With winter upon us we thought it might be nice to embrace the cold this season and seek out some of the world’s best winter wonderlands. These beautiful locales will make you want to run toward the snow rather than away from it.
The Minka building style of the buildings in Shirakawa, with lofty thatched roofs, played a large part in the town being declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This style prevents the roofs from collapsing under heavy snowfall, necessary in a place that sees an annual average of more than 30 feet.
Harbin, China, is one of the coldest cities in all of Asia and the citizens display their pride in this each year by hosting the International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival. Giant blocks of ice are recovered from the Songhua River and used to create massive sculptures of buildings and people.
During the wintertime, Salzburg, with its Baroque architecture and alpine snow, becomes something out of a Disney movie. The city serves as an entry point for the Alps and is home to plenty of winter sport enthusiasts. It’s picturesque setting makes it perfect for Christmas lovers.
Reykjavík is striking no matter what time of the year, but when the Winter Lights Festival rolls around in February it becomes a truly breathtaking city. Its combination of old architecture, local ponds and the geothermal pools make for a wonderful experience in winter.
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For decades, indigenous communities in Guatemala and elsewhere looked on as companies profited from their ancestral textiles, but now they are organizing to protect their heritage.