Bucket list #10: Banff National Park

Most people don’t believe me when I tell them I’d spent four years in Canada, and not visited the stunningly sanctuary that is Banff. And quite honestly, I don’t blame them–

Emerald Lake

Image via Flickr: ‘Emerald Lake | A beautiful morning at Emerald Lake in Banff National Park’. Photographer Krishna Santhanam

Anyhow, it goes without saying that Banff is on my bucket list, and that not going while I was in Montréal is one of my biggest regrets. Heigh ho– here’s a list of fun facts I dug up on Banff* (because I was curious bored am quite the nerd, apparently):

  • Banff is the second highest town in Canada. Elevation wise, it stands at 1,463 m (or so says Wikipedia), second to Lake Louise (1,600 m).
  • Banff was named by George Stephen, president of the Canadian Pacific Railway, after his Scottish hometown, Banff.
  • Banff NP is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and home to several Canadian National Historic Sites.
  • Baff NP was Canada’s first national park, established in 1885. On a completely different note– the oldest national park is, contrary to popular belief, not Yellowstone (est. 1872), but Bogdkhan Uul, Mongolia (est. 1778).
  • The name “Banff” is derived from Banffshire, Scotland, the birthplace of two of the original directors of the Canadian Pacific Railway.

* by ‘dug up’ I obviously mean paraphrased from multiple sources that popped up after a Google search for ‘Banff fun facts’.

Bucket List #9:The Great Unification Buddha, South Korea

🌐 Daily travel feature Photographer @franketheunissen used her iPhone 5 to capture this magnificent Buddha statue, at the foot of the Seoraksan National Park, just before an intense hike up the Seoraksan mountain, Sokcho, South Korea . "There's just something mesmerising about this statue," comments Franke, "as people came to bow at its feet, I stood in awe and drew in the lush greenness of the mountainscape that surrounded me. The air was misty and grey, but gave me the earthy tones I hoped for; the Earth's beauty was everywhere. " Reposted with permission of photographer. Be sure to check out @franketheunissen's gallery, she has amazing low saturation shots . Now for your (fine, *my*) favourite part! #Funfact(s) about the 14.6 m bronze statue–the one in the photo, pay attention! The construction of the statue was funded for by a decade's worth of donations, and cost close to USD 4.1 million to build. It's called "The Great Unification Buddha", because it symbolises the Korean people's hope for reunification of North and South Korea . Don't be selfish– tag your travel photos with #travelteal so I can load up on travel trivia.

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Bucket List #8: 10 must-visit beach destinations

So, I feel like I should preface this post with an apology, since I’ve been MIA for the last few weeks (on account of uni., work, a nasty ear and tonsil infection, and holidays). SORRY. I’m usually not one to slack, and I hate not doing something wholeheartedly, so I decided it was better to not put out (sub-par) posts, and wait until I’d gotten my ducks in a row.

Needless to say, I’m back and well, and I cannot believe I actually got emails from concerned blog-friends! I was convinced that at this point, my mother would be the only person reading this; so, thank you!

Okay, back to business now: let’s talk about beaches.

Nice word, that, “beach”. Sort of like “leach”, but with a “b”. (Really, I have no idea what’s wrong with me. And quite frankly we don’t have time to go through my childhood traumas; including the time I lost the middle school debating finals to my then, arch-nemesis Oake– yes, the girl’s name was actually Oak-with-an-E!)

Anyhow, before I lose my marbles entirely (read: just kidding, they’re long gone — the marbles, I mean), I give you:

10 must-visit beach destinations

10) Green Sand (Papakōlea) Beach – Big Island, Hawaii, USA

Why: 1) Green sand (I’m a geologist- olivine excites me, okay?) and 2) GREEN SAND!

Olivine-basalt sand (marine beach sand, modern; Green Sand Beach, Puu Mahana Volcanic Cone, southern tip of Hawaii, central Pacific Ocean) 1

Image via Flickr: Olivine-basalt sand (marine beach sand, modern; Green Sand Beach, Puu Mahana Volcanic Cone, southern tip of Hawaii, central Pacific Ocean) 1. Photographer: James St. John.

Mahana Bay

Image via Flickr: Mahana Bay | Overlooking Green Sand Beach. Photographer: Thomas.

9) Pink Sand Beach – Balos, Greece

Why: Pink sand. I mean, even Barbie would approve.

Pink sand in Balos

Image via Flickr: Pink sand in Balos. Photographer: Alberto Perdomo.

8) Maho Beach – Saint Maarten

Why: Because who doesn’t like laying on the beach, whilst planes whoosh by!?

Airport Danger Jet Blast Sign

Image via Flickr: Airport Danger Jet Blast Sign. Photographer: Richie Diesterheft.

Insel Air's MD-82 approaching over Maho Beach, St. Maarten

Image via Flickr:Insel Air’s MD-82 approaching over Maho Beach, St. Maarten. Photographer: Takashi Ota.

7) Wells Beach – Norfolk, UK

Why: This one’s sort of a long story. But since I have to give you some sort of valid reason (as I have thus far), let’s just stay with ‘chip shop, ice cream, and (sand)wiches’. See what I did there with the last one? Because when you have a sandwich on the beach, it gets sandy?

Yes, I find myself hilarious, thank you very much.

What does it matter if I’ve had a beer or two five?

Beach huts, Wells beach, Norfolk

Image via Flickr: Beach huts, Wells beach, Norfolk. Photographer: Ned Trifle.

6) Bondi – Sydney, Australia

Why: 1) Because, duh, Bondi. And 2) The Bondi Baths. And 3) Have you SEEN some of those lifeguards on ‘Bondi Rescue’?! They were practically the reason I moved Down Under.

Pft, no… I wouldn’t pretend-drown just to get rescued. How bad do you think I am?! (Read: awful. Said scenario is highly probable).

Bondi Baths

Image via Flickr: Bondi Baths. Photographer: Waikiki Natatorium.

Bondi Beach, Oct. 2011

Image via Flickr: Bondi Beach, Oct. 2011. Photographer: University of Denver.

5) Whitehaven – Whitsunday NP, Australia

Why:

Aerial shot of Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island off Queensland, Australia

Image via Flickr: Aerial shot of Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island off Queensland, Australia. Photographer: Szecska.

4) Ko Phi Phi Ley – Thailand

Why:

Thaïlande - Ko Phi Phi - Maya Bay

Image via Flickr: Thaïlande – Ko Phi Phi – Maya Bay Photographer: Nicolas Vollmer.

But also because Leo was here. DiCaprio, I mean — how many Leos do you know?!

Image via Flickr: Untitled Photographer: Ted Murphy.

3) Boulders Beach – Cape Town, South Africa

Why: 1) ‘Boulders’ beach (revisit point 1, #10 re: me being a geologist), and 2) penguins.

Boulders Beach Villa - HDR

Image via Flickr: Boulders Beach Villa.  Photographer: Nicolas Raymond.

Seriously: PENGUINS. On a beach.

高清风景壁纸汇总[第1期]

Image via Flickr: The Penguins of South Africa. Photographer: 一元 马.

2) South Beach – Miami, USA

Why: Is ‘because it’s Miami’ a good reason?

Lifeguard on Duty in South Beach Miami

Image via Flickr: Lifeguard on Duty in South Beach Miami. Photographer: Kim Seng.

1) Any and every beach in Maldives 

Why: I’m really not sure if this actually needs too much justification. I mean hello:

Maldives

Image via Flickr: Maldives. Photographer: Sarah Ackerman.

Not to mention: bioluminescent phytoplankton (or, ‘glow-in-the-dark shrimpy things’ if you’re so inclined)

https://www.flickr.com/photos/ifindkarma/12099851886

Image via Flickr: Maldives Beach Looks Like Starry Night Sky. Photographer: Adam Rifkin.