There are many places worldwide, from cities to countryside, from beaches to mountaintops and from man-made creations to places of natural beauty. They look stunning in the pure light of day or set against a beautiful sunset or the backdrop of darkness. What people don’t always realize is, how incredible they are in the fog. This article seeks to give you an idea of how magical and wonderful these places can look when surrounded by misty clouds. Fog brings a new perspective and a different ambiance to beautiful places, as you will see in the following pages.
Fog is a type of cloud, which can reduce visibility and is caused by tiny droplets of water being suspended in the air. There are many different types of fog including radiation fog, which is when the land is cooled overnight by air close to the surface, which causes condensation. There is also valley fog where cold air settles in the lower part of a valley. Fog can cause very difficult driving conditions, but for those of us willing it to look past the inconvenience fog can bring to our travels, and see the beauty fog can create, we will see the world in a different light.
This article looks at 20 well-known places around the world and how they appear under a blanket of fog.
The streets of London, surrounded in an eerie thick mist swirling around some of the iconic buildings peeking out above the dense blanket. It looks quite historical, giving the city and almost Victorian, mysterious atmosphere. The fog in London is quite famous for example in 1952 the capital was brought to a standstill with four days of dense fog which led to disruption of travel services and 4000 people died due to the weather.
Venice can be a charming and mystical place as the mist rolls in and buildings disappear into the clouds. The fog creates an eerie atmosphere as it lightly floats above the water. This type of weather seems to happen in autumn and the beginning of winter when the temperature drops and you can see your breath when you talk. The city looks extremely beautiful with the gondolas silently gliding through the water peeking out of the wisps of cloud. The fog also envelops the buildings giving them a different appearance to the way they look in the summer sun. If you are heading to Venice during the colder seasons don’t forget to pack your wellingtons and be prepared for minor travel delays.
Even in the fog, Paris is stunning as the city skyline is gently caressed in a shroud of mist. In the picture above you can see the Eiffel tower surrounded with a surreal aura, the prominent landmark magnificent against the hazy backdrop and the rays of sunshine trying to break through the murky sky. There is a strange magnetism to Paris in the fog that gives it a charming appeal.
Dubai, the city with the highest buildings in the world is transformed under a thick blanket of fog, which reaches up to 70 storeys high. In this photo it looks like a city in the sky and this phenomenon happens only twice a year in the early morning when the weather changes from cold or hot and then six months later when it changes from hot to cold. Some people who live in these tall buildings report looking down at the clouds and sometimes describe this event as like a hazy morning or like being wrapped up in a blanket depending on the thickness of the fog.
New York in the fog is gorgeous, while at street level the fog rolls in, gently bathing the city landscape in mist and changing the hue of colors in the morning light, the tallest buildings rise above peeking out above the blanket and stretching skyward creating a beautiful scene.
In San Francisco, fog is a typical weather phenomenon. This is due to low lying stratus clouds which are caused by a number of different factors including moisture from the ocean, the land and sea temperatures, the winds and changes in atmospheric pressure. The fog can often be seen from the golden gate bridge as it wraps around the city making it look like a magical kingdom in the sky.
Prague has always been a city of intrigue and mystery but the atmosphere created by fog takes this to a whole other level. Shrouded in mist the serpent like Vltava River winds its way through the city and the bridges across the river extend from one side to the other with their artistic beauty and gothic architecture creating an incredibly haunting atmosphere. The famous Charles Bridge which was constructed in 1357 has 30 statues which line the pedestrianized walkway and provide a stunning and unforgettable scene as fog swirls around them in a dreamlike haze while the filtered sunlight gives the city an ethereal glow as the early morning sun begins to rise
In Sydney, Australia the fog creates a subdued tone with the soft light of the rising sun over the harbor and the opera house. The mist creates a shroud over the city and the muted lights reflect in the water creating a beautiful atmosphere. Fog in Sydney occurs between April and October with the highest likelihood of it happening in June due to higher rainfall.
The Hong Kong skyline can just be seen with many of the skyscrapers poking through the clouds as the fog descends into the city. Fog is common in springtime in Hong Kong as the air alternates between cold and warm air from a humid maritime airstream, which affects coastal areas to the south and causes condensation and the appearance of fog to occur. Dense fog has led to disruptions to transport but you can’t deny the beauty of the pillows of clouds nestled between the buildings like in the picture above.
The Grand Canyon with a blanket of fog clouds and the walls bathed in golden sunlight make them look like they are on fire or like smoldering coals. The fog nestles among the formations of the rocks creating a surreal landscape of beauty. Fog occurs at the Grand Canyon due to a rare weather phenomenon called total cloud inversion and this happens when clouds are forced down by the warm air and can’t raise up again. This usually happens in winter and can last for almost the whole day. It creates an illusion of being high above the clouds.
The Victoria Falls in Zambia are also known as Mosi-oa-Tunya or the “smoke that thunders,” as it is translated, are possibly the largest waterfalls in the world. The falls plunge into a gorge and when the flow is high, the mist from the falls rises high and then eventually falls to the ground creating non-stop rain and the appearance of fog. The mist often creates incredible rainbows that span the gorge and the views from the lookout points are spectacular.
The Great Wall of China
The misty hills of the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China are often covered with a late frosting of fog, which thickens as the last rays of sun disappear and the soft light fades and darkness appears. The final hours of sunset are a sight to see and from this vantage point you can see the wall like a spine meandering through the hills.
Stonehenge has a history surrounded by mystery. It’s a place that has attracted visitors from all over the world who come to connect with the stones and marvel at the significance of them during the summer and winter solstice celebrations. The fog creates further intrigue and an incredible atmosphere obscuring the modern day roads and buildings and leaving the stones standing in all their glory, you can almost feel the ambience and mystical qualities of the past come to life.
The Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal sits majestic in the early morning mist. Between December and February you can expect to see fog and mist which may at times obscure the view because it can be so thick like a blanket but as you can see from the picture above a gentle fog creates a soft light effect surrounding this magnificent building as the morning sun rises. If you’re visiting Delhi during these winter months try to visit early in the morning to see the Taj Mahal in all its glory.
Pyramids of Giza
The low-lying clouds over the Cairo landscape with the pyramids at Giza piercing through the fog, like ancient skyscrapers. The fog causes visibility issues if you are hoping to visit, as you won’t be able to see the tops of the pyramids from the ground. Fog is more likely when the temperatures change from hot to cold and can cause visibility and transport issues. However, the view of the pyramids from above the clouds is stunning and surreal.
Loch Ness, surrounded in mystery and intrigue, looks even more enchanting with a blanket of fog skimming the surface of the water. Home to legends of a monster it’s easy to imagine how the stories began as the ambience and atmosphere are so raw and eerie which create a perfect setting for trickery of the eyes and mind.
Majestic Mount Kilimanjaro rises high above the fog, which surrounds it. The snowy peek glows in the sunlight and the low cloud makes it look like it’s a mountain in the sky. The time of year you’re most likely to experience fog is from August to October, which is around the peak climbing season. The clouds will blanket the forest and moorland areas so make sure you’re well prepared for various weather conditions including rain, snow and bitter cold nights where temperatures can drop well below zero.
The misty foggy rainforest in Bokeo is a nature reserve and part of a conservation project where you can go and stay in the world’s highest tree houses and wake up in the morning surrounded by Black-cheeked Gibbons, which are protected creatures in this area. There are also other animals, which migrate through this rainforest including elephants, wild water buffalo, bears and even tigers.
Serengeti National Park
The Serengeti National Park is located in Tanzania and the image above looks surreal with the fog subduing the light and creating beautiful silhouettes of the Acacia Trees while the sun tries desperately to break through the clouds. The Serengeti National Park is a world heritage site and famous for the annual migration of zebra, gazelle and wildebeest as well as elephants, giraffes, eland, topi, kongoni, impala as they search for new areas to graze. You can also see the predators like lions, leopards, cheetahs, jackals, hyenas and many other animals such as lizards, insects and over 500 species of birds that make the Serengeti their home.
Fog envelopes Table Mountain in Cape Town like a magical tablecloth as it billows over the surface. This regular phenomenon occurs due to the proximity of the mountain to the sea and under ideal conditions supported by this microclimate a surreal and mystical scene is created which makes the surrounding landscape stunningly beautiful and mesmerizing.
Many people are put off visiting places in foggy weather and no doubt you may need to be very careful and take precautions if you are going to venture out, following local advice, guidelines and all safety regulations. Some places can be very dangerous in low visibility but for some, fog is an added bonus, which adds to the beauty or atmosphere and is a truly unique phenomenon in certain beauty spots.