catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 5, Num 1 :: 2006.01.13 — 2006.01.26


Top Ten re: places

Top Ten World Sites Disproportionate to Their Pictures

  1. Grand Canyon (Arizona):This is the most obvious one, as no picture can capture the immensity of this beauty, especially as it changes colors with the sun?s rotation across the sky?so much larger than anything less than a satellite picture can catch.
  2. Westminster Abbey (London, England):The Da Vinci Code may be changing the reason most tourists now visit this church, but that?s because the coolest treats are on the inside: be it the buried English greats, the elaborate tombs, or the refreshing church services. However, on the outside, it?s only 225 feet high (less than a football field) and 530 feet long, so if you approach it from the back it doesn?t even appear special.
  3. Eiffel Tower (Paris, France): You expect the Eiffel to be tall, just not this tall (324 meters with flagpole, or 354+ yards), especially for something built in 1889. It?s as romantic as every picture crows; pictures just can?t capture the raw wind speed you feel on the elevators up and on the higher viewing platforms.
  4. Mann?s Chinese Theatre (Los Angeles, California): This might be where Hollywood?s greatest imbed their palms and feet into wet cement, but this cultural landmark is so much smaller than you would ever imagine from the pictures. If you?re not careful you?ll walk right by it when strolling along Hollywood Boulevard. (It?s still cool to see those immortal cement blocks though.)
  5. The Sphinx (Cairo, Egypt): As masterful as the pictures are, the real Sphinx is even more impressive, especially for its size?its paws are a third (50 feet) of the length of the entire monument. Its enigmatic beginnings (Egyptologists still debate who actually initiated the project), and stunning backdrop (the pyramids of Giza) makes this a true wonder of the world.
  6. The Gateway Arch (St. Louis, Missouri): Completely underrated, the world?s tallest freestanding semicircle (630 feet) looms on the banks of the Mississippi River to offer 30 mile views on a clear day. It also sways in the wind (only 1 inch in a 50 mph wind) but it?s a bit unsettling when you?re at the top, contains the coolest elevators ever invented (they?re windowed cubes that allow you to see the guts of its construction) and the exterior stainless steel plates creates some eerie reflections of the city lights.
  7. Stone Henge (Salisbury, England): There?s a reason you rarely see people in the shots of this mysterious site, whose ?discovered? purpose seems to change every few years, and that?s because the bulky stones seem so small in our skyscraper society.
  8. St. Peter?s Basilica (Vatican, Italy): The building itself, with Michelangelo?s dome, is as big and grand as every picture reports. However, it?s the entranceway, with its elaborate, cavernous ceiling and four internal pillars that are each 60 feet square, that no picture can prepare you for. Bigger, much bigger, that you can imagine.
  9. Arc de Triomphe (Paris, France): While pictures always portray Napoleon?s monument crowning the Champs Elys?es, until you?re at its feet, it?s difficult to appreciate it?s immensity and depth. While only 49 meters (53+ yards) high, it is 22 meters (24+ yards) deep and 45 meters (49+ yards) wide, with elevators that take you to its roof for delightful viewing. It also houses the tomb of the unknown soldier, with its Flame of Remembrance.
  10. Taj Mahal (Agra, India):Almost every picture you see of the Taj is from a distance, catching all those reflecting pools on the walk up, evoking an elegant palace. Once you?re standing there you?re shocked that it?s so?short. Yes, the white marble building is astounding, the engravings impressive, and architecture unparalleled, but still, it?s so?short.

your comments

comments powered by Disqus