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Climb Every Mountain

Now that the weather is in that hot-and-cold phase, you should take to the outdoors and breathe all that is clean and unpolluted — high up in the mountains. Enjoy every crack and crevice with these ultimate hiking spots. 

ARIZONA, USA
Arizona USAThe trails in Arizona are tailor-made for hiking enthusiasts. Not only do you have the expanse that is the Grand Canyon, you’ve got cities like Phoenix and Tucson where, despite their urban skyline, the mountains punctuated in the background call for some serious trekking.

As a supreme National Park, the Grand Canyon has more than a whopping one million acres of land. Within its natural beauty are meandering rivers, lakes and of course heart-stopping cliffs. The possibilities are endless. From day hikes to overnight lodging options, the experience will be nothing short of awe-inspiring.

Be warned; the trails are not for the faint-hearted and unfit. Hiking in the Grand Canyon is so demanding that even people in excellent condition come out fatigued. Arizona being a hot and dry state (I think we’re familiar with those conditions), you need to have buckets of water on hand. Nothing compares to these unspoiled vistas. Get your gear and go for it!

Swimmers and surfers should head to the eastern beaches.

BERGEN, NORWAY
November_2014_Travel-03Being a city, Bergen doesn’t have mountains. Its immediate vicinity comes with all kinds of heights. To get to see the truly magnificent fjords, you’ll need to use Bergen as a hub. Once you’ve strolled along the polychrome harbour front, discovered little communities on the backstreets and been ripped off for pityingly small amounts of takeaway fish, you’ll need to get yourself to Folgefonna.

While the fjords of Norway are pleasantly green and lush, Folgefonna is actually a glacier. Yes, this is for the adventurous folk who won’t mind a bit of frostbite along the way. An ice hike is exactly the same as a mountain hike, but with crampons fastened to the bottom of your boots to help you dig into the ice. If you’re after a traditionally rugged terrain with grass and soil, Norway has a surplus of that as well. The locals hike as casually as we drive here in Bahrain — they’re natural hikers!

AL HAJJAR MOUNTAINS, OMAN
November_2014_Travel-04What a treat! Not only does Oman have an authentic Arabian atmosphere, it’s right on our doorstep. A mere flight away, this country is a hiker’s haven. It is unique in its geography, different from its GCC counterparts.

When you head northeast from Muscat, you’ll find some dramatic mountain ranges. It has a dry and coarse feel to it, but the temperatures plummet to freezing, so don’t be fooled into thinking you’re going into typical desert conditions. If you want to blaze your own trail, expect to find some historical villages hanging near the edge of a crumbling cliff. It makes you think: How were people mobile in such steep conditions back then?

These sites pay homage to the rich tapestry of social history that Oman has to offer. Don’t get too confident though; some trails require a guide and a much needed spa session afterwards. With Oman’s grand hotel circuit, there will be no trouble finding a luxurious spot to rub down those aches and pains.

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