2020年6月

Bojo河,菲律宾宿务 The Bojo River in Cebu, Philippines (© Amazing Aerial Agency/Offset by Shutterstock)

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Bojo菲律宾宿务 The Bojo River in Cebu, Philippines (© Amazing Aerial Agency/Offset by Shutterstock)

Boating on the Bojo

The Bojo River has been the lifeline for the people of Aloguinsan, a sparsely populated municipality of Cebu Province in the Philippines. This region of Cebu only recently became a tourist destination when locals started offering cruises along the Bojo in small, outrigger-style boats like the one seen in this photo. Even with this new industry boosting the local economy over the past few years, Aloguinsan remained an out-of-the-way spot for tourists—larger towns and cities nearby still attracted more visitors. But the remoteness of the Bojo was always part of the selling point: Visitors who made the effort to come take a ride down the river would get taste of the quiet life in the fishing villages along the banks.

Las Catedrales beach, Galicia, Spain (© Davide Seddio/Getty Images)

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Las Catedrales beach, Galicia, Spain (© Davide Seddio/Getty Images)

The mystery of As Catredrais

The beach of As Catedrais (The Cathedrals) we show you in our picture is one of the most beautiful and mysterious in northern Spain. It’s on the Way of Saint James (Camino de Santiago), very close from Galician town of Ribadeo, and its real name is Aguas Santas beach (Holy Waters). Everybody calls it The Cathedrals because of the arches growing from the sand tongue, which look like the buttresses of a Catholic church. They’re supposed to be natural carved by the action of salty water and wind over millions of years. And the most superstitious locals belive there’s a door in this place connecting with the beyond.

However, all these theories and legends could collapse like a house of cards If it was not the sea, but the man, who carved the rock long time ago. Or at least, if both, men and nature, worked together to form this landscape. A group of expert geologists maintain from some years now these arches and caves are not natural but the remains of an ancient Roman gold mine. They refer to archaeological studies confirming the presence of this civilization in the area looking for gold, and believe certain capricious forms of the stone suggest the action of men rather than nature or spirits.

Madonna della Corona教堂,意大利 The Sanctuary of Madonna della Corona in Italy (© Volodymyr Kalyniuk/Alamy)

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Madonna della Corona教堂意大利 The Sanctuary of Madonna della Corona in Italy (© Volodymyr Kalyniuk/Alamy)

Looking for peace on the precipice

The Sanctuary of Madonna della Corona sits on an outcropping almost 2,500 feet high overlooking the Adige River Valley in Northern Italy, near the city of Verona. Since the Middle Ages, this spot has been a destination for religious pilgrimages. The faithful are drawn no doubt by the views and, perhaps, the dangerous path to get there--enlightenment shouldn't come easy.

Over the centuries, the structure has evolved from a hermitage to a church, first inaugurated in 1530, and eventually to a sanctuary for contemplation and reflection. In the mid-1970s, architect Guido Tisato oversaw a major renovation, including digging out more of the mountain to add additional space. Today, visitors can reach the sanctuary from above via a paved path or from below, on a longer trail, known as the 'Path of Hope,' that ends with a steep staircase zigzagging upward. We think those who manage the climb up may be justified in feeling a little superior.

German Navy tall ship Gorch Fock in waters close to Reykjavík, Iceland (© DEEPOL by plainpicture/Henn Photography)

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German Navy tall ship Gorch Fock in waters close to Reykjavík, Iceland (© DEEPOL by plainpicture/Henn Photography)

Hoisting a flag for seafarers

Here above the chilly seas off Iceland, we're peering down at a tall ship called the Gorch Fock—a training vessel of the German Navy. Built in 1958, it replaced the original 1933 Gorch Fock, which was seized by the Soviets in the wake of World War II (but is now back home in Stralsund, Germany, as a museum ship). Because traditionally rigged tall ships are valued as tools for learning general sailing skills, the '58 Gorch Fock is still in official service—but for much of the 21st century, it's been in and out of drydock for repairs and safety improvements.

Today marks the International Day of the Seafarer, which serves to highlight how crucial overseas shipping is to daily life around the world. The event is also intended to remind us of the bravery and sacrifice shown by sailors of all stripes as they endeavor to perform this essential function. As much as 90% of all cargo travels by sea at some point in its journey to the store or your door, so next time you encounter an old sea dog on a dark and stormy night, be sure to say thanks.

穆龙达瓦附近的格兰迪尔猴面包树林,马达加斯加 Grandidier's baobab forest near Morondava, Madagascar (© Thomas Marent/Minden Pictures)

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穆龙达瓦附近的格兰迪尔猴面包树林马达加斯加 Grandidier's baobab forest near Morondava, Madagascar (© Thomas Marent/Minden Pictures)

Beautiful baobabs

Today we celebrate the island nation of Madagascar, located off the southeast coast of Africa, which became independent of France 60 years ago today, in 1960. Madagascar's national tree is the stately baobab—impossibly tall and imposing, but a little silly at the same time. In fact, its nickname is the 'upside-down tree,' since it looks like it was planted with its roots in the air. Six of the world's nine baobab species are native to Madagascar. The trees we're looking at today are the Grandidier baobab, the largest of them all, lining the Avenue of the Baobabs near the western coast.

This species can grow up to 100 feet tall and 36 feet in diameter, a measurement that can actually change as the trunks store water during rainy seasons to help them survive in times of drought. Baobabs are also known for their longevity; those growing along the Avenue of the Baobabs are estimated to be 2,800 years old. Locally, Grandidier baobabs are referred to as 'renala,' or 'mother of the forest.'

公牛角,英国德文郡 Bull Point in Devon, England (© Robert Harding World Imagery/Offset by Shutterstock)

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公牛角英国德文郡 Bull Point in Devon, England (© Robert Harding World Imagery/Offset by Shutterstock)

Flowers by the sea

It might be hard to believe that this breathtaking stretch of coastline near Bull Point on the northern coast of Devon, England, was once notorious for smugglers and wreckers. Today, it's a respite from the crowds, boasting views of dramatic cliffs, rocky headlands, and sandy bays. Along these shores in summertime you can spot colorful patches of wildflowers, which have become a less common sight in the UK over the last hundred years or so. In fact, the country has lost 97% of its wildflower meadows since the 1930s as land has been turned over to grow food crops. Some once-common species like the crested-cow-wheat, spiked rampion, and man orchid, are so rare they can only be found at the edges of rural roadsides and small, family-owned farms.

Thankfully, the wildflowers pictured here, Armeria maritima, aka sea pink or sea thrift, continue to bloom among the rocky terrain. These pinkish blooms are native to coastal climates and often flourish on the sides of cliffs—and we're sure glad they still do.

Artist Saype's 'Beyond Walls' installation in the Parc de la Grange, Geneva, Switzerland (© Valentin Flauraud/Shutterstock)

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Artist Saype's 'Beyond Walls' installation in the Parc de la Grange, Geneva, Switzerland (© Valentin Flauraud/Shutterstock)

'Beyond Walls' for World Refugee Day

For World Refugee Day, we're featuring an aerial view of 'Beyond Walls,' an art installation by the French artist Saype. In the span of five years, he aims to create the longest symbolic human chain around the world by constructing outdoor designs of interlaced hands just like this in over 20 cities. The first four were completed in 2019 in Paris, Andorra, Berlin and Geneva, Switzerland, shown here.

His series hopes to promote unity and kindness, which seems an apt message for World Refugee Day. According to the United Nations, which established World Refugee Day in 2000, every minute some 20 people leave everything behind to escape war, persecution, or terror. Today's observance is intended to raise awareness of their plight.