Valparaiso is a city that shows its past. Once a major shipping destination as discussed here, the city started to decline when the Panama Canal opened and ships were no longer required to navigate around Cape Horn.
In many ways, the city reminds me of San Francisco with the steep hills and homes built on every square inch of the city. It also has an arty vibe which is used to highlight the sentiment of the young people in the city.
But mostly I loved seeing this city was willing to share its soul. It had a past which was evident when others made it visible via their art.
location: valparaíso province, valparaíso, valparaíso region, chile
I love this petroglyph that was discovered on a trip around the four corners area. I especially love the man that is carried off by the bird. Wonder what happened to inspire the artist with that image.
Volcano National Park is a cool place to visit if you have the time to check out the Big Island in Hawaii. The Kilauea Volcano is one of the most active volcanoes in the world. According to the Go Hawaii website, the volcano "current produces 250,000 - 650,000 cubic yards of lava per day, enough to resurface a 20-mile-long, two-lane road daily. As of January 1994 (18 years ago!), 491 acres of new land have been created on Hawaii Island."
This top photo shows the Halemaumau crater, a huge expanse filled with smooth lava.
The Thurston Lava Tube is over 500 years old and is large enough to walk through. When large lava flows rush from the Volcano, the sides cooled quickly forming these tube walls.
A lush rain forest greets you at the end of the tube.
But many visitors like to see where the lava met the ocean. This arch is a commonly photographed site. A few hundred feet away, you can see where the lava overtook the asphalt and city street signs. A bit further and you could see the lava pouring into the ocean in its unpredictable way.
In the 90s, I was in college and studied at a university in Europe. During a long weekend a few friends and I took off to spend some time in London. Being surrounded by English was such a treat! We could speak so easily! And be overheard by those who sat around us. Oops.
During that trip, we walked to Trafalgar Square. This was when people could still easily buy birdseed and feed the pigeons. There were thousands of them and if you carried any birdseed, you'd be engulfed in birds. (Gross.) It was really something to see.
Evidently around 2005 they determined it was a health concern to have so many birds (some estimate 35,000 birds) in this one square. They prohibited the sale of seed and brought in birds of prey to discourage the pigeons from coming back. But I did like taking photos of that site. Everyone with their cameras capturing their friends who were barely visible under a fine coating of bird.
labels: england, london
location: 62-65 trafalgar square, city of westminster, london wc2n, uk
If you have a spare time in Phoenix, I highly recommend this trip! This is a view of Canyon Lake on the way to Tortilla Flat. Canyon Lake has a couple of marinas and places where you can watch the boats as you eat lunch. I once learned that Arizona has the highest percentage of boat regristrations per capita. In the midst of the desert, there is a lot of water.
With a current population of 6, Tortilla Flat is the last stagecoach stop on the Apache trail still in existence. It's a short drive from Phoenix, but gets you out in the desert.
If you have enough time, take the whole day and finish the entire 13 miles of the Apache Trail through the Superstition Mountains and Tonto National Forest. Currently the trail is a gravel road (at times it is only a lane wide as you wind down a mountainside, so it isn't for those who have a great fear of heights). You will see some amazing sites along the salt river with the trail ending at Roosevelt Dam. This trail is beautiful in the spring when the valleys fill with wildflowers.
labels: arizona, phoenix, usa
location: tortilla flat, az 85119, usa