Category Archives: Photo Story

Telling important and interesting stories using just photos and short captions. Travel writing with a touch of photojournalism, artistry, and creativity.

Top 10 Best Things To Do In Tenerife

To have the best time of your life on Tenerife Island, here are our suggestions for the top 10 best things to do in Tenerife, part of the Canary Islands in Spain.

Pro Tip: Book your accommodation in a central location that is close to popular attractions, restaurants, and bars.

1. Visit the famous Teide National Park and hike to the top of Mount Teide, the highest peak in Spain.

2. Enjoy the beautiful beaches of Tenerife and go swimming, surfing, or snorkeling in the crystal clear waters.

3. Visit the historic town of La Laguna, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and explore its beautiful architecture and museums.

4. Experience the nightlife of Tenerife and visit some of the popular clubs and bars in Playa de las Americas or Los Cristianos.

Los Cristianos Coast in Tenerife

5. Go on a boat tour and see the dolphins and whales in their natural habitat.

6. Visit the Loro Parque, a famous zoo and amusement park, and see the exotic animals and thrilling rides.

7. Try some of the local cuisine, such as papas arrugadas (wrinkled potatoes) and mojo (spicy sauce), and taste some of the famous wines of Tenerife.

8. Visit the Mount Teide Observatory and see the stars and planets through the telescopes.

9. Take a trip to the neighboring island of La Gomera and explore its beautiful forests and nature reserves.

10. Relax and unwind in one of the many spas and wellness centers in Tenerife and rejuvenate your mind and body.

You can also try out water sports such as surfing, scuba diving, and snorkeling in the crystal clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean. But most importantly, take time to relax and unwind at the end of your trip, enjoying the island’s peaceful atmosphere and beautiful sunsets.

2020’s Year in Pictures: Past Year Review

What a year it has been! No words can fully describe all the chaos and interesting chain-of-events that took place in 2020. Many of these changes will continue to transform the world forever.

Remote work, telemedicine, political dysfunction, money printing, pandemic control, vaccine production, home schooling (just to name a few massive trends) — 2020 was one of those years where a decade has happened.

From climate change, to systemic racism, to rising wealth inequality to combating a raging pandemic which no one could effectively control in most of the world has taught us many critical lessons. Hopefully, some of these lessons will make our world a better, safer, and fairer place for all.

Okay with that said and as we are all preparing to wrap up the year, we bring you 2020 year-in-pictures.

Australia Forest Fire

Taal Volcano

Taal volcano erupts in the Philippines. From a green oasis to red death. The volcano has had several violent eruptions in the past, causing loss of life on the island and the populated areas surrounding the lake, with the death toll over 6000 as of date.

Covid Outbreak in China

Within months, the virus outbreak went loose and spread across the entire planet. Travel started to slow down and nations-states started to close their borders.

Initially, as the testing rate was low and death rate were high, panic and an impending sense of doom was all over the news. Everyone was taking extra precautions and by March, WHO declared Coronavirus a Pandemic.

Covid Testing

With time covid testing and tracing became humanity’s only chance of hope.

George Floyd

The unfortunate event that led to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis sparked a series of protests around the country and later across the globe around systemic racism, gender inequality, government corruption, police brutality, and other social injustices.

The protests against the police brutality and issues around the police reform led to more cases getting surfaced with either police forces using excessive force or not taking actions at all. This led to month long protests, riots, death, damage, and chaos.

California & West Coast Forest Fires

2020 US Election

This was the most important election in the recent US history. On the one side, it was pro-Trump nationalists with America-First at all cost camp vs the progressive democrats who wanted America take back the global leadership role.

Covid Lockdowns

Once the covid19 cases surpassed a million and continued rising at an alarming rate, the governments around the world had no choice but to start locking down businesses, transportation, and other human activities.

The national lockdowns around the world resulted in millions of small businesses going out of business, millions of people losing their jobs, and causing both a severe economic depression and mental health epidemic. The “real economy” is far from normal no matter what the stock markets might be telling you.

5G Launched

The long awaited 5G (fifth generation) technology finally started getting rolled out and new phone models were launched which are now 5G compatible. 5G will bring Gigabit speed for its users. Furthermore, 5G networks are predicted to reach almost 2 billion subscribers worldwide by 2025.

SpaceX, NASA & ISS

NASA astronauts were launched in a historic test flight to International Space Station (ISS) in SpaceX Dragon. This was a huge deal not just in the field of reusable-Rocket Science, but also because it made America finally independent. Up until now, all commercial launches used to be done by Russia.

Bitcoin as Digital Gold

The year 2017 put Bitcoin into the mainstream news but it was not until this year’s rise in Bitcoin price which validated Bitcoin’s true potential as a digital store of value. With the new all time high price and market cap, Bitcoin continues to lead the digital financial revolution.

Locust Swarm

As if Coronavirus was not already bad enough, the 2020 locust infestation wrecked havoc and threatened the food supply across East Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and the Indian subcontinent. The locust outbreak this year was the worst in 70 years in Kenya, and the worst in 25 years in Ethiopia, Somalia, and India.

Murder Hornets

Speaking of Biblical level plagues, infestation, and disease, 2020 gave us three new species of murder hornets in the Pacific Northwest in North America. These are Asian giant hornets, a species that recently invaded North America.

The bigger problem is that they are a threat to bees and without bees everything else goes down in the food chain beginning with the trees. This is a huge problem that we don’t know how to solve it yet. Only time will tell.

Brexit Finalized

Brexit officially happened on January 31, 2020 and the UK has been in a transition period until the end of 2020. There are plenty of both the doom warnings and good days, but no body knows for sure how this will impact the UK in 10 years. The way things are going in the world, this doesn’t look like a happy ending for the British people.

Healthcare Workers Celebrated as True Heroes

Finally, to end this year end review on a positive note, we would like to thank our healthcare workers and all essential workers who make this world run. Covid19 made us realize that the true heroes are the people who lift up other people’s burden and take care of our sick. They were indeed the angels we needed to survive this pandemic!

If you think we are missing some key events from this year, please comment below and we will make sure to add it to our photo story.

Thanks for reading and we wish you a Happy 2021! This time is different 😉

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Nazca Lines in Peru: A Photo Gallery

Nazca is the capital of the Nazca Province located in the Ica District of the Ica region of Peru.

The Nazca Lines are a group of very large geoglyphs made in the soil of the Nazca Desert in southern Peru. They were created between 500 BC and 500 AD by people making depressions or shallow incisions in the desert floor, removing pebbles, and leaving differently colored dirt exposed.

For decades anthropologists, ethnologists, and archaeologists have studied the ancient Nazca culture to try to determine the purpose of the lines. In general, one common hypothesis is that the Nazca people created them to be seen by the deities in the sky.

The Nazca Lines were designated in 1994 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Most lines run straight across the landscape, but there are also figurative designs of animals and plants. The individual figurative geoglyph designs measure between 0.4 and 1.1 km (.2 and .7 mi) across.

The combined length of all the lines is over 1,300 km (800 mi), and the group cover an area of about 50 km2 (19 sq mi).

The lines are typically 4 to 6 inches deep. They were made by removing the top layer of reddish-brown iron oxide-coated pebbles to reveal a yellow-grey subsoil.

The width of the lines varies considerably, but over half are slightly over just over 1 foot wide. In some places they may be only 1 ft wide, and in others they could reach up to 6 feet wide.

Some of the Nazca lines form shapes that are best seen from the air, though they are also visible from the surrounding foothills. The shapes are usually made from one continuous line.

The figures vary in complexity. Hundreds are simple lines and geometric shapes; more than 70 are zoomorphic designs, including a hummingbird, spider, fish, condor, heron, monkey, lizard, dog, cat, and a giant human.

Other shapes include trees and flowers. Furthermore interesting to note, the largest lines are about 370 m long.

Because of its isolation and the dry, windless, stable climate of the plateau, the lines have mostly been preserved naturally for ages.

How To Get Here

The high, arid plateau stretches more than 80 km (50 mi) between the towns of Nazca and Palpa on the Pampas de Jumana, approximately 400 km (250 mi) south of Lima.

The main PE-1S Panamericana Sur runs parallel to it. The main concentration of designs is in a 6 mi by 2 mi rectangle, south of San Miguel de la Pascana hamlet. This is the region where most of the notable geoglyphs are visible.

Nazca People

A Nazca Female Figure (made of sperm whale tooth, shell and hair)

Although some local geoglyphs resemble Paracas glyphs, scholars believe the Nazca Lines were created by the Nazca culture.

Nazca society developed and flourished over 1500 years. Their history can be divided into four phases: the Proto Nazca (100 BC – 1 AD), the Early Nazca (1–450 AD), Middle Nazca (450–550 AD), and Late Nazca (550–750 AD).

Strongly influenced by the preceding Paracas culture, which was known for extremely complex textiles, the Nazca produced an array of crafts and technologies such as ceramics, textiles, and geoglyphs.

They are known for two extensive construction projects that would have required the coordination of large groups of laborers:

  1. Nazca Lines, immense designs in the desert whose purpose is unknown, and
  2. Puquios, underground aqueducts for providing water for irrigation and domestic purposes in the arid environment.

Note: Several dozen Puquios are still function today. Think about that! Talk about ancient engineering!

Palpas glyphs

The Paracas culture is considered by some historians to be the possible precursor that influenced the development of the Nazca Lines. In 2018, drones used by archaeologists revealed 25 geoglyphs in the Palpa province that are being assigned to the Paracas culture.

Many predate the associated Nazca lines by a thousand years.

Some demonstrate a significant difference in the subjects and locations, such as some being on hillsides.

Paracas Candelabra, Peru

Chinchas glyphs

Further north from the Nazca, Palpas region and along the Peruvian coast are other glyphs from the Chincha culture that have also been discovered.

The Fall of Nazca Civilization

From 500 AD, the civilization started to decline and by 750 AD the civilization had fallen completely. This is thought to have occurred when an El Niño triggered widespread and destructive flooding.

Evidence also suggests that the Nazca people may have exacerbated the effects of these floods by gradually cutting down Prosopis pallida trees to make room for maize and cotton agriculture.

These trees play an extremely important role as the ecological keystone of this landscape: in particular preventing river and wind erosion.

Gradual removal of trees would have exposed the landscape to the effects of climate perturbations such as El Niño, leading to erosion and leaving irrigation systems high and dry.

Times have changed 

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Canadian Prairies: A Photo Gallery

The Canadian Prairies (usually referred to as simply the Prairies in Canada) is a region in Western Canada. It includes the Canadian portion of the Great Plains and the Prairie Provinces, namely:

  • Alberta – a province floating on an underground sea of oil and gas. The Rocky Mountains and foothills on its western flank, two metropolitan cities in the middle, cowboy culture in the south, vast forests to the north, and green farmland in the center and east.
  • Saskatchewan – Canada’s agricultural breadbasket with wide-open skies, thousands of recreational lakes, huge natural parks, and two compact main cities.
  • Manitoba – home to more history and heritage, plus several of the continent’s largest lakes. The south is mostly farmland with some woodlands, and in the north, you have vast forest wilderness leading to tundra, polar bears, and beluga whales along the Hudson Bay coast.

Prairies landscape

Welcome to Canadian Prairies

Map of the Canadian Prairies

Photo by Wikiepedia under CCBYSA 3.0

These provinces are partially covered by grasslands, plains, and lowlands, mostly in the southern regions.

Though the word “prairie” means grassland, this region also contains mountains, hills, lakes, shoreline, and metropolitan cities.

Viaduct Bridge Valley Railroad, Alberta, Canada

Before You Go

Travel to the Prairies is precisely the opposite of an archetypal British “city break” to Spain, Central Europe, etc., with its cheap short-haul flights and railways, compact historic city centers full of castles and churches, and cheap drinks and accommodations.

Watrous, Saskatchewan

Here distances are vast, prices are high, and the architecture is…functional. But what the region does have to offer in spades is the unique freedom that only wide-open space can provide, like a cool climate version of the Australian Outback or American Southwest.

A lightning strike in the Prairies

In fact, the best international equivalents to the Prairies in terms of landscape and climate are the Taiga and Steppes of Russia but here you’ll find a Canadian level of amenities and services, and all in English if you desire.

You can drive for an hour without seeing anyone

How To Get Here

Sunset in Manitoba

International and transcontinental flights go to Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, and to a lesser extent, Regina and Saskatoon.

You can enter from the United States at numerous land crossings. Roads through the Rockies include the Trans-Canada Highway, Yellowhead Highway, and Crowsnest Pass Highway.

Canadian Rockies

From Ontario, the Trans-Canada or a detour through the United States is the only land options.

The Via Rail services from Vancouver and Toronto to Winnipeg, Saskatoon, and Edmonton run twice a week on The Canadian service. Because the service is limited, the train provides more of a sightseeing service and is not practical for day-to-day traveling.

Countryside prairies

Getting Around

 

The best way to travel in the Prairies is by car. The Prairies are served by Highway No 1 and 16 from west to east.

There are also Via Rail services in Winnipeg, Saskatoon, and Edmonton. The Canadian connects these cities twice a week.

Rider Express: Bus service along the Trans-Canada Highway from Vancouver to Calgary, and between Edmonton and Regina via Saskatoon.

Other bus companies provide limited service on some other routes. Transit in the largest cities is good and it is not necessary to have a car, but in other places, it is highly recommended.

Farm life

Sunset in prairies

Day Trips

The most famous day trip in the region is also a north-south route through the Rockies: the Icefields Parkway, which is considered at “must-do” drive between Jasper and Lake Louise.

Jasper National Park, Alberta

If you’d rather see the Rockies on the horizon but drive through the Foothills where cattle ranches predominate, take the Cowboy Trail (Alberta Highway 22). A further extension north from either the Icefield or Cowboy routes this is the so-called “Scenic Route to Alaska” on Alberta Highway 40 leading to Northern Alberta.

Note: Long-distance travel by bicycle, horse, or on foot on these highways is legal but almost impossible for most people because of the distances involved. Try the Trans Canada Trail, instead, but again be mindful of the vast distances involved.

Prairie dogs

Bison in prairies

A bison herd in the prairies

Other Things To See In Canadian Prairies

Photo by Shaund CCBYSA3.0

  • Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park – a hilly island surrounded by a sea of grasslands, straddling the Alberta-Saskatchewan border, as well as the famous Dinosaur Museum at Drumheller, and the World Heritage dig site at Dinosaur Provincial Park near Brooks.

Dinosaur Provincial Park

  • The Alberta Rockies, including Banff National Park the oldest and most popular national park in Canada, famed for stunning mountain scenery such as world-renowned Lake Louise, and Jasper National Park a less crowded alternative to Banff for mountains and wildlife.

Cabin life at Lake Louise

  • Riding Mountain National Park is renowned for its “watchable” wildlife and forms the core of the Riding Mountain Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Wood Buffalo National Park – home to the rare wood bison or “buffalo”, the largest national park in Canada and UNESCO World Heritage Site, mostly inaccessible by road, but great for trekking or canoe camping.

A Bison by the water

  • Churchill – claimed as the Polar Bear and Beluga Whale Watching Capital of World, this is where the cold Arctic waters of Hudson Bay touch the Prairie provinces. Go here for a cold-weather safari.

  • Do a canoeing circuit at Lac La Biche, Alberta.
  • Shop at West Edmonton Mall, North America’s largest which includes an indoor roller coaster and waterside park, cinema, bowling alley, ice rink, shooting rang, go-kart track, and more than 500 shops.
  • Try whitewater rafting in Kananaskis, Alberta.

Kananaskis Lake, Alberta

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5 Terrifying Tales Of Isolated Islands

Isolated and dejected, you might think only you feel that way. But there are several islands around the world going through the same feeling.

There are bone-chilling tales about the islands which are off-limits to visitors. If you are daring enough, set your sails to the hauntingly mysterious islands which have a lot of secrets to bare.

NORTH BROTHER ISLAND

On a warm sunny morning, the members of the St Mark Lutheran’s Evangelical Church were ready to enjoy a picnic. They boarded a ship General Slocum to make their way from Lower East side to Eaton’s Neck. But they did not know that it was the last trip they would ever make.

Flames engulfed the entire ship, turning the smiles into tears. Hence, The captain had no choice but to steer the ship to nearby North Brother Island.

Here a thousand corpses lay, mangled and burnt. And those who did not make it to the shore died drowning in the dark waters without any life support. Till this day, General Slocum rots beneath the ominous waters near North Brother Island.

SOLOVKI

Monks and monasteries are peaceful places where the most troubled soul can attain peace. When monks settled in Solovki islands, that was the way. But change was soon coming to the island.

The Soviet Union made the island into a prison. Those who guilty of theft, murder, blasphemy spent their life in isolation and torture.

Ivan the Terrible sent 400 prisoners every year. He sentenced convicts who fought against him in Russian civil war.

By the end of the 1890s, the monastery had become a nightmare. Chopped heads, bodies hanging from sea hooks, frozen prisoners – and many horrifying tortures took place in Solovki.

If you still think all Islands are white sands and palm trees, think again!

TIBURON ISLAND

Image Credit

Tom Grindell was an Arizonian Prospector inquisitive about the Tiburon Island. He made a team of four people, including him to discover the unknown frontiers of Tiburon.

On June 10th, 1905 they set the sails to the island. But their families never saw them again. Tom Grindell’s brother Edward wanted to know what went wrong with his brother. So, he set off to the island.

The locals told him that Seri killed a group of Americans. He only found hands tied to stakes, around dance rings. His brother and team became the victim of Seri tribe, who inhabit the land.

They are a bunch of cannibals who feed like wild animals. They do killing and pillage just for giggles. Mexican government once tried to civilize them, but whether it bore results, nobody knows.

NAZINO CANNIBAL ISLANDS

Image Credit

The gruesome scenes you watch in movies is nothing compared to what happened in another cannibal island Nazino islands.

In 1933 Nazino Island saw 6200 people dropped off here. They had nothing more than raw flour. After ten days of starvation and death by contaminated water, people started feasting on each other. Nazino island earned its new name “Cannibal Island.”

SOROK ISLAND

Image Credit

Like all above-mentioned islands, Sorok Island is now accessible. But the beauty and restoration does not hide the agonizing past.

Sorok Island was once a leper colony. Those who contracted the disease became objects of the experiment for the scientists who studied the disease. Their disease became their curse. Days after days they worked like slaves, with little to eat.

Oppressed by the overseers and not allowed to cross the island. Finally, in 2007, a bridge was built which connects the mainland to the Sorok Island.

Hot & Sizzling Vintage Photos of Sunbathing & Tanning

Sunbathing became a trend when tanning became a beauty standard. In the Renaissance time, paleness set the bar for beauty, but in 1923 Coco Chanel accidentally popularized the bronzed skin. She was on a Mediterranean Cruise when she got sun-burnt.

Now, the fashion icon set a trend for the privileged classes that tan was the new sexy. Here are 15 photos from the last century which tell us a story of how sun-bathing evolved.

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There were Tanning Booths in beaches called Solarium. As you can see “Let the sun bathe your skin” was the tagline of the booths. But Here are two women outside a tanning booth in St. Petersburg, Russia 1929, trying out a tan which says tanning is “life-giving” and “curative”. The bronze skin seriously started to become a craze among the people.

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Sunbathing might be the goal but it is very important to have sun protection. The harmful UV rays from the sun lead to the melanoma. So people started using sunscreen to protect their skin. And what better way than a traditional umbrella to do so?

 

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Hence It was, Find the Tan, yet seek the shade. This image is from 1939, where women lounge leisurely in the sun beneath the umbrella and apply sunscreen.

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The Popularity of sunbathing was insane. Here are some sun-bathers in Positano, Italy in 1959. But Their number was so huge that the fishermen in the beach had to move away their boats to accommodate the sun-bathers. So, The Summer trips to beaches grew with tanning vogue.

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Soaking the sun rays wasn’t all that attracted the travelers to the beach. It was, of course, the Vitamin-Sea as well. Although, here we see Two Romanian girls posing before swimming in Bucharest, 1930.

Spruce Girls wearing wood veneer bathing suits holding an umbrella Washington.

 

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It isn’t the tan only which makes you look good but also the water which cleanses your skin naturally.

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Hotness does soar with the temperature on the beach. And here is a woman just trying to relax in Trujillo beach, Peru. Oh Yeah, the photographer managed to click a selfie long before the front camera came to practice. 

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Spring Break soon became time for students to get wild and have fun in the beach towns. And, why not? Two Students lying down on the car in Daytona Beach, Florida 1973, creative, isn’t it?

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This photo is of the Padre Island, Texas in 1980. Here Women relax on the beach, with the oil pumps in the background. And the White sandy beaches are perfect for summers and tan.

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This might look weird… But these are goggles which sun-bathers used to protect their eyes. The photo dates back to 1995 Narragansett Bay in Newport, Rhode Island.

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After a century of Coco Chanel’s bronze skin too, the tan trend lives. And with that came the beach bodies- where you can find the beaches sprawled with muscular hunks and gorgeous beach babes.

And if it is the Spring break for students like it is in the picture then Boom — it is Fun 101. This picture is from Cancun, Mexico

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And at the end of the day, after the sun’s heat is minimal and the sun kisses the horizon – it feels surreal to just sit and admire the view around you. That is what the girls in the image are doing in one of the beaches of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Grace Riordan makes an attractive vintage beach study, 1938.

Sunbathing mother and the naked cute baby.

Basking in the golden rays of the sun has been a craving of humans throughout time. The beach has always been – calm, serene and surreal.  Go, get your share of sun and shade before “the dog days of summer.”

Do you know why are they called so? Well, our next post is about its story. Stay tuned.

 

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A Vintage Photo Story of Modern Travel

Imagine the world a century ago, when there wasn’t a fast metro connection, nor was convertible an entity yet. An age of black and white photographs, which people still treasure today.

We bring you a series of the vintage photos to paint the story of modern travel: from how stewardess became flight attendant and how convertibles came to play. We hope you enjoy this series as much as we did.

This is how a bustling street in the Cairo Open Market (Egypt) looked like in the year 1911, with the camels gracing the roads along with the crowd.

Posing is an art as old as the civilization itself, and this man does it like a pro. Dressed like an Arab in front of the Great Sphinx back in 1913.

The travelers of the 20th Century admire the fortifications of a building from the 18th century in Acapulco, Mexico in 1916. Two Centuries captured in one vintage photo.

Read: The Ultimate Travel Bucket List

The Atlantic City Boardwalk was a perfect place for an evening stroll, back in the days of 1920. And by the looks of it, we can see it was very popular among the folks.

A beautiful sight is hard to look away from. That is what passengers of the Oriental Limited Train are doing. As they go from the Skykomish county, Washington in 1923. The passengers are just peering down to admire the view of the river across them.

Related: World’s 10 Most Beautiful Train Rides

Our genes are forever the same, throughout the ages. Then how can we ignore the hawker trying to sell souvenirs? Image of the French Riviera in 1926.

 

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The Islanders are all set to offer their daily offerings to the temple in 1927, Bali, Indonesia

40 long years after its construction the once hideous tower was now the emblem of Paris. A man soaks up in the majestic view of the Eiffel Tower in 1929.

Composing a photograph to bring the iconic half dome of Yosemite National Park, might be hard. But we had talented photographers back in 1933. Two visitors pose in the Glacier Point Hotel against the background of half dome of Yosemite National Park, California.

A Pan Am flight landing in Brownsville, Texas in 1938. You can see the flight’s comfort clothes were not hoodie and sneakers but traditional dresses.

 

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A Pan Am plane docked at the Manila Bay as curious children look at it in awe in 1940.

A stewardess putting together the meal for the passengers. Don’t be surprised by ” Stewardess” because 1940 was long before the use of ” flight attendant” which was used after the rise of the third wave of feminism around the 1970s.

A woman just getting out of her car to admire the gorgeous landscape ahead of her in South Africa, 1941.

Shreds of evidence in history show us that fine dining came from the French. Guests dining al fresco in Dives-sur-Mer in 1943.

This image calls out epicness on many levels: a woman, on a horseback, calling out to  an eagle. Image clicked in 1944.

Dark and desolate landscape sometimes makes for an amazing photo. This image captured in 1945 is of the rocky landscape of Costa Rica.

It was the year of the independence of India – 1947. The sightseers revel in the beauty of a wooden float boat ride.

Before hiking became a hype these two men, stop and stare at the Grand Falls, Arizona by leisurely sipping their coffee in 1951.

A convertible rides from Anacapri, Italy in 1970. Convertibles were first manufactured in the 1940s and the first ever was Chrysler Thunderbolt.

This gorgeous image was taken at the Ionian Islands, Greece, 1973. The boats wind through the narrow cliffs of Cephalonia.

All Photo Credits go to the National Geographic Photo Archive.

 

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15 Photos Showing How the World Celebrated Easter

Easter is recognized on the first Sunday after the first full moon of Spring. Since 325 AD, Christians have celebrated Easter on a collective day. Some indulge in the easter eggs hunting and some just want to feel the experience the warm sun rays falling through the Holy Sepulchre.

Here are 15 unique and interesting easter tradition photos from around the world that capture the essence and spirit of Easter celebration.

This Photo dates back to 1930 taken in  Megara, Greece. The women are performing a traditional Easter Dance.

Here is a photo which was taken by Alessio Romenzi when the nuns were blowing out their candles after the Holy Fire ceremony, Jerusalem.

In Stinatz, Austria women dressed up in traditional dresses, while they shared Eggs with “Happy Easter”  written on them.

The procession along the Via Dolorosa is carried out in Jerusalem City, Israel, during the Good Friday.

This mascot is the Easter bunny who the curious children found when on an egg hunt in Connecticut, USA.

This is how the window looks from the roof of the church of the Holy Sepulchre. And all that haze is due to the smoke from the Holy Fire Ceremony in Jerusalem.

An altar created in Oaxaca, Mexico for Easter. And a woman who unknowingly became the subject of this photo.

During the Holy Week,  Procession of Verges takes place in Verges, Spain. The actors re-enact the life story of Christ. This photo is from the final act – The Dance of Death.

This delish scene is outside St Michael’s Church in Vorkuta, Russia. Eggs, candles, and cakes! I bet the parish is feeling the giving spirit of Easter.

The photo was taken by David Alan Harvey in 1978 during Holy week procession in Valladolid, Spain.

The Holy Fire is indeed blazing during the Holy Fire Ceremony in Jerusalem. Alessio Romenzi accentuates the passion of the festival.

A March in Chartres, France in 1969 when the students walked to the cathedral bearing crosses.

The light coming from the window of Holy Sepulchre (in Jerusalem) is considered Holy by many Christians. Some women reverently basking in the sun rays coming through the window.

These beautifully painted Easter Eggs are all the way from Lincoln, Nebraska. Ready to hide the eggs and play the fun game?

A procession held from Mount Olives to the Temple of Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem, where pilgrims carry crosses to commemorate the journey of Christ to his Crucifixion.

All photo credits go to the gallery of National Geographic Travel.

Interested in pilgrimages? Check our Post 5 Pilgrimages That Could Change Your Life

You may like: Visiting the Birth Place of Buddha in Nepal

 

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New Saturn Photos From NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft

After a long 7 year voyage in cold, dark, empty space, NASA’s Cassini satellite arrived in the Saturn’s orbit zone in 2004. It was the first spacecraft to orbit the mysterious ringed planet, a symbol for the ultimate teacher according to astrology.

NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft Saturn Photos. The Cassini spacecraft burned up in Saturn’s atmosphere in Sep 2017.

On September 15th, 2017, the Cassini spacecraft burned up in Saturn’s atmosphere after traveling for 20 years in the vastness of space. But not all was lost. In this blog, I will share with you some of the magnificent photos of Saturn that were taken by the spacecraft.

Cassini Saturn Photos

Cassini spacecraft Arrives at Saturn
Ocean of water on Enceladus, one of Saturn’s 62 moons.

Read: What is Time?

Hyperion Saturn’s moon. Not all moons are round.

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Read: What is Gravity?

Liquid methane lake on Titan, Saturn’s largest moon.
Saturn is flattened at the Poles just like the Earth.

Read: Time Travel

Titan and Rhea. Saturn’s two largest moons.

Read: Space Travel

Cassini Fun Facts

How long did it take for Cassini to get to Saturn?

Lightweight Pioneer 11 and Voyager probes took the direct route, reaching Saturn in just 3 years, but Cassini took 7 years because it was 6 tons with a lot of computing power.

What else did Cassini photograph?

Cassini took photos of Moon, the Asteroid Belt, Jupiter, Saturn, and Saturn’s moons.

Top 5 Saturn Fun Facts

Astronomers still don’t fully understand the origin of Saturn’s rings.

You can see Saturn with your own eyes. If Saturn is in the sky at night, you can head outside and see it. But you can amaze your friends and family by pointing out that bright star in the sky, and let them know they’re looking at Saturn.

There could be microbial life on Saturn’s moons. There is water. We don’t know if there is some form of life as well.

Saturn has 62 moons. Jupiter has 67 discovered moons, but Saturn is a close second with 62 and more could be hidden and therefore discovered later beating Jupiter.

Saturn is the least dense planet in the Solar System. If you throw Saturn into a big ocean (made of water), it will float like a spherical boat.

Image Source: NASA, JPL-Caltech, Space Science Institute, and the University of Arizona

 

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10 Breathtaking Photos of Total Solar Eclipse

After, almost a century North America saw a coast to coast total Solar Eclipse. You must have come across a popular hashtag #Eclipse2017 on social media.

The eclipse ranged from Oregon to South Carolina and covered 14 states on its path. For many, this was an incredible experience!

Photo: The Art of Travel Partners

The fact that we are in 2017, this Solar Eclipse might be the most photographed Solar Eclipse in the history of the UniverseWe have brought you some breathtaking images of this cosmic event.

Let’s have a look below.

Total Solar Eclipse

Photo: The Art of Travel Partners

“A total solar eclipse swept across a narrow portion of the contiguous United States from Lincoln Beach, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. A partial solar eclipse was visible across the entire North American continent along with parts of South America, Africa, and Europe.”

Photo: NASA (CC0)

“Millions of people saw the total Eclipse from across the USA but only six people were lucky enough to see the shadow (umbra) cast over by the Moon on Earth. Above, you can see the eclipse from the ISS. A dark cast on the surface of Earth. What a view!”

Photo: NASA (CC0)

“Randy Bresnik-who is NASA’s Flight Engineer clicked images of the 2017 Solar Eclipse from the unique vantage point of the Expedition 52 Crew.”

Photo: NASA (CC0)

“There is something different about this image, ultraviolet light was used to capture this image on Aug 21, 2017. Isn’t it spellbinding?”

Photo: The Art of Travel Partners

“This enchanting image is of the Sun nearing totality in Ross Lake, Washington.”

Photo: The Art of Travel Partners

“First signs of Eclipse, Depoe Bay, Oregon.”

Photo: The Art of Travel Partners

“Employees at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston experienced the 2017 eclipse on Aug. 21, 2017, by playing with the shadows.”

Photo: NASA (CC0)

“Panoramic view of the 2017 solar eclipse as seen at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.”

Photo: NASA (CC0)

“See the li’l beads around the moon? The Bailey’s Beads effect is seen as the moon makes its final move over the sun during the total solar eclipse on Monday, August 21, 2017, above Madras, Oregon.”

“Solar eclipse explained. Along its path, the Moon crosses the Sun and cast a dark shadow over the Earth, making the day turn into the night for the area under the moon’s shadow.”

A Brief Overview of the American Civil War in Photos

On April 9, 1865, Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant at the Appomattox Court House in northern Virginia, marking the end of more than four years of hostilities that split the United States in two camps.

Here is a black and white photo story of the American Civil War.

This is Fort Sumter, South Carolina on April, 1861, under the Confederate flag. It is here that The first shots of the Civil War took place, on April 12, 1861, as Confederate batteries opened fire on the Union fort, bombarding it for 34 straight hours.

On April 13, Union forces surrendered and evacuated the fort. Union forces tried to retake the fort throughout the war, but only took possession on February 22, 1865, after Confederate forces had evacuated Charleston.

Civil War Battles

This picture is of the 150th Pennysylvania Infantry camp, Belle Plain , Virginia  on March 1862, just three weeks before the Battle of Chancellorsville.

War draws blood and American Civil War was no exception. This picture shows the aftermath of  Battle of Spotsylvania in 1864 where the wounded soldiers rest near Marye’s Heights, Fredericksburg, Virginia.

The Battle of Seven Pines also known as the Battle of  Fair Oaks , took place on May 31st and June 1st. This picture shows the Union Forces standing guard against the Confederate groups.

The Battle of Antietam also known as the Battle of Sharpsburg was a battle fought on September 17, 1862. This picture shows the bodies of dead soldiers strewn across the Hagerstown road.

Civil War Leaders

President Abraham Lincoln flanked by Major Alan Pinkerton and General John McClernand at a Union camp in Sharpsburg, Maryland in 1862. 

Opposite to the Union Forces was the Confederate states of America. Jefferson Davis, a former United States Secretary of War and Senator from the State of Mississippi, served as the President of the Confederate States of America from 1861-1865.

After the American Civil war, he was captured, indicted for treason, and imprisoned for two years — after which he was freed on bail. His case was eventually dropped in 1869, and he lived another twenty years, passing away at the age of 81.

How did such a long war end? It was the surrender of Robert E. Lee, Confederate General to General Ulysses Grant at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865 which led to the end of the American Civil war. Above is a picture of  General Robert E.Lee posing for a portrait by Mathew Brady.

Secession

Morris Island, South Carolina. The shattered muzzle of a 300-pounder Parrott Rifle after it had burst, photographed in July or August of 1863

A photo of the USS Essex on  March, 1863. The 1000-ton ironclad river gunboat, originally a steam-powered ferry, was acquired during the American Civil War by the US Army in 1861 for the Western Gunboat Flotilla.

She was transferred to the US Navy in 1862 and participated in several operations on the Mississippi River, including the capture of Baton Rouge and Port Hudson in 1863.

 

 

Fortifications at Yorktown, Virginia, during the Peninsula Campaign of 1862.

Reconstruction

General Sherman’s men destroying the railroad before the evacuation of Atlanta, Georgia in 1864.

A group of Contrabands at Haxall’s Mill, Richmond, Virginia, on June 9, 1865. The slaves that were imported were called as contrabands.

Soldiers boxing in a Union camp in Petersburg, Virginia, in April of 1865.

The photo credits go to Rare Historical Photos.

20 Amazing Life Facts That Will Blow Your Mind

Airplanes are the safest way to travel. Still, 40% of passengers claim that they are terrified of flying because of the possibility of a plane crash. The thing is, the odds of a plane crash are 1 for every 1.2 million flights, with odds of dying one in a million.

Even more surprising, if you’re ever in a plane crash, you’ll have a 95.7% chance of survival.

That said, ‘more than half’ of pilots have slept at least once while flying.

You are 1 in a million even when you are ‘normal’ in as many as 265 traits (such as height, weight, eye color, etc.) that define you! You are indeed unique and so is your life’s journey!

To be in the world’s top 50% by wealth, you only need $3600 USD in net-assets. To be in the world’s top 25%, you only need $55,000 USD in net-assets (house, car, cash, stocks, jewelry, land, etc.)

Read: How to save money strategically for your travel goals

Speaking of net worth, close to 15% of the world’s population have a negative net worth.

The % of the world that’s extremely poor has more than halved since 1950. In 1970, an estimated 2.2 billion people lived in extreme poverty. In 2015, this number was a little over 700 million. The total number of people in “extreme poverty” is a third of what it was 35 years ago.

 

During World War 1, ~ 65% of Britain’s glass optics (used in military binoculars) came from Germany and ~ 70% of Germany’s rubber came from Britain. Think about that. Human interdependence is a natural condition.

Speaking of wars, only 20% of the males born in the Soviet Union in 1923 survived World War 2. Why go to war with one another?

The world produces enough food for 12 billion people, enough water for 16 billion, and enough energy for 20 billion. The only problem is the unsophisticated distribution. Fixing the distribution problem alone might eliminate world poverty forever.

On this planet, some 21,000 people die EVERY SINGLE DAY due to starvation. However, on the very same planet, obesity costs us a combined total of $2 TRILLION USD dollars a year!

Between 1984 and 1999, 10% of the Indian Army’s defense budget and 15% of the Pakistan army’s went to supplying less than 4000 troops occupying a remote glacier called the Siachen Glacier.

Belarus is the most alcohol consuming country with an average of more than 17 liters per person per year. So it means some people are drinking way, way more than that to bring the average this high.

The fertility rate in Niger was estimated to be over 6 children per woman which is the highest in the world. In 2015, it was 6.7 children per woman.

Japan, on the other hand, is having trouble keeping up the birth rates and the net population is rapidly shrinking while the median age of the population is over the age of 50.

Over 47% population of Palau is obese which is highest in the world.

Australia is the world’s biggest gambling nation with $1288 AUD gaming losses per adult.

Mauritius has the highest diabetes population with 22.30% population aged from 20 and 79.

If you earn $12,000 USD in a year then it means it would take the average laborer in Ghana about 75 years to earn the same amount.

Always, try to look at the bright side of life.

Our body has roughly 30 trillion human cells and 40 trillion microbes. So, statistically speaking, we are 40% human, 60% microbes! Yikes!

Bonus:

Sitting around for a day and a half (36 hours) burns more calories than running a marathon. If you don’t believe it, consider this:

Running a mile burns about 100 calories in an average person. A marathon is about 26.22 miles.

26.22 x 100 = 2622 calories

Say, a typical person needs about 2000 calories per day to maintain weight.

2000 x 1.5 days = 3000 calories

How is this possible?

Your heart never sleeps. It is always on the job. And your brain is also always on the job (including when you sleep). In some ways, your brain is even more active when you sleep. And then there is a basic metabolism where your muscles burns calories to perform day-to-day activities.

In summary, your muscles, heart, and brain run their own kind of a marathon every day and the calories add up to something significant, something on the scale of major athletic events. Impressed yet?

For the Best View of Mt. Everest, Go to Kala Patthar

Kala Patthar, meaning “black rock” in Nepali and Hindi, is a notable landmark located on the south ridge of Pumori in the Nepalese Himalayas above Gorakshep.

Although not a proper mountain, the ascent of Kala Patthar is very popular with trekkers in the region of Mount Everest since it provides the most accessible closeup view of Mount Everest.

Due to the structure of the Everest Massif, its high summit is blocked by Mount Nuptse from much of the surrounding region.

The views of Everest, Nuptse, and Changtse are spectacular from Kala Patthar and there are glimpses of the northern flank and summit of Mount Lhotse as well.

View of Mount Everest, Mount Nuptse, & Mount Lhotse

Sunrise on Mount Everest

Note: Kala Patthar is considered the highest altitude most will reach without an Everest climbing permit, which must be obtained in Kathmandu, at the Nepal Mountaineering Association.

So, if you are planning to do the famous Everest Base Camp (EBC) Trek, you can trek up until Kala Patthar.

Fun Fact: The world’s highest webcam, Mount Everest webcam, is located here.

How To Climb Kala Patthar

Everest view from Kala Patthar

The ascent of Kala Patthar begins at Gorakshep (5,164 m or 16,942 ft), the original base camp for Mt. Everest.

After a brief dip to an ancient lake bed (which now contains a small lake and a helipad), the ascent makes its way up to a series of steep switchbacks before leveling off somewhat as it traverses to the eastern side of the mountain.

Mount Everest from Tibet, Tschomolangma peak

The trail then becomes steep once again until it reaches the wind-swept summit ridge. From there, a 5-to-10 minutes scramble over boulders takes one to the top, which is marked with prayer flags.

Note: There is also a geocaching trackable named Kala Pattar Yeti attached near the summit. Its trackable code is GS9EBG.

Elevation & Hiking

The full ascent usually takes between 1.5 and 2 hours. If the attempt is made starting from Lobuche, an additional two to three hours (one way) is required.

The elevation is commonly listed as 5,545–5,643 m (18,192–18,514 ft). It is possible that since Kala Patthar is merely a minor summit on a ridge leading to Pumori, different people may have measured different summits.

The summit traditionally referred to as Kala Patthar is, however, completely festooned with prayer flags, making it quite readily recognizable.

It is quite clear that the point trekkers climb to is a local maxima on the Pumori ridge, not the summit of Kala Patthar proper.

Safety Tips

Clinics are a sparse resource in Khumbu. However, should you require medical attention there are two possibilities:

Kunde Clinic, in Kunde Village (above Namche) has Western-trained doctors and is a surprisingly well-equipped facility – they even have a decompression chamber for those suffering from severe altitude sickness.

On your return journey, you might like to donate your unused medicines to Kunde Clinic, though ensure that they are clearly labeled in English – even the most valuable medicine is useless if there are no instructions on how to use it.

The Himalayan Rescue Association operates a clinic staffed by western physicians in Pheriche. They give a daily lecture on taking care of your health in the Khumbu region, and, for very little money you can check your blood oxygen level and pulse rate.

This is a good place to stop at even if you are not experiencing any health problems. Check out their t-shirts, scarfs and hats, the proceeds of which go towards operating the clinic.

Local medicine

The Healing Center in Namche offers treatments using natural formulas. It is next to the Camp de Base hotel but entered from the path in front of the library.

This clinic provides free treatment for porters and other patients on a low income. In order to continue this service, donations are greatly appreciated.

Along the trail, you will also see small medical stations. These stations generally have very rudimentary facilities and can only realistically offer treatment for very minor ailments, such as cuts and bruises and (non-altitude sickness related) headaches, etc.

Namche also has a dental clinic, on the right side slope of the village when looking up.

Don’t drink the water no matter how pristine it appears. Use iodine tablets as a purifier or purchase boiled water.

Exceptions: Namche and Phortse have clean water supplies that the locals drink directly from the faucet. However, this may not be a good idea for outsiders lacking immunity to local bacteria, but it may be OK for brushing teeth.

Read Next

10 Iconic Photos of the Last Ice Age

The last ice age ended about 12,000 years ago. It may not sound like a long time ago and yet the press has been flooded with a sensational prediction about an upcoming mini ice age in a few years.

Well, some scientists believe this is true. The changing weather pattern and rising heat may paradoxically bring an ice age.

Image source

What would our world look like if an ice age hits us unprepared? It’s hard to predict but looking at other areas of our globe where snow abounds we can imagine as shown in the images below.

Since Earth has a continent over the South Pole and an almost land-locked ocean over the North Pole, geologists believe that Earth will continue to experience glacial periods in the geologically near future.

Some scientists also believe that the Himalayas are a major factor in the current ice age because these mountains have increased Earth’s total rainfall and therefore the rate at which carbon dioxide is washed out of the atmosphere, decreasing the greenhouse effect.

The Himalayas’ formation started about 70 million years ago when the Indo-Australian Plate collided with the Eurasian Plate, and the Himalayas are still rising by about 5 mm per year because the IndoAustralian plate is still moving at the rate of 67 mm/year.

 

 

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