The time of year that you choose to travel makes a big difference to what you encounter along the way.
Of course, there are cultural differences – head to a German city in winter and you’ll get an authentic Christmas market experience and accompanying atmosphere; head to Oslo in July and you’ll find it empty, only to fill up again in August, since Norwegians mostly take their own holidays throughout the whole of July.
And the seasonal weather makes a big difference, too, to what you can do and what you need to pack. But more acutely, changing seasonal weather offers different views and ambiences in sometimes unexpected ways. It might be the quality of light or the way that snow absorbs the city’s sounds; the color associations you take home with you, too, will differ depending whether it’s spring or fall.
The folks at Budget Direct were enchanted by these differences and decided to create a new series of images showing special places around the world in all four seasons at once.
At New York’s Bethesda Terrace, for example, the trees of Central Park tell the story while Calvert Vaux’s stonework keeps stoically constant most of the year round. The familiar greens of the Central Park summer give way to a carpet of orange leaves that brush through the terrace in the fall. In winter, the exposed terrace allows snow to reach just a little between its arches, but those caught in a storm can find ample shelter deeper in the passage. In springtime, the shiny stonework seems to reflect the of the emerging colors beyond.
The difference is far more dramatic at the Elqui Valley Vineyards in Chile. Grown to produce the local brandy, known as pisco, the vines bud, flourish, brown, and wither with the seasons. A backdrop of striking mountainside follows in sympathy, varying between greens and browns in the early months before succumbing to snow in the winter. If you’re planning a wine-tasting trip, June and July are particularly verdant months, with rain cooling the air and turning everything a thirst-quenching shade of green.
The holy shaman island of Olkhon in Lake Baikal, Russia, features an understated site comprised of twin marble peaks, known as Shamanka or Shaman’s Rock. Surrounded by multiple forms of nature, the differences between the seasons are pronounced, particularly since the lake freezes over in cold weather. Shamans from across Russia make the pilgrimage to the rock, which is believed to be a beacon of shamanic energy.
And the 2nd-century Roman amphitheater of Plovdiv, Bulgaria is a wonderful place to find deep, long-distance views across the city to the mountains – and back through time! The theater was re-discovered and relaunched following a landslide forty years ago and, being open air, is an excellent way to convene with the elements while you take in a show.
There’s no need to wait for tourist season to book a trip if your senses are tuned to the magic the different seasons bring. What is your best experience of a wonderful location in an unlikely season of the year?