值得一去的魅力峡谷 A gorge-ous place to drop in
Trojan War-era rest stop? Local legend has it that this striking and historic location in southern Crete was a stopover on Odysseus's long return to Ithica. Whatever credence you give to Homeric tales of island hopping, there's no denying the appeal of the palm-lined Preveli Gorge or the enchanting beach it pours out to. Preveli Beach, just out of the frame of this image, was a favorite spot for hippie travelers in the '60s and '70s and remains an idyllic tourist destination today.
Like most of the ancient, well-trodden Mediterranean islands, Crete—the largest of the many Greek isles—has a rich, epoch-spanning history. Here on Crete's southern coast, Preveli Gorge is home to an influential monastery with two building complexes: the Lower (Kato) Monastery of Saint John the Baptist and the Rear (Pisso) Monastery of Saint John the Theologian. The holy sites date back at least as far as the 16th century, and possibly had origins as far back as the 10th century.
During the long occupation of Crete by the Ottoman Empire, Preveli Monastery was a center of rebellion and patriotism, with monks often serving as leaders and warriors in the many revolts against the occupiers. After more than 250 years, Crete finally won its freedom and joined Greece in 1913. The monastery would again find itself at the center of world events when it provided shelter and supplies to Allied soldiers fighting German occupiers during World War II.
Zion National Park, Utah
Today, we're celebrating the 102nd anniversary of Southwest Utah's Zion National Park with a visit to its Subway slot canyon. Zion is defined by its breathtakingly steep red cliffs, its maze of sandstone canyons, and its waterfalls with colorful hanging gardens. Visitors here can trek for miles, ducking into crevices and resting in canyons once occupied by the Ancestral Puebloans.
The bravest souls might venture into Zion's Subway. Yes, there's a 'subway' here, but it's not a transit system nor a sandwich shop. You see the image we are featuring today? That's the Subway. It's a geologic marvel, a hollowed-out canyon reminiscent of a subway tunnel. To get here requires some technical experience, or at least a guide. There will be bouldering, climbing down waterfalls, possibly rappelling, and a 9-mile roundtrip hike on a trail which is a running stream with parts so deep, hikers have to wade or swim, depending on water levels. Did we mention the water is cold? But all that work will be worth it in the end for a photo like this. Zion is the third most-visited national park in the country, but the park grants just 60 permits a day to hikers who want to attempt a visit to the Subway.
Spain El Tajo Gorge
Today we're visiting the mountaintop town of Ronda in the Málaga province of Andalusia, in the south of Spain. First settled by the Celts and later inhabited by the Romans and Moors, this dramatic cliffside setting is split in two by the El Tajo gorge, a rocky drop plummeting nearly 400 feet to the Guadalevín River. There are three bridges that span the gorge, the largest and newest of which features in the center of our homepage image and is—appropriately enough—called Puente Nuevo (New Bridge). Despite its name, the bridge is more than couple of centuries old—it was completed in 1793 and connects the Moorish old town, La Ciudad, with the new town, El Mercadillo.
The Puente Nuevo was completed by Spanish architect Jose Martín de Aldehuela, who also designed another of the historic town's famous landmarks—the open-air circular building you can see to the left of the bridge. The Plaza de Toros de Ronda is one of Spain's oldest bullrings. Built entirely of stone in the 1780s, it's considered the birthplace of modern bullfighting. It was frequented by two giants of American culture—Ernest Hemingway and Orson Welles, who were inspired by Ronda's beauty and bullfighting traditions. They spent many summers in these parts, and Welles' ashes were scattered in the town at the country estate of his great bullfighting friend, Antonio Ordóñez.
今天，我们将参观西班牙南部安达卢西亚马拉加省的山顶小镇隆达。最初由凯尔特人定居，后来由罗马人和摩尔人居住，这一引人注目的悬崖边环境被El-Tajo峡谷一分为二，这是一个岩石瀑布，垂直下落近400英尺，直达瓜达莱文河。有三座桥横跨峡谷，其中最大、最新的一座桥位于我们主页图像的中心，被恰当地称为Puente Nuevo（新桥）。尽管它的名字，这座桥已经有两个多世纪的历史了。它是在1793年建成的，连接着摩尔人的老城La Ciudad和新城El Mercadillo。
Puente Nuevo由西班牙建筑师Jose Martín de Aldehuela完成，他还设计了这座历史小镇的另一个著名地标——你可以在桥的左侧看到的露天圆形建筑。隆达广场是西班牙最古老的斗牛场之一。在1780年代完全用石头建成，它被认为是现代斗牛的发源地。两位美国文化巨人欧内斯特·海明威（Ernest Hemingway）和奥森·威尔斯（Orson Welles）经常光顾这里，他们的灵感来自隆达的美丽和斗牛传统。他们在这些地方度过了许多夏天，威尔斯的骨灰散落在镇上他伟大的斗牛朋友安东尼奥·奥德涅斯的乡村庄园里。
Bidding summer adieu
Today, on the traditional end of the French summer season, we're featuring the wild beauty of the Gorges du Tarn, a canyon formed by the Tarn River in south central France. The Tarn Gorge is about 33 miles long and, at points, almost 2,000 feet deep. It's a popular spot for tourists, especially kayakers and rock climbers. History buffs also find much to explore, including the castles and villages built along—or even carved into—the canyon walls, like Castelbouc in today's image.