Tag Archives: must see

China trip-2018: warm-up.

Hi folks!

As you can no doubt tell by these pics, I was recently in China. In fact, a trip to China is becoming a bit of an autumn tradition already, timed perfectly to catch the lull after National Day Golden Week holidays (in honor of the founding of the People’s Republic), during which practically the whole country takes the full week off work. It’s a bit like the first week of every year in Russia: the whole country comes to a stop. Don’t even try getting anything done – work-wise (no ones’ working) or tourism-wise (the locals are doing the home-grown tourism thing so the lines you have to wait in are just silly).

Apparently, some 700,000,000 Chinese (!) were on the move during this this year’s Golden Week. Yes folks, you did read that right: a full eight zeroes there! So as I say, best to keep away during Golden Week. The week after though: knock yourself out! All the parks, cities… in fact any tourist attractions are practically empty – for a good two weeks.

Which is just as well, for China – being as massive as it is – has a lot of phenomenal natural beauty that needs checking out. I mean, the country is number two in the world on the number of UNESCO World Heritage sites (after Italy). Formidable rock formations, voluptuous valleys overgrown with gorgeous greenery, lovely brightly-colored lakes, and more – ensuring China has a full 10 entries on my list of the Top-100 Most Beautiful Places in the World (+ six bonus tracks:). And this list of mine I occasionally edit as and when new places need adding. And they need adding in China more than in most other countries. See for yourself:

Read on: a bit about the route …

Up we goes, in a chopper above the Faroes.

Hej folks!

You’ve seen what the Faroe Islands look like down on the ground. Now, let’s have a look at them from up above in a helicopter.

Hardly any words today folks; just a ton of oh-my-green-and-glorious pics for your viewing pleasure…

This is the north-western edge of the islands; the best pics were taken in the morning – against the sun. But I think a sunset view of these parts needs to be checked too. That will have to be for another day though.

Off flies our ride! But he promised to return a while later…

Oh how I wanted to get up some of those clearly volcanic peaks for trek/climb in such clear and beautiful weather. Maybe I will one day…

Stroll time – on the westernmost island of the Faroes – Mykines.

I like paths; walked a great many; but I can’t recall one with views all around as breathtaking as this one!

‘Faroe’, btw, means ~’sheep island’ in Faroese. Well, as I can vouch personally, nothing’s changed in thousands of years!…

This is the westernmost point of the westernmost island of the Faroes. Further west: Iceland, then Greenland, then Canada…

In closing – a few words about the Faroese climate.

Though my first impressions were positive, it does turn out that the internet doesn’t tell lies: the weather here is pretty darn awful generally. We were just very lucky: a full day of bright sunshine is very much a rarity here. More often than not it’s rainy, foggy, windy, murky and bleak.

(Btw – those are birds up in the sky; we didn’t see a single mosquito)

Rainbow!

Windy, as per usual:

So if ever you’re heading here – take some good weather with you. Otherwise…

PS: the hotel we stayed at was wonderful. Highly recommend: the Foroyar. The food was outstanding.

Cattle sheep grid!:

Grassy roof!

Kunst in the rooms…

…And in the restaurant:

And that, folks, is it from the fair Faroes. Gotta get back here and get some trekking in. If only there was a season when it didn’t rain…

All the photos from the Faroe Islands are here.

 

Bahamama Mia!

Get ready folks – this post is full of extremely bright colors. I recommend wearing sunglasses (and a Panama hat) so you don’t get blinded (and sunburned:). For this post is dedicated to the 365 Bahaman islands – cays – of Exuma, one of the most beautiful places in the world…

As often occurs on these here blogpages when I encounter off-the-scale natural beauty, there’ll be few words today and, you guessed it, lots of pics…

Read on:

Mexico Secreto.

Hi folks!

Cenotes. Gotta love ’em.

What’s a cenote, you ask? A cenote is “a natural pit, or sinkhole, resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath. Especially associated with the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico, cenotes were sometimes used by the ancient Maya for sacrificial offerings.”Wikipedia.

Cenotes of the Yucatán Peninsula – gotta love ’em especially. For these aren’t just pretty lakes somewhere deep down below in huge pits (like Ik Kil); these are rivers and pools that are completely underground – invisible from the surface. Yucatán’s climate is well and truly tropical, meaning there’s plenty of rain too; all the same, on the surface there are practically no rivers at all to be seen. Why? Before the limestone bedrock collapses the rivers run underneath it. When a collapse does eventually take place, only then do the rivers show their faces rapids to the world once again after millennia underground.

Btw, you aren’t allowed to take camera/video equipment into the cenotes; accordingly, none of the pics here are mine.

Here are a few pics I found on the net: oh my grotto!…

Read on…

Bromo in slo-mo.

Hi folks!

Right after the Penanjakan morning mist show, our guides took us to one of the main volcanoes that contributed to that show: Mount Bromo, Gunung Bromo in Indonesian:

During the dawn show, it was here:

So what can I say about it? This is getting a bit broken record, but… – it was yet another implausibly fantastical sight to behold! Satellite pics of it look… oh my Gunung, but up close it was simply… oh my GREATEST (caps intentional)!

Read on…

Volcanic dawn mist – not to be missed.

I never did quite work out what this place in Indonesia was called. Is it Penanjakan? And is that the name of the peak, or just the name of the tourist spot near it? Whatever, who cares? Well, for one, a person standing on/at Penanjakan and looking up at the stars – he/she for sure does not care one iota).

How do you like the photo? I’m rather fond of it. A still-life, don’t you think?

It and the ones below weren’t all that difficult to shoot. I placed my camera (a Sony A9) on a reinforced concrete wall, set the shutter speed to 20 seconds, the diaphragm to 6 (or was it 9?), and ISO – to… something (can’t remember, or maybe I just guessed: it has a lot of buttons and blinking lights:). And that was that: done! All that remained was to wait for the sunrise…

Read on…

At Borobudur – check out the sunset for sure.

After our strenuous scaling of Merapi, we decided to lower the intensity a bit, and move from volcanism to Indonesian culture. Accordingly, next up: Borobudur – the world’s largest Buddhist temple.

The temple consists of several stacked platforms; the lower levels are square (with 100-meter-long sides), while the upper ones are round. “At the very top of the temple is a large dome. It is decorated with 2672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues. The central dome is surrounded by 72 Buddha statues, each seated inside a perforated stupa.” – Wikipedia.

Here‘s the view of the whole complex from a satellite, while this is how my camera captured the temple:

Read on…

The full Ha Long.

I’ve been on a pretty tight business schedule and haven’t had much free time. Now, I’ve got a backlog of stories that I have to publish about the places I’ve visited and the sights I’ve seen – and the backlog keeps growing, which I don’t like. So, I’ll try and catch up whenever I have a spare moment and functioning Wi-Fi, which may be a bit of problem in the foreseeable future.

So, I’m in Vietnam, at Ha Long Bay, which is here. This is, without a doubt, one of the wonders of the world, definitely worth a visit – just like all the other entries in my Top-100 Must-See Places in the World. I was last here in May 2010, and now I’ve just revisited. And I don’t regret it for a second.


Read on: what have been changed during the last seven years…