Mount Bromo, Gunung Bromo in Indonesian, arguably one of the most spectacular active volcanoes on our planet, is part of the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, in South East of the island of Java, Indonesia.
Bromo is not the tallest of the group (which is Mount Semeru, Java’s highest peak and one of the most active volcanoes in Indonesia ), but the most famous, due to its active cone and religious significance: the name comes from Brahma, the Hindu god of creation. The summit is a pilgrimage site for the worshippers who reach the crater rim bringing offers to the gods.
What is impressive about this area, is the majestic Tengger caldera, from which rise the three peaks Bromo (2.392 m), Kursi (2.581 m) and Batok (2.581 m), composing a lunar landscape, with eerie mount Semeru in the background (3.676 m).
The best view is at sunrise from King Kong Hill on Mount Penanjakan (2.770 m), where most of the guided tours will bring you (the road is only accessible by tour agencies with 4WDs jeeps; alternatively, you can reach the viewpoint by walk, in around two hours from Cemoro Lawang).
The classic tours also include, after the sunrise viewpoint, the descent by jeep on the base of Gunung Bromo, the Sea of Sand (Laotian Pasir), and the hike to the top of Bromo’s crater (an easy 40 minutes hike, but if you want you can shorten it by riding a horse or motorbike to the bottom of the 253 steps staircase that brings you on the edge of the crater).
Visiting Mount Bromo during high season (mid-late June for local visitors and July-August for international tourism) could be crowded, with hundreds of jeeps bringing people to the viewpoints, so be aware that you might spend extra time in the traffic and be sure to get to the viewpoint on time to choose the perfect spot.
The Kondyor Massif is a unique circular igneous intrusion massif with a diameter of around 10 km and about 600 meters high, formed one billion years ago after erosion shaped the molten magma crystallized under the earth’s surface.
Located in Eastern Siberia, Russia, the massif is surprisingly rich in rare and precious minerals such as gold, silver, platinum, plutonium, uranium, and it has even its own mineral, the Konderite, a mixture of platinum, iridium, rhodium, copper, lead and sulfur.
Formerly named “Urgula” by the indigenous population, as they believed the mountain to be sacred, it is more than a thousand km far from the nearest city, Khabarovsk, and definitely not a handy place to be visited. There are no tourist infrastructure and visitors need a special permit to access the surrounding area.
The Lough Tay, located in the Wicklow Mountains, about 50 km south from Dublin, is also known as the Guinness Lake due to its shape and colours.
The white sandy beach on the northern coast makes the Guinness foam. The brown colour of the water close to the beach (due to the water coming from the streams that rise on peat covered uplands) complete the incredible visual similarity to the famous Irish pint.
You can see the lake from the R759 scenic route, or if you want a better view from the top, take the walking trail towards the Luggala mountain (accessible from the R115 — the best scenic drive in the Wicklow mountains) or the Djouce mountain, one of the most spectacular walks in the Wicklow Mountains, from which you can see the whole Dublin bay and, on a clear sky day, also the Welsh coastline.
The Lough Tay beach was chosen in 2013 as the set for the village of Kattegat in the Vikings tv series.
With its 8.848 meters above the sea level, Mount Everest is the tallest mountain on the earth, but if we consider measuring mountains from the bottom of the ocean, the highest mountain is the Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano located in the Hawaiian Big Island, with 10.210 meters (more than a km taller than Everest!).
Owing to the dry atmosphere, elevation and stable climate, Mauna Kea is one of the best sites in the world for astronomical observation. On its summit, there are observatories useful for scientific research, despite not well considered by Native Hawaiians, for whom the summits of the Hawaiian mountains are sacred places.
The Croagh Patrick (also known as “The Reek”), whose names means (St.) Patrick’s stack, is considered the holiest mountain in Ireland.
It is located in County Mayo on the Wild Atlantic Way, overlooking the Clew Bay; 764 meters high, it is the 4th highest mountains of the region.
Since the Stone Age the mountain carries on a tradition of pilgrimage; still nowadays every year (the last Friday and Sunday of July and the 15th of August) thousands of pilgrims ascend to the summit, where is believed Saint Patrick fasted for forty days in 441 AD. According to the tradition, the pilgrims should climb the mountain barefoot.
The view of the Clew Bay and the charming town of Westport from the top is absolutely outstanding. The 7km round trip walk trail starts from the Murrisk car park.
The Irta’Ale(or Erta Ale) volcano, located in the northern area of Ethiopia, Danakil depression, is one of the few existing volcanoes with permanent lava lakes (since the beginning of the 20th century).
613 meters high, it is one of the most spectacular formations of Northern Africa (like the nearby Danakil depression).
From Addis Abeba and Makelle there are organized tours for tourists: the ascent is about 3 hours, rather easy, but pay attention to the hot temperature.
The colorful flags, originated with the ancient Tibetan religion bön and typical of the mountain areas of Tibet and Himalayas are not ornaments or even simple flags: they spread wisdom, peace, strength and wellness to all living beings.
Horizontal prayer flags are called lung-ta (small and rectangular or square shape)and vertical flags are called darchor (rectangular and large, attached to vertical posts).
Their high altitude position is not accidental: the blow of the wind touches the prayers printed on the flags and the air is purified by the mantra, spreading all the virtues in space.
The five traditional colours are placed in a specific order from left: blue, white, red, green, and yellow. They represent the five elements, which balanced, produces harmony and health:
Tibetans continually arrange new flags alongside the oldies, symbolizing a welcoming of new life.
Since they are sacred, the flags should be treated with respect: they should not be placed on the ground or used for other purposes.
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