Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Athirappally Falls, India

Marvel at Athirapally Falls, is one of India's biggest cascades, emerging from numerous streams flowing through a thick forest landscape. The stunning 330-feet wide and 80-feet high, “Athirapally falls” in Kerala have fairly earned the title of being the “Niagara Falls of India”. The falls is located near the Chalakudy River and Sholayar Ranges, 55km northeast of the Kochi Airport, Athirapally waterfalls have been enticing its visitors. The traveling to this falls is enthralling and wonderful adorned with palms and coconut trees. The road down to “Athirapally Falls” is breathtaking! Snake roads filled with an astonishing range of flora and fauna - rubber trees, palm trees, coconut trees and small streams running amidst them. Almost all roads in Kerala are scenic and make the drive even more interesting. Travelers cannot get tired of the natural beauty of greens in Kerala while driving on the roads to Athirapally falls.

There is also a trek of 2 km to reach the falls the roaring sounds of these falls, mist over the rushing water and the natural beauty all around will surely steal your heart away. During monsoon, the trek turns slippery and is filled with little frogs jumping here and there. Visitors walk around 15 minutes and you can hear the massive sound of the falls, see the river flowing past huge rocks and trees. The Vazhachal falls are also situated nearby, and you can couple this attraction with Athirapally. Infect, Athirapally Falls is magnificent and magical, by experiencing this place. Monsoons add to the charm of these falls. Though, trekking up there during that season can be risky. You would also find some local fishermen catching fish and even kids diving into the river water however swimming is not recommended during the rainy season.

The falls are so huge that for a minute you can't believe that they can be so huge. You also thank yourself that the trek is worth it as you again go down towards the falls. The massive volume of the water that flows down the mountains is overwhelming and tranquillizing at the same time. The soothing cool breeze coupled with the gentle chirping of birds from the forest nearby is a welcome change from the din of city life, and you will meticulously relish a trip here with friends and family. Plantations in the area contain teak, bamboo, and eucalyptus. Environmentalists claim that Athirappilly-Ayyampuzha is a one-of its-kind riparian ecosystem in Kerala.

If you’re planning to go to Kerala, then a visit to the Athirapally Falls becomes a must-watch experience as it is a favorite destination for all those who love the magnificence of nature and beauty. The best time to visit the fall is during the monsoon when the rain water is falling on the river, and fishermen are busy catching fish sitting by the river. There are many treks around the hilly area to explore the falls and the guide rightly calls the beauty lingers on in the mind forever. The scenic beauty of Athirappilly falls has always been attractive to filmmakers. Although astonishing on the silver screen, the beauty of Athirapally is even more breathtaking in real life and makes it well worthy experience!

Friday, 25 August 2017

The Stelvio Pass, The Most Spectacular Zigzag Path in the World

The Stelvio Pass is located in the Ortler Alps in Italy between Stilfs in South Tyrol and Bormio in the province of Sondrio, about 75 km from Bolzano and near 200 meters from the Swiss border. It is named for its proximity to the town of Stelvio, situated at 2757 meters above sea level and is one of those most amazing and spectacular places on Earth. The Stelvio Pass was actually built in 1820-1825 by the Austrians and has since changed very little. Due to its prime location between the Austrian, Swiss and Italian borders the passage was of great strategic position for years and was the scene of armed combat during the First World War. It’s one of the most wonderful road pass in Europe. Although some accidents have already taken place in this high-altitude road, especially among people who underrate the difficulty involved in traversing its zigzag path.

Thus, one after another, the 48 hairpin turns, extend over 24 kilometers away, with an average gradient of 7.5%. It is the highest paved mountain pass in the Eastern Alps and the second highest in the Alps, just 13 meters below the Col de l'Iseran, France. Therefore, it is an almost unreal scenario, the way to Davos, through Bormio, is remarkable and attractive without traffic. Hence careful exercise required for extreme caution when passing on-coming traffic, over-taking and around corners. The Stelvio Pass is open from June to Sep, however, can be closed anytime, if high snow falls. The Stelvio Pass retains an importance for sport lovers, it become a cyclist track, when Grand Tour of Giro d'Italia often crosses the Stelvio Pass, Every year, the pass is closed to motor vehicles on one day in late August when about 8,000 cyclists ride on the Stelvio.

Moreover, the Stelvio Pass was also selected by the British automotive show Top Gear as its choice for the "greatest driving road in the world", though their search was concentrated only in Europe. The road over the pass, known as Stilfser Joch in German, toughest and most spectacular climbing is from the Prato side; Bormio side approach is more tame. Local drivers have been described as 'homicidal'. It's possibly the most historic of all climbs ever used in pro cycling, a giant in every sense. Indeed this road is very exhilarating and sometimes very exposed and unsecured driveway in innumerable twists and turns.

The drive is definitely worth it. There are many excellent photo opportunities here. Don’t forget your camera! The Stelvio’s height can mean that it’s a wildly erratic and somewhat volatile mountain where the weather can turn in an instant, so be prepared. There’s little wonder why the Stelvio is one of the most snapped roads in the world. No less than 48 hairpin bends on its eastern face make it an icon like no other. Hence, be careful that this is one of the last Alpine passes to open to traffic each year, and it’s not unidentified for the road to stay closed until July if there’s been a late fall of snow.

Reynisfjara Beach, Iceland

White sandy beaches are off course yes for all. But what you do, when there’s a lava beach that has risen from the ashes? Actually, Iceland has many volcanic beaches, but Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach is hands down the coolest with its black sand, insane basalt columns, lava formations, towering cliffs, and caves. One of the rarest beaches on the planet is located near the village of Vík í Mýrdal, in Iceland, which faces the open Atlantic Ocean and is situated in 180 kilometers from Reykjavik. You won’t find garbage on the beach; people are infrequently guests here due to the cold and wet weather. Southern Iceland is framed by a black sand beach that was ranked in 1991 as one of the ten most beautiful non-tropical beaches in the world.
In Iceland this is wettest place, as rains are permanent feature, as here for 340 days a year. Moreover sand is also clean from the stones and any other impurities. It’s clean fine sand of tremendously black color! The clarification is very simple, because during the volcanic eruption, lava flowed into the ocean and cooled there, and then, for the long centuries water used to break it into tiny particles making exceptional kind of sand. Thus, progressively the water ousted it to the coast. The American journal “Islands Magazine” named this outstanding black beach one of the 10 most astonishing non-tropical beaches on the planet. The coastline of the strange black sand beach stretches for five kilometers.
The black basalt columns are called “Reynisdrangar” and they appeared as a result of exposure of the water on the coastal cliffs. They are located next to the majestic towering mountain Reynisfyadl. Furthermore, this area is popular for its caves and huge black boulders. The creatures petrified here, when couldn’t hide from the sun in time. However, to drag three ships ashore, other to sink the Icelandic ship. The locals of such unusual places like this like to turn everything into a fairy tale, maybe, to attract tourists, or they can really trust in it. Moreover, cold water of the coast beach, the infinite fogs, penetrating winds and somber landscapes but a sense of delight wins the gloom; everything here seems to be very distinct and scarce! The unreal surroundings beckon travelers, photographers and filmmakers. Some kind of science fiction or horror film is often filmed here. Reynisfjara black sand beach is seriously one of the coolest places in Iceland. A MUST see for anyone doing a South Iceland drive or looking for a day trip from Reykjavik.

Monday, 21 August 2017

Laguna Verde, Bolivia

Southwest Bolivia contains some of the world's wildest and most remarkable landscapes, including the Laguna Verde, backed by the dormant 19,555ft Licancábur volcano. Laguna Verde is also called "green lake" actually a salt lake in an endorheic basin, in the southwestern Altiplano in the Sur Lípez Province of the Potosí Department in Bolivia. Laguna Verde is close to the Chilean border, at the foot of the volcano Licancabur. In the backdrop of the lake there is the perfectly cone shape inactive volcano Licancabur is believed that an ancient crypt used to be at its peak. Moreover NASA used the upper reaches of Licancábur for tests to prepare for future missions to Mars.
The Laguna Verde covers an area of 1700 ha, and a narrow causeway divides it into two parts. It is at the southwestern extremity of the Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve and Bolivia itself. It has mineral suspensions of arsenic and other minerals which renders color to the lake waters. Its color varies from turquoise to dark emerald depending on the disturbance caused to sediments in the lake by winds. Therefore, icy cool winds are a common marvel here and lake waters can reach temperatures as low as -56 degree C but because of its chemical composition its waters still remain in a liquid state. It is 30 kilometers far from Palques Lake. This is one of some striking colored lakes, including the Laguna Colorada, where the fiery red waters and arctic-white shores a result of salt and borax deposits contrast with the colors of the lake's three species of breeding flamingos. Moreover you can climb the volcano or join a tour of the lakes and other landscapes, including the vast and similarly celebrated salt pans to the north.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Playa de Gulpiyuri – A Strange Beach in the Middle of a Meadow

Playa de Gulpiyuri is a strange beach as we know it, has 50m of sand but it’s actually in the middle of a field, around 100m from the sea. A tunnel beneath the rocks channels water from the Cantabrian Sea into a cove, beach is off the A8 road between Santander and Oviedo. Gulpiyuri Beach is nothing like anything you’d have ever seen, or even imagined existed outside of imaginary books or fictional planets. Playa de Gulpiyuri is one of the most astonishing beaches in the world, tucked away into a small inland hollow. The other famous hot water beach of New Zealand or California’s glass beach, but none like the beach of Gulpiyuri. The beach is over 100 meters away from the sea shoreline and stumbling over a small appealing beach right in the middle of a green meadow. And though you may find other beaches totally hidden from the open sea, around the world, this one is actually fully tidal and even has waves bathing the small strip of golden sand.
Though sometimes referred to as the “world’s smallest beach,” Playa de Gulpiyuri is one of the world’s strangest and picturesque. This tiny golden sand beach, with crystal clear waters and hemmed in by cliffs, is frequently voted as being Asturias' best. Moreover, the salt waters of the Cantabrian Sea bored through the earth, forming a series of underground tunnels that constantly feed water to Gulpiyuri Beach. Water from the nearby Bay of Biscay comes in through the underground tunnel network and washes up on Gulpiyuri in gentle waves, adding to the charm of this magical cove. Playa de Gulpiyuri in Llanes is now listed as a natural monument by the Principality of Asturias.
Therefore, the shallow crystal clear water of this place acts as a swimming invitation that cannot be refused, but you may find it a little cold, because the water tends to remain underground for a while, before washing into Gulpiyuri Beach. If you visiting this magical beach then make sure during the peak summer months, it can and does get busy. Because, hundreds of visitors a day flock here to take images. It has the uncertain reputation of being one of Spain's most photographed beaches. At high tide you can just about swim, although at most times, the water levels remain at knee height, shallow enough to ensure that the Atlantic chill has been taken off, but still fairly cold.