We will rock you: Six outstanding boulders
Saturday 30 December 2000
The Estonian capital, Tallinn, is as low-lying as the rest of the Baltic republics. Except for Toompea Hill. The Soviet authorities did not diminish the elegance of the district that clambers over this hill, with lanes named "long leg" and "short leg". There's also a splendid panorama from the summit where you can take in the best of land and sea.
Hanging Rock: a dramatic volcanic outcrop on a rugged plateau, only half-an-hour from Melbourne airport, and the geological oddity where Joan Lindsay set her disturbing tale of disappearing schoolgirls, the basis for Peter Weir's lauded film Picnic At Hanging Rock. Difficult to resist taking a picnic up there yourself.
In the middle of Sri Lanka, you find what appears to be a rotten molar jutting from the plain. This is Sigiriya, the "Lion Rock". The 650ft climb begins with a stairway guarded by two huge stone lions, then involves clinging to a rock face, ground smooth by a million visitors. The reward that awaits you at the summit is the remains of a 5th-century palace, no less.
Another bad tooth: the 600ft granite outcrop close to Medellin, piercing the Colombian sky. A staircase to the summit takes you to a magnificent view of rugged green hills, steel grey water and a sparkling blue sky.
Stone Mountain, east of Atlanta on US Highway 78, is a granite lump bearing the world's largest bas-relief sculpture, of General Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson and Jefferson Davis.
Ayers Rock in central Australia is one of few travel icons that rarely disappoints. Out of respect to original inhabitants, walk around it - don't climb it.
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