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Nature Travel

Would you climb Austria’s “Sky Ladder to Heaven”?

Austria’s 140-foot long “Sky Ladder,” or “Ladder to Heaven” connects a massive gorge on the way to the peak of Donnerkogel on the Gosaukamm mountain range.

Captured by adventure photographer Alexander Ladanivskyy, these insane panorama-ladder stairs (made out of steel cables) lie 2,297 feet above ground and overlook Gosau Lake below.

“[The Sky Ladder] is a challenge for the mind, but from a climbing point of view, it is actually one of the easier parts of the climb,” said the bridge’s designer Heli Putz.

If you’re looking to make the trek yourself, blogger Jess Dales offers a first-hand experience of climbing the Sky Ladder. Word of caution: you’ll need some climbing experience.

The Sky Ladder portion of the route is located approximately 2/3 of the way up the via ferrata. Although the ladder is only rated a “B,” and is not considered difficult relative to other sections of the climb, the exposure is intense and should not be underestimated. In heavy winds, or when others are on the ladder, the movement can be quite unnerving. 

Jess Dales
Image via Alexander Ladanivskyy
Image via Alexander Ladanivskyy
ig/zeppaio
Categories
Nature Travel

The reflective salt flats of Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

The high-altitude salt flats of Salar de Uyuni in southwest Bolivia create the world’s biggest natural mirror.

Considered one of the flattest surfaces on Earth (4,086 sq mi), the salt flats can be seen from outer space.

The salt itself is up to 32 feet thick at the center, hovering below a thin layer of water which emits the reflective mirror effect.

Visitors to the location are known to take pictures that play with the perspective of the viewer’s depth.

Check out some of the photoshop-looking optical illusions video after the jump.

via tw
IG/auspiciouspilgrim
Tw/welcometonature
Categories
Architecture & Design Health Nature Travel

Beautiful apples from around the world

William Mullan is a photographer who specializes in taking pictures of rare apples from around the world.

The golden Knobbed Russet, the star-shaped api etoile, hard red Black Oxford apple — these are just a few of the varieties that appear in Mullan’s 200-page photo-book, Odd Apples.

Writes Atlas Obscura on how Mullan’s fascination with apples came to be:

Mullan was born in the United States, but grew up in the United Kingdom, where a teenage encounter with an Egremont Russet led to his love of apples. Its spicy, persimmon-like flavor “just blew my mind,” he says. But many of the apples he’s photographed were born in North America, including such romantic cultivars as the Black Oxford and Hidden Rose.

“There’s just this sense of infinity with [apples] that I love,” Mullan says. While he imagines he’ll move on to other subjects in the future, for now, he’s still entranced by apples.

Even better, during his exhibits, he slices the apples open and passes the edibles around for his audience to enjoy.

You can follow Mullan’s work on Instagram.

Beautiful apples from around the world
Beautiful apples from around the world
Beautiful apples from around the world
Beautiful apples from around the world
Beautiful apples from around the world
Beautiful apples from around the world
Categories
Nature Travel

7 Teacups Waterfall at Patagonia, Chile

Talk about a dream place to visit.

Siete Tazas, or The Seven Teacups, is located 125 miles from Santiago, Chile. These natural rock pools stack on top of each other to create a sequence of beautiful waterfalls before emptying out into River Claro.

According to travel site BookMundi, visitors can do more than just stare in awe at the amazing waterfall. They can kayak, go rafting, or stand-up paddleboard all the way.

7 Teacups Waterfall at Patagonia, Chile
via Reddit

But for the extreme sports enthusiast, consider wakeboarding via drone. See below how pro wakeboarder Steel Lafferty made his way down the 7 freshwater basins.

Add the 7 Teacups Waterfall at Patagonia, Chile to your travel list along with the stunning rainbow waterfall at Yosemite National Park.

Categories
Architecture & Design Travel

Spooky Indonesian church shaped like a chicken

There is a bizarre-looking church in the Indonesian jungle that’s shaped like a giant chicken.

Located in the forests of Magelang, Central Java (here it is on Google Maps, Gereja Ayam or “Chicken Church” was built in 1992 by Daniel Alamsjah.

He foresaw the structure in the late 80s when he received a spiritual message from God telling him to construct a prayer house for all religions in the shape of a dove. However, given the small beak and fluffy feathers, it appears to look more like a chicken.

Closed temporarily in 2000 for renovation — the second-floor walls have since been repainted with scenes from Indonesian mythology — the church has since been reopened as a tourist attraction but still offers a religious tour.

You can learn more about the church on its official tourism website.

via twitter
Spooky Indonesian church shaped like a chicken
via twitter
Spooky Indonesian church shaped like a chicken
via twitter
Spooky Indonesian church shaped like a chicken
via twitter
Categories
Animals Nature Travel

These owls in a Tokyo cafe are named after musicians and bands

James Mollison of TOPIC ventured into one of Tokyo’s animal cafes where you can sip your coffee with your animal of choice (cats, dogs, and rabbits). But this coffee shop was a little different.

Tokyo’s Pakuchi Bar is apparently one of eight owl cafes in the big city. The owner, Tomo Nanaka, owns 30 of them which she allows in public on the weekends and on special holidays. Even more, she’s named them after musicians and bands.

Below are some of my favorite. From left to right: Kurt Cobain, The Chemical Brothers, Beck, and The Cure.

These owls in a Tokyo cafe are named after musicians and bands
Kurt Cobain, a northern white-faced owl
These owls in a Tokyo cafe are named after musicians and bands
The Chemical Brothers, a black-banded owl
These owls in a Tokyo cafe are named after musicians and bands
Beck, a snowy owl

There’s a video too.

(All images via James Mollison)

Categories
Architecture & Design Technology Travel

The musical road in the Netherlands that sings Frisian national anthem

There’s a road in the Netherlands that starts to sing the Frisian Folk Song when cars hit the right speed of 60 kph/40 mph limit.

The musical road resides in the village of Jelsum in the north part of Holland.

The structure of the strategically laid “rumble strips” was built in 2018 to celebrate the unique language and culture of the Friesland region. But the special ‘singing road’ also served as a warning to slow down speedy drivers.

However, the musical experience struck a chord (literally) with the locals who grew tired of hearing the notes 24 hours a day.

According to Dutch News, the €80,000 custom-built pavement markers were finally removed for driving (see what I did there) ‘psychological torture’.

Categories
Nature Science Travel

Everything you need to know about Yosemite’s stunning ‘firefall’ phenomenon

In what looks like a scene from a fantasy movie, the ‘firefall’ phenomenon in Yosemite is spewing lava-like water again.

Called Horsetail Fall, the fiery waterfall makes an annual appearance for two weeks around February. The fiery orange glow of the waterfall emerges from the illumination of the setting sun over the 1500 foot flowing water.

Yosemite’s stunning ‘fireball’ phenomenon
via twitter

The tight window around catching the Firefall natural phenomenon in Yosemite

The Yosemite Firefall phenomenon is a summer tradition that dates back to 1872.

People would gather at the eastern edge of El Capitan Yosemite to watch ember from the bonfires get pushed over the edge of Glacier Point, creating a man-made fiery waterfall.

Take a look at this photo of the ritual👇

As travel blogger James Kaiser notes on his blog:

For decades those words ushered in one of Yosemite National Park’s most famous spectacles: The Yosemite Firefall. Each evening in the summer, a roaring bonfire was built at the edge of Glacier Point , which towers 3,200 feet above Yosemite Valley. By sundown hundreds of spectators had gathered in Curry Village below. At 9pm sharp, a master of ceremonies in Curry Village shouted out, “Let the Fire Fall!” and the bonfire’s glowing embers were pushed over the edge of Glacier Point, creating a glittering “Waterfall of Fire.”

The National Park Service ended the Yosemite Firefall in 1968. But then nature magically took over to recreate the scene.

Today, the scientific miracle of intermixing chemicals including barium, aluminum and strontium mix together with the sunlight at dusk.

Writes Kaiser on the Yosemite Firefall website:

Then in 1973, within months of the 100-year anniversary of the first Yosemite Firefall, photographer Galen Rowell took the first known photo of the “Natural Firefall” at Horsetail Fall. That single photo ushered in an exciting new chapter in the history of the Firefall, and within a few decades the Natural Firefall had become as famous as the Manmade Firefall.

The firefall phenomenon only lasts about 10 minutes so you’ll need to be patient to catch it just as you would a solar eclipse. If you’re planning a trip to Yosemite, check out some of the best lodging sites here.

Video via Calia Domenico/tw

Categories
Travel

A navigational nightmare: Watch a time-lapse of Port of Amsterdam

The Port of Amsterdam in the Netherlands is the 4th busiest port by metric tons of cargo in Europe.

As you can see in the time-lapse of traffic patterns, navigation looks nearly impossible to control on a daily basis. So we did some digging to find out if this sort of nautical chaos was normal.

As one Twitter user noted, this time-lapse was taken during the Sail Amsterdam event which occurs every five years. This would make sense given all the fleet of tall ships and masted sails rolling about.

It’s also worth mentioning that David Bowie recorded a song in the port’s name.

In the port of Amsterdam there’s a sailor who sings

Of the dreams that he brings from the wide open sea
In the port of Amsterdam there’s a sailor who sleeps
While the river bank weeps to the old willow tree

In the port of Amsterdam there’s a sailor who dies
Full of beer, full of cries in a drunken town fight
In the port of Amsterdam there’s a sailor who’s born
On a hot muggy morn by the dawn’s early light

David Bowie, Port of Amsterdam
Categories
Architecture & Design Travel

Photographs of the aerotropolis, post-modern cities built around airports

Should the airport be the hub of the city?

According to photographer Giulio Di Sturco, the post-modern city is one of the aerotropolis, where the city, business, entertainment, and nature activities are all centered around the airport.

Di Sturco’s ongoing project Aerotropolis, The Way We Will Live Next explores the emergence of globalized architecture and generic spaces happening in Singapore, Bangkok, and Songdo, South Korea.

“These cities capture the breadth of themes running through civilization, from the re-appropriation of the natural landscape to our unquestioning faith in technology, set in the backdrop of architecture refined in elegance and logic,” writes Di Sturco.

“It is the post-modern city. A vision, or perhaps a mirage, it is a window of opportunities to solve the dilemma of modernity: reconciling economic development and sustainable growth.”

Gardens by the Bay, a nature park spanning 101 hectares of reclaimed land in central Singapore. ‘Its sci-fi interiors are nature reimagined, nurtured to fill the vast hangars of super-modernity’ From Aerotropolis, The Way We Will Live Next © Giulio Di Sturco
Bangkok International Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) is the gateway for Southeast Asia. It has the world’s tallest free-standing control tower (434 feet), and the world’s fourth largest single-building airport terminal (6,060,000 square feet). From Aerotropolis, The Way We Will Live Next © Giulio Di Sturco
New Songdo International Business District is a compelling aerotropolis strategically located just over 7 miles from Incheon International Airport. From Aerotropolis, The Way We Will Live Next © Giulio Di Sturco