- Christy Karras at Compass5 hrs ago
Look closely at the photo above, and you’ll notice dark squares in these buff-colored rocks. They’re windows into an underground world that’s been celebrated through the centuries.
At the Göreme Open Air Museum in Cappadocia, Turkey, you’ll find many of these rock-cut churches. The churches — along with kitchens, dining halls and other rooms — are part of a sprawling settlement where early Christian communities used the region’s undulating rock formations as buildings.
Now, many of these rooms are open to tourists, who pop in to see frescoes on vaulted church ceilings, climb the carved stairways and imagine the unique way of life that once flourished here.
- Christy Karras at Compass7 hrs ago
Cardiff, Wales was around for a long time before it became a capital city: Archaeological evidence suggests that Neolithic people were building settlements and forts in this marshy spot in southwestern Britain coast 6,000 years ago. Its prominence and population have grown and shrunk many times over the ensuing years. Celts flourished before the Roman invasion. The city almost disappeared once the Romans departed at the end of the 4th century and grew again with the Normans’ arrival.
An old Roman fort was the beginning of Cardiff Castle, which is still — in oft-enlarged and refurbished form — one of the city’s landmarks.
The city’s rise to greatness in the 19th century came with its transformation into a shipping town during the Industrial Revolution. Docks proliferated as its proximity to coal fields, rivers and Cardiff Bay spurred building and immigration booms. Soon, Cardiff was the world’s biggest coal port. By the 1880s, it was also Wales’ biggest city. It became the capital in 1955 based partly on political considerations but has since embraced its role as an administrative center.
- claudinezap at Compass23 hrs ago
We're all for seeing nature up close, but this could be pushing it.
Wildlife photographer Justin Hofman captured these amazing shots of southern right whales in Argentina in late October. His photos give a sense of their immense size, especially when compared to a tourist boat.
Lucky for us, Hofman had permission from the Argentine authorities to photograph the whales — so we can enjoy them from the safety of shore.
"Southern right whales use the protected lagoons of Peninsula Valdez, Argentina to birth their calfs and mate," the photographer wrote on his website. "I had the opportunity to dive with a few whales and it changed me forever."
We can see why. In one captivating picture, mother and calf swim side by side as they come in for their close-up.
It's not clear from these pics who, exactly, is watching whom. As whale watchers in a boat on the surface scan for wildlife, the mother whale swims under the vessel and appears to be checking out the humans.
- Greg Keraghosian at Compass1 day ago
Here’s a novel way to explore a city the next time you travel: Approach a random stranger on the street and ask him or her to reveal the most recent photo on their phone and tell the story behind it.
As strange and perhaps terrifying as that might sound, it’s exactly what artist Ivan Cash has done in three American cities this year. The result is a video series packed with entertaining, goofy and touching stories – stories that are all around us if we care to ask.
“To me, this project really keys in on the tension behind our phones having lots of amazingly rich, personal, social information that allows us to connect, to an extent, but then also serving as a hindrance to connecting with the people around us,” Cash told Yahoo Travel.
“We live in an era where so much of our existence—from ad campaigns to Facebook profiles—is meticulously positioned to make things seem so shiny and perfect. By focusing on the ordinary and sometimes mundane parts of life, I hope people can get a sense of how interesting real life is, and maybe become more engaged and curious with their surroundings.”
- Christy Karras at Compass1 day ago
Winter comes with its downsides: Snow. Cold. Slippery conditions. But those curses are blessings to sporty, outdoorsy types. And for the particularly adventurous, there’s nothing like a lightly traveled backcountry route away from groomed (and crowded) resort runs, even if it means a long uphill slog before the thrilling ride back to the bottom.
The skiers in the photo are headed across a mountain in the Alp-filled Verbier area of southwestern Switzerland. In his description of the image, the photographer (Flickr handle clicheforu) wrote, “Verbier is without question one of the world's premier ski resorts. The Mont Fort backside run from the top of Mont Fort (3328m), with its 1600m vertical drop down to Siviez, is one of its most outstanding attractions. It can take the better part of a day to complete this fine adventure.”
- Jenny Adams at Compass1 day ago
Roughly 200,000 people will stand for hours in below-freezing temperatures to watch the ball drop in New York City's Times Square this year. It’s quite possible that these are secret Navy Seals — can normal people actually tolerate being outside in Manhattan in December with no heat, no booze and not much to do till the ball comes down? As for the rest of us, we will be in the bar.
We wanted to salute a few spots that will be turning up the tunes and sending out the Champagne in style this year. From a beer bar with a lesser-known ball drop in Michigan to one of New York’s most coveted dance clubs, these are great choices if you have more common sense than to stand outside and wait for hours for a neon ball to descend a pole for 10 seconds.
Lavo, Las Vegas
- Kelly O'Mara at Compass1 day ago
First, man went to the moon, and then man stopped going. On Dec. 19, 1972, the last U.S. lunar mission ended when the astronauts from Apollo 17 splashed down safely in the Pacific Ocean. Russia’s final lunar mission landed in 1976 and with that, interest in traveling to the moon waned – until earlier this week.
This past Saturday, a Chinese rover made the first moon landing in 37 years. Google has offered a $20 million reward, called the XPRIZE, for the first privately-funded team to land a robot on the moon and travel across its surface.
- Christy Karras at Compass2 days ago
These gnarled but sturdy trees and roots beside Gooseberry Falls on Minnesota’s North Shore are growing in a tough spot. But they’re solidly entrenched, drawing on each other and their rocky host environment for support. The Gooseberry River flows through a steep gorge carved into ancient volcanic rock shortly before it empties into Lake Superior. These beautiful waterfalls — along with hiking, camping and shore access — make Gooseberry Falls State Park a popular stopping point for folks exploring the lakeshore.
This “Arrowhead Region” between Lake Superior and the Canadian border in far northeastern Minnesota typically gets plenty of snow in the winter, but it wasn’t that cold yet — just wet — when Flickr photographer Lake Vermillion1 visited in November. Filled by recent rains, rivers rushed past the damp landscape in picturesque fashion. But its many lakes, rivers, hills, flora and fauna make this place photogenic throughout the year.
- Drew Limsky at Compass2 days ago
Author E.M. Forster knew the value of a room with a view; he used the phrase to name one of his most beloved novels. Here are some hotels with views so special that you’ll have a hard time dragging yourself out the door.
St. Regis Bora Bora
People tend to use the shorthand “Tahiti” when referring to French Polynesia, a vast scattering of islands that covers a nearly a million square miles of the South Pacific. Some of French Polynesia’s island chains barely break the surface of the water, but the Society Islands are mountainous, with stunning Bora Bora containing the famed double peaks of Mt. Otemanu and Mt. Pahia. Mainland Bora Bora is ringed with islands, called motu, and one of the most luxurious motu resorts—positioned for maximum vistas of the lagoon and the pair of mountains—is the St. Regis Bora Bora. Overwater villas, some with their own (decadently redundant) overwater pools, boast enchanting Otemanu views.
- Christy Karras at Compass2 days ago
The National Football League was born in 1920, but until 1932, wins during the regular season determined the league champion. Problematically, different teams played widely different numbers of games during the season, which resulted in squabbles over who should claim the title. If a team was undefeated but played many fewer games, or if some of its opponents weren’t full-fledged members of the league, should it still come out ahead?
In 1932, with the Chicago Bears and the Portsmouth (Ohio) Spartans tied for win percentage, the league voted for the first time to hold a final game to determine a season winner. When a severe snowstorm loomed, organizers scrapped plans to play it at Wrigley Field. Instead, the teams played indoors on Chicago Stadium’s 80-yard dirt field (the stadium — normally used for rodeos and hockey — was the world’s largest indoor stadium at the time, with a capacity of 17,000). Chicago won 9-0.