Be an online traveler, join a virtual tour with fellow enthusiasts, digitally visiting Canada; but without the noise, expense, and jet lag of actually going there.
All the world’s famous and no- so-famous hot spots are available if you look hard enough; even the chip museum in Bruges, and the museum of bad art in the USA. There’s an entire virtual tour devoted to the mad, bad and just plain ugly.
Luckily for you, virtual means you can just leave if you don’t like it. Let’s see what we’ve got…
The Colosseum, Rome
One for the bloodthirsty. This amazing spectacle once seated up to 85,000 braying onlookers. The Colosseum is the world’s largest amphitheatre. Built Between AD70 and AD80 Romans came in their droves to see sporting events but mainly combat between gladiators.
A large proportion has been destroyed but what remains is a firm favourite with locals and tourists alike. The virtual tour takes you around all levels and even overhead with a Skyview of 360-degrees.
The Giant's Causeway Northern Ireland
With the luck of the Irish on your side, experience the amazing scenery at the Causeway – rocks set into the sea don’t sound exciting but they are stunning. A virtual tour with the National Trust includes sound effects.
The only thing I can’t arrange is a pint of Guinness and a plate of Dublin Bay oysters; I’m a virtual tour guide, not a magician! Too cold in Ireland? Let’s try somewhere warmer.
The Pyramids at Giza
Experience a wonder of the world without having to buy a souvenir. No heat rash for you as you enjoy the tombs free of charge via the Egyptian tourist board. Their amazing use of 3D models and vivid reconstruction techniques allow you to go deep underground and through the tombs at your leisure.
Mint tea is not provided, but you get the idea.
Lapland and the Northern Lights
Definitely a bucket list destination: who doesn’t want to see the lights of the aurora borealis? Thanks to the Lapland project you can discover this phenomenon for yourself. But first here’s the science so you know what you’re seeing.
This formation occurs when charged particles emitted from the sun during a solar flare penetrate the earth's magnetic shield and collide with atoms and molecules in our atmosphere. These random collisions result in countless little bursts of light, called photons, which make up the aurora.
Collisions with oxygen produce red and green auroras, while nitrogen produces pink and purple colours. So don’t say I didn’t tell you.
London is not just for Londoners
All the famous tourist attractions are now online: places like Buckingham Palace, fondly known as Buck House, to the Tower of London have been uploaded. I can’t promise you will see the Queen, but you might get a glimpse of a passing corgi.
There’s even a red bus tour covering the whole of London on YouTube. My favourite is Kew Gardens. Okay, you may not be able to smell the roses but you can at least see them.
How about the Churchill War Rooms. During WW2 this underground bunker was used to plan the war effort. The virtual tour takes you through the rooms laid out exactly as they were during the conflict. No-one has seen Boris Johnson for a while so maybe we’ll find him underground planning his next move.
The Grand Canyon
For years you have been able to see the Grand Canyon from the air and those flyby tours have been recorded for prosperity. Take a close up look of the presidents of the United States in stunning detail – did you know the Canyon makes its own weather? Let’s hope it stays fine for the tour.
Just because you can’t travel doesn’t mean you can’t cross borders, traverse continents, see the sights and live the experiences on offer. Just think of the stress-free time you can have at home from the comfort of your sofa and no one to tell you to move along or keep two metres apart. Bliss!