"Fairy stories loosen the chains of the imagination. They give you things to think with – images to think with – and the senses that all kinds of things are possible," British writer Philip Pullman told The Guardian. And this winter, some people might be ready for an escape to the fabulous worlds of fairy tales.
Fortunately, the real world does hold a number of mysterious and spectacular sights, from caves in Mexico filled with giant crystals to manmade palaces spread across the world. Take for example the ancient stone city of Petra in Jordan. The center of the Nabataean empire between 400 B.C. and 106 A.D., Petra could almost have sprung from one of the stories of The Arabian Nights. In addition to having advanced architecture and technology like water capture, storage and irrigation systems, researchers in Petra believe there are still plenty of secrets hiding beneath the surface, reported National Geographic.
And then there are the Chocolate Hills of the Philippines. The hundreds of mysterious mounds are around 160 feet tall and are almost symmetrical and covered with grass. During the dry season the grass dies, giving them their characteristic color and name, says Atlas Obscura. Despite how perfectly formed they seem, the mounds aren't manmade and scientists are unsure about their origins, though they suspect the hills might have been formed by uplifted marine limestone, reported Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail.
Also read: America's Most Mysterious Places
Places Link: [link to www.currentnewsblog.com (secure)
The world is also brimming with incredible castles, palaces, and fortified cities that look like they jumped right out of the pages of fairy-tale books. In fact, several of them are rumored to have inspired the castles that appear in Walt Disney's animated fairy tale films, including Château de Chambord (Beauty and the Beast), the Alcazar of Segovia castle in Spain (Cinderella), and the Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany (Sleeping Beauty). Other fortresses, including the fortified city of Carcassonne, have been used a film backdrops for movie shoots.
To see more fairy tale locations around the world, click through the slideshow above and let yourself be swept away by reverie.
Where would you run away to if you could live out your fairy-tale dreams?