Monday, February 13, 2012


Misti volcano, Arequipa, PERU.
Photo courtesy of Carlos Zeballos Barrios

...and we reached 100 posts in My Architectural Moleskine! As on our 50th post, I would like to share some non-architectural pictures about landscapes that gave me ​​much impression when I visited them.

This post is dedicated to mountains and lakes. Mountains have always had a mythical role as visible link between men and the realm of the gods: Olympus, Sinai, Meru, Machu Picchu ... Due to their verticality and grandeur, mountains have been part of a mental, sacred and aesthetic landscape that has determined the location and organization of cities, temples, buildings and spaces. Whereas mountains were in turn a symbol of virility, lakes (that often accompany them) appear as a female complement, as the mother in whose womb keeps generous and plentiful creatures and food, as well as providing water for subsistence.

This relation between both elements -mountains and lakes- is married in multicolored reflections, infinitely varying due to the direction of the winds and the kaleidoscopic mutation of light. 

The binomial mountain - lake can be explained from different points of view: geological, artistical, ritual, historical... I will accompany these pictures with a poem by Robert William Service, entitled "The Mountain and the Lake".

Taquile Island (4200 m), Lake Titicaca, PERU. After a visit with architecture students, we had to stay on the island because of a storm. Following  an impressive sequence of lightnings the sky cleared, revealing a brilliant starry sky (I've never seen anything like it), occasionally punctuated by strokes drawn by falling stars that seem to  plunge into the lake ... sometimes the best trips are those who are not planned. Photo courtesy of Dachalán

OSORNO VOLCANO, OSORNO, CHILE. Because of its latitude, the conical shape of the mountain is almost always covered with snow.

I know a mountain thrilling to the stars, 
Peerless and pure, and pinnacled with snow; 
Glimpsing the golden dawn o'er coral bars, 
Flaunting the vanisht sunset's garnet glow; 
Proudly patrician, passionless, serene; 
Soaring in silvered steeps where cloud-surfs break; 
Virgin and vestal -- Oh, a very Queen! 
And at her feet there dreams a quiet lake.

OVER THE ALPS, ITALY. Close to Pisa, from the plane.

LAKE NAHUEL HUAPI, PATAGONIA, ARGENTINA. Stunning beauty of snowy peaks and forested slopes which appear to float above turquoise lakes.

DEAD SEA AS SEEN FROM JORDAN. In the background is Israel. The exploitation of the water of this legendary lake from both sides have caused a substantial reduction of its surface.
  DAIMONJI, KYOTO, JAPAN. One of the most iconic mountains of Japan's ancient capital. Every year people light a huge bonfire as an offering to the dead.

SOUTHERN LAKES, CHILE. The slender figure of the Osorno volcano (2652 m) reflecting gracefully in lakes of the Chilean X Region

MOUNT FUJI (3,776 m), JAPAN. Sacred Mountain and quintessential icon of the country of the rising sun. It has inspired poems, paintings, rituals and suicides. Photo taken from the bullet train or Shinkansen 

MISTI VOLCANO (5.821 m), AREQUIPA, PERU. Misti means "Lord", and this imposing volcano has become the symbol of this beautiful southern city of Peru. Photo courtesy of Foful

My lake adores my mountain -- well I know, 
For I have watched it from its dawn-dream start, 
Stilling its mirror to her splendid snow, 
Framing her image in its trembling heart; 
Glassing her graciousness of greening wood, 
Kissing her throne, melodiously mad, T
hrilling responsive to her every mood, 
Gloomed with her sadness, gay when she is glad.

Two views of CHACHANI VOLCANO(6,075), AREQUIPA, PERU, the first courtesy of Carlos Castañeyda. The highest of the volcanoes of Arequipa, provides material for the construction of the architecture of this city, a white stone and porous stone called "sillar" and which have given the name to Arequipa as the "White City" .

The majestic scenery of the SIERRA NEVADA, GRANADA, SPAIN, seen from the Alhambra, this wonder makes a visual delight and seamless integration between building and landscape.

PICHUPICCHU VOLCANO (5664 m), AREQUIPA, PERU. The third volcano of Arequipa houses  the Salinas  lagoon behind. From Arequipa, its silhouette resembles the profile of a lying person, giving origin to the the legend called "The Sleeping Indian." Photo courtesy of chilltravel

SLEEPING BEAUTY, TINGO MARIA, PERU. On the banks of the Huallaga River, a tributary of the Amazon  River, a forested mountain reveals the silhouette of a woman. It houses the impressive Cave of the Owls , a geological formation of stalactites, where many nocturnal animals nest. I visited this cave in 1981 with my father, as a child, but despite the time it has left an indelible memory. Highly recommended. Photo courtesy of Fredy Ureta 

DATONG, SHANXI, CHINA. Spectacular Buddha statues, carved from the mountain itself, whose sizes range from 4 cm to 7 meters, date back to the V century AD have been declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Splendid beauty of MOUNT TRONADOR as seen from the TODOS LOS SANTOS LAKE, CHILE. The pointed shape of the peak reverberates in multiple folds of emerald lake.
Imposing mountain range, close to LA PAZ, BOLIVIA. The dark mass of granite contrasts vividly with the pure white snow. In just a few hours the arid landscape of these mountains will become, thanks to colorful brushstrokes, in wooded mountains and eerie jungle environment (bottom).

On the way to COROICO, BOLIVIA. Taking the famous Highway of Death, in a journey to the paradise enclave of Coroico, is an unforgettable experience. At times the road became so narrow that it is impossible for two cars to pass at the same time, and sometimes the bus passed under a waterfall that "flew" over us to finally get lost in an abyss of hundreds of meters. Coming back was not so funny, because a truck broke down and we had to stay several hours stucked in the jungle. Photo courtesy of Fotosaleix

Two views of LAKE BIWA, JAPAN. It is the largest lake and most important lake in this country, a cultural development center and the main source of water supply for cities like Kyoto.

My lake has dreamed and loved since time was born; 
Will love and dream till time shall cease to be; 
Gazing to Her in worship half forlorn, 
Who looks towards the stars and will not see -- 
My peerless mountain, splendid in her scorn. . . . 
Alas! poor little lake! Alas! poor me!

Lake Michigan, Chicago, USA View taken from the Sears Tower.
Lake Villarica, Chile. Close to Pucon.
SRANG SARS LAGOON, SIAM REAP, CAMBODIA. This large artificial pond was instrumental in the development of culture and its capital Khmer Angkor .

TOWARDS THE SUN ISLAND, LAKE TITICACA, BOLIVIA. Mythical place where, according to legend, Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo, founders of the Inca Empire, were born.

INSIDE TAAL VOLCANO, thongs, PHILIPPINES. A lake that contains a volcano that contains a lagoon that contains a volcano. The photo shows the smaller pond, and the ascension is dotted with volcanic fumes.

LAKE AKAN, HOKKAIDO, JAPAN. Another volcanic crater, IN northern Japan. Around the lake there are many Ainu communities, whose race and customs are different from the Japanese.

Unless otherwise indicated, all photos belong to Carlos Zeballos

I will prepare another compilation in our next 50 posts. See you then ...

VOLCANO AND TAAL LAKE, PHILIPPINES. Behind me, the flimsy and unsafe vessels leading from the dock to the volcano.


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