Tag: South America

Beautiful photographs, part one.

Sent to me by long-term friend Dan Gomez. Enjoy.


Isn’t it beautiful!


A Paradise Tanager…mostly found in South America.



At Wat Samphran in Nakhon Pathom Province there is a 17 storey building that has a giant dragon climbing to the roof.
The head is at the top where there is a shrine and the tail is on the ground floor. The dragon is hollow and it is possible to walk up some sections of it.


This house was designed by Rudy Ricciotti. The unique architecture includes a pool house, which is like a window in the living room where you can enjoy not only swimming in the water, but the person swimming in it with the effect of the outdoor landscape which is reflected through the window.


The Aiguille du Midi cable car leaves from the centre of Chamonix. It takes visitors up to 3,842m (12,605 feet) for a stunning view of the French Swiss and Italian alps.


Paradise! Jungfrau Mountain Range in Switzerland


Hallgrímskirkja (244 ft), is the largest church and the sixth tallest architectural structure in Iceland.


The Melisanni Cave, Greece. This beautiful cave, which was discovered in 1951 and is surrounded by forests, features in Greek mythology as the cave of the nymphs.


New Town Hall in Hanover, Germany.


Thermal baths inside a cave – Miskolc Tapolca, Hungary


Piva Canyon, Bosnia and Herzegovina



Lake Mellisani on the island of Kephalonia, Greece.


Manarola, Italy.


Hope you found these photographs as captivating as I did.

Another set of stunning pictures tomorrow.

Civilisations do fail!

Any lessons for today from the Valley of the Pyramids at Tucume in Peru?

The view of Huaca Larga (Photo: Heinz Plege/PromPerú)

Let’s set the scene,

It’s amazing to think that anyone lived here, that this valley was once green. Now it is sun-blasted, scorching hot, and the only life is the circling vultures and the rainbow-colored iguanas, like something out of a desert hallucination, skittering across the rocks.

The reminders of past life rise up around me, however, eroded to look more like drip castles than the pyramids they once were. I am in Túcume, the once-grand capital of the Sican culture, Peru’s mythical Valley of the Pyramids.

I am not far from Chiclayo, and even closer to the city of Lambayeque, where the Royal Tombs of Sipán Museum serves as one of the major tourist attractions on the north coast. Here at Túcume however, there are few visitors.

It is not hard to get to the site. Combis leave regularly from Chiclayo and Lambayeque, dropping passengers in the modern village of Túcume, from which an quick mototaxi ride leads to the ruins. By car or taxi, it is about a 30 minute ride from Chiclayo.

There are two main trails marked out across the desert plain in Túcume. One leads to Cerro Purgatorio, a craggy hill overlooking the 26 pyramids that comprise the site. The trail winds across the scorched valley, between several of the pyramids, before arriving at a staircase leading to different scenic overlooks on the face of Purgatorio.

WikiPedia, too, has a short reference.

Then there’s a long and revealing article on the InkaNatura Travel Site, which I recommend you go to.

So what happened at Túcume to cause the civilisation to fail?  Maybe this 10-minute film gives the answers, but just a note to say that there are some potentially upsetting scenes for the younger or more sensitive among us.

So anyone sufficiently brave to say that history won’t repeat itself.

Wonder which would be the ‘cursed cities’?

Be entranced

Our beautiful planet home; the only one we have.

With great thanks to Dan G. for sending me the link.

Science educator James Drake built this amazing timelapse video from the perspective of the International Space Station as it flew over North and South America. He created this video by downloading a series of 600 photographs that were available online at theGateway to Astronomy Photograph of Earth, and then stitching them together into a complete video. You can see more of James work at his blog: infinity imagined.

Chilean trapped miners

More from the BBC that seemed worth sharing with readers.

From here, an extract:

Work to line the top of an escape shaft with metal tubing is expected to finish in the next few hours at the mine where 33 men are trapped in northern Chile.

A winch and pulley will be installed and the shaft tested before the rescue begins, it is hoped, on Wednesday.

Amid the final preparations for the rescue the Chilean health minister said some of the miners were gallantly insisting they should be last to leave.

And some wonderful pictures on the BBC website here.