5. Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius
You can probably guess where this monastery is located just by looking at it. Did you guess Russia? Congrats, you are right. This iconic looking church was first built in 1337, and it has since become an essential Russian cultural landmark and the center of the Russian Orthodox Church. 300 monks still live in this new monastery, and it is even a Russian UN World Heritage site. The church got its name from the man that founded it: Sergius of Radonezh who is a famous Russian saint that reformed medieval Russia. The inside is just as beautiful as the outside if not even more so. It’s been through a lot throughout the years, but the church is well cared for and loved, so it is still in excellent condition.
4. Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort
While it may look weird that this resort has igloo-looking structures with a massive skylight, the reason why is sure to make you want to go there. These little suites are built to let you view the northern lights in style and comfort. The resort in Finland offers a breathtaking and cozy observational room with just the bare minimum called a glass igloo, but they also have a variety of suites that you can choose between. There are ten different accommodations that you can choose from igloos made from the traditional snow; Santa’s home that is decorated to look like the Christmas icon lives there, a traditional house with all of the fixings, and even a wedding suite. The glass igloos are only available from the 20th of August to the end of April during the year, because that is when the northern lights come out to play.
This little municipality in Portugal only has 828 inhabitants, believe it or not. The city is known as the most Portuguese village in Portugal, and it is one of 12 cities that have been classified to have historical significance to the country. The town has evidence of dating back to the Early Stone Ages at the time of the Ice Ages. You can find traces of the Romans, Visigothic, and Arab presences in the town but in the 12th century when the city was conquered by Alfonso I of Portugal, it hasn’t traded cultures since. The city is actually built on top of a mountain rock that is made of granite, giving it a unique appearance. There once stood a castle in the town, but it was destroyed in the 19th century when some ammunition exploded.
2. Pingvallavatn Lake
This lake is the largest lake in Iceland that is mostly a favorite for die-hard scuba and diving fans. The lake is approximately 84 square meters or 32 square miles, and it reaches depths of 114 meters or 374 feet. The main draw of the lake is that it partially lies on top of the meeting of the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates so there is a small divide that you can dive into safely. The rift is called Silfra, and it is the division formed from the drifting of the plates. the water is incredibly clear as well because the water in the fracture is fed from a nearby glacier. The rift gets about 2 centimeters wider every year, and there are earthquakes every ten years at the division which can expedite this widening. This isn’t the only split in the world but it is the widest and definitely the coolest.
This surreal landmark was actually built by Edward James who was a British poet who was one of the main influences during the surrealist art movement in the 20th century. These giant, artistic sculptures are 2000 feet or 610 meters above sea level in the rainforest in Mexico. The site stretches over 80 acres of land and in addition to the many sculptures there are also pools and waterfalls interlaced in the site. That’s how it got its name; Las Poza means the pools in Spanish. There are also paintings and entire beds of orchids; there were supposedly 29,000 orchids at the location at one point. James also included little homes for exotic animals. The construction took place during 1949 to 1984, and it ended up being more than 5 million to build. The location was bought in 2007 by a foundation that plans to restore and maintain the landmark for future generations. This insane work of art may be a little out there, but it is a must-see.