Sumatra:: The high hills of Bukittinggi

West Sumatra, Bukittinggi. Sianok canyon (Ngarai Sianok) is a steep valley (ravine) located in Bukittinggi, about 15 km long. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

West Sumatra, Bukittinggi. Sianok canyon (Ngarai Sianok) is a steep valley (ravine) located in Bukittinggi, about 15 km long. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

Bukittinggi, north of Padang in the Minangkabau highlands, sits at an altitude of approx. 920 m. The name Bukittinggi means high hill or top. This is a charming city with a cooler climate than Padang, and is one of the most important cities of the Minang people, greatly influenced by their traditional culture. The name “Minangkabau” is put together by “menang” (victory) and “kerbau” (ox or water buffalo).

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A barren landscape

Iceland. Landscape in the Askja volcano. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

Iceland. Landscape in the Askja volcano. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

Regarding the latest volcanic eruption on Iceland; here are some of the many photos i took during a visit to Askja on Iceland a few years ago. Please visit my Iceland Photo-gallery to see more! One of the excursions went to Askja, a barren landscape just north of Vatnajökull, the largest glacier in Europe. A really amazing place, just like visiting another world.

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Java:: Bromo-Tengger National Park

Java, East Java, Mount Bromo. Bromo is a smoking cone inside the huge, older crater Tengger. Gunung Batok to the right of Bromo. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

Java, East Java, Mount Bromo. Bromo is a smoking cone inside the huge, older crater Tengger. Gunung Batok to the right of Bromo. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

Bromo-Tengger national park is located on East Java, about three hours by car from Surabaya. Tengger is a huge, old caldera with the Bromo volcano inside. The smoking cone of Bromo raises from the plain of this 10 km wide caldera, but is not the highest mountain inside. Side by side with Bromo are also other mountains like Gunung Batok (2.440m) and Gunung Kursi (2.581m). Bromo (2.392m) and the nearby Semeru volcano, the highest mountain on Java (3.676m).

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Bali:: Gunung Agung

Bali, Karangasem, Gunung Agung. The summit of Gunung Agung covered by clouds (from airplane). (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

Bali, Karangasem, Gunung Agung. The summit of Gunung Agung covered by clouds (from airplane). (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

Gunung Agung is Bali’s highest and most sacred mountain. It is 3.142 meter high and can be seen from almost everywhere on Bali and from the neighboring islands, but most of the time it is covered by clouds. The best time of year to see the mountain is August to September and of course early in the morning.

The height is disputed because of the last eruption 17th of March 1963, which by some is believed to have blown off the highest top. Gunung Agung is now said to be 3.014 meters, and the top is today a 500 meter wide crater.

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Bali:: Gunung Batukau

Bali, Tabanan, Kerambitan. Gunung Batukau seen from Kerambitan. Usually the mountain is covered by clouds. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

Bali, Tabanan, Kerambitan. Gunung Batukau seen from Kerambitan. Usually the mountain is covered by clouds. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

Gunung Batukau is the second largest mountain on Bali (2.275 m), and only Gunung Agung is of higher religious importance. The slopes are covered with rainforest, apart from West Bali National park this is the only wilderness region of any significance left on the island. The mountain is located in the Tabanan district, and is an extinct volcano. On the southern slopes of the volcano, at 1.300 meters and surrounded by forest, sits the Pura Luhur Batukau temple.

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