Magical Places & Spaces
My heart flutters.
高野山2の画像(写真) Photo by Baryta. Approach to the inner shrine. Okunoin is the site of the mausoleum of Kobo Daishi, the founder of Shingon Buddhism and one of the most revered persons in the religious history of Japan. Instead of having died, Kobo Daishi is believed to rest in eternal meditation as he awaits Miroku Nyorai, the Buddha of the Future, and provides relief to those who ask for salvation in the meantime. Okunoin is one of the most sacred places in Japan and a popular pilgrimage spot.
高野山 の画像(写真) Photo by Baryta. Okunoin is the site of the mausoleum of Kobo Daishi (also known as Kukai), the founder of Shingon Buddhism and one of the most revered persons in the religious history of Japan. Instead of having died, Kobo Daishi is believed to rest in eternal meditation as he awaits Miroku Nyorai (Maihreya), the Buddha of the Future, and provides relief to those who ask for salvation in the meantime. Okunoin is one of the most sacred places in Japan and a popular pilgrimage spot.
Monastery gardens at San Lazzaro degli Armeni, Veneto / Italy (by Venetico). San Lazzaro is named after St. Lazarus, the patron saint of lepers. It was a leper colony from the 12th to 16th centuries, then was abandoned until Mechitar- an Armenian monk- fled his Turkish persecutors in 1715 and came to Venice. The Venetian government gave San Lazzaro to Mechitar, who founded an Armenian order on the island. Today, the monastery lies amid gardens with flowers, cypress trees, and peacocks.
Chemiserie Niguet Shop at 13 rue Royale, Brussels, designed by Paul Hankar, 19th century. Brussels is one of the capitals of the Art Nouveau architecture. Built by Paul Hankar in 1896, this former mens outfitter shop has a glorious facade and an interior with murals by Hankar's partner, Adolphe Crespin. It is now occupied by a florist.
Spiral stairs inside the abandoned Łapalice Castle, Poland. Building on Poland’s finest folly started in 1979. Piotr Kazimierczyk, a local artist, was granted permission to build a 170sq/m work studio on a patch of ground overlooking the lake. What went up was a 5,000 sq/m mock castle complete with gateways, turrets and ramparts. Known locally as Łapalice Castle the structure has been lying half-finished and fenced off ever since Kazimierczyk ran out of funds.
Photo by Todd Seelie. Step Inside A Cocktail Party In The Green-Wood Cemetery Catacombs. For three mysterious hours, the New York Obscura Society gave visitors a rare, late-night look inside the catacombs under Green-Wood Cemetery, in Brooklyn, NY where Samuel Ward McAllister (and others) are interred. McCallister's ghost was billed as the party's host.
Pumpkin House, Kenova, WV. Photo by Tom Hindman. The C-K AutumnFest takes place the last weekend in October in the two quaint communities of Ceredo and Kenova. The centerpiece of the festival is the famous Pumpkin House, which has become one of the favorite tourist attractions of West Virginia. In 1978, the Pumpkin House began with only 5 pumpkins carved for a Halloween display. Since then, the number of hand-carved pumpkins has grown to 3,000.
Bitou Cape is one of the Three Capes of North Taiwan, the other two being Fugui Cape and Sandiao Cape. A paved footpath leads onto the cape, giving access to splendid vistas of sea and sky. The path terminates at the tip of the cape and Bitou Cape Lighthouse, which was first constructed in 1896 and was rebuilt in its present form after being destroyed by Allied bombing during World War II.
Many people refer to them as “lightning bugs”, but the Photinus carolinus is an amazing synchronous firefly that finds its way to a special spot in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee each year. Elkmont is one of the only places in the United States to see the synchronous fireflies making it an incredibly special event that very few people get to witness!
Located in the open landscape of the Rives Arcins in Bordeaux, France– this cabin draws inspiration from the night “owls” of the land. Crafted as a part of the “Noise Initiative” for the area, this cabin was designed by Zebra3/Buy-Sellf. Jutting off of the structure is a small pier that extends to the Garonne River. The timber construction is beautiful from the outside and very geometric on the inside. The furnishings are all minimal and certainly lends itself to more of an outdoor experience.
Photography: Craig Manley Giola, Thassos, Greece. The lagoon, located near the village Astris, is often called the most natural swimming pool. Indeed, it is a unique water reservoir, which provides a pleasant swimming experience. The Aegean Sea rinses its shores and fills the pool with water. But since the pool is separated from the sea with a rock wall, the water in the lagoon is much warmer, making it much more pleasant to dive in.
Photograph by Joel Sartore Photograph by Joel Sartore The Western Rift, also called the Albertine Rift, is edged by some of the highest mountains in Africa. It contains the Rift Valley lakes, which include some of the deepest lakes in the world. Much of this area lies within the boundaries of national parks such as Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwenzori National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda, and Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.
Lango Camp, Odzala-Kokoua National Park, Congo. Odzala National Park is a national park in the Cuvette-Ouest Region of the Republic of the Congo. Founded in 1935, the park now covers 13,600 km2. It is known as one of the most important strongholds for forest elephant and western gorilla conservation remaining in Central Africa. Several luxury camps have made serve travelers who come to explore.
Photo By Mike Putnam- Mt. Jefferson Wilderness Area, Bend Oregon. Mt. Jefferson is the dominant feature of this High Cascades area, along with Three Fingered Jack. Mt. Jefferson's slopes are mantled by five glaciers: Whitewater, Waldo, Milk Creek, Russell, and Jefferson Park. There are over 150 lakes, many stocked with trout. Mt. Jefferson Wilderness covers 111,177 total acres. There are 163 miles of trail within this wilderness including a 40 mile stretch of the Pacific Crest Scenic Trail.
For the first time in five years, visitors to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore can make the icy trek along the frozen waters of Lake Superior to glimpse the millions of icicles that embellish the region's incredible ice caves. The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is made up of 22 islands in Lake Superior, located off the coast of northern Wisconsin. The area boasts some of the most impressive sea caves in the Great Lakes region.
Photograph of a 2 year old willow dome in early spring. Willow dome. A living structure that shades in the summer and lets heat through in the winter. Plant your own! It’s easy, place a willow branchs in water and let them sprout. Place in ground in a circle slightly bigger then you want your dome to be. Let them grow; remember willows love water. Once they are big enough weave their ends.
The Winter Palace is one of the most splendid buildings in St. Petersburg. Almost all the Romanovs starting from Catherine the Great resided there. The palace had hundreds of rooms; many of them were State Halls the interiors of which are preserved till the present days and open to visitors. The Winter Palace does not only display beautiful interiors but also houses the Hermitage Museum. It ranks among the best museums of West European art in the world.
Casa do Lago Bed and Breakfast, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Formerly a countryside vacation home, Casa do Lago was turned into a hotel with 15 guest apartments in five bungalows and the main house. On the 203-acre property, guests can enjoy preserved patches of Atlantic rainforest inhabited by capybaras, anteaters, deer and dozens of bird species. The hotel practices sustainability: vegetables and fruit are grown organically; cheese is handcrafted on site; water is used responsibly.
Lavender Fields in Provence, France. Photo by Jarrod Castaing. Fragrant lavender fields, cobbled streets and sizzling coastlines - Provence’s endless charms have inspired writers, painters and travellers galore. This bewitching corner of southern France combines lively coastal cities and quaint, whisper-quiet villages. The famed lavender fields bloom in summer, so travel in June to August for violet-tinged views.
A contemporary trend combines the backyard space with the original house structure, thus creating a seamless yet expanded environment that forms a ‘true’ part of the home’s compound. Scott Lewis Landscape Architects have followed this direction by creating a backyard art studio that naturally bonds with its surrounding. Located in a San Francisco home, this extended space is draped in a lush foliage of ivy, while aptly bordering a wooded park within the confines of the city.
The Eye of Africa — whose official name, the Richat Structure, seems so mundane in comparison — was spotted in central Mauritania by astronauts on early space missions. In the expanse of the Western Sahara Desert, the formation has a diameter of about 48 kilometres. At first, scientists thought a meteorite had hit the Earth, causing this impression. But now it is believed to be a symmetrical uplift that erosion has revealed. No one has explained yet why it is circular.