5 Spectacular Rock Formations

On earth there is no heaven, but there are pieces of it.— Jules Renard

While I have a great appreciation for manmade wonders, nothing comes close to the beauty of the natural world.

We all yearn to spend time in nature, and thankfully there’s no shortage of incredible sights to enjoy; from mighty mountains and roaring waterfalls to thick forests and beautiful beaches, we’re spoiled for choice. In this article, we will explore one natural phenomenon in particular—rock formations.

Whether for their shape, components, location or beautiful surroundings, tourists have long been drawn to these spectacular-looking rocks. Many of them are huge, and viewing them is breathtaking. Here, I endeavour to showcase 10 of the most incredible rock formations in the world.

1 Church Rock – Utah

Photo – Internet

Church Rock is a solitary column of sandstone in southern Utah along the eastern side of U.S Route 191, near the entrance to the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park. This 200 foot roadside oddity near Monticello is called Church Rock.

Photo – Internet

2 Aphrodite’s Rock (Cyprus)

This is one of the most famous spots in Pafos, a coastal city in Cyprus. It is also known as Petra tou Romiou, which means ‘Rock of the Greek.’ Its popularity is linked with Greek mythology and the belief that Aphrodite—the goddess of love, beauty, procreation and pleasure—was born here. There is a belief that swimming around Aphrodite’s rock brings one eternal beauty.

3 Old Harry Rocks (England)

Photo – Internet

Old Harry Rocks can be seen up close on foot by walking from either Studland or Swanage across Ballard Down, a gorgeous chalk grassland . This UNESCO World Heritage site at the end of the Jurassic Coast is simply spectacular.

Further south from Old Harry Rocks along the South West Coast Path is the charming coastal town of Swanage, and beyond that Durlston Country Park and Dancing Ledge.

Old Harry Rocks is a spectacular cliff formation and one of the best places to visit on the Jurassic Coast. This is the very eastern end of the Jurassic Coast and the white chalk rocks gleam brightly in the sun.

Thousands of years ago, Old Harry Rocks and the Needles on the Isle of Wight were linked by a line of chalk hills that eroded away. What’s left is a series of impressive rock stacks and cliffs. Old Harry Rocks can be reached from South Beach Car Park at Studland Bay and its a 1 mile walk along the fields and grasslands to reach the clifftop, with great views over Studland Bay  along the route (a 4 mile stretch of golden sand).

4 Uluru Ayers Rock (Australia)

Photo – Internet

Visit one of the greatest natural wonders of the world, Uluru. Not only is it a spectacular natural formation, Uluru is a deeply spiritual place. You can feel a powerful presence the moment you set eyes on it.

At 348 metres high, Uluru is one of the world’s largest monoliths, towering over the surrounding landscape and some 550 million years old.

Made of sandstone, Uluru is often referred to as the heart of the ‘Red Centre’ and is one of Australia’s most recognisable landmarks. Breathe in, see the colours change before your eyes, hear the stories of time and be amazed as Uluru captures your heart.

For the local Aboriginal people, the Anangu, World Heritage-listed Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park holds a special cultural significance where earth and memories exist as one.

Feel the connection to the land as this iconic rock formation hides ancient wisdom and diverse plant and animal life. Discover an awe-inspiring landscape where creation stories are whispered on the winds.

5 The Arbol de Piedra (Bolivia)

Photo – internet

The Arbol de Piedra is another stunning example of geological erosion; over millennia, strong winds have rendered this volcanic rock formation thin at its base. Situated in the Desierto Siloli in Bolivia about 4,600 metres above sea level, the uniqueness of this isolated rock lies in its resemblance with a stunted tree.

Beside the salt flats of Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat, you’ll find the stunning landscape of the Siloli Desert, a starkly contrasting scene to that of the vast white salt flats. Here, at the Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve entrance you will find crazy rock formations that come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. The stand out among these different volcanic rock figures is the Arbol de Piedra, meaning ‘Stone Tree’.

Named after its unique appearance which resembles a surrealist vision of a tree, the Arbol de Piedra is 5 meters tall and has been formed by the work of wind erosion over millions of years. The base of the tree predominantly consists of quartz which is sensitive to erosion from strong winds in the area. The winds here carry sandstone and salt which increases the erosional effect on the rock. The upper part of the Arbol de Piedra is made up of iron that has a stronger defense to the winds which is what gives the Arbol de Piedra its large mushroom shape.

Enjoy these breath-taking formations made of stone and maybe, some day you will get to see at least one of them!

Cristina David

One of the most beautiful villages in France

“I travel because it makes me realize how much I haven’t seen, how much I’m not going to see, and how much I still need to see.” 

Apremont sur Allier

Located on the banks of the river Allier, not far from the confluence of this river wih the Loire this little mediaeval village full of charm and surprises, offers an authentic romantic and luring ballad.

The place is not just an old and picturesque village, it displays a magnificent park and one can visit a historic museum, The Stables and Carriage Museum.

Enter into the magic of this garden and let yourself be charmed by the colored and scented festival of the many varieties and species of trees, plants and flowers from all over the world.

The Park – Photo on the internet

The Park has been awarded the “Jardin Remarquable” label by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication.

The Park – Photo – the internet

Your fairytale walk will be punctuated by waterfalls, buildings and invitations to travel and to discover the talent of its fanciful designer, the great traveller and nature lover, Gilles de Brissac.

I hope you liked what you have seen in my post and some day you’ll decide to visit this mirific place on the Loire.

Cristina David

Faroe Islands: Middle Earth in the Far North

I love travelling and I did visit many places in Europe, Middle East and America (where I lived for 35 years). However, these countries that I visited were quite easy to reach by plane or train. I often dream of far away places that I would love to see, their history and picturesque scenery attract me a lot. But I am aware that it will not be possible , so I look out for travel articles to read about them, the life of the people that inhabit them, and to admire pictures of wonderful spots taken on location by lucky tourists.

I am determined to write about the nice and interesting places that I did see with my own eyes. I consider it’s worth doing so for the readers who have not have yet the opportunity to see them. But maybe, one day they will…

Today – about The Faroe Islands

In an isolated archipelago bereft of trees and exposed to the harsh elements, we find magic and bliss in its green isles and imaginative cuisine.

It is probably surprising that the mythical Middle Earth can be found in a cluster of 18 islands in the windy North Atlantic Ocean. The Faroe Islands (or the Faroes, as the locals call them) are a cluster of colossal volcanic basalt rocks formed millions of years ago. The top surfaces of these undersea mountains are swathed in heather green and turf. Within their rugged peaks and jagged cliffs lie hidden lakes, small and stoic horses with windswept manes, and a hardy people.

Traditional turf-roof houses are still aplenty in the Faroes

Geographically, the islands are between Norway and Iceland. Politically, they are an autonomous protectorate of Denmark. But locals will tell you that genealogically, they are closer to the Vikings who settled there in the 9th century, while culturally, they are uniquely Faroese with their own traditions and a language that is closer to Icelandic.

Sheep in winter coat

To a frazzled city girl, the Faroes with its natural scenic beauty hold the promise of a refuge from urbanisation and a retreat in peaceful nature. The vast space between the sky and sea and the open land gives the place a sense of magic, and me, a sense of liberation.

A Faroese girl in traditional costume at Ólavsøka, the biggest summer festival in the Faroe Islands

Read more

Cristina David

Ein Gedi the most picturesque oasis in the world

An awsome Nature Reserve

En Gedi is the biggest oasis in Israel. It has springs and waterfalls, and flowing brooks at the foot of the cliffs, home to ibexes and rock hyraxes. Situated on the eastern border of the Judean Desert, on theDead Sea shore, Ein Gedi is a real jewel of Israel.

Foto: Wikimedia

I visited Israel recently, but never got to see it although I was not too far from it. On that day of my pilgrimage I just contemplated the desolate look oh the Dead Sea, after coming from other jewels one can admire in the desert : very old, impressive monasteries, holy places of spiritual life.

While the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve offers over nine different hiking trails, suitable for everyone from family groups to experienced hikers, and ranging in duration from just half an hour in length to a full day, some of the most popular hiking trails are those which head through Wadi David.

King David fall and cave

Whichever of the hikes you decide to take, you are likely to gaze in awe at the beauty of Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, and be amazed in particular at how it contrasts to its desert surroundings. The springs are a source of beauty today, and have, for thousands of years, been the source upon which life, both human and otherwise, has relied upon for living in the area.

The reserve has two streams which flow year round, and four springs which feed the streams. This hike passes through the David stream and three of the four springs. The David stream has a series of waterfalls and pools and descends 200 meters to the height of the Dead Sea.

The Nahal David lower stream – the internet

Flora in the nature reserve includes the acacia, Sodom apple, Christ-thorn, reeds and cattails. Fauna in the reserve includes foxes, wolves, hyenas, and leopards, as well as the commonly seen ibex and hyrax.

Hoping you will have the occasion to see these great views, I wish you to stay safe and healthy amid this ugly pandemic.

https://www.attractions-in-israel.com

Cristina David