is awash with such beautiful colours!
And being an incurable romantic, I can’t really leave out sunset in Paris, the city of love, can I? M and I weren’t quite at the Eiffel Tower at dusk but somewhere around it and this image of the tower peeking over the city in the light golden rays of the setting sun is one that I had to share with you all…
My favourite sun moment of them all? Watching the sun cast its golden rays of light over the rolling hills of Tuscany, far out in the countryside, the vines studded into the Tuscan soil and unfurling like an endless green carpet. Of all the adventures M and I have had in the last 10 years, our jaunt in Tuscany took the prize. I can’t wait to share more of Tuscany and my adventures along the Chianti Wine Route….but for now, I will whet your appetite with this GORGEOUS scenery that is forever etched in my memory as one of the most spectacular places I have visited.