Frosty-tipped mountains, plushy green grasslands and even warm summer beaches; one is spoilt for choice when it comes to a computer background. The views are mesmerising, yet are sometimes overlooked and more often covered by application icons. You have seen these backgrounds countless times, but do you ever wonder where these images come from? Here are 10 beautiful places that is featured as a choice in the background settings of every Microsoft computer.
Los Carneros AVA, USA
In the early 2000s, Microsoft Windows XP computers were identified by this image of a crystal blue sky hovering over a lush, green landscape at the Los Carneros American Viticultural Area in California’s Wine Country. The area runs across both Sonoma and Napa counties in California, USA. There are endless rows of vineyards here and one must definitely visit here for a rich glass of Pinot Noir or Chardonnay.
Kirkjufell Mountain, Iceland
Also known as “Church Mountain” (perhaps based on its shape), Kirkjufell Mountain in Snaefellsnes peninsula of Iceland is one of the most awe-inspiring and popular mountains. The scenic view of the mountain is picturesque, especially due to the magical Northern lights that can be seen gliding over the mountain.
Saona Island Beach, Dominican Republic
A postcard image for serenity, this beautiful island in the Dominican Republic is one of the most popular places in the country. In addition to the gorgeous summer view and numerous beaches, the island is also home to a handful of creatures, including turtles, dolphins, whales, manatees and birds. Inhabited by over a thousand people only, the island is a peaceful yet fascinating destination.
English Lavender Field, Valensole, France
In an amphitheatre like formation, Valensole village is a re-visitation to the medieval times. With old-timely houses with arch, ornate balconies and shutters, the village stands elegant, as though out of a period film. In addition to this, the village is beautifully adorned by lavender fields, gardens and a gothic church.
Muriwai beach, Auckland, New Zealand
A surfer’s paradise, Muriwai beach in Auckland is away from the commonality shared by other coastal destinations. The sand is an extraordinary colour, almost a black, and inspires an urge to walk on it barefoot. The water from the Tusman sea is energetic and mesmerising and you might also encounter fisherman fishing on the rocks as the waves crash around them.
Salar De Uyuni, Bolivia
For those tired of the same ol’ natural destinations, Salar De Uyuni is a queer yet remarkable place to explore. It is the largest salt flat on earth, left behind after the evaporation of prehistoric lakes that once resided there. In addition to an expansive and stunning landscape, the salt flats also display interesting patterns and terrain on the surface.
Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, Costa Rica
With low-hanging clouds perpetually floating at the canopy formed by the trees, the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve in Costa Rica is an interesting and aesthetic marvel. One can almost walk through these clouds while taking a canopy tour across a suspension bridge. In addition to this, a gorgeous display of wildlife is within hand’s reach.
Located around 1000 kilometres off the coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands are a sensational and biodiversity-rich destination. Under the influence of currents from three oceans, the islands experience one of the richest marine ecosystems in the world and also feature some of the most rare species. It is known to be a “living museum and showcase of evolution”.
Rainbow Bridge, Tokyo
A wave of Asian culture has hit the world and Japan is now on everybody’s travel list, and rightly so. The city is a one-stop-shop for unique experiences, sky-piercing architecture and unreal scenic beauty. The Rainbow Bridge in Tokyo offers one of the best views to the city while carrying intense road and foot traffic. The bridge glimmers in a wash of colours at night, making it an attraction in itself.
Lemaire Channel, Antarctica
The fact that it is one of the least travelled places on earth, makes Antarctica that much more intriguing. The Lemaire Channel runs steep between the mountains of Booth Island and the Peninsula. It is so unlikely for a photographer to resist clicking a picture that it has been named the “Kodak Gap”. With seemingly endless ice and water, the place is almost surreal for one following city life.