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Worlds best Ruins to visit !

The Worlds most famous ruins sites

Angkor Wat Siem Reap, Cambodia Spanning roughly 250 miles, Angkor Wat is the world’s largest religious monument. It’s also a powerful throwback to the Khmer Empire, the Hindu-cum-Buddhist government of Southeast Asia that ruled between AD 802 and 1431. In fact, the entire structure of the wat—or temple—mirrors the Hindu cosmos. Today, it attracts scores of visitors yearly for its impressive infrastructure and spiritual atmosphere. And it’s not the only one of its kind—the once-capital Angkor is home to more than 50 temples.

Aran Islands Bleak but Beautiful

Ireland's Aran Islands, Bleak and Beautiful

The Aran Islands in Irleland are stunning windswept, rocky fields divided by stone walls. The wave-beaten Aran Islands which, on a blustery day, seem to be gulping seawater off the west coast of Ireland. Locals, who know they're on the west fringe of Europe are fond of saying "The next parish over's Boston." A elfish, black-clad farmer, determined to make the most of a break in the clouds, invites me to help him turn his hay. Drying in the breeze, it's destined to become a hearty salad for his cows.

Picturesque Manarola, Italy

Manarola Italys picturesque coast

Manarola, one of the most extraordinary places to photograph in the world. It’s just one of five towns that make up the famous region of Italy known as Le Cinque Terre, each of which have their own unique and beautiful charm.

Montenegro's coastal comeback

Montenengro's comeback

One of the smallest countries in Europe, nestled between Croatia's Dalmatian coast and Albania, Montenegro's lure has long been its 295km of coastline, home to quiet fishing villages, flashy resort towns, Unesco-recognised fjordscapes and the remains of grand Venetian fortresses.

Adventure in Pietrapertosa Italy

Pietrapertosa Italy Man on a wire

Man on a wire - Pepe's Fiat was charging around the helter-skelter curves on the mountainside as we heard the first screams. Suspended above the car, yelping with unfettered excitement, was a man flying towards the cliff face to our left and disappearing into the hillside. "Don't worry," grinned Pepe, "the trees will break his fall."

Pietrapertosa Italy Man on a wire

We'd arrived at Pietrapertosa – a village of 500 flinty houses hugging a craggy hillside at the southern end of the Appenines. Three years ago this stony hamlet, whose population was declining rapidly, realised its precipitous position could be its salvation. A wire was stretched across the 1,000m-high, 1,500m-wide canyon that separates Pietrapertosa from its neighbouring village, and the world was invited to come and fly across the valley. It is Italy's only flying cordway, one of just three in Europe, and now attracts around 6,000 people a year.

Pietrapertosa Italy Man on a wire

Pietrapertosa Italy Man on a wire

Pepe, who worked for the company offering the experience, had the job of easing the fears of this shaky visitor before his flight. "This is a very beautiful place," said the stout sexagenarian. "If you are going to throw yourself off a cliff, there is no more charming place to do it than the Appenines." You couldn't deny his logic. The spectacular cracked granite outcrops reach into the sky like gnarled fingers, bearers of evocative nicknames such as Owl's Beak, and Lizard's Toe.

Pietrapertosa has tried to calm visitors by naming its cliff-top leap the Flight of the Angel (Il Volo dell'Angelo). Further heavenly help is on hand; the ticket office is next to a 200-year-old painted shrine, with not one, but three celestial beings to pray to: Sant'Antonio, San Rocco and the Madonna.

Pietrapertosa Italy Man on a wire

Pietrapertosa Italy Man on a wire

I passed my now rather clammy ticket to the smiling Elena who prepared me for the flight, trussing me up in a PVC harness. "Do many people decide not to fly at the last moment," I asked hopefully. "No," replied Elena. "Once they pay the €30, they don't want to waste their money."

With a tug I was lifted into the starting position. I hung in mid-air, staring into the void. "Buon Volo!" said Elena, and then I was away, soaring over the chestnut trees. The ground fell away and I was 1,000m up in the air. Adrenaline fired though me, then as the landscape rolled below with a gentle hypnotic rhythm, I felt an overwhelming sense of tranquillity. Fields, farms and rivers seemed held in time. Apart from the wind in my face there was no sense that I was travelling at 70mph. No sense, that is, until I crunched into the braking system on the other side of the valley. From 70mph to nought in five seconds: welcome to the village of Castelmezzano.

Pietrapertosa Italy Man on a wire

I'd travelled a kilometre across the valley from Pietrapertosa – and spent two minutes with the angels. The walk back to Pietrapertosa is a rugged two-hour hike, but fortunately Il Volo Dell'Angelo is a return trip, so I was taken up the valley by minibus and, for the final kilometre, by Lucia the donkey, to another departure point.

This time I threw myself off the 400m cliff with no fear. Flying now seemed the natural way to travel – no jams, no pollution, no noise. Then I felt a pulsing sensation against my chest: not my heart's final protests, but my mobile phone ringing. If only I hadn't been strapped in: "Hi. Where am I? I'm flying with the angels."

Pietrapertosa Italy Man on a wire

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