One of the reasons why I enjoy art so much is that individuals can see a painting from many different perspectives, and there is nothing one can do to make them see it as you do. We can say the same about landscapes; from a distance you may see a horse while I could swear that the view is that of a large rotten apple.
On a tour of Mykonos, one of the Greek Islands, known for its partying, we stopped at a restaurant near the beach to have lunch and a quick swim (for some people). After dipping my feet in the turquoise waters, I looked across the sea to the landscape on other side of the Island. An interesting sight caught my eyes—two mounds separated by a flat area. Our tour guide said we were looking at Aphrodite’s Breasts! I could clearly see two breasts.
Breast-shaped hills or mountains in the shape of human breasts—sometimes called paps—are found all over the world. In some cultures they are revered, and people regard them as attributes of Mother Goodness, a goodness that can signify motherhood, fertility, and nature. Two other examples of this anthropomorphic feature are Mola Murada, a mountain in Spain, and Nassa Hablood (“Virgin’s Breast Mountain”) located in Somalia.
As I complete the final installment of my Theme Day-Landscape blogs about fascinating waterfalls I have visited, you would have noticed that the ones previously mentioned are not the “mother of all falls.” They are nothing like Victoria Falls or Yosemite Falls; they wouldn’t even rank in the top-ten. Notwithstanding this, they all have an allure that captures one’s imagination because they are unique. I would be remiss, however, if I wrapped up the series without spotlighting one that is easily the most famous waterfall in North America, and certainly one that begs the question; will it go on forever?
This powerful, awesome waterfall is none other than Niagara Falls. Straddling the international borders of Canada and the United States, Niagara Falls consists of three different falls—the American Falls, the Bridal Veil Falls, and the Horseshoe Falls. While the first two are situated on the American side, the Horseshoe Falls is in Canada. It tumbles 188 feet into the Niagara gorge, and ranks as the biggest one by volume with a whopping average peak flow of 225,000 cubic feet or 6,400 cubic meters per second!
It is also the Horseshoe Falls that attracts most of the crowd to the area, and I dutifully take all my visitors from abroad to see it. Not tucked away in the bushes like the falls I previously wrote about, Niagara Falls is one of the easiest to access, and you can view it from different angles. Although I have visited Niagara Falls many times, I can’t help but be awestruck by its sheer size and volume every time I see it.
Last Saturday, my Theme-Day post (Part 1) shone a spotlight on The Akaka Falls located in The Big Island of Hawaii. Since I have photographs of a few waterfalls taken in different parts of the world, I think it is appropriate to share them consecutively, hence this post.
When I visited Milford Sound—called Piopiotahi by the Maori—I was awestruck by the pristine, calm waters, craggy mountains, and the inordinate amount of waterfalls cascading down the mountainside. Located within Fiordland National Park in the south-west of New Zealand’s South Island, Milford Sound was judged the world’s top travel destination in an international survey—the 2008 Travelers’ Choice Destinations Awards. It is acclaimed as New Zealand’s most famous tourist destination.
Milford Sound has two permanent waterfalls all year round, Lady Bowen Falls and Stirling Falls, however, whenever heavy rain falls in the area, hundreds of temporary waterfalls plunge down the steep rock face which lines the fiord. I concluded that rain had poured earlier because when I arrived waterfalls were everywhere, the mist making photography difficult.
Milford Sound attracts more than 500,000 visitors per year, making it New Zealand’s most-visited tourist spot in spite of its remote location and great distance from the nearest population centres.
Fiordland was designated a World Heritage area by the United Nations in 1986.
People have always been fascinated with waterfalls—the thunderous roar of water cascading or plunging off a cliff, or over rocks, its uniformity, its white foaming beauty, its never-ending flow. Waterfalls can be voluminous like the famous Niagara Falls, or skinny, measuring only a couple feet across. But no matter their size, height, or volume, we still view waterfalls with awe.
When I gawk at a waterfall two questions always flow through my mind: How long has it been plunging off the same cliff, or over the same rocks? Will it continue to cascade/plunge forever? Of course, these are questions we cannot answer. Nature has a mind of its own and can disrupt anything at anytime. But humans seem to be the greater disruptor. Damming up rivers and diverting the flow of water are ways they have lessened the impact of waterfalls.
Above are two views of The Akaka Falls in Hawaii (The Big Island). It is by no means voluminous; however, it certainly grabbed my attention. Located slightly off the beaten path, surrounded by fauna that is lush and green, Akaka Falls is skinny and steep, and plunges 442 ft off a cliff into a pool below.
In my introductory blog, http://www.blackwoodyvonne.com/2016/07/27/for-all-the-tea-in-china/ posted July 2016, I mentioned that I had traveled to many countries all over the world in a quest to visit every continent (except Antarctica). In the earlier years of my travels digital cameras were not in vogue therefore, photographs taken were stored in print form, or remained languishing in films. Fortunately, for more than a decade all photos have been taken by a digital camera and are therefore easy to share.
Having accumulated thousands of photos, I have decided to incorporate a Theme Day into my blogging. One day each week in between my regular blog posts, I will submit a photograph categorized under themes such as: landscapes; architecture; flowers/trees; people; churches/mosques/temples; animals; waterfalls, and quaint/interesting/unusual objects. On occasions I may even challenge readers to guess the country in which a picture was taken. A novel idea, I believe!
My first Theme Day picture—Architecture/landscape:
Kylemore Abbey and property: located in county Galway, Ireland, has been the monastic home of the Benedictine Nuns since 1920. The property was opened for public tours in the 1970s; it is simply breathtaking.