Lake Barrine, Australia

Didn’t know much about Lake Barrine when we headed out from Carnes, Australia. Thought it was a mini version of the super volcanic Lake Toba in Indonesia.

When we arrived, we realized it was a very picturesque crater lake of 1 km diameter, average 65m deep with no streams or springs feeding into it. The contained rain water is calm, crystal clear with lots of fauna surrounded by rain forest on the landside. The setting was quiet and tranquil.

We were entranced by the view  as we sat out in the verandah of a pre-war  built tea house overlooking  the water and surrounding rainforest. . . . . life could not be more blissful than enjoying the view and at the same time sampling the delicious freshly baked scones and legendary Devonshire tea offered by the tea house.

We boarded a boat and began the tour around the lake. There were birds sitting out on dead tree trunks fallen over to the lake, pythons basking in the sun,  ducks swimming happily, not forgetting to mention the variety of different types of trees and plants surrounding the lake. The lake exhibited a hue of vivid deep blue and it was just perfect – heavenly!

Nearby was the rain forest with tall trees ( red cedar trees, flowering umbrella trees and curtain or cathedral fig trees in the photo). Very typical of rain forest, but nevertheless eye-opening.

We then travelled on to the Paronella Park which was a dream park built by the Spaniard José Paronella in the 1930s; this was also the place where some of the Japanese animation were based. A Spanish castle and fountain were built by José near to the Mena Creek Falls. It was not difficult to imagine how gorgeous they were when the park was opened to the public in 1935. In the park, we also visited a cave with hundreds of bats hanging from the cave soffit. . . .what a sight!
It turned out that the whole trip offered a lot more than expected. . . . . another memorable trip with images infiltrated deep into our brains!

Cappadocia – The Land of Fairies

It was awe-inspiring to visit the land of fairies, Cappadocia. for its seemingly extraterrestrial landscape and underground cities.

The land of fairies is in a small area in Central Turkey which has a unique, almost surreal, landscape. This area is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Travelling to Cappadocia is a lesson which teaches you what mother nature can do to the earth. It is also a dreamy journey into physical geography and geology.

Past volcanic activities formed a plateau of ash and the strange, rugged rock formations were created by the forces of erosion. These formations are known as “fairy chimneys” as the early inhabitants of the region believed that humans could not have built them, and as fairies lived underground, they must be the chimneys sticking out.

The unusual structures were created through erosion of rain, wind and temperature fluctuations. Various forms of rock formations such as cones were formed as the softer ash layers eroded faster than the harder layers of basalt which remained on top capping the conical structures underneath.

The tuff ash was easy to work with primitive tools and many cave dwellings and churches were cut into the cones and valley walls.

Starting 1968 when Eric Van Daniken, in his book “Chariots of the Gods”, alluded to the idea of aliens presence on earth,  authors have suggested that Cappadocia may have been formed as a result of a nuclear war waged by extraterrestrials in the area. It was also quipped that part of Star Wars was filmed with this area as a backdrop.

Yes, we can stretch our imagination  as much as we can. However, I rather want to leave Cappadocia with a memory that it is a land of fairies, not wars.