Sunsets on the Road: My Top Ten

I love sunsets. They can be a vivid and romantic capper for a beautiful day on the road. Here are a few dramatic and memorable sunsets that come to mind:

1. On the Greek isle of Santorini, nursing a drink with a single flower in a vase on my table, as I sit on the lip of the crater high above the glittering Aegean Sea.

2. On the Nile, just across from Luxor, as the sun sets, the temperature drops, and villages come alive. As I’m poled along the shore in a classic felucca boat, children frolic, long-legged birds strike a pose, and I glide like a silent voyeur through the reeds.

3. On Denmark’s Aerø Island, warming myself by a beach fire while children splash in the shallow waters of the bay, and parents sit peacefully on the porches of tiny beach cabins.

Ærøskøbing homes

The sun sets on Denmark’s Aerø Island. (Photo: Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli)

4. In Granada, Spain, joining the “Gypsies and hippies” at the St. Nicholas viewpoint as the setting sun makes the Alhambra glow red, evoking the tumult of its violent history.

5. On a ferry charging across the Greek sea, with dolphins — who seem to come out for the sunset — playfully loping ahead of the ship’s bow.

6. In England’s Cumbrian Lake District, sitting pensively on a stone at the Castlerigg Stone Circle just outside of Keswick, savoring a moment which inspires anyone to poetry…especially as sheep stir up the fragrance of the wild grass and the scent comes with a whiff of mystical druids, who once used these stones for their worship, dancing in the long shadows.

7. In Paris, sitting on the steps of the Sacré-Cœur atop Montmartre, surrounded by backpackers, buskers, and local lovers as Paris spreads out before me and slowly the sky grows dark and the City of Light is turned on.

8. On a Norwegian fjord, taking my dessert of ice cream and fresh berries out of my hotel’s dining room and sitting along at the end of the pier. The water is glassy and frightfully deep, black rock cliffs rocket into the sky above me, and the sun dips too early behind the peaks.

9. In Assisi, on the rampart of a ruined castle, with olive groves at my feet leading to a vast and lush Umbrian vista; imagining the age when each town was its own little state, and enjoying the same birdsong that inspired St. Francis.

10. And my favorite sunset: from my deck back home, on the Puget Sound just north of Seattle, as a golden path of sparkles leads across the bay to snowcapped Olympics. The sun settles behind the latest in a series of chosen peaks, and the ferries ply silently across as the water begins to glow like floating lanterns.

What is your favorite sunset far from home?

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