If you’re looking for some intense exercise in the great outdoors but don’t want to wander too far from civilization, try climbing castles. You start with a great workout and end with a great view. Nothing can beat it.
CASTLE ACRE — Some ruins can get a little ruinous for the adventuring tourist after a while. See that 4-foot-long section of brick wall, the part you can barely see out of the dirt? It’s from Roman times! Or over there, that pillar that doesn’t really look like a pillar at all? It’s from some old age too.
They come by car, train or bus from all over the world to the small village of Bran, tucked in the Carpathian Mountains of Transylvania. Tens of thousands of tourists stop here every year for the same reason: to see Dracula’s castle.
Once a favorite destination for travelers on the Hippie Trail, this idyllic provincial capital high in the Hindu Kush mountains is now famous for what’s not there. Three glaring holes in the cliffs that rise over the town tell the story of what Bamiyan lost 12 years ago.
In Afghanistan, where conservation has taken a backseat to war for 35 years, a “national park” designation is largely conceptual: People acknowledge the place is beautiful and deserves preservation, but the details remain fuzzy.
Stars and Stripes Tablet Edition subscribers get exclusive access to galleries of the most provocative photography around. From unparalleled war photography, to touching memorial coverage, or the most exciting sporting events, every gallery is hand-picked by Stars and Stripes staffers around the world. This gallery is a preview of some of the photography in the Tablet Edition.
Readers' Choice Awards
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