Silfra – Diving Between Two Continents

Silfra is a rift formed in 1789, due to the movements of the two tectonic plates that frame Þingvellir National Park in Iceland. The North American and Eurasian plates, which run all the way through Iceland, separate at about 2 centimeters per year, and as they do, they tear open fissures in the land between them.
Scuba diving and snorkeling in Silfra is popular because of its clear water and location within the continental rift. There are three main dive sites: Silfra Hall, Silfra Cathedral and Silfra Lagoon. The Cathedral is a 100 metres (330 ft) long fissure with visibility almost from end to end. Shallow at the entry points and at the ends of the fissure, Silfra descends to a maximum depth of 63 metres (207 ft) but diving to this depth is seldom done as it requires technical diving skills. The water temperature is between 2–4 °C (36–39 °F) but can be comfortably dived using a dry suit.
info wikipedia

Diego Delso / CC BY-SA

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Heaven’s Gate – a natural arch in Tianmen mountain

By Kuruman from Tokyo, Japan – IMG_2874.jpg, CC BY 2.0, Link

Tianmen Mountain National Forest Park lies 8 kilometers south of the city of Zhangjiajie in China. The mountain is best reached by cable car. Tourists can walk on kilometers of paths built onto the cliff face at the top of the mountain, including sections with glass floors. The path leading to Heaven’s Gate is 1.600 meters (5,250ft) long . An 11 km road with 99 bends also reaches the top of the mountain and takes visitors to Tianmen cave, a natural hole in the mountain of a height of 131.5 m

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The Impressive Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls  is a waterfall in southern Africa on the Zambezi River at the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. David Livingstone, the Scottish missionary and explorer, is believed to have been the first European to view Victoria Falls in 1855. Livingstone named his sighting in honour of Queen Victoria of Britain, but the indigenous Lozi language name, Mosi-oa-Tunya—”The Smoke That Thunders” continues in common usage as well. While it is neither the highest nor the widest waterfall in the world, Victoria Falls is classified as the largest, based on its combined width of 1,708 meters  and height of 108 meters  resulting in the world’s largest sheet of falling water. Victoria Falls is roughly twice the height of North America’s Niagara Falls and well over twice the width of its Horseshoe Falls.  There are two islands on the crest of the falls that are large enough to divide the curtain of water even at full flood: Boaruka Island (or Cataract Island) near the western bank, and Livingstone Island near the middle—the point from which Livingstone first viewed the falls.
imfo: wikipedia

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The Narrows – Zion National Park

By Christopher MichelThe Narrows., CC BY 2.0, Link

The Narrows is the narrowest section of Zion Canyon in Zion National Park, Utah. Situated on the North Fork of the Virgin River and upstream of the main canyon, The Narrows is one of the premier hikes in the park and on the Colorado Plateau. The Narrows refers to both the 3.6-mile (5.8 km) bottom-up hike from the Temple of Sinawava to Big Springs, as well as the 16-mile (26 km) top-down hike from Chamberlain’s Ranch back to the Temple of Sinawava.

info source: wikipedia

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The gems of Jiuzhaigou National Park

Jiuzhaigo is a nature reserve and national park located in the north of Sichuan Province in the southwestern region of China. The Jiuzhaigou valley is part of the Min Mountains on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau and stretches over 72,000 hectares. It is known for its many multi-level waterfalls, colorful lakes, and snow-capped peaks.

By Charlie fong – 个人, Public Domain, Link

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Picturesque Ramsau in the Bavarian Alps

The Church of St. Sebastian, with the Reiter Alpe in background – By Softeis – work of Softeis, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Ramsau is a German municipality in the Bavarian Alps close to the border with Austria. Notable sights of Ramsau include the third highest mountain in Germany called the Watzmann, Lake Hintersee, Lake Königssee, Wimbachklamm Gorge, the Buchenwald or Enchanted Forest and the village’s church.
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Dramatic tufa towers emerge from the surface of Mono Lake

By sam garza from Los Angeles, USA – mono lake serenity, CC BY 2.0, Link

Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve is located near Yosemite National Park within Mono County, in eastern California. The lack of an outlet to the ocean causes high levels of salts to accumulate in the lake. Many columns of limestone rise above the surface of Mono Lake. These limestone towers consist primarily of calcium carbonate minerals. This type of limestone rock is referred to as tufa, which is a term used for limestone that forms in low to moderate temperatures. The tufa originally formed at the bottom of the lake. It took many decades or even centuries to form the well-recognized tufa towers. When lake levels fell, the tufa towers came to rise above the water surface and stand as the majestic pillars seen today.
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Billow clouds look like ocean waves in the sky

By GRAHAMUK at the English language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Kelvin-Helmholtz clouds, also known as  ‘billow clouds’, look like rolling ocean waves in the sky. The clouds often form on windy days, when two air currents of varying speeds meet in the atmosphere. It’s believed that this kind of clouds inspired the swirls in van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night‘.

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Enchanting Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon in Iceland

By Wojciech Strzelecki “Wojtrix” – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Fjaðrárgljúfur is a canyon in south east Iceland. The Fjaðrá river flows through it. The canyon has steep walls and winding water. It is up to 100 m deep and about 2 kilometers long. Its origins date back to the cold periods of the Ice Age, about two million years ago. The canyon was created by progressive erosion by flowing water from glaciers through the rocks and palagonite over millennia. A waterfall flows down the western side of the canyon, visible from an observation platform at the end of a one-mile hike up the eastern edge.
In May 2019, authorities closed the canyon to visitors after it appeared in a music video by Justin Bieber. The resulting stream of visitors threatened to damage the canyon’s environment.
info: wikipedia

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Hashima, the Battleship Island

By Flickr user: kntrty https://www.flickr.com/photos/kntrty/ – Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kntrty/3720075234/, CC BY 2.0, Link

Hashima Island , commonly called Gunkanjima (meaning Battleship Island), is an abandoned island lying about 15 kilometers (9 miles) from the city of Nagasaki, in southern Japan. The island’s most notable features are its abandoned concrete buildings, undisturbed except by nature, and the surrounding sea wall. The  island established in 1887 during the industrialization of Japan and was known for its undersea coal mines. In 1974, with the coal reserves nearing depletion, the mine was closed and all of the residents departed soon after,  Interest in the island re-emerged in the 2000s on account of its undisturbed historic ruins, and it gradually became a tourist attraction. Certain collapsed exterior walls have since been restored, and travel to Hashima was re-opened to tourists in  2009. While the island is a symbol of the rapid industrialization of Japan, it is also a reminder of its history as a site of forced labor prior to and during the Second World War.
info: wikipedia
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