#Secrets – I love this #FriFotos theme.
As world-travellers, we live to uncover and discover new and unusual secrets of any destination. Any nugget of information on the history of a place, little-known hangouts and different sights or views are the sorts of aspects that keep me scouring the globe with a fine-toothed comb. You’ll know how rewarding it is when you uncover a secret! The sheer thrill and joy of being the first to break the secret to others is exhilarating. It’s a little victory. The thought of helping others enjoy something different, new or unusual confounds our prolonged search.
Here’s a photo essay of some of my recent ‘secrets’ from around the globe…
The haunting bells of Borobudur Temple in Java, Indonesia cast in a warm pink glow as dawn breaks and the sun rises. The site is renowned for its mystical ambiance and eons of untold history. Secret? Inside one of the bells, lies a hidden statue of Buddha. He / She who finds it will be blessed for life.
Mount Bromo volcano in East Java at sunrise. It’s constantly jutting plumes of ash and smoke miles high into the Indonesian skies and erupted several years back causing large-scale disruption, leaving people stranded and homeless. But mysteriously, the Lord Brahma temple located at the foot of the Volcano was left untouched and unscathed; not a droplet of lava. It has never been explained as no-one knows how or why.
A hypnotic trance-induced dance in Bali, Indonesia. 50+ men and women dance in an alter state, induced into a trance, culminating in a man walking and dancing on fire with the head of an animal. It’s quite a frightening and surreal experience. But nobody can tell me how the trance is induced.
These are ancient prayer rituals on the banks of the River Ganges in the deeply spiritual and religious town of Haridwar, India. It’s a land of contrast and contradiction as the river provides food for the poor and bears the ashes of the dead, believed to absolve spirits of sins. People bathe in it, drink its water and yet it’s one of the most polluted. Despite this, the waters flow crystal clear in many parts with no real explanation.
These colourful bangles and prayer flags are tied around a tree outside a mountain-top temple in Mussoorie in India. They represent the hopes, dreams and wishes of thousands of girls and women who make the journey to the temple, to pray for their deepest most heartfelt desires. There’s no secret like a woman’s secret.
An age-old beautiful mosaic discovered in the historic coastal town of Byblos, from which the term ‘Bible’ is derived. Lebanon has lost much of its historical artefacts in wars. What was remained is often damaged. But this mosaic survived the test of time, despite a little damage. The secrets of Lebanon are resurfacing each day, as new building work digs uncover more ancient history below it’s grounds.
A lady pays respects at the modest shrine of Lebanon’s late Prime Minister. He was assassinated in Beirut in 2005. Despite much speculation, the culprits have never been arrested.
These piles of rocks can be seen all over the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Petra in Jordan. As you get off the beaten track and find yourself completely alone in this monumental and awe-inspiring site, these rocks are the only indication of pathways leading somewhere. But be warned, many lead straight off a very high cliff!
The striking Monastery in Petra is filled with secrets that may never be known. Huge gaps in its history and even it’s true origins leave an iconic building carved into Sandstone cliffs, with no real knowledge of its beginnings. A secret untold…perhaps forever!
As the fiery sun sinks into Petra, it takes with it another day on untold history. It’s thought more than 85% of Petra is yet to be discovered. Secrets just waiting to be told…
This dog sleeps peacefully after a hectic morning of coloured powder-throwing in Shimla in India. The day starts bright and early as entire cities douse each other in paint of the brightest colours. One of the most spectacularly colourful festivals in India. But what’s he dreaming about? Shhh, it’s a secret!