Perito Moreno Waterfalls – Friday’s Weekly Travel Photo

Hiking Perito Moreno Glacier - Patagonia, Argentina

I love hiking near water.  I’m not sure if that love stems from early childhood when I was imprinted with wonderful memories while hiking along snow-melt fed streams in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, or results from having spent the majority of my life in the dry, dust-filled deserts of South-Central Arizona.  Regardless, the opportunity to hike next to/through/along/over rivers and waterfalls is always high on my priority list.  Thus, the chance to hike along and then out onto the Perito Moreno Glacier in Patagonia, Argentina was extremely appealing.  I signed up, geared up, and was off on a full-day hike.  What I didn’t expect, however, was to have the chance to hike along the base of a series of steep cliff faces decorated by rich, blooming vegetation and roaring waterfalls.  After all, when I think of Glaciers I think of snow and ice…not green vegetation and blooming flowers.  In the photo featured in today’s weekly travel photograph the glacier is immediately behind me.  The waterfall pictured flowed down across the path, before cascading over a swath of black rocks and then diving into a channel carved beneath the base of the glacier.

Would you like to see previous Friday Photos? View past travel pictures here.

Friday’s Weekly Travel Photo – A Danish Windmill in Snow

Copenhagen in Winter

The historic Kastellet military fortification is located in the heart of central Copenhagen. The fortification is hailed as one of the best protected fortifications in Europe and in its heyday connected to the series of ramparts which encircled the historic city and protected it from invaders. While the Kastellet fortification is fascinating and dates back to 1624, what’s more important for the sake of this post is the Windmill situated within the fortress’ sloped earthen walls. This windmill was built in 1847 and replaced a previous windmill that had stood in the same spot for over a hundred years. Unbelievably, the windmill is still working, though it was closed for the winter during my visit.  This photo showcases leftover snowfall, the windmill and one of the city’s many cathedrals in the background on the opposite side of the fortress’s moat.

Would you like to see previous Friday Photos?  View past travel pictures here.

Friday’s Weekly Travel Photo – Up Close and Personal

Copenhagen Zoo Mother Cat

Recently I had the opportunity to spend a little time nose-to-nose with this mother Caracal.  Caracals are a type of mid-sized wild cat which are easily identified by the black tufts of fur at the end of their ears. This has historically led to a number of nicknames including the Persian, Egyptian and African Lynx.    While not actually a species of Lynx, they are fast, agile, and incredibly graceful.  The female Caracal you see in the photo above was just inches (and one sturdy piece of glass) away from me at the Copenhagen Zoo.  She recently had several adorable kittens (additional photo here) which she decided I had spent enough time around.  After her not-so-gentle warning/snapping this photo I decided to back off and leave them to their nap.  Have you ever seen a Caracal?  What did you think?

Would you like to see previous Friday Photos?  View past travel pictures here.

Friday’s Weekly Travel Photo – Porch of the Caryatids in Athens

BackpackingEurope-3525

While Greece and Athens in particular have faced significant challenges over the last few months due to the nation’s economic woes I was recently reminded of my visit to the Acropolis.  While the actual Parthenon is without question one of the most impressive buildings in Greece, one of my favorites in the area is the Porch of the Caryatids.  Located within the greater Acropolis along side the Parthenon, it is much smaller but has its own beauty and special personality. The porch is located on the back side of the Erechtheion Temple which dates back to around 400 BC and the Caryatids are a series of beautifully carved women that double as pillars holding up the porch.  Enjoy this photo taken on a brilliant blue December day and make sure to note Athens sprawling in the distance as a fascinating combination of both ancient and modern history.

Friday’s Weekly Travel Photo – Preikestolen Norway

Over the Edge - Preikestolen

Today’s Friday Photo comes from Preikestolen, Norway also known as the Preacher’s Pulpit.   This incredible rock formation overlooks the Lysefjorden and consists of a rock outcropping which is about 82 feet by 82 feet and projects out into empty space over the fjord.  As you can see from today’s photo the view down is pretty stunning.  What you’re looking at is about 1,982 feet of fresh Norwegian air between the ledge, my boots and the fjord below.  Due to the nearly square nature of the pulpit and the sturdy nature of the rock which forms it, most visitors pause to look over the edge before dangling their toes out into empty space.  As someone who isn’t a huge fan of heights it definitely pushed my comfort zone but was a wonderful experience, and one that helped me partially overcome my fear of heights. There are no guide rails, ropes, or other safety devices in place.

To reach Preikestolen there’s a semi-rugged 3.8km hike which climbs about 1,000 feet. However, the path tends to rise and fall several times as you hike along ridges and past a number of small lakes.  While parts of the path are very easy and well maintained others tend to be pretty steep and be made largely of small boulders.  If you find yourself in Norway, I highly suggest making the trip.  The closest major city is Stavanger, located in the South West of Norway.

Remember you can see Friday Photos from previous weeks here.

This post was made possible in part due to the support of ESTA Permits, offering their visum USA service.