ROCKY AND SPIKY TENERIFE

Tenerife, the main island of the Canarian archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean, is a place full of contrasts, that it’s almost impossible to find an adjective that describes them all.  Created by volcanic forces long time ago the centre of the island is dominated by an impressive huge caldera and the highest mountain of Spain. Besides there are canyons, trails, abrupt coastlines, spectacular cliffs, sand dunes, semideserts, tropical plants, pine or laurel forests which are perfect for hiking and wandering in the diverse biospheres and climate zones. The following pictures taken by my loved Beatrice during our various visits show more the multiple rocky aspects of Tenerife.

Cactees in the semi-desert

Layers of lava stream

View on Mt. Teide (3718 m) seen from Mt. Guajara (2715 m)

Abandoned cottage in the countryside

At the edge of the volcanic caldera

Cliffs at Costa del Silencio during low tide

View on the Atlantic Ocean near El Puertito

Field of succulents

At the edge of the volcanic caldera

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Rock

 

ANCIENT CONVENIENCE AT HOTEL SIDI DRISS, TUNISIA

If you are looking for some special comfort or experience, you will find it possibly at Hotel Sidi Driss in old Matmata, Southern-Tunisia. We had the opportunitiy to visit the site during a round trip through all Tunisia in 2006, and it attracts not only fans of Star Wars in which this filming location featured as the home of Luke Skywalker on the planet Tatooine for the 4th film episode in 1976.

The contemporary hotel was designed as a traditional Berber troglodyte underground building at medieval times. The Berbers created them by digging a large pit in the ground with a depth of ca. 10 m. Around the perimeter of this pit artificial caves were then dug to be used as rooms, with some homes comprising multiple pits, connected by trench-like passageways. These structures in the ground were much cooler than buildings on the surface, ancient airconditions not requiring any energy like today.

Actual accomodation fares at Hotel Sidi Driss are not really high, as the standard is obviously quite simple, rural and original. Room numbers are pinned on the long existing old walls, but we did not test it as we had already a booked accomodation at the oasis of Tozeur.  Besides a lot of people are passing by for a short visit to feel a little bit of multiple Star Wars ambitions and more here in the vast desert of the Sahara.

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Comfort

 

GROWING ROCK OF USTERLING

During summer holidays a friendly advice and  recommendation led us to this geological quite special place and rock formation near the Isar meadows of Lower Bavaria in the small village of Usterling. The location is called Wachsender Fels, (i. e. growing rock) but this self-enlarging boulder is not situated within a stalactite cave but just outside at the end of a hillside.

The growing rock with an age of ca. 5,000 years has today a length of 40 m and a height of 5 m, each year 1-2 cm are added by the very small water runnel flowing down on its crest. The fluid from a nearby karst spring contains a lot of soluted limestone and carbon dioxide. As soon as the water reaches the surface the carbon dioxide begins to leave the fluid and the limestone is being deposited down on the rock.

We luckily reached the site late in the afternoon when the last sunbeams of the day touched and transformed the rock for a very short time to a real sculpture. A few moments later this unexpected appearance rapidly dissolved again with the approaching sun-set. A wooden stairways leads visitors easily to the beginning of the growing rock.

The German geological term for this kind of rocks is steinerne Rinne (i. e. stony runnel) but an equivalent scientific term in English seemingly does not exist for this more seldom rock formation near karst hills and mountains.

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Slippery