G'day folks,

A cemetery and the town it served sinks beneath the sea during the volcanic birth of Mt. Vulcan. 

There are no flowers or gravestones to mark the resting places of the lost citizens of Camiguin – only a giant cross rising up out of the water to mark where this place of rest once was.

In the 1870s, a volcano near this place erupted and caused the cemetery along with the capital city surrounding it to sink below sea level. In order to commemorate this place of loss, a looming cross was built in remembrance. Visitors all over the Philippines and the world come to admire this man-made marvel filled with legend and enchantment.


Some say a feeling of loneliness will hit you once you see this structure standing all alone in the middle of the sea. A place of reverence and reflection, the site is accessible by boat and visitors can stand on its small base while it remains above water. Many take the small boat ride in order to take photos and soak in the view of Mt. Vulcan, the volcano that sacrificed the people of Camiguin to the sea when it came into being.

Clancy's comment: A sad epitaph, eh?

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G'day folks,

Here, you can walk up one of Thailand’s naturally non-slip waterfalls.  

Thailand is full of pretty waterfalls, some big, some small, some in-between. And like most waterfalls in the world, and rivers in general, the wet rocks nearby tend to be slippery, often treacherously so. But one waterfall, Bua Tong, stands out from the crowd for offering a surprising amount of traction.

Bua Tong Waterfall is a small, picturesque waterfall whose milky-white waters tumble through the surrounding jungle. It falls over three tiers, at an angle of about 45 to 50 degrees, over rocks that have a strange bubble-like appearance. If this were any normal waterfall, it would be great to slide down the slippery rocks. But people don’t come to slide down Bua Tong, known as the Sticky Waterfall by locals. Instead, they walk up it.


The waterfall is fed by a calcium-rich spring at the top, which plunges down over the rocks. Over time, mineral deposits have given the rocks a pumice-like texture. So rather than being perilously slippery, the wet rocks along the Bua Tong Waterfall are actually quite rough and therefore easy to walk along—and up—even when wet.

You can walk barefoot over the “sticky” rocks, which are rough but not so rough that they’ll cut or hurt your feet. You still need to watch out for some sneaky rocks that offer less traction and are therefore potentially slippery. These tend to be grayer in color than the surrounding rocks.

The waterfall is a popular spot among locals, especially on the weekend, but is still quite light on tourists. So you can normally make the ascent without any crowds, enjoying the refreshing water and the jungle scenery as you walk up the Sticky Waterfall. And if you feel like walking some more afterward, there’s a trail from near the top of the falls to Nam Phu Chet Si, a sacred spring and shrine in the jungle. Its supposedly healing waters contain the same calcium carbonate that made Bua Tong sticky.

Clancy's comment: Amazing, eh?

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- POLAND  - 

G'day folks,

This towering statue of Jesus provided internet to the surrounding area. 

The Christ the King statue in Świebodzin, western Poland, is considered by some to be the tallest statue of Jesus in the world. It also once had internet antennas on its head, a feature that remains something of a mystery.

Poland’s Christ the King statue was completed in 2010, at a cost of around $1.5 million. Upon its inauguration, some 15,000 Christian pilgrims and tourists came to see the monumental unveiling.

The statue itself is 108 feet tall, but if you include the mound it sits on and the golden crown on its head, its total height is 167 feet. This would make it the tallest statue of Christ in the world, surpassing Cristo de la Concordia in Cochabamba, Bolivia (133 feet) and Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer (125 feet).

The statue was financed entirely through donations from the town’s 21,000 residents, along with other outside advocates of the project. Not all residents were happy, however, quietly and often anonymously arguing that the money would have been far better spent on new schools, hospitals, or roads. Many were wary of speaking out in fear of provoking the wrath of the church in what is a very Catholic town in a particularly devout country.

More controversy arose 10 years after the statue’s completion. In 2018, the Polish tabloid Fakt 24 noticed that antennas had been installed on top of Jesus’s head, tucked inside his 9.8-foot-tall golden crown. The agency sent up a drone for a better look at the equipment and confirmed that the antennas were for broadcasting an internet signal.


Still, no one seemed to want to provide a clear answer regarding the statue’s divine broadcasting abilities. Reporters contacted the Divine Mercy Parish, the religious body that oversees the statue, asking if they had rented out Jesus’s head. A spokesperson denied all knowledge and stated that Christ’s crown was not being leased to anyone.

The same reporters then found a source at an unnamed internet provider, who claimed that the antennas were placed there by request of the parish. According to the report, the source stated that the local church needed the network for a video surveillance system, and that the agreement was completely legal. The source also said that the signal was being relayed to other clients in the area.

Beyond that, it remained a mystery. Was the head of Christ the King being monetized in the pursuit of better wi-fi? Was it not profane to place antennas on the head of Jesus Christ? Opinions vary, but one thing is for certain: The towering statue is an ideal spot for an antenna array, providing an unobstructed view across the landscape and far-reaching internet coverage.

Unfortunately, all that is a thing of the past. The local bishop, when he learned about the antennas, ordered their removal because many faithful found them offensive. They were removed on May 9, 2018.

Clancy's comment: I'd have thought this was a resourceful use of a statue. 

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G'day folks,

Here,  you will find an oasis of shade and color amidst the bustle of the old city. 

Downtown Amman, Jordan, has always been known for its staircases. According to legend the city was built on seven hills, although the present-day reality is that there are many more than seven!


In this hilly place, the daily life of residents and visitors very often revolves around finding pedestrian staircases to shortcut between the vertically stacked neighborhoods of central old Amman. It can take more than an hour to go from Rainbow Street to the Grand Husseini Mosque by car; but on foot, via the network of staircases, you can make the same journey in just a few minutes.

For many years there has been a tradition of decorating the city with bright graffiti (some of it even commissioned), and this includes many very colorfully painted staircases. A more recent phenomenon, however, is the umbrella-covered staircases: also colorful, shaded, and almost oasis-like amid the heat and bustle of old Amman.

No one seems to remember which was the first, but now there are several umbrellas adorning the stairways throughout the old city. Some are seasonal, others are up all the time. There is one in the gold souks off of King Faysal Street. The most well-known is the staircase that leads up from Prince Muhammed Street up to the Zajal restaurant.

Clancy's comment: Ah, the enchantment of the Middle East.

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G'day folks,

This ancient town is full of stunning Ottoman architecture and streets so narrow trash collection is done by donkey. 

Just north of Amman, in Jordan’s Balqa Government, is a city that has been inhabited since at least the Chalcolithic period. The ancient town of Es-Salt is home to remarkable Ottoman architecture, the legendary location of the prophet Job’s interment, and streets so narrow and winding that for some residents trash collection is done via donkey instead of vehicle.

Full of gorgeous panoramas and historic structures, Es-Salt is best appreciated by way of a strenuous trek up the historic Harmony Trail. At the end of the ascent stands a striped pink-and-white stone building locally known as al-Qal’a, Arabic for “The Castle.” In fact, it is a mosque and memorial to Ottoman soldiers who died in the vicinity during World War I. Though it requires a long hike, the view of Es-Salt from The Castle is worth the effort. On this peak, you’ll be standing atop layers and layers of history.


While it was founded by Alexander the Great, there is attestation in both written and archaeological record (some of which is on display at the city’s museum) that the area was previously settled by a Semitic-speaking people. It has seen Byzantines, Ghassanid Arabs, Mongols, Mamluks, Ottomans, Brits, and others pass through—alternatively building, ravaging, repairing, and occupying the city. However, the mark left on the city by the Ottomans has persisted.

Under these Turkish-speaking rulers, Es-Salt was the administrative capital of Jordan, and it is consequently full of stunning examples of Ottoman architecture, characterized by long arching windows and elegantly carved stone. Its style has also been influenced by Nablusi architects, who came from Palestine in the late 19th century. This city boasts the oldest public secondary school in Jordan (visible in the distance from The Castle), which is still in operation. In the days when trade was carried out on foot or by caravan, Es-Salt was an important hub, lying on the path between Amman and Jerusalem.

Es-Salt has historically been a mixed city of Muslims and Christians, as attested to by the presence of numerous mosques and churches distributed among the tightly packed line of houses bordering the winding streets. Of all the churches, Al-Khader, or St. George Orthodox Church, is the most famous. It incorporates a small cave and is covered in ornate paintings of the disciples and of St. George slaying a dragon. Another highlight is the Al-Hammam Road, which runs through a bustling marketplace frequented by locals and whose doors are reminiscent of some of the famous markets in Syria. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better place to visit for an authentic Jordanian experience. 

Clancy's comment: Stunning place for a photographer.

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G'day folks,

A labyrinth of ancient tunnels hidden below the city holds the ruins of 2,500 years of history. 

Underneath the ancient city of Naples lies a vast geothermal zone composed of tuff, a volcanic rock. Over the last two-and-a-half millennia, extensive caves and tunnels have been carved out of the tuff, forming a shadow city obscured below the ground. 


The 280-mile (450-kilometer) subterranean network was formed by the Greeks in the fourth century BC to build what was then named Neapolis, or “New City.” The Romans later used the chambers and pathways to build aqueducts that provided water for many centuries of Neapolitans. As the centuries passed, buildings were constructed on top of previous ancient infrastructure, and the remains of these structures are were hidden deep below the city. 

Today, Napoli Sotterranea (Naples Underground) offers a chance to explore this Italian city from a different point of view. Down a long case descending some 120 feet (40 meters) below the earth, aqueducts, sewer tunnels, rainwater cisterns, caverns, catacombs, and pre-Christian hypogea can be found in the tuffaceous cavities, along with roadway and rail tunnels. Some caves that were part of the reservoir are still full of water today. One highlight of the subterranean network is the remains of the Greco-Roman theatre of Neapolis, where the Roman emperor Nero also had his private dressing room. 

Many years later, the underground network was used as an air raid shelter during the Second World War, and you can still see forgotten war relics such as weapons and vehicles in the tunnels. More recently, the first Hypogeum Gardens in the world can be found, an experiment to grow various species of plants far from pollution, but also light, in the dark chambers underneath the city.

Clancy's comment: one of my favourite cities. 

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29 March 2020 - ABANDONED BREAD FACTORY, Buffalo, New York

Abandoned Bread Factory
in Buffalo, New York

G'day folks,

Here we go again. Another abandoned factory, and a forsaken wonder in the middle of the East Side neighborhood. 

The Wonder Bread factory, built in 1923, was once an industrial icon of Buffalos East Side. While it was in operation, the facility produced that classic midcentury staple, as well as Hostess brand snacks. The first floor held massive Wonder ovens, making the surrounding neighborhood smell faintly of bread.

The 180,000-square-foot, steel-reinforced concrete building was built with tall ceilings, large south-facing windows, and an open layout to maximize the natural light. The blond brick exterior was topped with Roman arch-style windows that were popular with mill buildings in the late 19th century.

The factory closed in 2004, and has sat empty ever since, in an ever-worsening state of decay. Around 2010 (the same year the building was listed for sale for $800,000), the letter “B” from the giant “Wonder Bread” sign at the top of the building mysteriously went missing. Some months later, the “N” followed, and later the “E.”

The factory remains abandoned today, with just enough fading letters intact to make out its former name.

 Clancy's comment: Mm ... Imagine the great smell you would have had every day if you lived nearby. Enough to make you put on weight. Hey, the three letters that went missing were probably stolen by someone named BEN. Just a thought ...

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