BBC Travel

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#FridayFeature ! The Toor ji ka Jhalra stepwell in Jodhpur, #India , recently underwent an extensive renovation. Today, in addition to being an architectural marvel, the site is a popular swimming spot, with locals often finding an adrenaline rush in leaping from the wall into the refreshing water below. Beautiful photo, @emvielle ! Thank you for sharing using #bbctravel !
The 400-year-old Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella in Florence, #Italy , is believed to be the oldest still-operating pharmacy in the world. Among its wide selection of eaux de cologne, soaps and talcum powders, the pharmacy offers products made with orris, one of the rarest perfume ingredients in the world. Extracted from the roots of the iris plant, orris' essential oil takes years to develop. Today, very few farmers continue the costly, labour-intensive process of producing natural orris butter, which is then used to make perfume and other products. Because of its limited availability, orris can cost more than gold. Click the link in our bio to learn more about orris and the Santa Maria Novella pharmacy. #bbctravel #WorldsRarest 📷: @elisabetta_abrami
#FridayFeature ! #India 's remote Nubra Valley, located more than 3,000m above sea level, is often described as 'heaven on Earth' due to its stunning scenery. Once a stop along the Silk Road, the Nubra Valley is now a popular trekking destination (though it can also be explored by camel). Thanks @explore_with_ram for sharing your image using #bbctravel !
Straddling the border between #Argentina and #Brazil , Iguazu Falls is described by #Unesco as 'one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world'. The water from the Iguazu River plummet 80m, producing clouds of mist. Beautiful capture, @caltabianoart -- thank you for sharing using #bbctravel !
Every May, hundreds of common eiders flock to the shores of #Norway 's Vega Archipelago to nest. On the tiny island of Lånan, a small group of fuglevokterne (bird keepers) await the ducks' arrival, lining special huts with seaweed for the birds to use to protect their eggs. As the eggs incubate, the fuglevokterne keep watch, protecting the ducks from predators. Once the ducks have vacated the nests, the fuglevokterne are rewarded with what is left behind: pillowy tufts of eiderdown, which the mother duck pulled from her own breast to insulate her eggs. The soft grey fluff is the world's lightest, warmest and most expensive down and the ultimate fill in the bedding world. Because of eiderdown's scarcity, duvets made from it sell for more than $15,000. Click the link in our bio to learn more about eiderdown and the fuglevokterne! #WorldsRarest #bbctravel 📷: Arne Naevra & Torgeir Beck Lande
#FridayFeature ! We love this shot of a surfer riding the waves along #Queensland , #Australia 's Gold Coast. Thanks for sharing using #bbctravel !
#Darjeeling , #India , is famous for its teas, but one variety stands out above the rest. Only harvested four or five times a year on full-moon nights, Silver Tips Imperial is extremely rare, selling for up to $1,850 per kg. The harvest is steeped in ceremony. As the sun sets on harvest nights, men beat hand drums while women dance and chant prayers of good fortune as expert tea-pickers remove two leaves and a bud from each plant. The tea must be processed before dawn, as sunlight is believed to alter the tea's aroma. Click the link in our bio to learn more about Silver Tips Imperial tea! #bbctravel #WorldsRarest 📷: Kalpana Prodhan
At the height of the Inca Empire, around two million vicunas roamed the Andes Altiplano, the wind-swept plateau that stretches from southern #Peru to northern #Argentina . However, when the Spanish conquistadors arrived in 1532 and discovered the vicunas' luxurious fleece, they began hunting the them, a practice that nearly led to the animals' extinction. Now the national animal of Peru, the vicuna is making a comeback thanks to a return to a traditional and humane method of shearing ritual known as the chaccu. Because the vicuna can only be sheared once every two years, the raw fibre will sell for between $300 and $450 per kilo, making it the most expensive fabric on Earth. To learn more about the vicuna, click on the link in our bio! #WorldsRarest #bbctravel 📷: Tom Garmeson
Indulge in luxurious treasures from exquisite places with BBC Travel's new series, The World's Rarest, premiering tomorrow on #WorldsRarest
#FridayFeature ! The village of Al Madam in the United Arab Emirates was abandoned several decades ago. Some say residents were driven away by the jinn, supernatural creatures from Islamic mythology, and those who have visited claim to have felt a haunting presence. Thanks @uros_petric for sharing your photo using #bbctravel !
More than 5,000 varieties of coffee have been found in the rainforest of #Ethiopia 's Kafa region, which is believed to be the birthplace of wild Arabica coffee. Since its discovery, coffee has played a vital role in Ethiopian culture, with the coffee ceremony at the heart of the nation's social life and hospitality. Kafa resident Annaz Haile is teaching her daughter Asayech the art of the coffee ceremony. They start by roasting the beans over an open fire, allowing guests to inhale the aroma before grinding the beans and brewing the coffee in a jebena, a traditional Ethiopian coffee pot. "We learnt from our ancestors that coffee must be the first thing to be served to our guests," Haile said. "It's a sign of respect." Click the link in our bio to read more about Ethiopia's coffee ceremonies. #bbctravel 📷: @thomaslewton
Outside #Antwerp , #Belgium 's Town Hall, this statue celebrates the origin of the city's name. According to legend, a mythical giant named Antigoon demanded a toll from everyone who crossed the Scheldt river. If anyone refused to pay, Antigoon would cut off their hand and throw it into the river. One day, a brave soldier named Brabo sought vengeance for the giant's victims, chopping off Antigoon's hand and throwing it into the river. The name Antwerpen was derived from Dutch words meaning "to throw a hand". Beautiful capture, @muns.s ! Thank you for sharing it using #bbctravel !
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