Traveling is a curious affair: head to the same place again and again, and you’ll find something different every time. This is not least due to the changing seasons.
Some of the seasonal changes are human-made. In Germany, you’ll often encounter Christmas markets if you travel in November or December. These inspiring festivals of food and craft have now been copied around the world, but there’s something special about doing it with a big jug of authentic German beer. Head to Split or the Spanish coast in September or even October, and you can enjoy the last of the summer heat among relatively few tourists, since they tend to evaporate once August ends.
Other changes are purely climatic. In Manchester, UK, it rains generously through every season. But the locals will gladly describe to you the difference between the winter rain and the summer rain. Sometimes it almost feels tropical.
Indeed, changing weather around the year is about more than choosing what shoes to pack. The air smells different; the light is different; the rivers may be plumb with rain and snow-run off, or dry and shallow enough to wade in. And the colors, of course, modulate dramatically with the turning seasons.
A new image set from Budget Direct reveals just how dramatic the visual impact of each season can be. They’ve chosen 8 wonderful but lesser-celebrated destinations and created images showing how different each one looks in the different seasons.
The Roman amphitheater in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, may not yet be a world-famous sight, but it charms all who visit it. In fact, although it was built in the 2nd century, the amphitheater is a relatively new tourist destination since it was hidden away for hundreds of years before being revealed by a landslide in the 1970s. Today, they put on shows in the evenings – which means you can witness the effects of the seasonal changes out in the open air while you take in some local art.
In Central Park, New York, a structure called Bethesda Terrace is something of a local secret – perhaps because it is not a particularly commercial concern. This 19th-century building has some fascinating decorative details and stunning stonework by Calvert Vaux. And being at the heart of Central Park, the view changes as the trees and fields cycle through greens, oranges, and browns with the seasons – even invading the terrace itself when brown autumn leaves or fresh white snow drift in through the arches.
The island of Olkhon in Lake Baikal, Russia, is known to be a hub for shamanic energy. It is also a deeply beautiful aesthetic encounter. The most stunning part of all is Shamanka, or ‘Shaman’s Rock,’ a pair of marble peaks at the beach overlooking the lake. From here you will see the seasons gradually chill until the lake freezes, and the grass and foliage mellows from bright green to brown before surrendering to a blanket of snow.
The Elqui Valley Vineyards in Chile produce grapes that go into a local brandy, called Pisco. But they offer another local attraction: the changing colors of the vines across the seasons. These are put into relief by the mountains in the background, which lose their snowy whiteness in the spring and follow the lead of the vineyards through the greener months – especially vividly in June and July, when the weather is pleasantly rainy.
Too many people make holiday plans intending to tick off this or that sight or experience, without taking the time to be mindful of what they’re experiencing. The seasons of the year are, for the time being, a gift to enjoy and marvel at through not only the sights, but the sounds and smells they offer, too. How is the weather where you are?