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Monday, October 22, 2007

Arches National Park, Utah



Arches National Park preserves over 2,000 natural sandstone arches, including the world-famous Delicate Arch, in addition to a variety of unique geological resources and formations.

The park is located near Moab, Utah, and is 119 square miles (309 km²) in size. Its highest elevation is 5,653 feet (1,723 m) at Elephant Butte and its lowest elevation is 4,085 feet (1,245 m) at the visitor center. Since 1970, 42 arches have toppled because of erosion. Arches National Park receives 10 inches (250 mm) of rain a year on average. (from www.wikipedia.org)

Most famous features of the park are:

1. Delicate Arch— a lone-standing arch which has become a symbol of
Utah

2. Balanced Rock — a large balancing rock, the size of three school buses

3.Double Arch — two arches, one on top of the other

4.Landscape Arch — a very thin, very long arch over 300 feet (100 m);
the largest in the park

5.Turret Arch

All Images are 1600x1200.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Fairy Chimneys,Cappadocia, Turkey

Fairy Chimney is a conical rock formation, typically found in the Cappadocia region of Turkey. It consists of a cap of hard rock resting on a cone-shaped pinnacle of softer rock. In Cappadocia, houses have been carved from these formations, and they make it a popular tourist destination.

Zelve Monastery was carved into the rock in pre-Iconoclastic times.

The remains of the Zelve monastery complex is located on the northern slopes of Aktepe, 1km from Paşa Bağlari and 10 km out from Göreme on the Avanos road. Zelve does not have the rich frescoes of Göreme and other Cappodocian locations. Spread out over three valleys, of which two are connected by a tunnel, the monastery is still rich in its own beauty. The valleys can provide you with plenty of hiking and exploring. The complex contains innumerable rooms and passages which also house many pointed fairy chimneys with large stems, at about 40 feet above the valley floor.

Zelve, though recently uninhabited, was an important settlement and religious area during the 9th and 13th centuries. The Christians moved to Zelve during the Persian and Arab invasions.

Cappodocia's first seminaries to train priests are located here at the monastery. Dating back to the early years of monastery life in Zelve is the Direkli Church (with the Columns). Direkli is located at the bottom of the slope. The main decorations are Iconoclastic-doctrine high relief crosses. The valley also contains the Balikli Kilise (Fish), Üzümlü Kilise (Grapes), and Geyikli Kilise (Deer) churches. These churches date to the Pre-Iconoclastic period.

The area is a 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). The rocks of Cappadocia near Göreme eroded into hundreds of spectacular pillars and minaret-like forms. The volcanic deposits are soft rocks that the people of the villages at the heart of the Cappadocia Region carved out to form houses, churches, monasteries. Göreme became a monastic center between 300-1200 AD. First period settlement in Göreme reaches to the Roman period from Christianity. Yusuf Koç, Ortahane, Durmus Kadir and Bezirhane churches in Göreme, houses and churches carved into rocks till to Uzundere, Bağıldere and Zemi Valley carries the mystical side of history today. The Göreme Open Air Museum is the most visited site of the monastic communities in Cappadocia and is one of the most famous sites in central Turkey. It is a complex comprising more than 30 rock-carved churches and chapels containing some superb frescoes, dating from the 9th to the 11th centuries...(more on www.wikipedia.org)

Monday, October 15, 2007

Closer to the Gods: Meteora Greece (re-post)

The Metéora (Greek: Μετέωρα, "suspended rocks", "suspended in the air" or "in the heavens above") is one of the largest and most important complex of monasteries in Greece, second only to Mount Athos. The monasteries are built on spectacular natural sandstone rock pillars, at the northwestern edge of the Plain of Thessaly near the Peneios river and Pindus Mountains, in central Greece. The Metéora is home to six monasteries and is included on the UNESCOWorld Heritage List.
Although it is unknown when Metéora was established, as early as the 11th century AD hermit monks were believed to be living among the caves and cutouts in the rocks. By the late 11th or early 12th century a rudimentary monastic state had formed called the Skete of Stagoi and was centered around the church of Theotokos (mother of God), which still stands today. The hermit monks, seeking a retreat from the expanding Turkish occupation, found the inaccessible rock pillars of Meteora to be an ideal refuge. Although more than 20 monasteries were built, beginning in the 14th century, only six remain today. These six are: 'Great Meteoron (or Transfiguration), Varlaam, St. Stephen, Holy Trinity, St. Nicholas Anapausas and Rousanou.... photos: 1. Meteora at Night, 2. The Monastery of Holy Trinity (Agia Triada) the most difficult to reach, 3. The Varlaam Monastery, the largest one

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Closer to the Gods: Sigiriya, Sri Lanka

Sigiriya is an archeological site in Central Sri Lanka. It contains the ruins of an ancient palace complex, built during the reign of King Kasyapa (477 – 495 AD). It is one of the seven World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka and is one of its most popular tourist destinations.
Sigiriya is considered as one of the most important sites of urban planning of the first millennium, the site plan is considered very elaborate and imaginative. The planning had combined concepts of symmetry and asymmetry to intentionally interlock the geometrical plan and the natural form of the surroundings. The west side of the rock lies a park for the royals which is symmetrically planned, the park contains water retaining structures which includeds sophisticated sub/surface hydraulic systems of which some are working even today. The south contains a man made reservoir, these were extensively used from previous capital of the dry zone of Sri Lanka. Five gates were places as entrances the more elaborate western gate is thought to be reserved for the royals.
The mirror wall contains verses scribbled by visitors to the rock, it is well preserved and has verses dating from the 8th century. People of all types wrote on the mirror wall, they took to varying subjects like love, irony, experiences of all sorts....(more on www.wikipedia.org)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Closer to God: Taktshang (Tiger's Nest)

Taktshang is the most famous of monasteries in Bhutan. It hangs on a cliff at 3,120 metres (10,200 feet), some 700 meters (2,300 feet) above the bottom of Paro valley. Famous visitors include Ngawang Namgyal in the 17th century and Milarepa.

The name means "Tiger's nest", the legend being that Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) flew
there on the back of a tiger. The monastery includes seven temples which can all be visited. The monastery suffered several blazes and is a recent restoration. Climbing to the monastery is on foot or mule. (from wikipedia.org)

Monday, October 1, 2007

Narya, In Lebec at the Black Magic Alpaca Ranch

And so it happens, thousand of miles away on the other side of the world, literally, I godfathered an alpaca baby. It's amazing the impact life has on us. I've never saw the little cria, nor any alpaca, not even in a ZOO, and yet the feeling of giving a name to the little gorgeous creature is just so mighty fine. Here is Narya after her birth. She is just a day old. Photos by Rachelle Black.

The Adventurer Presents

Sit back, fasten your sit belts and enjoy the ride. Will travel to places all around the world within seconds, comfortable, with all the

luxuriates your home offers. Join me on this journey, it's funnier together!
This is for all those that are on the road too, this could be your guide to new adventures!

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