One thing Bing has done, is to provide a daily dose of an amazing photo. For those of you who use Bing, or the Bing Search engine might know this already. But, we are going to take a look at some of their amazing photos.
Welcome to the Ring of Fire
Today we’re visiting the pair of volcanoes known as Tolbachik—the flat-topped Plosky (Flat) Tolbachik on the left of our image, and the majestic Ostry (Sharp) Tolbachik on the right, which soars 12,080 feet above the Kamchatka Peninsula in far eastern Russia. These are just two of roughly 300 volcanoes scattered through the region; 29 of them, including the Tolbachik complex, are still active. In fact, there is so much volcanic activity here that UNESCO calls the peninsula ‘one of the most outstanding volcanic regions in the world,’ and has designated it a World Heritage site.
The Kamchatka Peninsula juts out from the Russian mainland between the Sea of Okhotsk to the west and the Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea to the east. The sparsely populated peninsula makes up the western edge of the Ring of Fire, a chain of volcanoes along the Pacific Ocean that account for 90% of the world’s seismic activity. Wild, remote, and primal, Kamchatka is home to more than just volcanoes. Among the abundant wildlife that call the peninsula home are the arctic fox, tundra wolf, reindeer, lynx, huge Chukotka moose, and the Kamchatka brown bear that can tip the scales at 1,400 pounds.
Get to southwestern Bavaria, near Germany’s border with Austria, to see this magnificent castle. It was built not as a stronghold against invaders, but as a fancy getaway for Ludwig II, the Bavarian king who commissioned the construction in 1869. Ludwig sunk most of his personal fortune into Neuschwanstein Castle and a couple of other estates, and even borrowed heavily to pay for the castle. Part of his inspiration for Neuschwanstein was the composer Richard Wagner, whose operas appealed to Ludwig’s romantic sensibilities. After Ludwig’s death, the castle was opened to the public for tours, and it continues to be a popular attraction today.
Kallur lighthouse on Kalsoy Island, Faroe Islands
Kalsoy is among the northernmost of the Faroe Islands. High, steep cliffs run along on the west shore, but the eastern slope is gentler and is home to four small villages. The lighthouse at Kallur, seen here, is on the northern tip of the narrow isle, with a counterpart lighthouse on the southern tip. About 100 people live on the island, vastly outnumbered by the various marine birds that roost here, including 40,000 pairs of Atlantic puffins.
Balloons and camels are two ways to catch a ride here
Welcome to India’s largest camel and livestock festival, the Pushkar Camel Fair. Thousands of people travel across mountains and through the Thar Desert to buy and sell livestock and enjoy the carnival-like atmosphere here. The fair offers visitors many diversions, but it’s the camels who get top billing. Considered ‘ships of the desert,’ camels were domesticated by nomads thousands of years ago to carry goods across forbidding landscapes. When well fed and hydrated, a camel can travel great distances without needing water or food, sometimes for weeks. The humps on a camel’s back serve a purpose: they’re fatty deposits that act as a source of nutrition. Here, on the edge of the Thar Desert, the camel remains a mode of transport for nomads as well as a source for textiles, goods, and sustenance (did you know a camel’s milk does not curdle in the desert heat?). The camel is held in such high esteem, the Pushkar Fair even stages camel decoration contests.
But there’s another reason why people flock to Pushkar. The fair coincides with the holy festival of Kartik Purnima, which occurs during the Hindu lunar month of Kartik. The 8th-century desert town itself is a beauty, with medieval architecture and over 50 whitewashed ghats—stairs that descend into Pushkar Lake. Pilgrims consider the lake water to be holy, especially during Kartik’s full moon when they believe their sins can be washed away. Needless to say, with all the pilgrims bathing here, photography is not allowed near the lake during the full moon. However, many shutterbugs opt for a view of the fair from a balloon ride at day’s end.
An endless journey
In May the rainy season in the southern Serengeti ends, and herds of zebras numbering in the hundreds of thousands begin to migrate north across the plains from Tanzania up to the Maasai Mara region of Kenya. The herd in our photo today is just a small portion of the 250,000 zebras that will spend the next couple of months or so on the northern leg of their year-long loop across the plains. Joining the zebras will be 1.5 million blue wildebeest that follow the same migratory route. Not every zebra will survive the 500-mile journey. By July, the surviving herd will arrive in Kenya’s Maasai Mara, only to leave in November and return to Tanzania.
Temple Street Night Market in Yau Ma Tei, Hong Kong
The night market at Temple Street is one of the busiest street markets in Yau Ma Tei, a district in Hong Kong. Night markets were once known as ‘poor man’s nightclubs,’ and the one at Temple Street is the last remaining night market in Hong Kong. While hunting for bargains, or sampling the delicacies of the street-food hawkers, you may encounter some musicians on the street performing Cantonese opera.
Blue Hen Falls, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio
Ohio has but one national park, so they went all out with Cuyahoga Valley. It’s unique among the 59 national parks in the US for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that Cuyahoga Valley includes working farms within the park’s boundaries. Much of the area’s land had been, or was in danger of, becoming urbanized, with historic farms lost to development. As the National Park Service and groups within Ohio began identifying potential park land, they found that farms were some of the least developed parcels in the region. How to get around that? Include them in the park’s boundaries.
New Year’s Eve fireworks in the Nordkette range, Austria
When midnight strikes on New Year’s Eve in the Austrian resort town of Innsbruck, locals know to gaze up to the Nordkette mountain range to watch the fireworks. Intrepid revelers can head up the slopes of the Nordkette to see the midnight display right there at the launch spot. Music is played inside a temporary igloo-like ballroom on the mountaintop, and waltzing to ‘The Blue Danube’ is strongly encouraged.
View of Mellieħa, Malta
Popular for its sandy beaches and glamorous resorts, the village of Mellieħa is part of Malta, an island nation that’s rich in history. Because of the archipelago’s strategic location in the center of the Mediterranean, Malta has experienced a revolving door of conquerors over the centuries: the Greeks, Romans, British, French, and Spanish have all ruled these islands. The discovery of sunken ruins has even led some to believe it’s the site of the legendary city of Atlantis.
Vineyards near Beaujeu, France
Perhaps a guest at your Thanksgiving table will offer a bottle of Beaujolais nouveau wine as a gift. Don’t stash it in the pantry for next year—instead, pour and share. Ancient Romans first cultivated grapes for wine in the region now known as Beaujeu, and locals have long enjoyed Beaujolais nouveau as a way to celebrate the harvest. Word of the seasonal festivities spread after World War II, and by the 1980s and ‘90s the annual release of Beaujolais nouveau had become a global phenomenon. The ‘nouveau’ part of the wine’s name means it was harvested, fermented, and sold in the same year—in the case of Beaujolais, that means just a few weeks. Today the 2016 Beaujolais is finally available. What took so long?