Known as the walled city because of its “hanging houses” atop (or actually part of) walls carved out of a rocky hillside in the 15th century, Cuenca’s fortress-like facade sits imposingly above the Jucar River gorge. The houses, which bake in the high summer temperatures, are now home to an abstract art museum reached by crossing a wooden pedestrian swinging bridge.
The highest mountain in the Alps lies between Italy and France, and you’ll feel the altitude—15,782 feet (4,810 meters) above sea level—if you are not accustomed to it. Its location lends itself to prime skiing and snowboarding, and the blaze of ice and snow at the top is a sharp contrast to the warmth and glow coming from the shops and cafés in Chamonix, France, at its base.
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