Our World Still Has Many Nice Places as Well

OP
Ivan Drago

Ivan Drago

I Have A Black Belt In Joint Rolling

PAMUKKALE, TURKEY

The surreal, brilliant white travertine terraces and warm, limpid pools of Pamukkale hang, like the petrified cascade of a mighty waterfall, from the rim of a steep valley side in Turkey’s picturesque southwest. Truly spectacular in its own right, the geological phenomenon that is Pamukkale, literally "Cotton Castle" in Turkish, is also the site of the remarkably well-preserved ruins of the Greek-Roman city of Hierapolis. With such a unique combination of natural and man-made wonders it’s little wonder that Pamukkale-Hierapolis has been made a Unesco World Heritage site. With over two million visitors annually, it is also Turkey’s single most visited attraction.




IMAGE #1> People walk in Hierapolis-Pamukkale, included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site, after entering free of charge due to the Tourism Week in Denizli, Turkey on April 17, 2019. Approximately 15 thousands people visited the Pamukkale site in three hours.

1.png



IMAGE #2>The scenery of Yunnan.

2.png



IMAGE #3>Travertine terrace pools, Pamukkale, Anatolia, Turkey.

3.jpg



IMAGE #4>Pamukkale meaning cotton castle.The area is famous for a carbonate mineral left by the flowing water, Denizli, Turkey.

4.png



IMAGE #5>Pamukkale travertine natural pools at sunset.

5.png
 
OP
Ivan Drago

Ivan Drago

I Have A Black Belt In Joint Rolling
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK


Yellowstone National Park, the oldest, one of the largest, and probably the best-known national park in the United States. It is situated principally in northwestern Wyoming and partly in southern Montana and eastern Idaho and includes the greatest concentration of hydrothermal features in the world. The park was established by the U.S. Congress on March 1, 1872, as the country’s first national park. It is also generally considered to have been the first national park in the world, though some naturalists and others have argued that there is evidence that indicates that the creation of Yellowstone was predated by the creation of Bogd Khan Mountain National Park in Mongolia, which may date from as early as 1778.

Yellowstone was designated a UNESCO biosphere reserve in 1976 and a World Heritage site in 1978. The park, which forms a squarelike rectangle with an irregular eastern side, is 63 miles (101 km) from north to south and 54 miles (87 km) from east to west at its widest point and covers an area of 3,472 square miles (8,992 square km). The John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Memorial Parkway, an 80-mile (130-km) scenic roadway that was established in 1972, connects Yellowstone with Grand Teton National Park to the south. In addition, Yellowstone is surrounded by Gallatin (northwest and north), Custer (northeast), Shoshone (northeast and east), Bridger-Teton (southeast and south), and Caribou-Targhee (southwest) national forests. Headquarters are at Mammoth Hot Springs near the northern entrance to the park.





IMAGE #1>The Geyser Hill is seen in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming on June 11, 2019.

1.jpg




IMAGE #2>High angle view of Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park.

2.jpg




IMAGE #3>American Bison (also known as Buffalo) join the morning commute on Highway 89 at Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming on June 1, 2011. In the early 1800's, an estimated 65 million bison roamed throughout the continent of North America but hunting and poaching had a devastating effect on their population and by 1890, fewer than 1,000 remained. Today there are an estimated 4000 bison in Yellowstone National Park.

3.png




IMAGE #4>Yellowstone National Park-Mammoth Hot Springs.

4.jpg




IMAGE #5>Two young bull moose gather together under a setting sun in Grand Teton National Park. While one looks my way, the other is a bit more aware on how beautiful the scene is behind him.

5.png
 
OP
Ivan Drago

Ivan Drago

I Have A Black Belt In Joint Rolling
PETRA, JORDAN


Petra, Arabic Baṭrā, ancient city, centre of an Arab kingdom in Hellenistic and Roman times, the ruins of which are in southwest Jordan. The city was built on a terrace, pierced from east to west by the Wadi Mūsā (the Valley of Moses)—one of the places where, according to tradition, the Israelite leader Moses struck a rock and water gushed forth. The valley is enclosed by sandstone cliffs veined with shades of red and purple varying to pale yellow, and for this reason Petra was called by the 19th-century English biblical scholar John William Burgon a “rose-red city half as old as Time.”

The modern town of Wadi Mūsā, situated adjacent to the ancient city, chiefly serves the steady stream of tourists who continue to visit the site.The Greek name Petra (“Rock”) probably replaced the biblical name Sela. Remains from the Paleolithic and Neolithic periods have been discovered at Petra, and Edomites are known to have occupied the area about 1200 BCE. Centuries later the Nabataeans, an Arab tribe, occupied it and made it the capital of their kingdom. In 312 BCE the region was attacked by Seleucid forces, who failed to seize the city. Under Nabataean rule, Petra prospered as a center of the spice trade that involved such disparate realms as China, Egypt, Greece, and India, and the city’s population swelled to between 10,000 and 30,000.

When the Nabataeans were defeated by the Romans in 106 CE, Petra became part of the Roman province of Arabia but continued to flourish until changing trade routes caused its gradual commercial decline. After an earthquake (not the first) damaged the city in 551, significant habitation seems to have ceased. The Islamic invasion occurred in the 7th century, and a Crusader outpost is evidence of activity there in the 12th century. After the Crusades the city was unknown to the Western world until it was rediscovered by the Swiss traveler Johann Ludwig Burckhardt in 1812.




IMAGE #1>A sunset view of Ad Deir (The Monastery) inside the ancient city of Petra, one of Jordan's national treasures and its best-known tourist attraction.

1.jpg



IMAGE #2>An ancient temple is lit up with candles at a Gala Dinner to celebrate the life of the opera singer Luciano Pavarotti as part of the Salute Petra event on October 11, 2008 in Petra, Jordan. Salute Petra is a three day event organised by Harvey Goldsmith and Nicoletta Pavarotti celebrating the life of the opera singer Luciano Pavarotti.

2.png



IMAGE #3>Tourists in front of qasr al-farid tomb of Lihyan son of Kuza in Madain Saleh, Al Madinah Province.

3.png



IMAGE #4>A view of the Urn Tomb, the first of the Royal Tombs and probably built in 70 AD for King Malichos II, in historical Petra city of southern Jordanian governorate Ma'an on October 20, 2014. Being among UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List since 1985, Petra is also listed as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and lies on the slope of Jebel al-Madhbah in a basin among the mountains which form the eastern flank of Arabah (Wadi Araba), the large valley running from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba. Petra was built as the capital city of Arabic desert nomads Nabateans as early as 312 B.C.

4.png



IMAGE #5>Camels resting in front of the old trasury in Petra. Low angle.


5.png
 
OP
Ivan Drago

Ivan Drago

I Have A Black Belt In Joint Rolling

TORRES DEL PAINE NATIONAL PARK



Chile is a remarkable country endowed with some of the world’s most spectacular scenery but for lovers of mountains, lakes and glaciers, the Torres del Paine National Park has deservedly become one of the country’s major attractions with over a quarter of a million visitors per annum over half of whom travel from other countries. Its southerly location in Chilean Patagonia would seem to place it far off the mainstream tourist map but its popularity is growing and those who have visited this beautiful area have no hesitation in saying that the long trip was well worthwhile. The Torres del Paine National Park (Parque Nacional Torres del Paine in Spanish) has coordinates of 51 degrees south and 73 degrees west and it centers on the Cordilla Paine mountain range which forms a spur from the southern Andes.

The entire west side of the park is covered by the huge southern Patagonia ice field but the rest of the park offers a diversity of landscape types including forests, shrub-land, Andean desert and the Pampas-like Patagonia steppe. The park was first established in 1959 at which time it was known as the Parque Nacional de Tourismo Lago Grey (Lake Grey Tourist National Park) but was given its present name in 1970, the name referring to the park’s most famous peaks. The Paine Massif is a granite intrusion through Cretaceous sedimentary rocks resulting in the formation of huge towers and spires. The three most famous peaks are called the Torres del Paine.



IMAGE #1>Close up shot of Torres del Paine mountain range and beautiful lenticular cloud, Patagonia, Chile.

1.png



IMAGE #2>Waterfall with Cuernos del Paine at Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia Chile

2.png



IMAGE #3>Misty morning in Patagonia, Torres del paine, Chile.

3.png



IMAGE #4> View of the Paine Grande Hill and Cuernos del Paine Mountains in Torres del Paine National Park in southern Chile with Pehoe Lake in foreground.

4.jpg



IMAGE #5>Towers of Paine, Torres del Paine National Park.

5.jpg
 
OP
Ivan Drago

Ivan Drago

I Have A Black Belt In Joint Rolling
CAPPADOCIA, TURKEY




In ancient geography, Cappadocia or Cappadocia (Turkish: Kapadokya) was the name of the extensive inland district of Asia Minor (Asian part of modern Turkey). Cappadocia region is the place where nature and history come together most beautifully within the world. While geographic events are forming Peribacalari (fairy chimneys), during the historical period, humans had carried the signs of thousand years old civilizations with carving houses and churches within these earth pillars and decorating them with frisks. Cappadocia contains several underground cities, largely used by early Christians as hiding places before they became a legitimate religion.

The Cappadocian Fathers of the fourth century were integral to much of early Christian philosophy. It also produced, among other people, another Patriarch of Constantinople, John of Cappadocia who held office 517–520. For most of the Byzantine era it remained relatively undisturbed by the conflicts in the area, first with the Sassanid Empire and later against the Islamic expansion led by Arabs. The area is a world famous and popular tourist destination, as it has many areas with unique geological, historic and cultural features.The region is southwest of the major city Kayseri, which has airline and railroad service to Ankara and Istanbul. The Cappadocia region is largely underlain by sedimentary rocks formed in lakes and streams, and ignimbrite deposits erupted from ancient volcanoes approximately 9 to 3 million years ago (late Miocene to Pliocene epochs).



IMAGE #1>A drone photo shows a view of hot air balloons gliding over Goreme district during early morning at the historical Cappadocia region, located in Central Anatolia's Nevsehir province, Turkey on November 24, 2019. Cappadocia is preserved as a UNESCO World Heritage site and is famous for its chimney rocks, hot air balloon trips, underground cities and boutique hotels carved into rocks. In Turkey's one of the most important tourism regions Cappadocia, local and foreign tourists get the chance of enjoying the scenery participating air balloon tours in the early hours of the morning.

1.png



IMAGE #2>Uchisar in Cappadocia, Turkey

2.jpg



IMAGE #3>Light illuminates cave hotels at sunset in the town of Goreme on April 17, 2016 in Nevsehir, Turkey. Cappadocia, a historical region in Central Anatolia dating back to 3000 B.C is one of the most famous tourist sites in Turkey. Listed as a World Heritage Site in 1985, and known for its unique volcanic landscape, fairy chimneys, large network of underground dwellings and some of the best hot air ballooning in the world, Cappadocia is preparing for peak tourist season to begin in the first week of May. Despite Turkey's tourism downturn, due to the recent terrorist attacks, internal instability and tension with Russia, local vendors expect tourist numbers to be stable mainly due to the unique activities on offer and unlike other tourist areas in Turkey such as Antalya, which is popular with Russian tourists, Cappadocia caters to the huge Asian tourist market.

3.png



IMAGE #4>Ancient Goreme town and castle of Uchisar, near Cappadocia in Turkey.

4.jpg



IMAGE #5>The partial remains of a rock cut church stands above the Rose Valley near Goreme, Central Anatolia, Cappadocia, Neveshir province of Turkey.

5.png
 
OP
Ivan Drago

Ivan Drago

I Have A Black Belt In Joint Rolling
ISLE OF SKYE


The Isle of Skye lies close to the north-west coast of the Scottish Highlands. It is the largest and the furthest north of the islands in the Inner Hebrides. The name ‘Skye’ is probably from the Norse words Ski (cloud) and Ey (island). In Gaelic it is normally referred to as An t-Eilean Sgitheanach, which translates as The Winged Isle - from the wing-like shape formed by the two northern peninsulas of Waternish and Trotternish. The island is marked on old Roman maps as "Scitis". In English it's sometimes referred to as the "Misty Isle" (Eilean a’ Cheo, in Gaelic). That one seems a wee bit too romantic for my taste. And there’s more…but that’s enough to confuse anyone already.

Skye is a romantic place though. The history, the legends, the scenery, the weather, the music and the poetry combine to produce something very special indeed. It is that peculiar magic that draws visitors to the island from all around the world, and makes it Scotland’s biggest tourist destination after Edinburgh. It has been said that Skye is conclusive proof that, sometimes, God was just showing off.



IMAGE #1>View over 'Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye, Scotland.

1.jpg



IMAGE #2>Scenic view of Quiraing mountains in Isle of Skye, Scottish highlands, United Kingdom. Sunrise time with colorful an rayini clouds in background.

2.jpg



IMAGE #3>Waterfall in the Fairy Pools, Glen Brittle, Isle of Skye, Scotland, UK. On a gray day in the fall you see the water flowing along the rocks with in the background the famous mountain with the crack in the middle from top to bottom.

3.png



IMAGE #4>Isle of Skye, Dunvegan Castle, Dunvegan Castle is the seat of the Scottish clan of MacLeods. The castle is located in the heartland of the clan on the island of Skye.

4.png



IMAGE #5>Isle of Skye-up in your face view.

5.jpg
 
OP
Ivan Drago

Ivan Drago

I Have A Black Belt In Joint Rolling
ULURU, AUSTRALIA


Uluru/Ayers Rock, giant monolith, one of the tors (isolated masses of weathered rock) in southwestern Northern Territory, central Australia. It has long been revered by a variety of Australian Aboriginal peoples of the region, who call it Uluru. The rock was sighted in 1872 by explorer Ernest Giles and was first visited by a European the following year, when surveyor William Gosse named it for Sir Henry Ayers, a former South Australian premier. It is the world’s largest monolith. (Mount Augustus [Burringurrah] in Western Australia is often identified as the world’s largest monolith, but, because it is composed of multiple rock types, it is technically not a monolith.)Uluru/Ayers Rock rises 1,142 feet (348 metres) above the surrounding desert plain and reaches a height 2,831 feet (863 metres) above sea level.

The monolith is oval in shape, measuring 2.2 miles (3.6 km) long by 1.5 miles (2.4 km) wide, with a circumference of 5.8 miles (9.4 km). Composed of arkosic sandstone, which contains a high proportion of feldspar, the rock changes colour according to the position of the Sun; it is most visually striking at sunset, when it is coloured a fiery orange-red by the Sun’s rays. Its lower slopes have become fluted by the erosion of weaker rock layers, while the top is scored with gullies and basins that produce giant cataracts after infrequent rainstorms. Shallow caves at the base of the rock are sacred to several Aboriginal tribes and contain carvings and paintings.

The monolith is within Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park (established in 1958 as Ayers Rock–Mount Olga National Park and renamed in 1993), which also includes the Olgas (Kata Tjuta), a group of tors about 20 miles (32 km) west-northwest of Uluru/Ayers Rock. The park has an area of 512 square miles (1,326 square km). In 1985 official ownership of Uluru/Ayers Rock was given to the local Aboriginal people, who thereupon leased the rock and the national park to the federal government for 99 years. The rock and the surrounding park were named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987, and UNESCO gave the park a second World Heritage designation in 1994 for its cultural significance.




IMAGE #1>Uluru Dawn Northern Territory.

1.jpg




IMAGE #2>A waterfall is seen in Kantju Gorge as it rains at Uluru on November 27, 2013 in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia. Uluru/ Ayers Rock is a large sandstone formation situated in central Australia approximately 335km from Alice Springs. The site and its surrounding area is scared to the Anangu people, the Indigenous people of this area and is visited by over 250,000 people each year.

2.png




IMAGE #3>Australia, Northern Territory, National Park Uluru-Kata Tjuta listed as World Heritage by UNESCO, Ayers Rock or Uluru, sandstone rock sacred place for the Aboriginal people.

3.jpg




IMAGE #4>Framed by a desert oak, the expanse of the Australian Outback stretches off into the horizon where we see the great sandstone mass of Uluru.

4.jpg




IMAGE #5> Ayers Rock, Uluru, Red Centre, Australia.

5.png
 
OP
Ivan Drago

Ivan Drago

I Have A Black Belt In Joint Rolling
NIAGRA FALLS


Niagara Falls is a geological wonder and one of the most famous waterfalls in the world. Straddling the border between the United States and Canada, it has been a popular tourist attraction for over 200 years, as well as a major source of hydroelectric power. Niagara Falls occurs on the Niagara River, a 36-mile (58 kilometers) channel that connects Lake Erie and Lake Ontario and separates New York from Ontario. The difference in elevation between the two lakes is about 325 feet (99 meters), and half of that height occurs at the falls, according to Niagara Parks.

Niagara is made up of three separate waterfalls: Horseshoe Falls (or Canadian Falls), American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls. According to the World Waterfall Database, Horseshoe Falls has a height of about 167 feet (51 m) and stretches over 2,700 feet (823 m) across at its crest; American Falls drops between 90 and 120 feet (27.5 to 36.5 m) and spans about 940 feet (286.5 m) at its crest; Bridal Veil Falls also has a drop of 90 to 120 feet but is only 45 feet (14 m) wide. Together, the average width of the entire falls is 3,950 feet (1,204 m).

The three cascades form the second largest waterfall in the world (after Victoria Falls in Africa), according to the Travel Channel. More than 6 million cubic feet (168,000 cubic meters), or about 70 Olympic-size swimming pools, of water go over the falls every minute. The water rushes over the falls at about 25 mph, according to the New York State Museum (NYSM). The deepest point in the Niagara River is just below Horseshoe Falls, at 167 feet (51 m) deep — equal to the height of the falls, according to Niagara Parks. The Niagara Gorge begins at the foot of the falls and ends 7 miles (11 km) downstream at Lake Ontario. Cliffs rise as high as 1,200 feet (366 m), formed by thousands of years of erosion.




IMAGE #1>Niagara Falls with fall colors at sunset, viewed from New York side. Some motion blurs from the plants may be visible due to the wind and not focus issue.

1.jpg




IMAGE #2>Ripley's Believe or not building in Niagara Falls during summer day.

2.png




IMAGE #3>A nice shot of mist and sky at dusk.

3.jpg




IMAGE #4>Mist up close with rainbow.

4.png




IMAGE #5>A beautiful blue tone to the falls at night.

5.jpg
 
OP
Ivan Drago

Ivan Drago

I Have A Black Belt In Joint Rolling
METEORA



The Meteora are a collective of natural sandstone rock pillars, which have served as places of worship throughout modern history. With an average elevation of 313m (1027ft), the Meteora rocks stand proudly at the centre of an extraordinarily beautiful Greek landscape, housing 24 monasteries in total, of which 6 remain active. Inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1988, Meteora attracts tourists to the region in their thousands each year.The name, ‘Meteora’ stems from the Greek adjective, meteoros, which means ‘middle of the sky’. Aptly named, the rock formations of Meteora jut out of the ground like giant fingers made of stone, allowing the various monasteries to sit, suspended in the air. It has taken millions of years for various forces of nature to sculpt out these unique rock pillars.

Geologists believe that this process began approximately 60 million years ago during the Palaeogene period. As early as the 11th century, monks occupied the caverns of Meteora. However, monasteries were not built until the 14th century, when the monks sought somewhere to hide in the face of an increasing number of Turkish attacks on Greece. At this time, access to the top was via removable ladders or windlass. Nowadays, getting up is a lot simpler due to steps being carved into the rock during the 1920’s. Of the 24 monasteries, only 6 (five male, one female) are still functioning, with each housing less than 10 individuals.




IMAGE #1>A look at the Kalambaka scenery, also called Kalabaka, where the Meteoras are in the Thessaly Plain in Greece. The monasteries were built on sandstone rock pillars.

1.jpg




IMAGE #2>Sunbeams from sky.

2.png




IMAGE #3>A melange of beautiful autumn colors.

3.jpg




IMAGE #4>Sunset moment in Meteora Thessaly area Greece.

4.jpg




IMAGE #5>Sunset over Meteora, Tessalia, Greece.

5.png
 
OP
Ivan Drago

Ivan Drago

I Have A Black Belt In Joint Rolling
SAGANO BAMBOO FOREST, JAPAN


Growing tall on the edges of Kyoto, the Sagano Bamboo Forest is a once tranquil nature spot that is now a series of tourist-packed pathways, but if you can escape the sounds of camera shutters and boorish visitors, you’ll hear the rustling, creaking, and swaying of one of Japan’s governmentally recognized soundscapes.

Only 30 minutes or so from Kyoto city center, the towering bamboo forest is an almost shocking contrast to the urbanity surrounding it. Wooden paths weave through the dense thicket of tall bamboo stalks that reach dozens of feet into the sky, creating a canopy. As the wind passes through the tightly packed plants, the wood bends and creaks, the leaves rustle, and the trunks knock together, creating a peaceful sound like almost nothing else. That is, when the hordes of tourists aren’t drowning it out.

The meditative natural noise is so lovely, in fact, that Japan’s Ministry of the Environment designated the location’s aural pleasures as one of the country’s “100 Soundscapes of Japan,” an initiative designed to encourage the local population to get out and appreciate the country’s acoustic wonders. If visitors can find a time to visit the bamboo forest when it is relatively empty the combination of visual beauty and auditory calm may be one of a kind. There is no word, however, on how the place smells.



IMAGE #1>Foothpath in the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove.

1.png




IMAGE #2>:Sun penetrating massive bamboo forest.

2.png




IMAGE #3>This photo was taken at Enkou-ji temple, Kyoto. soft sunlight is coming through the bamboo grove.

3.jpg




IMAGE #4>Low to high shot of the forest in the early afternoon.

4.png




IMAGE #5>Arashiyama Bamboo Forest in Kyoto, Japan.

5.png
 
OP
Ivan Drago

Ivan Drago

I Have A Black Belt In Joint Rolling
When you think of the Netherlands, it is easy to picture never-ending fields of brightly colored flowers. Many of the country’s most famous artists have portrayed the flower fields of the Netherlands in their work, and these fields are just as spectacular when they are seen in real life. However, these flower fields are more than just aesthetically beautiful: they are also economically important to the country. A significant proportion of the country’s agricultural exports are derived from the sale of freshly cut flowers, bulbs and mature plants, and the Netherlands contributions to the flower industry are so significant that they make up around two-thirds of the world’s total flora sales and completely dominate the European marketplace.

Thanks to highly efficient supply chains, it is actually possible to buy flowers in New York which were freshly cut in the Netherlands that morning!When they were first imported to the Netherlands from Turkey in the mid-16th Century, the popularity of the flower took off almost immediately, as Europe’s elites began to see the flower as a status symbol. Varieties which had multi-colored petals were particularly well sought after. The plants became so popular that stories even began to emerge about bulbs being dug up and stolen during the night! People were willing to trade so much for a single tulip bulb that the world’s first economic bubble occurred and the period became known as “tulipomania”. This coincided with the Dutch Golden Age of trade, and tulip collecting amongst the elites became a popular pastime. Although this “bubble” eventually burst, the Netherlands has remained a center for the trade of flowers and bulbs.



Colorful tulip field in front of a Dutch windmill under a nicely clouded sky.

1.jpg



Tulip fields at sunset in the Netherlands.

2.jpg



Tulip fields are in full bloom on April 21, 2011 in Lisse, Netherlands. Tourists from all over the world flock down on the so called Bulb area and the Keukenhof Flower Park to enjoy the colorful fields of blooming tulips and a wide range of other flowers.

3.png



Traditional dutch windmill in the middle of colorful tulip field. View through the flowers.

4.png



Netherlands, Nagele, Farms, farmland and flowering tulips.​


5.png


 
OP
Ivan Drago

Ivan Drago

I Have A Black Belt In Joint Rolling
BATU CAVES, MALAYSIA



Batu Caves, complex of limestone grottoes in Peninsular Malaysia. The caves are one of the country’s biggest tourist attractions and are a place of pilgrimage for Tamil Hindus. They are named for the Sungai Batu (Batu River), which flows nearby, and are located 7 miles (13 km) north of Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia.The caves were little-known except to local residents until 1878, when the American naturalist William Temple Hornaday revealed their existence to the wider world. K. Thamboosamy Pillay, a leader of the Tamil Hindu community in Malaya (as the region was then called), built a temple within the caves in 1891. It is said that he took inspiration from the similarity in shape of the cave entrance to the tip of the vel, or spear, traditionally wielded by the deity Murugan. Thaipusam, the Tamil Hindu festival devoted to Murugan, was first celebrated on the site in 1892 and is now a major event that attracts hundreds of thousands of pilgrims annually.

The Batu Caves are located within a high limestone outcropping. A colossal gold-painted statue of Murugan, made from reinforced concrete and 140 feet (42.7 metres) in height, stands near the base of a flight of 272 steps. As visitors climb the steps, they are frequently accosted by macaques begging aggressively for food. At the top of the steps is the entrance to the largest cave, called Cathedral Cave or Temple Cave. Within it is the largest of several temples on the site. At a lower level on the flight of steps is Dark Cave, which is sometimes closed to visitors. Other caves lie still closer to the base of the steps. Ramayana Cave has an entrance marked with a statue of the monkey god Hanuman, hero of the Indian epic poem Ramayana. The cave itself is lined with dioramas depicting scenes from the epic. The Cave Villa, which includes Art Gallery Cave and Museum Cave, features more paintings and statues.




Batu Caves temple in Malaysia

1.png




Batu Caves is a limestone hill that has a series of caves and cave temples in Gombak, Selangor, Malaysia. The cave is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India, and is dedicated to Lord Murugan. It is the focal point of Hindu festival of Thaipusam in Malaysia.

2.jpg




Batu Caves, Selangor, Malaysia

3.jpg




Light of Batu caves

4.png




Photo taken in Batu Caves, Malaysia

5.png


 
OP
Ivan Drago

Ivan Drago

I Have A Black Belt In Joint Rolling
BLUE LAGOON, ICELAND



The Blue Lagoon was created accidentally by the condense discharge from the geothermal power plant in Svartsengi. The water was expected to disappear into the permeable lava field, but sedimentation gradually made the coarse lava field watertight, and the lagoon continued expanding. It has become the most frequented tourist attraction of the country. Soon after people started bathing in the lagoon, the healing qualities of the brine were discovered by those, who suffer from skin diseases, such as psoriasis. Since then an increasing number of patients from all over the world has enjoyed the relief of the chemical composition of the water. Native patients, who need treatments at the Blue Lagoon are covered by their social security, which means that the authorities have recognize the necessity for such treatments. A hotel and restaurants are located near and on the Blue Lagoon.

There are extensive hot spring areas on the Reykjanes peninsula, and it was natural, therefore that local people thought of heating their houses by geothermal sources. In 1961 the first plans for geothermal regional heating were completed for Keflavik, Njardvik and Keflavik Airport. These plans were formulated on behalf of the geothermal commission of Keflavik and Njardvik. Further plans were made in 1963 for the Iceland Defense Force at Keflavik Airport and in this case two geothermal areas were considered: The Reykjanes peninsula and the Stapafell area, assuming that enough hot water could be obtained by drilling.





Blue Lagoon, Iceland

1.jpg




People bathing in The Blue Lagoon, a natural hot spring in the south of Iceland. Outdoors, with clear sky.

2.jpg




Blue lagoon geothermal spa in Iceland.

3.jpg




Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland.

4.jpg




Sun shines on the surrounding geothermal waters at the Blue Lagoon close to the Icelandic capital on April 7, 2014 in Reykjavik, Iceland.

5.jpg

 
OP
Ivan Drago

Ivan Drago

I Have A Black Belt In Joint Rolling
LOFOTEN ISLANDS




Lofoten, island group, in the Norwegian Sea, northern Norway. Lying off the mainland entirely within the Arctic Circle, the group comprises the southern end of the Lofoten-Vesterålen archipelago and includes five main islands (Austvågøya, Gimsøya, Vestvågøya, Flakstadøya, and Moskenesøya) extending about 70 miles (110 km) from north to south. In addition, there are many small islands and skerries (rocky islets and reefs). The total length of the archipelago is about 110 miles (175 km). A broad and deep fjord, the Vesterålsfjorden, lies between Lofoten and the mainland. The islands, composed of volcanic rocks (gneiss and granite), are the highly eroded tops of a partially submerged mountain range. The highest peak is Higravtinden (3,760 feet [1,146 metres]) on Austvågøya. North of the Arctic Circle, the islands are washed by the warm North Atlantic Current, which tempers their climate.The Lofoten have been continuously inhabited since at least 1120, when King Øystein built a church and lodgings for fishermen near Kabelvåg, on Austvågøya. Fishing has always been predominant, and until the late 19th century, when tourists arrived on the islands, it was almost the only economic activity. Cod, along with some haddock, are the principal catch. During the spawning season, from February through April, thousands of people from all over the Norwegian west coast come to the area to land and process the cod catch. Stockfish from Lofoten, dried in the winter wind and sun without the use of salt, have been exported for centuries. Local industries are related to fishing (cod-liver-oil processing and fertilizer manufacture from fish parts). Some potatoes and berries are grown, but the scanty soils will not support even the hardiest grains.







Panorama of mountains and Reine in Lofoten islands.

1.png




Lofoten islands is an archipelago in the county of Nordland, Norway. Is known for a distinctive scenery with dramatic mountains and peaks, open sea and sheltered bays, beaches and untouched lands.

2.png




Lofoten is an archipelago and a traditional district in the county of Nordland, Norway.

3.png




Sunset

4.jpeg




Aerial view of snowy fjord and Reine at sunrise.

5.png

 
OP
Ivan Drago

Ivan Drago

I Have A Black Belt In Joint Rolling
TAJ MAHAL



The Taj Mahal is an enormous mausoleum complex commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to house the remains of his beloved wife. Constructed over a 20-year period on the southern bank of the Yamuna River in Agra, India, the famed complex is one of the most outstanding examples of Mughal architecture, which combined Indian, Persian and Islamic influences. At its center is the Taj Mahal itself, built of shimmering white marble that seems to change color depending on the daylight. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983, it remains one of the world’s most celebrated structures and a stunning symbol of India’s rich history.Shah Jahan was a member of the Mughal dynasty that ruled most of northern India from the early 16th to the mid 18th-century.

After the death of his father, King Jahangir, in 1627, Shah Jahan emerged the victor of a bitter power struggle with his brothers, and crowned himself emperor at Agra in 1628.At his side was Arjumand Banu Begum, better known as Mumtaz Mahal (“Chosen One of the Palace”), whom he married in 1612 and cherished as the favorite of his three queens. In 1631, Mumtaz Mahal died after giving birth to the couple’s 14th child. The grieving Shah Jahan, known for commissioning a number of impressive structures throughout his reign, ordered the building of a magnificent mausoleum across the Yamuna River from his own royal palace at Agra.





Taj Mahal, Agra, India

1.jpg




Taj Mahal and Yamuna river at sunrise, Agra, India.

2.jpg




The Taj Mahal is an ivory-white marble mausoleum on the south bank of the Yamuna river in the Indian city of Agra.

3.jpg




Sunset over the Taj Mahal

4.jpg




Taj Mahal mosque, made up of red sandstone. Used for prayer purposes, mosque faces direction of holy city of Mecca.

5.jpg

 
OP
Ivan Drago

Ivan Drago

I Have A Black Belt In Joint Rolling
AVENUE OF THE BAOBABS




The dirt road on the west coast of Madagascar linking Morondava and Belo Tsiribihina is framed by dozens of rare and ancient baobab trees creating a setting so beautiful and unique that it may become the country’s first official natural monument. These giant, dry season-deciduous trees (members of the Mallow family), many of which are more than 800 years old with trunks that are over 150 feet around did not always stand alone. At one time the trees dotting the lane were part of a rich forest of the trees and other plants, but the encroachment of modern civilization and increasing populations in the area led to massive deforestation leaving the remaining baobabs to stand in relative isolation. There are also a handful of the ancient trees remaining in the outlying areas but both the trees along the road otherwise are under near-constant threat of destruction. When Arab seafarers first visited a bit over 1000 years ago, they said the devil ripped them out of the ground and put them back upside down, for their canopies resemble roots.

Thankfully, private organizations have taken notice of the site and are now promoting efforts to have the avenue protected, making it the country’s first nationally recognized natural monument, so that the trees might survive for another 800 years to come. Baobabs are incredibly useful plants, their trunks are harmlessly tapped for water during the dry season and have even been lived in, the young leaves (when reachable) are eaten as a salad vegetable when little else is available, and the nutritious sour brown pulp (tasting somewhat like tamarind) of the hard-shelled fruits is made into a pleasant summertime beverage all over Africa, and is also an ingredient in a Senegalese peanut and couscous dessert pudding called Ngalakh. These trees are popular in novelty gardens around the warmer parts of the Mediterranean and sometimes show up in southern California, they are hardy to plant hardiness zone 10a (minimum of 30 to 35 F) and will not survive more than 8 to 10 hours in the snow. Another peculiar fact is that baobabs blossom, but the blooming period is very short, only about 24 hours.





View through the misty Baobab trees at sunrise in the famous Avenue de Baobab in western Madagascar.

1.jpg




Sunset at Avenue of Baobab

2.jpg




Avenue de Baobab, Madagascar

3.jpg




In the front of a beautiful sunset

4.jpg




Massive clouds behind the trees.

5.png







 
OP
Ivan Drago

Ivan Drago

I Have A Black Belt In Joint Rolling
*Could you imagine if that was all coke?



SALAR DE UYUNI




Spreading out over 11,000 square miles Salar de Uyuni is the largest salt flat in the world. An endless sheet of hexagonal tiles (created by the crystalline nature of the salt), dotted with pyramids of salt, Bolivia’s salt flats are a dazzling display of nature’s magic. Despite the desert dryness, freezing night temperatures, and fierce desert sun, this landscape is not devoid of life. Pink flamingos, ancient cacti, and rare hummingbirds all live in the Salar de Uyuni. During the wet season, which is roughly from November to April, the salt desert is transformed into an enormous salt lake, albeit one that is only six to twenty inches deep, traversable by both boat and truck. During this time, the shallow salt lake perfectly mirrors the sky, creating bizarre illusions of infinity. In the middle of this seemingly infinite salty lake is a hotel built entirely out of—naturally—salt. Created from salt bricks held together with salt mortar, the hotel and everything inside it, including the chairs and tables, are made from salt. While the Hotel Playa Blanca has no electricity and little in the way of amenities (its water must be trucked in), it does offer even more important and certainly rarer qualities: utter silence, an all-encompassing austere beauty, and an astonishing view of the night sky.







Salt on the plains of Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia.



1.jpg








Salar de Uyuni (or Salar de Tunupa) is the world's largest salt flat at 10,582 square kilometers (4,086 sq mi). It is located in the Potosi and Oruro departments in southwest Bolivia, near the crest of the Andes, and is elevated 3,656 meters above the mean sea level. The Salar was formed as a result of transformations between several prehistoric lakes. It is covered by a few meters of salt crust, which has an extraordinary flatness with the average altitude variations within one meter over the entire area of the Salar. The crust serves as a source of salt and covers a pool of brine, which is exceptionally rich in lithium. It contains 50 to 70% of the world's lithium reserves, which has yet to be extracted.



2.png








Laguna Tuyacto - Lake Tuyacto and Miniques snowcapped Volcano - Turquoise lake salt mirrored reflection and Idyllic Atacama Desert, Volcanic landscape panorama – San Pedro de Atacama, Chile, Bolívia and Argentina border.



3.png








Sunset at salt mines of Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia.



4.png








Cars in the Uyuni Salt Desert



5.jpg





 
OP
Ivan Drago

Ivan Drago

I Have A Black Belt In Joint Rolling
OIA SANTORINI VILLAGE, GREECE




Oia is the most beautiful village of Santorini that recently started looking like a glamorous town, every day gathering thousands of people longing for seeing the famous Oia sunsets. If you have time to visit just one place in the island – choose Oia. That’s what you’ve been dreaming of for so many years looking at the pictures of the white churches with bright blue domes. Oia is located 11 km away from Fira and is a pedestrian town. Most of the visitors come here to admire its unique architecture, captains’ houses, Blue Domes, cave houses and the sunset. You can see crowds of people here any time of the day, for it’s a must to see if you are in Santorini. Otherwise you’ll have to come back! Oia is famous for its chic and expensive restaurants and a great shopping, too.

The truth is that in this town you can find all the beautiful, quality, expensive and exclusive goods. Santorini is being visited by all the famous and important personalities of the whole world regularly, therefore every expensive world famous brand is presented here. This town hosts an incredible number of hotels, although most of them you do not notice thinking these are just the houses of the locals. The whole place is built along the cliff side. Do not expect to swim in the sea if you stay here – the beaches are located on a different, flat side of the island. Oia is the only settlement of the island that can boast of a marble avenue crossing its whole length.




Church in Oia (Santorini, Greece)

1.jpg




Santorini sunset at dawn village of Oia Greece.

2.jpg




A landscape shot of one of the most famous sightseeing spots in Greece, right after the sunset. You can see the traditional whitewashed houses and the beautiful colors of the sunset at this special location.

3.jpg




High angle view of buildings in the city.

4.jpg




September 27, 2015: Sanorini skyline, Greece.

5.jpeg




 
AMAZON RAINFOREST



Found on every continent except Antarctica, rainforests are ecosystems filled with mostly evergreen trees that typically receive high amounts of rainfall. Tropical rainforests are found near the equator, with high average temperatures and humidity, while temperate rainforests lie mostly in coastal, mountainous areas within the mid-latitudes. A rainforest is typically made up of four key layers: emergent, upper canopy, understory, and forest floor. In the top emergent layer, trees as tall as 200 feet (60 meters) grow far apart and tall, their branches reaching above the canopy. The upper canopy, a deep layer of vegetation roughly 20 feet (6 meters) thick, houses most of the rainforest's animal species and forms a roof that blocks most light from reaching below. Below the canopy, the under story is a low-light layer dominated by shorter plants with broad leaves, such as palms and philodendrons. On the dark forest floor, few plants are able to grow and decaying matter from the upper layers is prevalent, feeding the roots of the trees.




IMAGE #1>Dramatic colorful landscape on a river in the amazon state Venezuela at sunset.

View attachment 432404


IMAGE #2>Sunset in the Amazonian Jungle in the country of Peru.

View attachment 432405


IMAGE #3>A high dynamic range photo of a sunset over the Amazon Rainforest.

View attachment 432406


IMAGE #4>Ecuador, Amazon River region, treetops in rain forest.

View attachment 432407


IMAGE #5>Photo taken in Macas, Ecuador.

View attachment 432408
I would love to paint one of those!The Amazon Jungle,would make a cool jigsaw puzzle...
 
Top