Caves just don’t get any more colourful than the Reed Flute Cave!
- The Reed Flute Cave is a subterranean complex located in the Guangxi Zhuang province of China’s south, in the city of Guilin.
- The ‘Reed Flute Cave’ is also known as the ‘Guilin Reed Flute Cave’, the ‘Palace of Natural Art’ and ‘Nature’s Art Palace’.
- The Reed Flute Cave covers a distance of 240 metres (262 yards) in total, and is believed to have formed by erosion due to the movement of water.
- A variety of limestone stalactites, stalagmites, pillars and other rock formations are featured in the Reed Flute Cave, as well as stunning pools of water.
- The name of ‘ Reed Flute Cave’ was inspired by the abundance of reed prominent at the cave entrance, which has been used to create flutes and pipes.
- Writing can be found inside the Reed Flute Cave, dated to circa 792 AD, from Ancient China’s Tang Dynasty.
- After being forgotten for some 1000 years, the Reed Flute Cave was rediscovered by the area’s inhabitants in World War II, who sought protection from the Japanese military.
- The year of 1962 marks the date of official opening of the Reed Flute Cave to visitors, and millions of people have since toured the cave.
- The Reed Flute Cave contains many rock formations that take an appearance comparable to many objects of nature, including animals and a human, some of which have been given a unique name and legend.
- Man-made neon lights illuminate the Reed Flute Cave, colourfully enhancing the rock formation; and a fee is payable to enter the cave.
There is no devil hiding atop Devils Tower!
- Devils Tower is a rock butte found among the Bear Lodge Mountains in the Black Hills National Forest in the United State’s Wyoming.
- The top of Devils Tower sits at an elevation above sea level of 1558 metres (5112 feet), and it is 265 metres (867 feet) in height from the base.
- ‘Devils Tower’ is also called ‘Devils Tower National Monument’, and it was once named ‘Bear Lodge’, and has also been known as ‘Great Gray’, ‘Tree Rock’ and ‘Home of the Bear’.
- In 1892, Devils Tower became somewhat protected as part of a temporary forest reserve, and in 1906, it was named a United States National Monument, being the first monument to receive this honour.
- Devils Tower mainly comprises of igneous rock, primarily phonolite porphyry, that is arranged in a series of large columns, and there is much rubble at the base, where many of the columns have broken away and tumbled down.
- At the top of Devils Tower it is roughly 84 metres (275 feet) in diameter, while the base is around 305 metres (1000 feet) in diameter, and a walking track exists that circles around the tower.
- On the 4th of July, 1893, the first recorded climb to the summit of Devils Tower was accomplished by local ranchers William Rogers and Willard Ripley, via a ladder they made for the purpose, and today climbing the tower is still a popular activity for rock climbers.
- ‘Devils Tower’ was named as such due to a possible incorrect translation of the local native name that resulted in ‘bad god’s tower’, and there has been lobbying for it to be renamed ‘Bear Lodge National Monument’.
- Native Americans consider Devils Tower a sacred site, and as such, climbers are encouraged to avoid climbing the rock in the ceremonial month of June each year.
- Devils Tower is a popular tourist destination, and a fee is payable to visit the monument, while camping is permitted in the nearby designated camping area.
The Playa de las Catedrales is a beach rich with intriguing caves and formations.
- Playa de las Catedrales is a beach featuring numerous tall, rock cliffs and smaller formations, found in Spain’s Galicia near Ribadeo, in Europe.
- ‘Playa de las Catedrales’ is literally the Spanish for ‘Beach of the Cathedrals’, while in Portuguese, it is known as ‘Praia das Catedrais’; though its official name is ‘Playa de Aguas Santas’ in Spanish, translated literally as ‘Beach of Holy Water’.
- Only in recent decades has the Playa de las Catedrales been well known across the globe, and it was listed as a natural monument in 2005.
- During low tide, various extensive caves and rock archways are visible along Playa de las Catedrales, which are mostly hidden during high tide.
- The natural monument of Playa de las Catedrales is spread over an area of approximately 29 hectares (71.5 acres), and some of the formations reach a height of 32 metres (105 feet), with archways almost as tall.
- Playa de las Catedrales is often sited to be among the most beautiful beaches on earth, and the beach is able to be explored on foot at low tide.
- The rock formations of Playa de las Catedrales consist primarily of schist and slate, while the shapes of the rocks have been created by wind and water erosion.
- Since 2015, the number of Playa de las Catedrales beach visitors has been restricted to around only 5000 each day, and reservations to visit the beach itself, must be made in advance.
- At Playa de las Catedrales, the tide is known to come in quite suddenly, as the beach itself is relatively flat.
- Free guided tours are available at Playa de las Catedrales, and visitors are able to walk along the cliff top along the coastline.
Take in a deep breath of mountain air at the Dolomites.
- The Dolomites is a mountainous region located in Italy’s northeast, in Europe, and it is part of the Southern Limestone Alps.
- The ‘Dolomites’, or ‘Dolomiti’ in Italian, are also known as the ‘Dolomite Mountains’ and ‘Pale Mountains’, the latter translated from the Italian term ‘Monti Pallidi’.
- The Dolomites cover an area totaling 1,419 square kilometres (548 square miles) and includes nine mountain ranges.
- At least 18 peaks of the Dolomites, have an elevation greater than 3,000 metres (9,843 feet).
- The Dolomites are often noted for their picturesque scenery, from their rocky wall faces, glacial peaks and lush forests and plains.
- The Dolomites were named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009, and the mountain region features numerous nature reserves.
- At an elevation of 3,343 metres (10,968 feet), Punta Penia, of the Marmolada range, is the tallest peak of the Dolomites.
- The light grey rocks of the Dolomites are mostly sedimentary rock, such as limestone, as well as dolomite, which the mountains are named after, and the area is renowned for its quantity and quality of fossil reef specimens.
- Various sporting activities can be undertaken in the Dolomites’ region, including mountain climbing, skiing, cycling, paragliding and hiking.
- The Dolomites area was a battlefield during the course of World War I, with fighting going on between Austro-Hungary and Italy; and evidence of the war can still be seen in the region.
Would you choose the Salt Mine of Yekaterinburg for a night of accommodation?
- The Salt Mine of Yekaterinburg is a mostly deserted salt mine found underneath Yekaterinburg, Russia’s fourth largest city.
- The tunnels of the Salt Mine of Yekaterinburg are naturally patterned with colourful swirls and stripes.
- The Salt Mine of Yekaterinburg can be found at a depth of 200 metres (650 feet) below ground.
- The walls and ceilings of the tunnels of the Salt Mine of Yekaterinburg have patterns mainly ranging from red, orange, yellow, cream and white in colour; and sometimes blue colours are also evident.
- Generally the Salt Mine of Yekaterinburg is off-limits to the public; however a permit from the government can be obtained to gain access.
- The Salt Mine of Yekaterinburg is risky to journey through, due to the potential of tunnels caving in and gas leaks from hydrogen sulphide, methane and carbon dioxide.
- The tunnels of the Salt Mine of Yekaterinburg are large, some reaching greater than 6.4 kilometres (4 miles) in length.
- The atmosphere of the Salt Mine of Yekaterinburg is filled with immensely dry salty air, causing significant thirst for any visitors that may venture into its depths.
- The Salt Mine of Yekaterinburg is rich in the mineral of carnallite, containing magnesium and potassium, that is often used as an ingredient in plant fertiliser.
- The Salt Mine of Yekaterinburg became more well known in 2014, after photographer Mikhail Mishainik revealed its beauty via his photographs.
The Rock Garden of Chandigarh gives ‘garden’ a whole new meaning!
- The Rock Garden of Chandigarh is located in the city of Chandigarh in northern India, and it is a recreational area full of sculptures.
- The ‘Rock Garden of Chandigarh’ is also known as ‘Nek Chand’s Rock Garden’ and ‘Chandigarh Rock Garden’.
- The creation of the Rock Garden of Chandigarh began as a hobby in the late 1950s by Nek Chand, an Indian government road and transport employee at the time, illegally, on government land.
- The Rock Garden of Chandigarh covers an area of roughly 10.1 hectares (25 acres), while a similar, though much smaller garden made by Nek Chand, can be found in Kerala, in southern India.
- The initially illegal and secret Rock Garden of Chandigarh was first discovered in 1975 by government authorities, however the garden was not destroyed as expected, due to numerous protests from the public.
- All sculptures of the Rock Garden of Chandigarh are mostly made from recycled materials, that were typically discarded, or salvaged from buildings that were being knocked down.
- The Rock Garden of Chandigarh was officially recognised by the government in 1976, despite its illegal origins, and funds were provided by the city so that the project could grow to a larger scale, with a team of 50 workers, and Nek Chand as director.
- Thousands of people visit the Rock Garden of Chandigarh every day, and an entrance fee is payable to view the garden.
- Rock Garden of Chandigarh was subject to vandalism in 1996 to 1997, when government funds, and therefore workers, were withdrawn, while the garden’s creator, Nek Chand, was visiting the USA.
- Man-made waterfalls, over 2000 sculptures, and numerous rock formations populate the Rock Garden of Chandigarh, to create a fictional kingdom.