The upside down hotel said to have inspired the sandcrawler vehicle of the Star Wars

By Neil RickardsFlickr: 004648, CC BY 2.0, Link

The Hotel du Lac in Tunis was designed in the Brutalist style by the Italian architect Raffaele Contigiani and built from 1970 to 1973. It was constructed on 190 reinforced concrete piles up to 60 m (200 ft) deep, and built from exposed concrete around a steel structure, creating a single long block with ten floors, with large windows. Projecting cantilevered stairs at each end create an inverted pyramid shape. The striking design, departing from traditional Arab and European architecture, made the hotel a symbol of modernism in Tunis. Its distinctive shape has prompted comparisons with the sandcrawler vehicle of the Star Wars films. The hotel closed in 2000. It was bought by the Libyan Arab Foreign Investment Company (LAFICO) in 2013, which proposed demolishing the building and spending up to $100m to replace it with a new five-star hotel tower. Concerns about imminent demolition were raised again in 2019.
info: Wikipedia
Continue reading The upside down hotel said to have inspired the sandcrawler vehicle of the Star Wars

Advertisements

The Arches of Alabama Hills

Rocks of the Alabama Hills with the Sierra Nevada in the background, winter dawn – By steveberardi – originally uploaded to Flickr as Alabama Hills, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

The Alabama Hills are a range of hills and rock formations near the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada in the Owens Valley in California, United States. Dozens of natural arches are among the main attractions at the Alabama Hills. They can be accessed by short hikes from the Whitney Portal Road, the Movie Flat Road and the Horseshoe Meadows Road. Among the notable features of the area are: Mobius Arch, Lathe Arch, the Eye of Alabama and Whitney Portal Arch. The Alabama Hills are a popular filming location for television and movie productions, especially Westerns set in an archetypical “rugged” environment.

Continue reading The Arches of Alabama Hills

The Windmills of Kinderdijk

By EOSPhotoOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Kinderdijk is situated in the Alblasserwaard polder at the confluence of the Lek and Noord rivers. To drain the polder – like much of the Netherlands, Kinderdijk lies below sea level – a system of 19 windmills was built around 1740. This group of mills is the largest concentration of old windmills in the Netherlands. The windmills of Kinderdijk are one of the best-known Dutch tourist sites. They have been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1997.

Info source: Wikipedia
Continue reading The Windmills of Kinderdijk

Dry Tortugas

Fort Jefferson at the Dry Tortugas. The clear waters in shallow areas surrounding the fort, seen easily in the photo, are popular for snorkeling and scuba diving. (By U.S. National Park Service – U.S. National Park Service [1]; English Wikipedia, original upload 2 March 2005 by Brian0918, Public Domain, Link)

The Dry Tortugas are a small group of islands, located in the Gulf of Mexico at the end of the Florida Keys, United States,  known for its famous marine life, its legends of pirates and sunken gold, and its military past. The first Europeans to discover the islands were the Spanish in 1513, led by explorer Juan Ponce de León. The archipelago’s name derives from the lack of fresh water springs, and the presence of turtles. Turtles provided a food source to the pirates who roamed the waters around the islands in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and used adult turtle meat as currency for trade.

Fort Jefferson located on Garden Key in the lower Florida Keys within the Dry Tortugas National Park, is a massive but unfinished coastal fortress. In the middle of construction, the Civil War broke out, and building materials were increasingly hard to come by. This bastion remained in Union hands throughout the Civil War. It later was used as a prison until abandoned in 1874.
info: Wikipedia
Continue reading Dry Tortugas

World’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge in the Swiss Alps

Gemeinde Randa [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge is the longest hanging bridge for pedestrian use in the world. It is located in Randa, Switzerland ,and replaced  a previous bridge that had been damaged by rock falls.  The bridge spans 494 meters (1621 feet), and upon its inauguration in July 2017 became the longest suspension bridge built for pedestrian travel.  It employs 8 tonnes  of cables, and has a system that prevents it from swinging. It’s highest point is 85m and it’s only 65cm wide. It takes almost 10 minutes to cross it and in the middle, swaying walkers are at the highest point: 85 m.

Trona Pinnacles recognizable in more than a dozen hit movies.

By Bureau of Land ManagementBLM Winter Bucket List #7: Trona Pinnacles, California, for Out of This World Rock Formations, Public Domain, Link

The Trona Pinnacles are an unusual geological feature in the California Desert National Conservation Area. The unusual landscape consists of more than 500 porous rock formed as a deposit when springs interact with other bodies of water, rising from the bed of the Searles Lake dry basin. Known as tufa pinnacles, these strange shapes formed underwater 10,000 to 100,000 years ago. The pinnacles vary in size and shape from short and squat to tall and thin, They now sit isolated and slowly crumbling away near the south end of the valley, surrounded by many square miles of flat, dried mud and with stark mountain ranges at either side. The Pinnacles are recognizable in more than a dozen hit movies. Over thirty film projects a year are shot among the tufa pinnacles, including backdrops for car commercials and sci-fi movies and television series such as Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Disney’s Dinosaur, The Gate II, Lost in Space, and Planet of the Apes.
info source: wikipedia
Continue reading Trona Pinnacles recognizable in more than a dozen hit movies.

Incredible ice shards pile up along Lake Michigan shorelines

During the winter, 56% of the Lake Michigan was frozen as temperatures reached negative 23 degrees Fahrenheit. As the frozen lake started melting, water underneath the ice pushed broken pieces of ice against one another and  up to the surface transforming the region into a magical wonderland.