Tag Archives: volcanism

Weekend Volcano.

Volcanism. It’s one of my hobbies. I just love getting up volcanoes all over the planet. Something about their beauty, power, hooliganism, infamy, aliveness, hotness, lava, craters, calderas, lakes… you get the picture.

But there’s one thing about volcanism that can be a bit of a pain: you normally need a good few days – if not weeks – to engage in any properly. This is because volcanoes of course tend to be massive, inaccessible, and often there are several in one spot that demand conquering. But then I heard about Mount Aragats: the quintessential ‘weekend volcano’.

Here she is. As you can see, she’s not far from the Armenian capital – so there’s the ‘inaccessible’ point crossed off as a volcanism-hindrance. She’s big and has more than one peak, but there is just one of her. All that is to explain its ‘weekendness’ :). But enough words; check out the pics:

Read on: Ruined over the millennia; but that’s half its charm…

Worldwide Swimming – Pt 2.

Oakie-doakie. On we march front-crawl, to the next stop on the worldwide swimming bus – Europe.

6. Hot Sea, Santorini.

Santorini is a volcano-island, or island-volcano. It’s actually a ring of islands, which are the remains of the caldera of a huge volcano of yester-millennia, with a fresh volcano growing up inside the ring in the middle, which every now and then erupts and grows bigger. I was on Santorini not long ago, and wrote plenty of words about it here on this blog.

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The only hot springs in the world that are situated in the sea reside here. At least, the only ones in the world known to me. The hot water spurts up from the seabed through the sea, making said sea the warmest sea you’ll ever know :).

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There are quite a few spots around the islands where you can partake in hot-spring-sea-bathing. The one in the above pic isn’t the best; others are deeper and hotter, I’m told…

Read on: summer holidays on the White Sea islands…

Volazycano!

Back on Tenerife. Terrific! And since we’d scheduled in a full day to acclimatize before the business part of the trip, it was high time to get behind the wheel and off around those hairpins and up them volcanoes. Naturally!

Now, normally to get to the top of a volcano your need to trek, climb and clamber up it, sometimes for several days (Kilimanjaro, for example). There are a few exceptions, one being Mount Etna, which can be scaled via first a ski-lift then specially equipped buses. Another is Mount Teide on Tenerife. This one’s for reeeaaal lazy tourists.

Read on: A gentle touch from altitude sickness…

Santorini: Dreams Do Come True Sometimes.

I’ve got some great news! The archaeological digs in Akrotiri have been resumed – thanks to, ah, um… us! (Not that I want to blow the KL trumpet or anything but, well, what am I going to write? The money grew on trees?) And not just the digs, also the reconstruction of the frescoes and reinforcing of the settlement’s walls! Yes, we’ve become the main sponsor of the excavations at Akrotiri! Hurray! That’s why I was on Santorini last week.

So how did the KL-Akrotiri connection come about? Why Greece? Why Santorini? Why Akrotiri? I’ll be telling you all about that in this post. It’s quite a long tale – but not as long as the time it’s been in the making: 13 years!

Read on: It all started in 2003…

Minoan Mystery in Santorini.

The island of Santorini is famous not only for its sensational panoramic views, its stunning sunsets and its multicolored beaches (white, red and black). It’s also – to some primarily – famous for its ancient history. To the south of the island parts of an ancient settlement were dug up that were well preserved under volcanic ash. Three-story homes, drains and sewers (!), and a unique cultural aspect. Oh my Greek gods!

The settlement went the way of Pompeii around 1500 years… not ago, but BC!! Meaning all these walls, streets, windows, pots and pans are more than 3500 years old!

Read on: The excavations have stopped but it gets better…

Scenic, Volcanic, Touristic, Euphoric, Santorinic.

Χαίρετε folks!… From sensationally sunny Santorini, Greece. A spellbinding place…

Santorini is magnificently mind-blowing in all sorts of different ways simultaneously: touristically, climatically, volcanically, archeologically… But wait… I’ve been here before and aptly raptured before too. So I won’t repeat all that here – especially since nothing has really changed since last time – in 2013. The beauty’s all still here (if looking from up above), the sun’s still as bright, the sea’s not receded, and the volcanoes haven’t wiped out their surroundings…

I’ve said it many times before – as have many others – and I’ll say it many times more… pictures are worth a thousand words, so without more of a do…

Αντίο #Santorini #Greece

A photo posted by Eugene Kaspersky (@e_kaspersky) on

Read on: So, what am I doing here? Working! …

Bucking Barranco!

Climbing the Barranco lava wall of Kilimanjaro was by far the highlight of our week-long ascent up Africa’s tallest volcano – that is, after the final leg up to the summit via Stella Artois Point. It’s the bucking bronco of Kili – as it’s easy to get thrown off it as it’s so steep (!) : a 300-meter sheer wall (or so it seems at first)…

Here she is:

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Read on: What? Up that?…

Conquering Kilimanjaro.

Now for some detail on our expedition to the top of Kilimanjaro: pics, commentary, impressions and debunkings…

Ready, steady, go!…

Day 1: Lemosho Gate – Mti Mkubwa.

  • Altitude: 2400m > 2800m
  • Distance: 4km
  • Average speed: 2km/h

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And we’re off. Ahhhh, so nice to be in Africa at Christmastime. With Moscow under a foot of snow and Western Europe wet and cold and miserable, what better place to be? :)

Our first day was suitably equatorial to get us into the African spirit…

Read on: Five days and one night to the top…

Ho, ho, ho: Kilimanjaro!

At Christmastime (“ho, ho, ho”), what better to do than… climb a volcano in Africa? That’s what I asked myself in November of last year… 

…Wind forward six weeks, and there I was, at the summit of Kilimanjaro!

“The first stage of altitude sickness is euphoria: the individual becomes animated, excited, amiable, chatty… almost ecstatic. The second stage is lethargy: the person becomes despondent, sad, bored, subdued and sluggish, with no wish to converse and no appetite.”

Those are the notes I wrote based on the talk our guide in Tanzania, O.R., gave us not long after our arrival in the country. But I think she left the next stage out (she didn’t want to frighten us, after all); so let me add it: The third stage is fatal: a swift worsening of one’s physical and mental state and… hmmm, like O.R., I’d prefer not to go into it. Let me just mention what you’d need if approaching this third stage: oxygen mask, injected medicine, and a call to an SOS medical helicopter service – all ASAP.

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Read on: Oh my Google Maps! What an adventure we had…

New Year on Kili

Hello to everyone in this new year!

I hope the holidays went off well, without too much collateral damage, and that the winter break has proved useful for the mind, body and cultural development. All the usual stuff. But now it’s time to return to my tales, travel notes, reports and photos.

Starting the year as I mean to carry on – quietly… Yeah, right!

You need to start the year with a bang! Like this:

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No matter who I talk to about Kilimanjaro, they’ve either been to the summit (the majority) or intend to go there in the near future (the minority). A few days ago I joined the majority – on 31 December 2015, to be precise, I stood at the highest point of this volcano. And saw in the new year on Kili!

Due to Internet and time constraints here, the details will have to wait. For now, all I can do is have a little moan about the fact that for this kind of expedition you need to prepare well in advance and very thoroughly. It wasn’t easy.