Human beings have long tried to control - or at least tame - mother nature. But, despite our most valiant efforts, we are rarely successful - as the following images prove, this week. These stunning snapshots from around the world illustrate how determined trees have long overcome man-made obstacles. And, amazingly, they can also out-smart the earth's own natural impediments, such as perilous cliff faces, boulders and fires.
Forget Rome: Touring the German city that's home to some of the world's greatest Roman architecture including Mary Beard's favourite building from the world of the Caesars
In her hit BBC series, Mary Beard’s Ultimate Rome, the TV historian bookended the final programme with scenes filmed in what she described to camera as her favourite building surviving from the world of the Caesars. And it isn’t the Pantheon in Rome, or Britain’s Hadrian’s Wall. It’s in a pretty little town in western Germany you’ve probably never heard of – Trier (main). Germany isn’t a country we usually associate with Ancient Rome – and yet this smallish city (population 107,233) on the Moselle River was once the seat of mighty emperors and considered a rival to Rome itself. Struan Robertson reports back.
Which sort of house do YOU live in? From Tudor to terraced, how Britain's homes have changed through the ages
They say an Englishman's home is his castle. But, with a dramatic shift in UK architectural styles over the past 500 years, a person's 'fortress' can now take-on many different guises. From the classic Victorian structures which often define British houses, to the Addison Homes of the First World War, our homes have never been more varied. Fortunately a handy interactive guide, entitled Brits & Mortar, skips through the centuries for a pithy presentation on property types.
Fog rainbows, crashing waves and churning clouds: The awe-inspiring images that have made the shortlist for the Royal Photographic Society's annual weather snap contest
The UK's Royal Meteorological Society and The Royal Photographic Society have announced the shortlist for the 2017 contest, with submissions from over 60 countries. Pictured, clockwise from top left: Seaham Lighthouse is engulfed by a huge wave on the north-east coast of England; a fog bow in Scotland; the clifftop at Beachy Head, East Sussex; A powerful, EF4 tornado spins through the small rural community of Katie, Oklahoma, on May 9, 2016
The Krane sits on the Nordhavn harbour in Copenhagen and comprises of sleeping quarters, a meeting room (bottom right), and a spa (bottom left) - with black interiors as an homage to its past as a coal crane. The 538-sq-ft bedroom area, suitable for two people, includes a lounge area (top right), bathroom, dining table and kitchenette; while every floor is fitted with glass windows that offer expansive views over the Danish capital.
Etiquette expert William Hanson reveals the perfect Saint-Tropez hotel for those who value taste and decency
William Hanson thought Saint-Tropez would be all fur-lined super yachts and no rudder. But he was surprised by its village charm. And more than a little impressed with the Hôtel De Paris St-Tropez. He describes how it wooed him with its clever interior design, subtle service and rather wonderful, calming swimming pool (main and top right).
'A steak pun is a rare medium well done': Crafty examples of wordplay which will have you groaning (but wanting more)
Puns tend to go hand-in-hand with Christmas cracker jokes - they're more likely to elicit a groan and an eye-roll than a hearty laugh. Still, for many, they're truly a guilty pleasure. Here, MailOnline has fetched puns from far and wide, including London and New York, for a Friday dose of withering wit.
Hunger for the extreme! Daredevil speeds down a 300ft iceberg in Greenland on an inflatable PIZZA SLICE before plopping into the freezing water
This combination of an iceberg and an inflatable pizza slice - one of the hottest holiday accessories this summer - takes cool to a whole new level. Shiver-inducing video footage shows the moment a daredevil used the inflatable to sledge down a 300ft-high iceberg in Greenland. Ethan Pringle, 31, from San Francisco, is seen hurtling down the ice at great speed, wearing nothing but a pair of underpants and some shoes, before he crash-lands in freezing waters. Pictured (from top left, clockwise to centre): Pringle boarding the iceberg, running up to his starting point, sledging at high speed and crash-landing in the water.
Fascinating nostalgic images reveal Brits' staycation activities of yesteryear, from beach huts on wheels to seaside slot machines
The pictures, some of which date back to 1857, have been collated by Ancestry.co.uk and come from a bank of 330,000 images that belong to The Francis Frith Collection. They show how in many ways little has changed. For instance, staycations were popular as far back as Victorian times. And pastimes of today such as picnics, cycling, painting and fishing were all popular in previous decades. Traffic queues have been around a while, too (bottom left). However, horse drawn beach huts (top right) aren't a seaside sight anymore and elephant rides and donkeys drinking cider (inset and bottom right) would definitely be frowned upon these days.
Bloodthirsty bed bugs and hairs on the CEILING: Hotel reviewer who specialises in exposing dirty rooms checks into a $35 Detroit 'hell hole'
These stomach-churning images reveal the 'hellish' state of a motel in America, with it presenting itself as more of a health hazard than a viable place to stay. Dan Bell, who produces the hotel reviewing YouTube series Another Dirty Room, checked into the Royal Inn motel in Detroit with his team and they were flabbergasted by what they found. Nightmarish features included hairs stuck to the bathroom ceiling, a flattened cockroach lurking in the microwave and dozens of bloodsucking cockroaches scurrying around the bed frame.
Revealed: The hotels that offer guests the best views of the world's most famous landmarks, from the Empire State Building to the Eiffel Tower
Thanks to the rise of Instagram, hotel-goers have added envy-inducing views to their check-lists along with clean sheets, coffee-makers and fluffy robes. And catering to snap-happy tourists, travel website booking.com has put together a guide revealing the most visually-stimulating places to stay. Pictured: (From top left, clockwise) The Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London, the Oberoi Amarvilas Agra, the Résidence Charles Floquet and the Firenze Rentals Corso 12.
Just plane crazy! From penguins going through security to stormtroopers in arrivals, the oddest airport scenes ever
Airports are a constant hive of activity, so a bit of craziness is to be expected. Images shared by travellers across the globe, from the UK to the U.S., reveal some of the odder sights they've witnessed while hopping on and off planes. Indeed, one airport goer saw a family at arrivals holding a large placard emblazoned with the words: 'Welcome home from prison mom' (bottom left). Another spotted a quartet of stormtroopers waiting eagerly to greet Darth Vader after he touched down from holiday dressed in full dark side regalia (bottom centre). An even stranger photo shows two penguins going through a security gate while travelling via Virginia in the U.S. (top centre). Other bizarre signs include an unfortunately placed travel pillow (top left), a granny causing a traffic jam (top right) and a man proposing to his shocked girlfriend (bottom right).
Mountain tops and monuments: The stunning bird's-eye-view images of Georgia taken before law limiting drone-use kicks in
Towering mountains, deep valleys, extraordinary monuments and cluttered cityscapes make up photographer Amos Chapple's latest body of work. One Last Time Over Georgia is set to be the final photographic recording of the country from above. For the past four or so years, the use of drones, which hover in the sky but are operated by people on the ground, have enabled the making of some extraordinary aerial photographs. However, following growing security and privacy concerns, new laws have been enforced across the world limiting their use. Georgia is one of the last countries to allow drones to operate freely in its skies. However, this is set to change on September 1, when new laws will restrict drone use.
Those wanting a hidey-hole man cave usually turn to the garden shed - but not former plumber turned designer Fernando Abellanas. He has designed a tiny pop-up studio under a busy overpass in Valencia, Spain. He has a paraffin lamp so he can work there at night and if he's feeling too weary to go home, there is bedding to nestle down on. Pictured: Fernando Abellanas sat in his office (main), the workspace seen with the panels closed (top right) and the abode by night (bottom right).
Hidden Tulum revealed: Discovering the best bars and secret snorkeling spots at the Mexican resort A-listers like Leonardo DiCaprio and Sienna Miller just can't stay away from
It's where A-listers from Leonardo DiCaprio and Justin Bieber to Sienna Miller go to soak up the sun. And its white-sand beaches are becoming more and more popular with the fashion set as a destination for a New Year's break. But with a bit of insider knowledge, there are hidden gems to be discovered in laid-back Tulum in Mexico's Riviera Maya, including the stunning Grand Ceynote (main), one of the world's best swimming spots. MailOnline Travel's Lauren York stays in the stunning Amansala yoga retreat (bottom right) and reports back.
After visiting North and South Korea, an intrepid traveller has revealed the contrast between the two nations using striking photographs. Jacob Laukaitis, a 22-year-old entrepreneur and travel blogger from Lithuania, decided to take images of certain situations to show how South Korea has a warmth of character compared to its notoriously cold-hearted neighbour. In one photo set, focused on education, a school in South Korea looks bright and relaxed with contemporary furnishings lifting the mood. But moving to North Korea, a classroom setting appears rigid and bleak as students sit in uniform with their heads studiously bowed. Pictured are the contrasts between the roads and social gatherings in North and South Korea.
They all walk THIS way: Britain's most trodden paths revealed, from Snowdon's summit to the valleys of the Peak District
The walk to the summit of Snowdon is Britain’s most trodden path, according to Ordnance Survey (OS). But the most popular area overall for ramblers is the Peak District, the mapping agency revealed. Ambleside is the fifth most popular place for walks, while Scafell Pike, England's highest peak, came third in the ranking. OS made the discovery by analysing almost 400,000 public routes created over the past year using its digital map and planning tool OS Maps.
The firm is trialling jet ski deliveries this August on the south coast. Specially trained jet ski riders have carried out a series of aqua deliveres in Bournemouth straight from local restaurants Prezzo and Five Guys. The company is gathering feedback from the trial, before making a decision on introducing the summer delivery service as a permanent feature for summer 2018 up and down the British coastline.
Where are all the tourists? The least-visited countries in the world revealed, from hidden Caribbean islands to ancient realms
It's every traveller's dream - a corner of the planet still unburdened by tourists. And apparently, such places do exist. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation's 2017 report, only 1,000 people ventured to the South Pacific paradise of Tuvalu last year, making it the least-visited country in the world. Here, MailOnline presents the rest of the 15 nations that account for the lowest annual tourist numbers, with wanderlust-worthy destinations in Europe, Africa, Asia and beyond.
South America's first luxury sleeper train, which climbs so high that guests are provided oxygen tanks
The Daily Mail's Sarah Gordon boarded South America’s first luxury sleeper train, the Belmond Andean Explorer (left and top right), which glides through Peru's Altiplano, or High Plains, between Cusco and the colonial city of Arequipa. Oxygen masks are provided at Lake Titicaca (bottom right), the highest navigable lake in the world.
The real Dragonstone! Tourists flock to a Spanish islet with a 240-step footbridge that's used as a key Game of Thrones filming location
Gaztelugatxe, an inlet in Spain's Basque Country pictured (left) and (right), is topped with a church believed to have been built over a thousand years ago, reached by a winding footbridge with 241 steps. It is used by HBO series Game of Thrones to represent the mystical island of Dragonstone (inset).
Prepare for -40 Celsius and take a Shewee! Female climber reveals what it takes to conquer K2, one of the world's toughest summits
Speaking to MailOnline Travel on her return from the K2 expedition in Pakistan, Vanessa O'Brien, who's British-American, said that she 'truly believes' much of the challenge is mental rather than physical and it is essential to 'keep a strong focus' while battling the elements. During her July trek up the 8,611 metre stack - which has a notoriously high fatality rate - the 52-year-old former banker experienced deep snows, the sight of dead bodies, winds of more than 30 miles an hour and temperatures below minus 40 degrees Celsius. She also couldn't shower for five days and feasted on baby food as things such as protein bars froze solid. Pictured: Steep ascents on K2 (main, bottom left), views from the top (top right) and O'Brien after her summit success (top left).
Come fly with me! Stunning blonde pilot welcomes on board more than 67k Instagram followers as she jet sets around the world
Meet the stunning blonde pilot who has accrued more than 67,000 Instagram followers with her non-stop adventuring in the skies and on land. Incredible pictures show airline pilot Eva Claire Marseille, 31, from Haarlem, The Netherlands, preparing for take-off in the cockpit of her Boeing 737 (inset), riding a camel across the desert (bottom right) and letting off some steam with kick boxing practice (top right).Other envy-inducing photos on her account @flywitheva show the aviation pro in a canyon in Spain (top left) and relaxing in Barcelona (bottom left).
The world's most thrilling road trips revealed: Lonely Planet names the drives that are unmissable, from misty mountain passes in Scotland to jaunts up the Pacific Coast Highway
In new book Epic Drives of the World, a variety of intrepid adventurers detail their experiences of travelling by car. From fairy tale scenery in Germany's Black Forest to vintage motels on Route 66 or waterfall spotting on Hawaii - the journeys detailed in the book will make you want to drop everything and hit the gas. Pictured clockwise from top left: The world's highest pass in the Indian state of Jammu; the Blue Ridge Mountains in the U.S; Great Glen in Scotland; Canada's Icefield Parkway and (inset) Milford Sound in New Zealand.
The British 'bullet train' that will cut London to Edinburgh journey times to four hours travels to Scotland for the first time
The Azuma train uses technology stemming from Japanese bullet trains and can accelerate faster than existing services on the UK network. The inaugural run north of the border was made as part of a testing programme by manufacturer Hitachi in preparation for roll-out of the 65-strong fleet on Virgin's east coast route next year. The train travelled over the Scottish border at 12.45pm and was piped into Dunbar Station around 15 minutes later, before returning south.
Tourists have caused more damage to Skye in the past two years than in the previous FITFY, says one of the island's longest-serving gamekeepers
Pictures taken by Scott MacKenzie, head gamekeeper at the 23,000-acre Fearann Eilean Iarmain estate - and a local photographer - show heavily eroded roadside verges, vehicles stuck in mud, and internet cables exposed by heavy traffic, plus mounds of litter. Mr MacKenzie says the landscape is now 'beyond recognition'. The land management expert, with 25 years' experience on Skye, says poor management of tourism on the island is to blame with too many people descending on a handful of visitor hot spots.
Juggling with hands and feet and backwards rollerblading down a hill: Astonishing video compilation reveals why 'people are awesome' with the best feats of 2017 so far
A YouTube video compilation has emerged of some of the most incredible feats of the year so far from around the world and it’s had over a million views so far. Called ‘People Are Awesome’, it features daredevils performing the most incredible feats, from somersaulting onto skateboards to juggling with hands and feet (top left) – at the same time. Here MailOnline Travel presents five of its favourite moments from the video. Also pictured: Snowboarders hurtling around a homemade course in Australia (top right), a daredevil hurtling down a 30-degree incline backwards, with one rollerblade on (bottom right), a sharp shooting basketball player doing a flip and landing a shot at the same time in Sweden (bottom left) and a two-year-old boy in Arizona hitting a ball into his father's mouth (inset).
Does size matter to you? The world's smallest hotels revealed, from slim lodgings built in an ALLEY to properties with just one double room
There's an intimate hotel - and then there's a hotel with only one room. Welcome to the world's least roomiest lodgings, where guests have a choice of a handful of rooms, or just one. The Eh' Hausl Hotel (top left) and the Central Hotel & Cafe (bottom left and inset) are only fit for two people with their tight quarters. The Grand Hotel De Kromme Raake (bottom right) was transformed from a grocery store to a hotel and has just one bedroom, but the bed is king-sized. The isolated Hotel Punta Grande in the Canary Islands (top right) is positively gigantic in this company - it has four bedrooms.
Inside one of the world's most remote towns where only 10 children go to school, there are no cars and you can build a house wherever you like
With no cars, no hospital and no bars or restaurants, Francois in Newfoundland and Labrador has to be one of the world's most remote communities. The tiny town, tucked away in a bay on the most easterly point of Canada, is only accessible by boat and the locals scoot around on quad bikes to save their legs on the steep valley paths. During a recent trip to the settlement, MailOnline Travel learned that all of the 75 inhabitants know each other, darts is a popular form of entertainment and residents are free to build a property wherever they fancy. Pictured: (From top left, clockwise) Sailing into Francois, a view from the bay, a quiet playground and locals on a quad bike.
Relax and recharge at Thyme... a fabulously foodie luxury boutique hotel in the heart of the glorious Cotswolds
Set on a 150-acre country manor estate in the picturesque village of Southrop - the location for Kate Moss' 2011 wedding to rocker Jamie Hince, no less - Thyme has a magical feel from the very first moment you pull up to its driveway. This 17th century luxury boutique hotel is comprised of a beautiful farmhouse - featuring elegantly designed bespoke bedrooms - a series of picture perfect cottages, a renowned cookery school, a delightful cocktail bar and an award-winning, traditional country pub mere metres down the road. After a 12-year restoration project overseen by owner Caryn Hibbert, it's clear from the moment you set foot in the door that no detail is too small, writes Louise Saunders.