Diverse destinations, on and off the beaten path.
Empty Prague during Coronavirus
Like most of the world and all the other touristic hotspots around the globe during the Covid crisis in spring 2020, the cobblestone streets and storied squares of the Czech capital were exceptionally empty, at times even deserted. Although Prague was not placed under as strict a lock-down as Paris, Rome or Madrid, the city remained devoid of the usual hustle and bustle. Pictured above are many of the landmark locations that otherwise would have been pulsating with people, while hosting the popular Easter Markets. Most telling is probably the abandoned Astrological Clock, a gathering point that is otherwise always overrun.
Letten Viaduct, Zürich
A former railway viaduct that has been attractively converted into an elevated pedestrian path in one of the city's most vibrant neighborhoods. It's Zürich's version of the High Line in New York, though far less crowded and mainly used by locals. Stroll from the spacious Josefwiese park past converted factories over the River Limmat to the popular beaches at Upper and Lower Letten. Reaching the Letten Viaduct only takes 10 mins by foot or 5 mins by tram from the main railway station.
Beyond the mainland, best reached by ferry from Aberdeen or Scrabster, the Orkney Islands offer a windswept North Sea environment with sandy beaches, rolling hills, Neolithic archeological remains and quaint fishing towns like Kirkwall and Scrabster. The landscape is very Scottish and there is lots of greenery. Obvious highlights are the Standing Stones of Stenness, the Ring of Brodgar, the Italian Chapel and of course the ruins and beaches of Skara Brae. A best kept secret are the cliffs at Yesnaby, north of Stromness.
Peel, Isle of Man
Located on the west coast of Man and set against the backdrop of the Irish Sea, the small fishing town of Peel is steeped in history, featuring Viking lore, Celtic culture and Victorian charm. Shaped by the hilltop castle ruins on St. Patrick's Island, there's also a picturesque bay with a sandy beach and an elegant 19th century promenade. Inspiring and remote, Peel is rugged yet refined.