There are many cliff top trails on the rugged Tasman Peninsula – Cape Raoul is one of the most spectacular. During the hike to the dolerite pillars at the tip of the Cape, I spotted a group of surfers being towed by buzzing jetskis in the frothing water below. A steep detour down the cliff led me to a rock platform where I was able to witness a brave 13 year old Riley Laing surf the infamous Shipstern Bluff (and also chat to his father about whether his mother approved of such endeavours!).
ONCE known as Devil’s Point, Shipstern Bluff’s ferocity seen at close quarters will leave little doubt that this hellish right-hander could indeed be a crossover point to the Underworld. For decades this wave was more myth than reality, as no one had even considered surfing it. Read more at Places to surf before you die: Shipstern Bluff
Nine kilometres past Port Arthur there is a turn left along Stormlea Road to the parking area for the Cape Raoul, Shipsterns Bluff and Tunnel Bay walks. About 30 minutes walk across the side of a paddock through light woodlands, the track to Tunnel Bay and Shipsterns Bluff branches off to the right. Another 10 minutes further on brings you to the edge of a 300 metre high cliff with commanding views of the coastline. The track then descends steadily onto the Cape Raoul plateau. The spectacular dolerite pillar cape is at the end of the plateau. The walk is about 2 1/2 hours one way. Source: Touring Tasmania
Cape Raoul – Tasman Peninsula
Raoul Bay & Shipsterns Bluff – Tasman Peninsula
Cape Raoul Textures
Cape Raoul Columns – Tasman Peninsula
Cape Raoul Lake – Tasman Peninsula
Cape Raoul Cliffs – Tasman Peninsula
The Walls of Jerusalem are located in a remote area of the Tasmanian highlands and are part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. The area is a spectacular labyrinth of alpine lakes and tarns, dramatic dolerite peaks, ancient but fragile forests of Pencil Pines and unique alpine vegetation. There is no road access into the park and entry is only possible by walking. All tracks into the area are steep and rough and are subject to extreme weather conditions that can include heavy rain, hail, snow, freezing temperatures and blazing sun. Low cloud can reduce visibility to a few metres and snow can cover the track making it difficult to follow. There are limited track markers so navigational skills are essential during poor conditions. These conditions can occur in any month of the year and the weather can change dramatically within a few short hours. Source: Parks & Wildlife Service Tasmania
The names of the park’s natural features say it all: Herods Gate, Lake Salome, Solomons Jewels, Damascus Gate, the Pool of Bathesda…Beside them, Dixons Kingdom – the name of a ramshackle hut built by a grazier and his son in the 1950s – seems both a quaint anomaly and a homage. The most impressive feature is the huge chamber created by the West Wall, Mount Ophel, Zion Hill and the Temple. Dixon’s Kingdom, just beyond, is near a pencil pine forest dotted with glades that are popular with campers. If you walk from here to the summit of Mt Jerusalem you’ll be rewarded with sweeping views of a section of Tasmania’s Central Plateau called the Land of Three Thousand Lakes, a collage of glittering lakes and tarns. Source: Discover Tasmania
Walls of Jerusalem Trunk
Walls of Jerusalem Trees
Walls of Jerusalem Ice
Mt Ossa and Mt Pelion East from Solomons Jewels – Walls of Jerusalem
Solomons Jewels – Walls of Jerusalem
Herods Gate – Walls of Jerusalem
Cushion Plants – Walls of Jerusalem
Walls of Jerusalem Scree
Damascus Gate – Walls of Jerusalem
West Walls of Jerusalem from the Temple
Lake Salome – Walls of Jerusalem
Solomons Throne – Walls of Jerusalem
The Nasrid dynasty was the last Arab-Muslim dynasty in Spain. Twenty-three different emirs ruled Granada from 1232 to 1492, until Muhammad XII surrendered to the Christian Spanish kingdoms of Aragon and Castile. Today, the most visible evidence of the Nasrids is the Alhambra palace and fortress complex built under their rule.
The most significant constructions and decorations of the Alhambra occured from 1333 to 1391 under the reign of two different Sultans. Yusuf I started improvements in the Comares Tower (Torre de Comares), the Court of the Myrtles (Patio de los Arrayanes) and the Baths (Baños). These improvements were finished by Mohammed V, who added them all to the Mexuar, extended the gallery that would later be called Machuca and constructed the Palace of the Lions (Palacio de los Leones).
Since the Catholic Monarchs took the city of Granada, a great number of restorations were carried out, although the most important works began under the order of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V in 1527, when several rooms were added to the Alhambra and Palacio de Carlos V was built. Nevertheless, the Alhambra has always maintained its character as a Muslim palace.
Court of the Lions Arches
Hall of the Abencerrajes
Lion Ring – Carlos V Palace
Carlos V Palace Tiers
Carlos V Palace
Alhambra and Cactus
The City of Arts and Sciences is a unique complex of constructions in the avant-garde architectural style of Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candela along the former bed of the River Turia in Valencia, Spain. The complex is devoted to scientific and cultural dissemination and is comprised of six main constructions: the Hemisfèric (IMAX cinema and digital projections), the Umbracle (a landscaped vantage point and car park), the Príncipe Felipe Science Museum (an innovative centre of interactive science), the Oceanográfico (the largest aquarium in Europe with over 500 marine species), the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía (which takes care of the operatic programme) and the Ágora (a multifunctional plaza).
The digital projections and the large-format films at the Hemisfèric, the interactive exhibitions at the Príncipe Felipe Science Museum, and the bioeducational exhibitions of the Oceanográfico combine to make up an outstanding interrelated offer which aims to satisfy the curiosity and the need for entertainment of the visitor. Moreover, the City of Arts and Sciences also bridges the widely admired Mediterranean blue and white tradition of sea and light with the avant-garde architecture of Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candela. Their bold strokes identify the capital of the Turia of the 21st century, which is the futuristic image that symbolises the new Valencia: a modern city within the age-old city which millions visit every year to enjoy its culture, nature, art, and science. Source: Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias
In 1883, the brilliant Catalonian architect Antoni Gaudí agreed to take on the Sagrada Familia project, succeeding Francisco de Paula. Gaudí worked on it until his accidental death in 1926. He made fundamental changes to the initial Neo-gothic design by conserving the original layout and imprinting his own personal distinctive El Modernisme style on the building. He finished only the chapel of San José, the crypt and the door of El Nacimiento and left plans for the future construction. Work still continues today according to Gaudi’s vision, which is mainly funded by visitor donations.
The church has a basilical ground plan and five naves, the central one rising to a height of 45 m and the side ones to 29 m. The central nave and side naves are supported by a system of columns which is completely new in the history of architecture. In the eyes of the observer, the interior looks like a forest of trees with beautiful alignments, of which we can see the trunk, the branches and a cluster of leaves. In this forest of columns, the light filtered through the windows will give a bucolic appearance and give a feeling of undergrowth. Source: Sagrada Familia