Imagine Peace Tower, Iceland

IMAGINE PEACE TOWER is a Tower of Light which emanates wisdom, healing and joy. It communicates awareness to the whole world that peace & love is what connects all lives on Earth.

IMAGINE PEACE TOWER is an outdoor work of art conceived by Yoko Ono in memory of John Lennon. It is located on Viðey Island in Kollafjörður Bay near Reykjavík, Iceland. The artwork was dedicated to John by Yoko at its unveiling on October 9th 2007, John Lennon’s 67th birthday.

It consists of a tall "tower of light", projected from a white stone monument that has the words "Imagine Peace" carved into it in 24 languages. These words, and the name of the tower, are a reference to Lennon's peace anthem, Imagine.

The Tower consists of 15 searchlights with prisms that act as mirrors, reflecting the column of light vertically into the sky from a 10-metre wide wishing well. It often reaches cloudbase and indeed can be seen penetrating the cloud cover. On a clear night it appears to reach an altitude of at least 4000m. The power for the lights is provided by Iceland's unique geo-thermal energy grid. It uses approximately 75 kW of power.

Buried underneath the light tower are upward of 500,000 written wishes that Ono gathered over the years in another project, called "Wish Trees". Ono plans to have the tower lit every year from 9 October, Lennon's birthday, through 8 December, the date he was shot. Iceland was selected for the project because of its beauty and its eco-friendly use of geothermal energy.

IMAGINE PEACE TOWER symbolizes Lennon’s and Ono’s continuing campaign for world peace  - which began in the sixties, was sealed by their marriage in 1969 and will continue forever.

The words IMAGINE PEACE are inscribed on the Well in 24 different languages.

IMAGINE PEACE TOWER is composed of a tall shimmering tower of light that appears every year and be visible from October 9th (John’s birthday) until December 8th (the anniversary of his death).

In addition, the Tower will illuminate from Winter Solstice (December 21st – 28th), on New Year’s Eve (December 31st) and the first week of spring (March 21st -28th). It is lit from 2 hours after sunset until midnight, and until dawn on New Year’s Day.

One of the mesmerising features of the IMAGINE PEACE TOWER is that the strength, intensity and brilliance of its light continually changes with the prevailing weather and atmospheric conditions unique to Iceland - creating a clear pillar of light on a cloudless night, beams irridescing with rainbow refractions in rain or snowfall, and brilliantly reflecting off and through any moving layers of cloud.

The Legendry Great Belize Blue Hole, Belize City, Central America

The Blue Hole, one of the world’s most stunning dive spots, is a breathtaking must-see submarine sinkhole off the coast of Belize. The Blue Hole, which looks like a colossal pupil staring up from the middle of the ocean, is a little more than forty miles away from Belize City, which makes for easy, nearby sightseeing. The Blue Hole is listed as a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage Site, which defines it as a location of great cultural and/or physical significance. It is easy to see that the Blue Hole’s beauty and uniqueness add to its candidacy for the list.

For millions of years the Blue Hole was a dry cave in which massive stalactites and stalagmites slowly formed. When the last ice age ended thousands of years ago, sea levels rose to cover the cave. When diving the Blue Hole, you swim under what is left of the old ceiling to view the remaining stalactites and stalagmites.

The deeper one dives into the Blue Hole, the clearer the water and the more breathtaking the scenery, as the array of bizarre stalactites and limestone formations which mold its walls become more complex and intense.

Water doesn’t circulate freely in the Blue Hole, so there is very little marine life below its shallow depths. In the deeper waters of the Blue Hole, one might see the scarce sighting of sharks. Caves are filled with huge stalactites and stalagmites at the 150 foot level — some ranging from an incredible 30 to 40 feet (9 to 12 meters) long and 5 to10 feet (1.5 to 3 meters) in diameter.

The temperature at a depth of 130 feet (40 meters) is about 76 degrees F (24 C) the year round. It’s like nature’s bathtub! 

The Great Blue Hole is a large submarine sinkhole off the coast of Belize. It lies near the center of Lighthouse Reef, a small atoll 70 kilometres (43 mi) from the mainland and Belize City. The hole is circular in shape, over 300 metres (984 ft) across and 124 metres (407 ft) deep. It was formed during several episodes of Quaternary glaciation when sea levels were much lower - the analysis of stalactites found in Great Blue Hole shows that formation took place 153,000, 66,000, 60,000, and 15,000 years ago. As the ocean began to rise again, the caves were flooded. The Great Blue Hole is a part of the larger Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, a World Heritage Site of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Pamukkale Hierapolis Travertine Pools, Turkey

Pamukkale, meaning "cotton castle" in Turkish, is a natural site in Denizli Province in southwestern Turkey. The city contains hot springs and travertines, terraces of carbonate minerals left by the flowing water. It is located in Turkey's Inner Aegean region, in the River Menderes valley, which has a temperate climate for most of the year.

The ancient Greco-Roman and Byzantine city of Hierapolis was built on top of the white "castle" which is in total about 2,700 metres (8,860 ft) long, 600 m (1,970 ft) wide and 160 m (525 ft) high. It can be seen from the hills on the opposite side of the valley in the town of Denizli, 20 km away.

Tourism is and has been a major industry. People have bathed in its pools for thousands of years. As recently as the mid-20th century, hotels were built over the ruins of Heropolis, causing considerable damage. An approach road was built from the valley over the terraces, and motor bikes were allowed to go up and down the slopes. When the area was declared a World Heritage Site, the hotels were demolished and the road removed and replaced with artificial pools. Wearing shoes in the water is prohibited to protect the deposits.

The Pamukkale travertine pools are a strange formation caused by thermal springs that have been going forever.  The mineral composition of the water creates white travertine pools.  It looks like someone sprayed the whole hillside with liquid marble, and then dug out little pools.  Even Cleopatra came to bath here, so it’s only natural that we follow. It’s not the most exciting place, but it’s different, and you should go if you’re close by.

The strange and weirdly beautiful terraced pools of Pamukkale have been appreciated for over two millennia and yet still remain a little known wonder of the world. Thousands of years ago earthquakes, which are common in Turkey, created fractures that allowed powerful hot springs to bring water rich in calcium carbonate to the surface. As the water evaporated the chalky material condensed and formed layer-upon-layer of Travertine and thus slowly built up the walls over time in the same way that a stalactite forms in a cave. Apparently Pammakale means Castle of Cotton but the Greco-Romans built a town above it called Heirapolis – meaning “Holy City” or “Sacred City”. They too recognised it as a rare and important place attributing healing powers to the milky-white waters.