Fact or fable? Legendary places revealed!
Fact or fable? Legendary places revealed! Have you ever thought of visiting somewhere different and then had to double-check if it was a real place or one from your imagination?
The Flexicover Team have pored through the folklore for some places that, whilst rich in legend and mystery, can be found with a little bit of effort!
The fabled city of Timbuktu is not a myth! It does indeed exist, in the West African state of Mali, on the southern edge of the Sahara desert. It lives up to a reputation as a lost city amongst the swirling sands but, not so long ago, it actually used to be the centre of several important trade routes across Africa for salt, gold and ivory. It was also an academic powerhouse with an abundance of Islamic scholars and universities and a thriving book trade. Today, it still holds many marvels for visitors including a World Heritage Site and the Festival au Désert. Timbuktu is anywhere but the end of the world!
Shangri-La was originally a fictional place described in the 1933 novel Lost Horizon by British author James Hilton, said to be a mystical and spiritual place of harmony, isolated from the outside world. Today, many locations lay claim to the title but one of the most popular is the Shangri-La Resort in Skardu, near to the Hunza Valley that is believed to be the inspiration for Hilton’s novel. Described as ‘heaven on earth’, it nestles amongst the western Himalayas on the shores of Lower Kachura Lake, surrounded by fruit-laden orchards and flower-filled gardens - this place of dreams awaits your arrival!
Lapland, northern Sweden/Finland:
Santa Claus travels the world every Christmas, bearing good tidings, presents for children and goodwill for all. However, if you’ve missed the man with the long white beard, then Lapland is where you’ll find him! Described as a place where the toymaking elves prepare presents in a workshop which Mrs Claus calls home, Lapland really does exist – complete with reindeers, snow and sledges. Several tour operators offer Lapland packages for the family with winter sports adding to the fun. For a more cultural excursion, visit Inari (Finland) or Kiruna (Sweden) and learn about the indigenous Sámi people.
This historic region is often associated with the legend of the vampire Dracula (mainly through Bram Stoker's novel and scores of film adaptations) and the horror genre in general for the dramatic nature of its landscape. The region has much to offer in the scenic beauty of the Carpathian mountains which make for excellent skiing, particularly near the city of Brasov. Although Dracula was very much fictional (though there are parallels to the story of Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia, also known as ‘The Impaler’), Transylvania with its beautiful castles, ice caves and dense forests is real and well worth a visit. The region is also famed for its many film and music festivals.
El Dorado, South America:
El Dorado was originally the name of a Muisca tribal chief who, as part of initiation rites, was covered in gold dust and dived into Lake Guatavita in Columbia. From this, it became the name of the legendary "Lost City of Gold" that entranced explorers the world over throughout the 15th and 16th centuries. Though many searched for years to find this fabled glittering city, no evidence of such a place was ever found. Sadly, this is one place that will forever remain a legend.
Wherever you decide to travel and however you decide to get there, Flexicover Direct, the travel insurance specialist, is committed to providing the highest level of service to ensure that you are safe and secure, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year when away.
If you are travelling soon, have a great trip!