While satisfying one’s wanderlust is currently on pause, there is a positive side to the lockdown for travel enthusiasts. Top travel destinations around the world are using the lack of tourists to make improvements and come up with innovative ways to continue positive effects. When the world does open up again for travel, be sure to put these destinations at the top of your bucket list to experience for yourself.
5. Chrystal Clear Canals in Venice
Known as one of the most romantic cities in the world, Venice’s winding alleyways and picturesque canals have long been luring tourists. Travelers flock to the city to glide the canals on a famed gondola ride or aboard a Vaporetto. But tourism has taken its toll on this 1,700-year-old landmark. Constant gondolas rides and boating activity on the canals stir up sediment and turn the water murky. With the travel industry at a halt due to mandatory lockdown, the canals remains still, and sediment is able to settle to the bottom. The results are crystal clear canals throughout this ancient city. With the absence of cruise ships and tourism, marine life has returned to the once murky waters of Venice. Fish can be seen swimming in the canals, and swans have taken to gliding the waterways.
4. Fresh Paint on Abbey Road's Zebra Crossing
One of the most memorable travel adventures any Beatle’s fan can experience is to walk across the zebra crossing depicted on the cover of the Abbey Road album. The renowned photo was shot in 1969 while the band recorded at nearby Abbey Studios. It is the only Beatle’s album where the front cover doesn’t contain the band’s name or even the album title – just the iconic photo. Abbey Road was the final Beatle’s album recorded, but it wasn’t their final album to be released. Let it Be was released in 1970.
On any given day, visitors hoping to star in their own Abbey Road photo will have to wait their turn along with dozens of other Fab Four fans. London’s lockdown due to the COVID-19 Pandemic provided the rare opportunity for London’s municipal workers to slap on a fresh coat of white paint on the crossing. Once the city begins to lift restrictions and Beatle’s fans are again able to visit the famous location, their photo will be enhanced by the newly painted crisp whites lines.
3. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Welcomes New Births
While the Pandemic is still preventing Disney fans from seeing Mickey and the gang, when the parks reopen, visitors to Disney’s Animal Kingdom will have a few newborns to meet born during the lockdown. During the park’s closure, a baby Zebra and a baby Porcupine – called a Porcupette – joined the Disney’s Animal Kingdom family. Both animals were bred in conjunction with the Species Survival Plan, which ensures responsible breeding. Visitors wanting an early glimpse at the newborns can watch their development by following the park on social media.
2. Improved Air Quality in Milan, Italy
Milan is best known as a hub of high fashion, designer labels, and historical attractions. The city’s top attraction is the Duomo, the largest gothic cathedral in the world. Milan is the second-most populous city in Italy. Sadly, it is considered by some to be the pollution capital of Europe. The congested streets of Milan emit an abundance of toxic fumes into the air. During COVID-19 lockdown, the city experienced upwards to a 75% decrease in pollution, causing a dramatic improvement in the air quality. The improved air quality sparked an initiative to help maintain this environmental improvement brought on by the lockdown. The plan is to transform 22 miles of city streets, typically packed with vehicle traffic, into a reserved area restricted to cycling and to keep the emissions levels low.
1. More Wildlife in National Parks
Even though National Parks are known for fresh air and open space, they were not spared from closing during the pandemic. Though tourists were disappointed to not be able to experience the beauty of nature, the wildlife didn’t seem to mind the social distancing.
In South Africa at Kruger National Park, lions were seen sunning themselves in the middle of roads that normally see high levels of tourist traffic. In California’s Yosemite National Park, lockdown occurred during one of the park’s busiest times of the year. Workers at the park are witnessing an increased amount of sightings of bears, coyotes, and bobcats. While there has been no increase in the wildlife population in the parks, there has been an increase in sightings while the animals enjoy having the grounds all to themselves. Once lockdown restrictions are lifted, those first visitors to the national parks may have the best chance of spotting wildlife before they return to their usual hiding places.
About the Author
Lisa Medeiros is an experienced Freelance Travel Writer. She developed a passion for travel writing during her time living abroad with her husband and children. Her curated content enables her to recapture that adventurous expat spirit, share her travel knowledge, and inspire new adventures.
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