Do you ever do this, or am I just weird?

Sometimes when I’m traveling, I like to pretend that people from my distant past have come into possession of some science-fictiony device that allows them to tap into my optic nerve and see exactly what I see.

Then I imagine — if they used the device right now to peer out of my eyes, what would they see? Would they be able to figure out where I am?

This game is most fun when I’m kicking around a place where the landscape doesn’t match popular perceptions of the region at large. I might even purposefully select a field of view that makes it most difficult for them to determine my location.

The images below depict 14 such places, 14 such views. Bet you can’t guess where they are.

Clues are displayed at the bottom of the caption box for each photo, followed by the answer, so don’t scroll down too fast if you’re actually quizzing yourself. And let us know how you do in the comments.

1

Picture 1

Photo: Thomas Depenbusch und Marina Depenbusch-Zharova

Far from its beaches and islands, the interior of this country gets funky on the edge of the Plain of Thessaly, where this 700-year-old monastery sits atop a rock pinnacle.Answer: Monastery at Meteora, Kalambaka, Greece
2

Picture 2

Photo: JAIRO BD

The world's fifth-largest nation is more than rainforest and urban beaches. This coastal region in the northeast gets plenty of rain but supports no vegetation, giving it the appearance of a desert.Answer: Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, Brazil
3

Picture 4

Photo: Hamed Saber

This entire island seems to run contrary to popular perceptions of its parent country: huge malls, resort hotels, open beaches, and visa-less entries for foreigners. It's one of the most visited vacation spots in the Middle East.Answer: Kish Island, Iran
Intermission
37

20 overlooked national landmarks in the US that are worth a visit

by Hal Amen
12

30 images of Scotland we can’t stop looking at

by Hal Amen
22

50 places you can’t reach without climbing [pics]

by Hal Amen
4

Picture 5

Photo: Peter Gene

Mountaineering in the tropics? From the photographer: "Four hours into the ascent, the three of us stop to take a breather. I dug my pike into the snow and balanced my camera on it to grab this shot. The slope is absolutely as steep as it looks, one ascends zig-zagging. At this altitude we are above most of the clouds, and the full moon cast more than enough light to climb by."Answer: Cotopaxi, Ecuador
5

Picture 6

Photo: Jakob Montrasio

Just outside the southernmost city in the country, this is where the national beach volleyball team trains.Answer: Yalong Bay, Hainan, China
6

Picture 7

Photo: lugarzen

In the little-visited north of this country is a region of alpine peaks that--to me--was completely unexpected and pretty much blew me away. You can keep the costas.Answer: Picos de Europa, Spain
7

Picture 8

Photo: yeowatzup

Massive amounts of state funds have been spent to create the perception of grandeur that is this capital city. A big clue to its location is the utter lack of traffic on its streets.Answer: Pyongyang, North Korea
8

Picture 9

Photo: bjaglin

I'm not sure how many countries offer access to both dog sledding and beach days...I'm guessing not too many.Answer: Lomma Beach, near Malmo, Sweden
9

Picture 10

Photo: lawmurray

Though not as super-massive as coast redwoods, red tingle trees can grow to 24 meters in circumference and 75 meters in height.Answer: Valley of the Giants, Western Australia
Intermission
18

Photo Contest: When travel goes WRONG

by David Page
18

Scenes from the real Peru

by Valerie Sauers
16

Breaking Free the Easy Way: A Cautionary Tale

by David Page
10

Picture 11

Photo: hypertornado

In the north of this country, the landscape is one of mountains, cliffs, and waterfalls, with the highest peak reaching above 4,000 meters. It's primarily known, however, for the population of babboons that make these slopes their home.Answer: Semien Mountains, Ethiopia
11

Picture 12

Photo: Wajahat Mahmood

The southwestern corner of this country contains a variety of terrain, including caves, cliffs, and forest, totally countering its popularized image.Answer: Al Habbala Valley, Saudi Arabia
12

Picture 13

Photo: rainy city

In a country primarily known to tourists for its beaches and resorts, places like this can be pretty quiet.Answer: Popocatépetl, Mexico
13

Picture 14

Photo: vince42

Within one of the most densely populated municipalities on Earth, it's still possible to take a quiet, solo stroll on the beach.Answer: Lamma Island, Hong Kong