Travel Brno: How To Travel Without Leaving Your Home
Title image: A screenshot of the virtual tour of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican: The School of Athens by the Italian Renaissance artist Raphael in the early 16th century. By Bruno Zalubil.
The travel industry, perhaps more so than any other, has been decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, that doesn’t mean that travel is completely dead. It’s just a bit different for the time being.
There is nothing more powerful and creative than the human mind — except maybe the internet. Put them together and you can expand your horizons while sitting in front of your computer.
And, though a virtual tour may not qualify for your travel bucket list, it could help to plan your future trips or give you a chance to relive your favorite experiences.
COVID-19 may have started in China, but the internet can provide a safe way to visit. The Great Wall of China, for example, is available online. Click here.
The White House is young by European standards but it is the center of a lot of power and worth a tour. Click here.
The Eiffel Tower is one of the most photographed objects in the world. Click here.
National parks are amazing places to explore, even without the fresh air. Yellowstone National Park, for example, is the first national park in the world. Click here to skip the lines.
Personally, I would suggest the following two places to visit in Washington State:
1. Mount Rainier National Park, which I consider the best place in the world and one of the few things that I miss about living so far away. Click here to see what I am talking about.
2. The B-Reactor in the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, which is where my brother was a tour guide and which was part of the reason why my alma mater, Richland High School, becanme known as the Home of the Bombers. Click here.
There are many other famous places that have virtual tours. Castles. Parliaments. Cathedrals. Waterfalls. Mountains. They are just a Google search away.
For many people, travel equals museums. I’ve personally visited at least 200 museums in my life, mostly art museums. Now, you don’t even need to travel. Google has made things infinitely easier: https://artsandculture.google.com/
The British Museum in London is packed with important artifacts from the history of the world, including the Rosetta Stone. Click here.
As a city resident, I often took advantage of the pay-what-you-wish admission policy at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. That put many of the world’s most amazing art work a tiny donation away. Click here for a free tour.
Florence, Italy is an amazing place. I cannot wait to return. The Uffizi Gallery, at least, is available online. Click here.
And, of course, the Moravian Gallery here in Brno is a nice, relaxing day trip under better circumstances. Click here.
The Vatican is an amazing place and definitely worth a visit for people of any religion. Click here to get to a website that will give you access to its treasures. The 360-degree images of the Sistine Chapel are popular. Make sure to see Raphael’s Rooms.
The Western Wall in Jerusalem has a lot of different cameras. Click here.
The Grand Mosque of Mecca is also available online, although a visit would not be enough to satisfy a pilgrimage for the Hajj. Click here.
The San Diego Zoo is one of the biggest zoos in the world. There are many live cameras that enable you to watch almost any kind of animal you can image. Click here.
Brno Zoo is not much of a travel destination because it is just across town, but it’s nice to check in with the animals that you have seen over the years. Click here.
Most zoos have live cams. Find your favorite.
(Normally) Fun Places
Just know that travelling via internet is not always rewarding because places that are normally teeming with people and excitement are, understandably, quiet and a bit sad nowadays. Temple Bar in Dublin, Ireland, for example, is not so active. Click here to see for yourself.
Pick a place in the world and it might be interesting — or sad — to see it empty.
Speaking of places that are empty of people . . .
It is even possible to go where nobody has ever gone before: 352 million miles away. Click here to see the surface of the fourth planet of our Solar System from the point of view of the Curiosity rover.
This is just a sampling of the places that are available for virtual travel. There are many more websites to visit in order to approximate the feeling of being out in the world. What are your favorites? Please share.