G'day folks,

This World War I fortress is the perfect place to catch a Montenegrin sunset.  

This Austro-Hungarian fortress was used by the Austrians during World War I, as they traded artillery shells with Montenegrin forces. It was originally constructed around 1884-1886. Although the turret guns are long gone, the fortress and all its glory still remain.

 The fortress was later used as a prison during the mid-20th century. Now, it sits completely abandoned on top of a mountain overlooking both the bay of Kotor and Tivat. Although it’s now now covered in graffiti, it remains an amazing place to explore. It’s also an excellent spot to watch the sunset. The views are probably among the best in the entire region.


Clancy's comment: Worth a visit I would say.

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23 January 2022 - FORT of SAN CRISTOBAL - Spain



 - SPAIN - 

G'day folks,

This huge abandoned fortress hidden inside a mountain holds a world of subterranean secrets. 

An enormous underground fortress hides within a Spanish mountaintop. Officially closed and abandoned by the military, its maze of silent corridors leads urban explorers, graffiti writers, and investigators of the paranormal alike deep into its world of subterranean secrets and horrors.

Originally viewed as a turn-of-the-century fortification in the early 1900s, the San Cristóbal Fortress was soon rendered obsolete with the emergence of airstrike operations. During the Spanish Civil War and Franco’s dictatorship, it was transformed into a prison that hosted thousands of men within its damp walls.

 During the fort’s stint as a prison, it became known for its harsh conditions. Summary executions, starvation, and tuberculosis were occurrences within the dank, depressing space. It wasn’t long before the mountain became filled with unnamed corpses, secretly buried in mass graves.

Not all captives were willing to accept their harsh fates. Beneath the light of a full moon in May of 1938, during the Spanish Civil War, 795 prisoners escaped from the fortress and fled into the night. Unfortunately, most were rearrested and once again faced deplorable conditions. More than 200 people died, hunted by guards and executed. Only three men managed to successfully escape to France.

The prison closed in 1945. A monument to those who escaped in search of freedom now stands atop the mountain.


Clancy's comment: Wow, only three managed to escape to France. 

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G'day folks,

This is one of the few places in the world where visitors can walk alongside fossilized tracks from 80 different dinosaur species. 

As you walk around this natural monument in Northeastern Brazil, alongside dinosaur footprints in different shapes and sizes and life-size replicas of these jurassic creatures, you’ll be taken back in time over 100 million years ago.

The Valley of the Dinosaurs (Vale dos Dinossauros) contains about 20 fossilized dino tracks from 80 different species of dinosaurs. The walkways let visitors near 50 fossilized footprints of the carnivorous Noasauridae and 53 tracks of the herbivore Iguanodon, among many others.

The impressive tracks are set within a 270-square-mile preserved ecological area. The damp earth from rivers and ponds hardened over periods of drought, gained new layers of clay and fossilized these footprints for posteriority, making this area one of the most important places for dinosaur lovers all over the world.  

If you want to find out more about who these Brazilian jurassic creatures were, what they ate, how fast they ran, if they hatched their eggs, or if they could fly, you can also visit the museum of the Valley of the Dinosaurs. There, investigators carry on unraveling mysteries and working so they can answer questions from curious visitors, filmmakers, and children. 

Clancy's comment: It's hard to imagine that these creatures existed.

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G'day folks,

Here, you will find huge spherical rocks in the middle of the prairie.  

Dotting the pristine prairie hills of Southern Alberta, these large and exceptionally spherical red rocks make it feel as though you’re standing on Mars. Some of the fiery-hued boulders are over 8 feet across (2.5 meters), putting them among the largest sandstone concretions in the world.

 This geological oddity can be a little tricky to get to, just enough off the beaten path to keep the area remarkably quiet, only adding to the otherworldly feel. Red Rock Coulee is about 30 miles (50 kilometers) southwest of the city of Medicine Hat, and although it’s not really on your way to anywhere, this detour or day trip is an interesting sight.

You can climb the large rocks and marvel at the mystery of their formation. One of the spheres is split clean in half, showing off its strange shape. The concretions have eroded out of the soft bedrock that blankets the area, and turned red from iron oxide. If you’re in luck you can study the unique quartz crystals you can find in the area, while taking in the beautiful sunrise or sunset over the colorful badlands landscape. 

Clancy's comment: Weird, eh? That's nature.

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G'day folks,

The runoff from these fiery cliffs sends red water flowing into the sea. 

This canyon stretches across the earth like a great red scar. The sandstone’s hues are so fiery, you’d be forgiven for mistaking it for Mars or some other martian landscape.

This gorgeous gorge is found in Ankarafantsika Nature Reserve, a national park in northwestern Madagascar. Unlike the rainforests of the east and spiny dry forests of the south, Ankarafantsika is more of a dry tropical forest with some savannah.


Although beautiful, this canyon has witnessed dark times thanks to heavy deforestation. Losing so many trees has left the land prone to erosion, which has caused the soil to crumble and move. The erosion is to the point that the red waters running into the sea can be seen from space. The canyon is a sight to behold, yet also a reminder to value and protect the plants that hold together such a wonderful place.

 Inside this reserve, animals like chameleons (the largest in the world), vanga birds, and speckled butterflies are plentiful to the point of distraction. Primates like sifakas lazily lounge outside villager houses waiting for handouts while mongoose lemurs forage in pairs far above in the tree canopy.
Clancy's comment: Yet, another example of human intervention.

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G'day folks,

This giant disc-shaped gate took 20 men to close off this city in Madagascar. 

In the 18th century, Ambohimanga was a town that needed to protect its royal family. Shielded naturally by forests, the town also erected a massive wall, and seven outer gates to protect its people. The main entrance of these seven gates guarding the town from attackers was known as Ambatomitsangana, the standing stone, and it proudly still waits in position to be used for protection. 

The standing stone is exactly as it sounds, a massive stone disc weighing 12 tons. As with many walled cities of the Merina Kingdom in Madagascar at the time, the gates were created out of circular discs that were pushed into position by hordes of men every night. The stone disc guarding Ambohimanga took 20 men, and was over 130 feet in circumference. Each night, these guards would roll the stone into position, blocking off the main entrance to the town.

Today, the entire Ambohimanga area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is home to royal burial grounds, the queen’s pavilions and the gigantic standing stone. 


Clancy's comment: Man, that is one whopping gate.

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G'day folks,

The centuries old trees lining both sides of this dirt road may become Madagascar's first natural monument. 

The dirt road on the west coast of Madagascar linking Morondava and Belo Tsiribihina is framed by dozens of rare and ancient baobab trees creating a setting so beautiful and unique that it may become the country’s first official natural monument.

These giant, dry season-deciduous trees (members of the Mallow family), many of which are more than 800 years old with trunks that are over 150 feet around did not always stand alone. At one time the trees dotting the lane were part of a rich forest of the trees and other plants, but the encroachment of modern civilization and increasing populations in the area led to massive deforestation leaving the remaining baobabs to stand in relative isolation. There are also a handful of the ancient trees remaining in the outlying areas but both the trees along the road otherwise are under near-constant threat of destruction. When Arab seafarers first visited a bit over 1000 years ago, they said the devil ripped them out of the ground and put them back upside down, for their canopies resemble roots.

Thankfully, private organizations have taken notice of the site and are now promoting efforts to have the avenue protected, making it the country’s first nationally recognized natural monument, so that the trees might survive for another 800 years to come.  Baobabs are incredibly useful plants, their trunks are harmlessly tapped for water during the dry season and have even been lived in, the young leaves (when reachable) are eaten as a salad vegetable when little else is available, and the nutritious sour brown pulp (tasting somewhat like tamarind) of the hard-shelled fruits is made into a pleasant summertime beverage all over Africa, and is also an ingredient in a Senegalese peanut and couscous dessert pudding called Ngalakh. These trees are popular in novelty gardens around the warmer parts of the Mediterranean and sometimes show up in southern California, they are hardy to plant hardiness zone 10a (minimum of 30 to 35 F) and will not survive more than 8 to 10 hours in the snow. Another peculiar fact is that baobabs blossom, but the blooming period is very short, only about 24 hours.

Clancy's comment: Stunning trees. Stunning avenue.

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 - JAPAN -

G'day folks,

Stretching for 22 miles, the world's longest tree-lined avenue dates back to the early 17th-century. 

Despite not being a single continuous road, the Cedar Avenue of Nikkō is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest tree-lined avenue in the world. It’s also the only cultural property designated by the Japanese government as both a Special Historic Site and a Special Natural Monument.

After the death of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate, the grand Nikkō Tōshōgū shrine was established to entomb his remains. Samurai lords from across the country traveled to Nikkō to visit his grave and pay respect to the great shogun, and the road from Edo (today’s Tokyo) to Nikkō was rapidly renovated. Matsudaira Masatsuna, a samurai lord who served Ieyasu in his youth, began planting cryptomeria trees imported from Kii Province to honor his former master, continueing to plant them for over 20 years until his death. By 1648, about 15,000 trees had been planted along the Cedar Avenue.


After Masatsuna’s death, the trees were handed over to the governor of Nikkō, who tended them with the utmost care. Despite numerous discussions of lumbering, the Cedar Avenue was protected and preserved by both the government and the public. Even today, nearly 400 years after the first planting, about 12,500 trees have survived despite the road still being active.

Because of vehicle exhaust emissions and development in the area, an average of more than 100 trees die every year, putting Cedar Avenue in danger of disappearing in less than 100 years at the current pace. To protect this historic site, Tochigi Prefecture established an “ownership program”: those who wish can purchase one of the trees for 10 million yen (approx. 95,000 USD), which funds conservation of the trees. Currently, 412 people own 553 of the cryptomeria trees along the Cedar Avenue of Nikkō.

Clancy's comment: Extraordinary! What a fabulous avenue.

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