Magical Places: The Kelpies

Groupe-F-perform-a-light-flame-and-sound-show-during-the-launch-of-The-Kelpies-sculpture1218x910_Kelpies_sunset

The Kelpies are 30 meter tall (nearly 100 feet) horse head sculptures in Falkirk, Scotland and were finished in October of 2013. They opened to the public in April of this year. They commemorate the completion of a new extension to the Forth and Clyde Canal.

Historically, Kelpies are mythological water creatures that have inhabited Scotland’s waterways and lochs for thousands of years. They can appear in many forms, including human, but are most commonly associated with horses and are said to have the strength and endurance of 10 horses.

In the Falkirk area horses have played a major role in the economy and industry and were used to pull the wagons, ploughs, barges, and coalships along the canals. The sculptures pay homage to this heritage.

From the Wikipedia entry:

According to sculptor Andy Scott “The original concept of mythical water horses was a valid starting point for the artistic development of the structures.”[7] “I took that concept and moved with it towards a more equine and contemporary response, shifting from any mythological references towards a socio-historical monument intended to celebrate the horse’s role in industry and agriculture as well as the obvious association with the canals as tow horses.”[8] 

According to Scott the end result would be “Water-borne, towering gateways into The Helix, the Forth & Clyde Canal and Scotland, translating the legacy of the area into proud equine guardians.”[7]

Read more about the Kelpies:

Magical Places: Cleopatra’s Kingdom

Cleopatra's kingdom

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Deep in the Mediterranean Sea is a treasure trove of ancient Egyptian artifacts. So far over 20,000 objects have been found, giving archaeologists clues to Egypt’s intriguing past.

Some of the most interesting discoveries found at the site of Alexandria, Egypt’s ancient capital, are those pertaining to Cleopatra. Royal quarters, including a palace and temple complex were discovered under the waves. These are findings that were thought to have been lost over 1,600 years ago.  These discoveries give us a better understanding of one of Egypt’s most iconic (thanks to Elizabeth Taylor) females.

Ideas for an underwater museum are in the works where scuba divers can dive and experience a the magic of this lost era.

Learn more:

National Geographic

The New York Times

The Telegraph

Magical Places: Hand of Harmony

Hand of Harmony

This is the Hand of Harmony rising from the beach at Homigot, Korea. Up on the shoreline there is the other hand making a matched set. The palms face each other symbolizing harmony and unity. The sea side hand marks the easternmost tip of Korea, also referred to as the tiger’s tail, and is said to be an obscure tourist trap, especially photographers.  Every year they have a huge New’s Years festival here and release thousands of balloons symbolizing the hope and dreams of the new year and serve ddeokguk (rice-cake soup) to the hungry masses.

Photo from: http://www.premier-holidays.com/