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korver

London - Landmarks

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For the final chapter of London, we're taking a look at some more of the city's most iconic landmarks. We begin with a look back in time to the 1200s - to the Old London Bridge. Constructed in 1209 - this bridge stood for over 600 years as the main route across the River Thames. While long gone, various drawings from the era depict a bustling bridge surrounded by medieval houses on both sides. Unfortunately, the design of the bridge led to its ultimate demise, as it impeded river traffic - and was eventually demolished in the 1800s to make way for a more modern bridge.


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The next stop is one of London's most awe-inspiring buildings - St. Paul's Cathedral. Designed by famed architect Christopher Wren and opened in 1708, it was part of a major rebuilding program after the Great Fire of London in 1666. The cathedral serves as the seat of the Bishop of London and the mother church of the Diocese of London - and is one of the city's most popular attractions as well.


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The London Eye is one of the city's most popular attractions - located on the banks of the River Thames, it was the world's largest Ferris wheel when completed in 2000. If you can get past the long lines, the views of the city's South Bank from the top are incredible.


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We continue on with a trip to one of London's most famous bridges - Tower Bridge. Not to be confused with the original London Bridge (as seen in the first picture, since replaced with more modern versions) - this Victorian Gothic landmark has been one of the city's most distinctive sights since its completion in 1894.

 

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Close by Tower Bridge is another one of the city's famous landmarks - the Tower of London. This historic structure was built back in the 1190s and has served as a fortress, palace, and prison.


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Our next stop is one of the city's most famous squares - Trafalgar Square. Its named after the famed Battle of Trafalgar - a key British naval victory in 1805 - and it's been a popular gathering place for people (and pigeons) since 1840. The iconic Nelson's Column in the middle of the square is one of the city's most famous monuments.


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Our last stop is one of the world's most iconic buildings - Big Ben. This famous clock tower is located on the north end of the Palace of Westminster and has chimed since 1859. Recent maintenance repairs though means you'll have to wait until 2021 to hear it regularly again.


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Don't forget to comment, like, and follow True Earth if you haven't already!

-korver

 

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Previous Update: "London - The City & The Shard"

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Big thanks to @matias93, @RobertLM78, @The British Sausage, @Angry Mozart, @RandyE, @scotttbarry, @Odainsaker, @CorinaMarie, @tariely, @bobolee, @nos.17, @mrsmartman, @_Michael, @APSMS, @mike_oxlong, @mattb325, @SC4L0ver, @Mr Saturn64, @Dreadnought, @tonyr, @jakis, @Neto Dari, @gigius76, @raynev1, @Toby Ferrian, @Fantozzi, @Tonraq, @Elenphor, & @Pluispixel for all the likes!

 

korver

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Our trip to London continues with another look at its incredible skyline. After taking a look at Canary Wharf in the first update, we're taking a look at London's other main financial district - The City of London, also known as The City, along with The Shard today.

One of the city's most distinctive skyscrapers is the 591 foot tall 30 St Mary Axe (also referred to as the Gherkin, due its resemblance to a cucumber). Since opening in 2004, it has received many awards for its unique style and ecological footprint.

 

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Three of London's tallest buildings (from left to right) - Tower 42 (Completed 1980, 600 feet tall), 99 Bishopsgate (Completed 1976, 341 feet tall), and 122 Leadenhall Street (Completed 2014, 738 feet tall - also known as the cheese grater)


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Another rainy day in London.


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A couple various shots of The City.


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The Shard has become one of London's most recognizable buildings since opening in 2013 - rising 86 floors and 1,016 feet tall, its the tallest building in the United Kingdom and offers breathtaking views from the top.


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Don't forget to comment, like, and follow True Earth if you haven't already!

-korver

 

Previous Update: "London - Canary Wharf"

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Big thanks to @kschmidt, @Toby Ferrian, @CorinaMarie, @TekindusT, @RandyE, @Fantozzi, @huzman, @matias93, @_Michael, @Angry Mozart, @tariely. @tonyr, @The British Sausage, @Talla 2XLC, @mike_oxlong, @kingofsimcity, @redfox85, @Oerk, @bobolee, @bladeberkman, @Mr Saturn64, @Cyclone Boom, @scotttbarry, @mrsmartman, @Odainsaker, & @Marushine for all the likes & reactions!

korver

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London is the capital and largest city of England and the United Kingdom. It's a city known for its culture, history, and traditions - and is one of the world's most visited cities. Additionally, it's one of the world's greatest commercial, financial, and industrial centers - and is widely known as a truly global city.

Over the next three update updates I'll be covering some of the city's most incredible sights and landmarks - starting with Canary Wharf.  This major banking district is located on the Isle of Dogs on the banks of the River Thames - and has been home to some of the busiest ports in the world over the years.

Today, its best known for its incredible collection of skyscrapers like the 771 ft tall One Canada Square (lower middle below, with the pyramid top), 655 ft tall 8 Canada Square (HSBC Tower, lower left below), and the 655 ft tall 25 Canada Square (middle skyscraper below, citigroup signage) - which are among the tallest in the United Kingdom.


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Don't forget to comment, like, and follow True Earth if you haven't already!

-korver

 

Previous Update: "Paris (Pt. 3/3)"

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Big thanks to @jakis, @RobertLM78, @Toby Ferrian, @CorinaMarie, @RandyE, @Silur, @Fantozzi, @mike_oxlong, @redfox85, @_Michael, @Mr Saturn64, @Angry Mozart, @Odainsaker, @kschmidt, @The British Sausage, @SC4L0ver, @bobolee, @mrsmartman, @raynev1, @scotttbarry, @Elenphor, @Marushine, & @huzman for all the likes!

 

korver

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Our trip to Paris continues with a trip to the Sacré-Cœur Basilica (Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris) - one of Paris' most beautiful churches, often drawing comparisons to the Taj Mahal. Located on top of a small hill in the heart of the city, the church is visible for miles around.


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The next stop is Place de la Concorde - Paris' most famous square. Originally designed in 1755, this square is unlike anything else in the city - complete with a massive authentic Egyptian obelisk in the middle.


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The Panthéon, located in Paris' Latin Quarter, is another one of the cities most famed landmarks. Originally modeled after Rome's Pantheon and built as a church - it now functions as a mausoleum for many of France's most famous citizens.


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The Bourse de commerce is one of the city's most unique buildings, both in shape and function. It was originally used as a place to trade grain upon completion in 1763, then as a stock exchange, and more recently, plans are underway to transform it into a major art museum.


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The 689 foot tall Tour Montparnasse is the tallest skyscraper in Paris - and is hard to miss. Upon completion in 1973, the building was heavily criticized for its style and for being out of place - and as a result, buildings over 7 stories tall were banned from the city center. A massive renovation is slated to begin in 2019.


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Our tour of Paris ends with one of the city's most famous landmarks - the Arc de Triomphe. Built between 1803 and 1836, this iconic monument serves as a tribute to French soldiers lost in wars and has important military leaders engraved on its walls. For those wishing to get up close - make sure you use the underground tunnels instead of dodging the traffic..


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Don't forget to comment, like, and follow True Earth if you haven't already!

-korver


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Previous Update: "Paris (Pt. 2/3)"

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Big thanks to @CorinaMarie@Odainsaker, @MushyMushy, @matias93, @Angry Mozart, @RobertLM78, @Silur, @_Michael, @The British Sausage, @RandyE, @Toby Ferrian, @feyss, @Manuel-ito, @redfox85, @Fantozzi, @mike_oxlong, @Mr Saturn64, @bobolee, @raynev1, @APSMS, @SC4L0ver, @gigius76, @bladeberkman, @kingofsimcity, @Haljackey, @scotttbarry, @mrsmartman, @jakis, @Talla 2XLC, & @Jonas_Chaves for all the likes!

 

korver

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Our tour picks back up with a trip to La Madeleine - one of the city's most recognizable churches. Originally designed as a temple to the glory of Napoleon's army - its Greek style sets it apart from the rest. Since its completion in 1842, it's been one of the most popular attractions in the city.


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The Odéon-Théâtre de l'Europe is one of the most beautiful theaters in the city and one of France's six national theaters.


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The Palais Garnier is one of Paris' most grand opera houses - opened in 1875, it's a true masterpiece.


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The next stop is one of Paris' most unique landmarks - the Centre Pompidou. Completed in 1977, this enormous colored building is covered in a maze of pipes going in every direction - and has housed a popular art museum ever since.
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Our last stop today is one of the world's most famous landmarks - the Eiffel Tower. Completed in 1889 for the Universal Exposition to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution - this 986 foot tall tower became the world's tallest freestanding structure for over 40 years. It's remained an icon of Paris and France ever since.


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Don't forget to comment, like, and follow True Earth if you haven't already!

-korver


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Previous Update: "Paris (Pt. 1/3)"

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Big thanks to @kingofsimcity, @_Michael, @scotttbarry, @RobertLM78, @huzman, @RandyE, @Toby Ferrian, @Manuel-ito, @Talla 2XLC, @CorinaMarie, @Silur, @redfox85, @Tyberius06, @Andrey km, @bobolee, @MushyMushy, @The British Sausage, @mrsmartman, @matias93, @raynev1, @mike_oxlong, @Mr Saturn64, @Angry Mozart, @Girafe, @jakis, @feyss, @martijn.1, @Transport, & @Elenphor for all the likes!

korver

Paris (Pt. 1/3)

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Paris is the capital and largest city of France and has been one of the world's most important cities for centuries. This timeless city is known for its fashion, food, literature, entertainment, and culture. In addition, it's widely known as being an important international business and commerce center - making it a truly global city. Paris also boasts some of the world's finest architecture and much of the city was renovated in the mid 1800s by architect Georges-Eugène Haussmann. Over the next three updates we'll be taking a look at some of its most iconic sights and landmarks.

We'll begin with a trip down one of the city's most famous avenues - the Champs-Élysées. First completed in 1670 and redeveloped many times since, its impressive tree-lined streets are surrounded by many of the city's most luxurious shops, cafes, and theaters. On Bastille Day (July 14th), it's also home to the largest military parade in Europe.


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The next stop is one of the city's most stunning cathedrals, the famous Notre-Dame de Paris. Opened in 1345, this awe-inspiring building is considered to be one of the world's finest examples of French Gothic architecture.


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La Défense is Europe's largest purpose built business district and is where you'll find just about all of Paris' skyscrapers. The uniquely shaped Grande Arche in the middle is the centerpiece of the district - opened in 1989, it serves as a monument for the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution.


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The Louvre is another one of Paris' premier destinations - inside you'll find the famous Mona Lisa in its art museum.


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Our last stop for today is the Gare du Nord - first built back in 1846, this famous train station has been rebuilt time and time again to expand it's capacity. Today, it's the world's busiest train station outside of Japan and connects Paris with a number of other cities across France.


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Don't forget to comment, like, and follow True Earth if you haven't already!

-korver


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Previous Update: "Prague"

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Big thanks to @Toby Ferrian, @Fantozzi, @RobertLM78, @mrsmartman, @Oerk, @The British Sausage, @CorinaMarie, @scotttbarry, @bladeberkman, @mike_oxlong, @RandyE, @Odainsaker, @bobolee, @Talla 2XLC, @Manuel-ito, @tariely, @raynev1, @redfox85, @SC4L0ver, @Simmer2, @kingofsimcity, @Jonas_Chaves, & @Nenitosoyyo for all the likes!

korver

Prague

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Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic and one of the most picturesque cities in all of Europe. It's a city steeped in history - once the capital of the kingdom of Bohemia, its been a cultural, political, and economic center for centuries.

The first stop in our tour is the Petrín Lookout Tower - located at the top of a small hill, this 62m tall Eiffel Tower lookalike offers stunning views of the city.


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Not too far away is another one of Prague's famous landmarks - St. Vitus Cathedral. Construction took nearly 600 years, finally completing in 1929 - but this magnificent Gothic cathedral was well worth the wait. Countless religious and coronation ceremonies have been held here - making it one of the most important landmarks in the city.


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To make it into the old town, you'll have to cross the Charles Bridge, spanning the Vlatva River. Completed in 1402, this stunning Gothic styled bridge is one of Prague's most famous landmarks and one of the world's most famous bridges.


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We've made it into the famed old town. With the incredible Týn Church and Astronomical Clock close by, this stunning town square is steeped in history.


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The aforementioned Týn Church (fully known as the Church of Our Lady before Týn) is one of the world's most beautiful Gothic churches - built back in the mid 1400s and completed by the mid 1600s, it towers some 260 feet above the surrounding rooftops of Prague. The cathedral also serves as a gallery of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque works  - its a historic site in Prague that anyone visiting here should be sure to visit.


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Like many other similar cities and towns across Bohemia and Central Europe, Prague enjoys a rich tradition of Christmas markets. Starting in early December and ending by early January, the stalls here have an unbelievable amount of goods on sale - from treats, decorations, handmade goods and more. For those braving the elements - the selection is second to none and its a trip you won't soon forget. No Christmas market is complete though of course without an enormous Christmas tree - and the ones here can get as high as 100 feet tall, making it truly a sight to behold.


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Once nightfall hits and the snow begins to clear - you can get a clear view of the twinkling lights and all the magic this place has to offer.


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Another one of Prague's famed traditions is the legendary fireworks display that takes place on New Year's Eve - the entire town gathers in the square and surrounding streets to take in the breathtaking views.


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Don't forget to comment, like, and follow True Earth if you haven't already!

-korver


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Previous Update: "Cephalonia (Countryside & Overviews)"

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Big thanks to @RobertLM78, @_Michael, @RandyE, @Toby Ferrian, @Talla 2XLC, @CorinaMarie, @Manuel-ito, @matias93, @bladeberkman, @bobolee, @Fantozzi, @Elenphor, @The British Sausage, @Oerk, @gigius76, @raynev1, @Neto Dari, @TekindusT, & @mrsmartman for all the likes!

 

korver

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Our journey to Cephalonia concludes with one last trip through the countryside. From the winding roads, small farms, and stunning natural beauty - there's so many things that makes this island so beautiful, and makes it a fitting way to end our trip. Additionally, I'll be showcasing some more overviews of Cephalonia.


We were last at Myrtos Beach - and after a fun day at the beach, we made accommodations at the nearby Plaza Myrtos for the night. Once nightfall hits, the only lights you'll find in the distance are that of the occasional boat or two. It's quiet and peaceful - but also quite beautiful.


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Our room in the villa happens to overlook the edge of the beach - so we get an excellent view of the sunrise.


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Fortunately, we didn't have to deal with any of the rain at the beach..


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The rain finally lets up - but is quickly replaced by a blanket of thick fog for most of the evening.


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The Cephalonian countryside is crossed by a variety of winding roads. There's no such thing as a dull drive here - and between every twist and turn, the views are incredible.


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Small, charming churches like this one dot the countryside.


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Two last overviews of the Cephalonian countryside.

 

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And to wrap things up - a couple of full tile overviews. (Click for full size.)
I hope you enjoyed your visit to Cephalonia!
*:)

 


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Don't forget to comment, like, and follow True Earth if you haven't already!

-korver


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Previous Update: "Cephalonia (Myrtos Beach)"

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Big thanks to @Toby Ferrian, @RobertLM78, @CorinaMarie, @Fantozzi, @redfox85, @bobolee, @_Michael, @mike_oxlong, @Odainsaker, @Manuel-ito, @mrsmartman, @Jonas_Chaves, @raynev1, @Oerk, @scotttbarry, @RandyE, @bladeberkman, & @Talla 2XLC for all the likes!

korver

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Our next stop is Myrtos Beach - arguably the most beautiful location in all of Cephalonia. Due to it's remote location, you won't be able to reach it by foot - the only way to reach Myrtos Beach it is to traverse your way down a series of steep curves. If you're able to make it there however, you'll be rewarded greatly with warm waters, soft white sand, and the view of a lifetime.


The day starts early for anyone wanting a prime spot at the beach - and the roads throughout the surrounding countryside are already starting to fill up with cars.


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The roads slowly start to get steeper and steeper - a sign that we're getting closer to the beach.


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As we start to see scree slopes dot the surrounding hills - it means we're just about there.


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We stop at an overlook and get our first good look of the beach. It's quite stunning.. but the first order of business is how to get down there.


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There's only one way, and it's not for the faint of the heart. A steep road filled with hairpin curves traverses down the mountainside - and when it gets busy, it only becomes that much more intimidating. But if you can make it down to the bottom, you'll be rewarded greatly.


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We're finally at the beach! We get a great spot and start soaking up the sun.


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A couple of Myrtos Beach panoramas (click for full-size).


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The beach in all its glory. If you can get past the huge crowds, there's really no other place like it on Cephalonia. It's a truly stunning natural wonder.


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And finally, various views of the beach and surrounding countryside from above.

 

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Myrtos Beach is truly a quite a sight to behold.


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Don't forget to comment, like, and follow True Earth if you haven't already!

-korver


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Previous Update: "Cephalonia (Rural Scenes)"

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Big thanks to @Artimus, @CorinaMarie, @Fantozzi, @Manuel-ito, @scotttbarry, @mike_oxlong, @_Michael, @RobertLM78, @RandyE, @Toby Ferrian, @Maloskero, @mrsmartman, @Neto Dari, @Marushine, @bobolee, @Prophet42, @Odainsaker, @redfox85, @GoKingsGo, & @SC4L0ver for all the likes!

 

korver

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For our next chapter of Cephalonia, we stay in the countryside - but this time, focusing on the small village of Anomeria and a number of surrounding rural scenes. Quaint villages like these dot the landscape for as far as the eye can see - while they may be small, they more than make up for it with their charm and character.


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Early morning in rural Greece is truly special - there's really nothing else like it.


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While most days are sunny and beautiful here - it's not uncommon for fog to roll in at the blink of an eye.


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... rain showers are probably the only thing that can spoil your day here. But the rain is usually gone as quick as it rolls in.


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The golden sunsets of rural Greece are something that you don't want to miss out on.


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Nighttime here is quiet, yet beautiful.


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For centuries, small plots of land lined with stone walls have dotted the landscape. They're a cheap, efficient way to divide up fields.


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When viewed from above - rural Greece can be quite stunning.


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Myrtos Beach is off in the distance - and it happens to be our next destination *:)

 

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Don't forget to comment, like, and follow True Earth if you haven't already!

-korver


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Previous Update: "Cephalonia (Farmland)"

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Big thanks to @MushyMushy, @bladeberkman, @RobertLM78, @Toby Ferrian, @RandyE, @Fantozzi, @CorinaMarie, @scotttbarry, @Oerk, @Artimus, @redfox85, @bobolee, @_Michael, @Manuel-ito, @raynev1, @The British Sausage, @Elenphor, @Marushine, @Dirktator, @mrsmartman, & @JP Schriefer for all the likes!

korver

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One of the most beautiful sights in all of Cephalonia are the many rural farms that flank the hillsides. Despite Greece being infamously poor for farming (in ancient times, they would actually import many of their crops from other countries such as Egypt due to poor soil conditions) - conditions are just good enough here that a number of crops are able to grow. It's a simple beauty that makes it so special, one that has lasted for thousands of years.


Small farmhouses like this one dot the landscape - with olives, wheat, and grapes being vital crops.


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In springtime, the blooming flowers put on a beautiful display - complimenting the natural beauty of the region.


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Sunsets here are quite magical.


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The Ancient Greeks needed a crop that would grow on the rough, rugged hillsides. That crop was olives - and these groves have dotted the Cephalonian landscape for thousands of years.


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Today, Greece is the world's third largest olive exporter - for many here, getting a good harvest is crucial.


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The rural roads here are quite beautiful. Surrounded by rows of cypress trees and endless fields - there's not many drives out there that can compare.

 

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Finding them is quite rare - but the occasional sunflower patch makes for a beautiful contrast of colors.

 

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The long abandoned farmhouse..


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When viewed from above - you can really get a complete grasp of how beautiful Cephalonia is and everything it has to offer.


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Don't forget to comment, like, and follow True Earth if you haven't already!

-korver


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Previous Update: "Cephalonia (Waterside)"

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Big thanks to @redfox85, @RobertLM78, @Artimus, @RandyE, @Fantozzi, @bladeberkman, @Toby Ferrian, @scotttbarry, @CorinaMarie, @mike_oxlong, @TMTS, @mrsmartman, @Odainsaker, @bobolee, @kingofsimcity, @raynev1, @tariely, @GoKingsGo, @Namiko, @APSMS, @_Michael, & @Prophet42 for all the likes!

korver

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It's impossible to imagine Greece without the sea - so it's only fitting that we start our tour of Cephalonia with some scenes from the surrounding Ionian Sea. Thousands of years ago, Greek fleets once crossed these waters, engaging in massive wars. While things may be quite a bit different these days - the sea still remains vital. From enjoying a day out in the sun to taking your boat out on a cruise - this is one of the most picturesque locations in the entire Mediterranean.


We begin with one of the many campgrounds that overlook the water here. It's difficult to imagine a more beautiful location.


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Hot air balloons are one of the best ways to view the island - the views from above are simply incredible.


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For those seeking a thrill - hang gliding is a popular activity throughout the region!


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While whale spottings are rare in this part of Greece - if you keep your eyes out, you just might get lucky and spot a few.


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Early mornings on the beach are spectacular. Quieter crowds and beautiful golden sunrises make this a great time to visit.


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Even in misty weather - the landscapes here are magical.

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The only concern might be the occasional rain shower..


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If hang gliding wasn't enough adventure - you can also try out paragliding.


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With landscapes this stunning and crowds growing in the summer months - one hot air balloon might not be enough.


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The steep roads here that overlook the ocean offer some truly incredible views.


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The surrounding farmland of Cephalonia is just as beautiful - and it's where we'll be headed to next.


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Don't forget to comment, like, and follow True Earth if you haven't already!

-korver


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Previous Update: "Cephalonia: Introduction"

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Big thanks to @mike_oxlong, @GoKingsGo, @RobertLM78, @RandyE, @_Michael, @Fantozzi, @CorinaMarie, @Manuel-ito, @Toby Ferrian, @sucram17, @Elenphor, @matias93, @TMTS, @redfox85, @raynev1, @Marushine, @Odainsaker, @kingofsimcity, @bobolee, @juliok92012, @scotttbarry, @mrsmartman, @SC4L0ver, & @Jonas_Chaves for all the likes!

korver

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The Mediterranean is one of the world's most beautiful destinations - and Greece's Cephalonia is one of its most spectacular islands. Between the soft sand, crystal clear water, beautiful landscapes, and perfect temperatures - any trip here is truly unforgettable.

After previously exploring this theme earlier in 2016 - I've decided to expand on it quite a bit. I've detailed the remainder of the tile, covering every last bit of land with flora - and there's going to be a massive variety of new scenes to explore.

We'll get the five-part series started off by taking a look at one of the defining features of Greece - the Ionian Sea.


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From there, it's off to the countryside to visit some of the beautiful farmland that covers the island.


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We'll then visit one of the many charming villages that dot the landscape - Anomeria.


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The fourth update will be a special one - a trip to Cephalonia's iconic Myrtos Beach.


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We'll then wrap things up with one last trip through the countryside, along with some overviews of the entire tile.


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With 100 pictures in total - it's going to be a truly incredible trip. We begin in a couple of days - you won't want to miss it!


Don't forget to comment, like, and follow True Earth if you haven't already!

-korver


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Previous Update: "Greece: Part III"

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Big thanks to @RobertLM78, @TekindusT, @Tyberius06, @SC4L0ver, @CorinaMarie, @tariely, @redfox85, @Toby Ferrian, @_Michael, @Fantozzi, @Manuel-ito, @Maloskero, @raynev1, @mrsmartman, @bobolee, @RandyE, @Tonraq, @scotttbarry, @mike_oxlong, & @Marushine for all the likes!

 

korver

Greece - Part III

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Our tour of Greece begins with one of its most recognizable landmarks - the iconic windmills of Mykonos. Windmills used to be a defining feature of the Greek landscape - you could find hundreds of them dotting the various islands. Today, only a handful remain - and the ones in the best condition can be found on the island of Mykonos. Built back in the 16th century, they once harassed the powerful northern wind into grinding wheat. While no longer operational, they still serve as one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country.


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We continue to tour the islands - this time, stopping in Crete and visiting its famous ruins of Knossos. Called "Europe's oldest city" - people once settled here as far back as 7000 BCE. The first major palaces were built back in 1900 BCE and became one of the greatest sights in the Mediterranean - it was far more complex and flamboyant than any of the other palaces in the region. Around 1700 BCE, massive earthquakes struck the region - initially destroying the palace. Over the next couple hundred years, the palace was destroyed and rebuilt a number of times, due to volcanoes, more earthquakes, and invaders - and was ultimately abandoned around 1375 BCE. While much of it remains in ruins today - there's still plenty to do and explore, making it another popular tourist destination.


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We head to the mainland where we'll visit Greece's most famous landmark - the Parthenon. Part religious temple (dedicated to the goddess Athena) and part treasury - this iconic structure was built between 447 and 432 BCE and stands high over Athens, at the top of its monumental Acropolis. While the structure was in decent condition for many centuries - a Venetian siege back in 1687 caused much of the damage you see today, as nearly 700 cannonballs were launched into its famous columns.


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We head further north, into the incredible landscapes of Meteora. Since the early 14th century, the local monks have been building monasteries high up on these steep rocks - there's really no other place like it on Earth. While most would associate Greece with the sea and sunny days - its not uncommon to see snow here, as the mountains will essentially block out gusts from the sea, causing massive temperature swings. No matter what time of the year you visit though - Meteora will still take your breath away.


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We head back into the Aegean Sea to visit one of Greece's most beautiful islands - Santorini. A massive volcano blew the top off of this island back in 1646 BCE - drastically changing the look of the island and turning it into one of the most unique destinations in all of the Mediterranean Sea. Today, beautiful white villas flank the steep cliff sides - and the views from the top make for an unforgettable trip.


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We head back south - making sure to stop at one of the most stunning ruins in all of Greece, the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion - located just south of Athens. The Ancient Greeks picked the perfect spot to honor their God of the Sea - the views of the ocean from here are absolutely incredible. Built back in 440 BCE, it was never fully completed - but still served as an important place of worship for many decades.


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Our last stop is one of Greece's most beautiful and stunning destinations - Navagio Beach, located on the island of Zakynthos in the Ionian Sea. Back in 1980, the freightliner MV Panagiotis crashed into the beach after a night of stormy conditions - and it's been abandoned ever since, giving the beach its famous nickname of "Shipwreck Beach". Between the crystal clear water, pristine sand, and towering limestone cliffs - its a perfect place to spend the day.


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Note: To make the Navagio Beach scene, instead of using a cliff mod - I ended up creating my own BAT to get the best result. If anyone is interested in the model and wants to try their hand with it - feel free to PM me *:)

 

Don't forget to comment, like, and follow True Earth if you haven't already!

-korver


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Previous Update: "Tour of Africa: North Africa"

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Big thanks to @_Michael, @Toby Ferrian, @redfox85, @CorinaMarie, @raynev1, @bladeberkman, @Odainsaker, @bobolee, @RandyE, @scotttbarry, @Manuel-ito, @Tonraq, @MushyMushy,@kingofsimcity, @TMTS, @Elenphor, @Jonas_Chaves, @RobertLM78, @Marushine, @mrsmartman, @Namiko, & @mike_oxlong for all the likes!

korver

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The tour continues as we venture into North Africa, and our first destination is the ancient royal capital city of Fez, Morocco. In the heart of Fez's medina (an ancient walled city, without streets) you can find the stunning Chouara Tannery, one of Africa's most unique wonders. For nearly a thousand years, the locals have been tanning and dying their hides here - if you can get past the pungent odor (its suggested to hold mint leaves near your nose while visiting) it's a destination that you won't want to miss.


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After an extended trek through the Sahara Desert - we find ourselves at the shores of one of Africa's disappearing wonders, the once great Lake Chad. Climate change and overuse by the locals have turned much of the lake bone dry, and its estimated that the lake is only about 1/20 of the size it once was back in the 1960's. While much of the lake is long gone - there's still a number of small communities dotting the receding shorelines, with the locals adapting to the changes and making the best of what they have.


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We venture back out into the Sahara - and for anyone traveling in these parts, its vital to know where the closest oasis is. Water is a precious resource here - and it could be hundreds of miles before you find the next closest source.


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After traveling east through the seemingly endless Sahara Desert - we finally reach the Red Sea. This salty, hot sea is some to some of the most unique animals and underwater flora in the world, and the coral reefs here are quite amazing. While other coral reefs around the world are slowly dying due to climate change - the ones here are unique in the fact that they don't bleach and are extraordinarily resistant to rising temperatures.


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We travel into Egypt - and no visit is complete without a trip to the legendary Nile River. The world's longest river runs through the heart of the country, providing farmers much needed water and making this one of the most populated regions in all of North Africa. Riverboats run for much of the rivers length here, making it an excellent way to get up close views of the surrounding villages and archeological sites.


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The tour wraps up with one of the most famous landmarks in world and the only remaining wonder of the ancient world - The Pyramids of Giza. These unmistakable structures were built by the rulers of ancient Egypt back in 3000 BCE - primarily as tombs for pharaohs and queens. Despite the fact that their sparkling white limestone exterior is long gone, as well as many of the surrounding structures - they've stood the test of time like few structures on the face of the planet. Be sure to visit at night - the entire complex comes to life as the pyramids are lit up - an unforgettable sight.


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Don't forget to comment, like, and follow True Earth if you haven't already!

-korver


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Previous Update: "Tour of Africa: West Africa"

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Big thanks to @_Michael, @RobertLM78, @scotttbarry, @Ceafus 88, @MushyMushy, @CorinaMarie, @Jonas_Chaves, @bobolee, @Odainsaker, @RandyE, @Manuel-ito@mike_oxlong, @bladeberkman, @sucram17, @TMTS, @TekindusT, @Toby Ferrian, @redfox85, @metarvo, @mrsmartman, @SC4L0ver, @MAW, @Marushine, & @Golhbul for all the likes!

 

korver

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Our tour resumes in West Africa - and for anyone traveling across this landscape, you'll find countless mud and thatched roof huts dotting the land for as far as the eye can see. The ones we see here in Rural Congo are simple, yet beautiful - they've been a staple for the locals for thousands of years, and for good reason. They're easy and efficient to build - and they withstand the elements fairly well.


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We travel further west through Nigeria and into Benin, but from this point forward, the only transportation option is by boat. We've entered one of the many swampy lagoons that dot the shoreline, and with a little help from the locals, we'll soon find one of the most unique destinations in all of Africa.


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We've made it to Ganvie, Benin - called the "Venice of Africa", there's really nothing else like it in the world. When translated into English, Ganvie literally means "we survived" - a reminder of events that happened hundreds of years ago. The Tofinu people that lived in the area needed a way to escape the slave trade - so they moved to stilt houses on top of the surrounding Lake Nokoué. It was their only option - and they were finally able to find peace here.


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West Africa is known particularly well for its beautiful beaches and scenery - and few can compare to the ones you might find on the coastlines of Ghana. With their natural beauty and an occasional shipwreck or two like the ones found in Fete - these beaches have attracted countless tourists from across the globe.


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As we make our way further west through the dense jungle, its a common sight to see local markets dot the landscape in countries such as Guinea. Just about everything imaginable is sold here - livestock, poultry, yams, sweet potatoes, and of course, lots and lots of green bananas. We take a look around, picking up a couple pieces of authentic African clothing as well - a beautiful reminder of our tour.


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Although elephants have been hunted to the point of near extinction in West Africa due to the demand for their ivory tusks, there's still a number of places to find them if you look hard enough. Niokolo-Koba National Park in Senegal is one of the best remaining spots, and jungle safaris are one of the most popular tourist attractions. Move slowly, though - you never know when a wild chimpanzee might dart across the road in front of you..


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Our last stop is one of the most historically important cities in all of West Africa - Timbuktu. This desert city was once a great trading post for goods traveling from West to North Africa - back in the 1300s, you might have even seen the legendary Mansa Musa (emperor of the Kingdom of Mali) pass through these streets with his caravan. Musa himself played a pivotal role in this history of Timbuktu - with a net worth of over $400 billion, he built mosques wherever he went. This included the great Djinguereber Mosque back in 1327, among others - all of which would be turned into universities and helped to turn Timbuktu into a great educational city as well. When you walk through these streets, you really feel like your stepping back in time - not much has changed over the years, and its truly a one of a kind experience.


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Don't forget to comment, like, and follow True Earth if you haven't already!

-korver


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Previous Update: "Tour of Africa: Central Africa"

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Big thanks to @nRVOUS, @bladeberkman, @RobertLM78, @CorinaMarie, @matias93, @Manuel-ito, @Andrey km, @RandyE, @Odainsaker, @MushyMushy, @tariely, @bobolee, @Toby Ferrian, @_Michael, @TMTS, @mrsmartman, @mike_oxlong, @SC4L0ver, @juliok92012, @Marushine, @Jonas_Chaves, @MAW, @Ceafus 88, @raynev1, & @Urban Constanta for all the likes!

korver

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The tour resumes as we look towards one of Africa's most iconic natural wonders - the legendary Mount Kilimanjaro. Standing some 19,341 feet tall - its Africa's tallest mountain and one of its most popular climbing destinations. Despite its height, its a relatively easy climb - its essentially a big trek to the top - but what you do need to watch out for here is the very real risk of altitude sickness. While the top might not be as impressive as it once was with many of its iconic glaciers melting due to climate change - it still offers some of the most incredible views the world has to offer.


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From Kilimanjaro, we travel north into Kenya to witness some of Africa's most stunning wildlife. Our first stop is the incredible Masai Mara National Reserve - home to some of the best wildlife on the face of the planet. You'll find elephants, giraffes, zebras, lions, wildebeest, and countless others roaming these lands - even with declining numbers in recent years, there's still plenty here to observe and stare at in awe. The best way though to view them though is high above in a hot air balloon - despite the cost, its still certainly an experience that you won't want to miss out on.


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We continue north to another one of Kenya's wildlife gems - the incredible Lake Logipi. This algae-infested rift valley lake is home to countless lesser flamingos each year during migration - they make for a truly stunning sight among the many hot springs and geysers that dot the shoreline.


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Further north is where you'll find what some call the world's biggest swamp: the Sudd of South Sudan. The very name "Sudd" is Arabic for barrier or obstruction - and that's just what this swamp has been for thousands of years for the locals and outsiders alike. Not even the Roman Empire could get past it - Emperor Nero himself sent his troops up the White Nile, but the Sudd prevented any further colonization. These swamps have also have made the search for the source of the White Nile particularly difficult - its simply that big and difficult to navigate. Despite the nature of the swamps, the locals have lived here for thousands of years, usually setting up small huts on various islands across the swamps. Although seeing wildlife here can be rare - its still possible to see a thundering herd of elephants now and then making their way across the swamp.


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We begin making our way back down south through the rural landscapes of the Great Rift Valley. For as far as the eye can see, the lands here are crossed by an intricate pattern of huts and farmland, providing the locals just enough to make a living off of.


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Our final stop in Central Africa is another one of Africa's premier natural wonders - majestic Victoria Falls. The tribes here call it "the smoke that thunders" - which seems quite fitting as you can hear the water cascading down these sheer cliffs from miles away. At 355 feet tall, these might not be the world's tallest waterfalls - but they're certainly one of the most awe-inspiring - and a destination that anyone visiting here won't want to miss.

(No photoshop used on the scene below)


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Don't forget to comment, like, and follow True Earth if you haven't already!

-korver


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Previous Update: "Tour of Africa: East Africa"

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Big thanks to @RobertLM78, @_Michael, @Toby Ferrian, @Urban Constanta, @Manuel-ito, @Odainsaker, @CorinaMarie, @nRVOUS, @RandyE, @SC4L0ver, @bobolee, @raynev1, @mike_oxlong, @Namiko, @mattb325, @mrsmartman, @kelistmac, @matias93, @Marushine, @Jonas_Chaves, & @Akallan for all the likes!

korver

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The tour continues on as we make our way to Madagascar and the many unique destinations that dot the shorelines. Our first stop however, will be at one of the many quaint fishing villages along the shore. The friendly locals have been fishing in these waters for centuries, and it remains one of the most vital economic activities in this part of the world.


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After a couple of days driving through the barren landscapes of rural Madagascar - we finally reach the stunning natural wonder of Isalo Massif. This national park is well known for its unique plant and animal life - and looks like something that came straight out of the Jurassic era. Hiking is popular in these parts, but do be careful - many of the rocks here are crumbling and it can be a long ways down..


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On the west coast of Madagascar is where you'll find one of its most famed attractions - the endless forests of baobab trees. These are some of the most unique trees in the world - reaching heights as tall as 100 ft, they're hard to miss - and every trip to Madagascar should include a visit here. However, as with many natural wonders across the world - human activity has had a profound impact here, and could continue to cause bigger issues down the road. The trees originally didn't grow in isolated patches, but were once instead part of a great forest - one that's been cut down to a small fraction of its original size. While the locals have left the baobabs as a sign of respect, it should be noted that this area isn't a national park and could very well be subject to further deforestation and human activity in the years to come.


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Not too far away from the baobabs is where you'll find another one of Madagascar's wonders - Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park. These majestic karst formations have been carved into razor sharp pinnacles by groundwater and the elements, and this dramatic forest of stone is a destination that you won't want to miss. Plenty of unique plants and animals are found here as well, thriving in the unique elements - making for a truly unique trip.


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We board our boat and make our way back to the mainland, where we'll spend the next couple of days visiting a few more of the stunning villages that dot the shorelines of Mozambique. Between the pristine blue water, unique architecture, and perfect weather - there's few places in Africa that can rival their beauty.


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We move into the mainland, and the next destination is the wildlife haven of Serengeti National Park in northern Tanzania. With plentiful populations of giraffes and other unique animals, its a must-visit destination - and if you're lucky, you might even spot a couple of rare black rhinos along the way as well. Be on the lookout though for giraffe in particular  - you never know when they might cross the road, feet away from your car..

 

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The last stop is one of Africa's most beautiful and deadly locations - the stunning crater and lava lake of 11,385 foot tall Mount Nyiragongo. This volcano has a long history of violent eruptions, and with the last eruption coming in 2016 - you never know when it might be set off again. For the particularly adventurous tourist - you can hike up to the steep crater rim and take in stunning views of the world's largest lava lake.

(No photoshop used - this goes for the previous one too. The lava lake is a big custom texture & prop I made, along with a couple Maxis smoke animations.)


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Don't forget to comment, like, and follow True Earth if you haven't already!

-korver


---

 

Previous Update: "Tour of Africa: Southern Africa"

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Big thanks to @Manuel-ito, @RandyE, @bladeberkman, @Fantozzi, @RobertLM78, @huzman, @Toby Ferrian, @_Michael, @CorinaMarie, @scotttbarry, @TekindusT, @bobolee, @Odainsaker, @mike_oxlong, @nRVOUS, @GoKingsGo, @raynev1, @Marushine, @The British Sausage, @mrsmartman, @SC4L0ver, @matias93, @Neto Dari, @Jonas_Chaves, @Akallan, @Namiko, & @Elenphor for all the likes!

korver

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The tour of Africa continues on as we visit the rolling hillsides of southern Zimbabwe. For as far as we can see, small villages dot the landscape - and the locals have lived in mud and thatched roof huts like these for thousands of years. Small plots of farmland are seen throughout the countryside - providing the locals just enough for them and their families.

 

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As we move west, we venture through a very different kind of landscape: the swampy marshlands of the Okavango Delta. This massive inland delta is unlike any other place on earth - and the wildlife is equally incredible. You can find massive herds of elephants, wildebeest, lions, zebras, and countless other species - so we get on a boat and get as close as we can.


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Further west is one of Africa's natural wonders - the harsh Namib Desert. You won't find too many settlements here, as the elements are far too inhospitable - but you still might find the occasional mining village, as this region is one of the world's largest diamond exporters. The former diamond mining town of Kolmanskop in southern Namibia had an unfortunate fate - once a rich little village, the entire area was abandoned once larger deposits were found closer to the shoreline. Nature soon took over, and many of the houses here are starting to fill up with sand. While today, the entire city remains a popular tourist attraction - its unknown how long it will last until its completely lost to the Namib.


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We move back south into South Africa - and we're sure to visit one of the most beautiful destinations in the entire continent - the vineyards of Franschhoek. Centuries old farms complete with Dutch architecture makes this one of the most charming places we visit on our tour - and there's few ways better way to spend a weekend than going out and tasting some of the local wines.

 

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Further south is where you'll find the legislative capital of South Africa - Cape Town. With a population of nearly 4 million, this is one of the largest metropolitan areas in all of Africa - and much of the city is surrounded by townships (slums). The locals have to deal with poor housing conditions and poverty - not to mention the polluting factories that dump waste right into the surrounding rivers and streams.


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The defining feature of Cape Town isn't an office building or any other man made structure - but instead the stunning Table Mountain that serves as one of the world's best backdrops. Its stunning any time of the day - but when the clouds and fog start to roll over the top and into the city, there's few places that are as magical.

 

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Travel some 700 miles east along the Drakensberg Mountains and you'll uncover another one of South Africa's incredible natural wonders...


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Tugela Falls majestically cascades some 2,972 feet down The Amphitheater, a stunning geological feature which contains some of the world's most impressive cliff faces. To get here will require days and days of hiking - but considering its widely regarded as having some of the world's greatest views from the top - its certainly worth it.


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The world's second tallest waterfall certainly doesn't disappoint - and it serves as the perfect end to our tour of Southern Africa.

(No photoshop used - the cliffs are a custom mod of mine which can be found here. The .gif is 12MB - might take a bit to load)

 

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Don't forget to comment, like, and follow True Earth if you haven't already!

-korver


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Previous Update: "Tour of Africa: Johannesburg"

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Big thanks to @NielsC007, @TMTS, @sucram17, @Akallan, @BC Canuck, @Elenphor, @mrsmartman, @SC4L0ver, @mattb325, @kschmidt, @Tonraq, @GoKingsGo, @Marushine, @kingofsimcity, @Namiko, @weixc812, @Toby Ferrian, @TekindusT, @Fantozzi, @raynev1, @nRVOUS, @bobolee, @RandyE, @Fargo, @Yarahi, @Jonas_Chaves, @Manuel-ito, @scotttbarry, @mike_oxlong, @CorinaMarie, @RobertLM78, & @_Michael for all the likes!

korver

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Our Tour of Africa begins with one of Africa's most iconic cities - Johannesburg. With nearly 4 million people in its metropolitan area - this is South Africa's largest city, and has one of the best skylines in all of Africa. With a unique combination of various architecture styles and plenty of famous landmarks to boot - there's plenty to do and see here. The famous Orlando Power Station was in use for nearly 50 years - but since the late 90s, its been transformed into a tourist center, with colorful murals painted on its walls and base jumping becoming a popular activity.


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To make it into the city itself, one of the most traveled routes is over the Nelson Mandela Bridge - completed in 2003, its one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. Construction of the bridge was quite tricky, as it directly runs over 43 different rail lines - but construction was completed without disrupting any of them, and its been a popular tourist attraction ever since.

 

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At night, this bridge turns into a spectacle - for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the bridge's lighting system was upgraded extensively, and a new rainbow colored scheme was installed. If you can make it here at night - the striking color show will certainly be worth it.


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We've made it into the CBD - and there's no better time to see the city than during a beautiful South African sunset.


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Despite a little fog and rain - the landmarks here are still quite stunning, like the Carlton Centre. Completed in 1973, its been the tallest office building in Africa ever since.


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At night is when the city really begins to come alive, however.


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The streets of Johannesburg are typical of any other African metropolis - there's people and cars filling every last inch of pavement. It may be chaotic, but the life and energy of these streets makes visiting this city a special experience.


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Don't forget to comment, like, and follow True Earth if you haven't already!

-korver


---

Previous Update: "Tour of Africa: Introduction"

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Thanks to @Namiko, @GoKingsGo, @Yarahi, @Tonraq, @juliok92012, @AlexSLM520, @RandyE, @raynev1, @mike_oxlong, @Odainsaker, @scotttbarry, @nos.17, @mattb325, @matias93, @mrsmartman, @bobolee, @Fantozzi, @Marushine, @_Michael, @CorinaMarie, @Manuel-ito, @bladeberkman, @RobertLM78, & @Toby Ferrian for all the likes!

korver

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So for my next series of updates, I have something a little special planned. Over the last couple months, I've been slowly accumulating a large collection of African scenes - and it's finally starting to come together. With nearly 40 different scenes (the pics below are just a small little teaser of what's to come - the tip of the iceberg *;)), it's going to be like nothing I've ever done before - an unforgettable tour of just about everything the continent has to offer.


We'll start off the six-part series by taking a look at one of Africa's most iconic cities - Johannesburg.


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From there, we'll stay in Southern Africa, exploring a variety of natural scenes - including one of Africa's most famous wildlife sanctuaries, the Okavango Delta.


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Along with the world's second tallest waterfall - Tugela Falls. Animations are going to play a pivotal role in this series - it's going to be quite the sight *:)


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From there, we'll head east - getting to visit East Africa and the beautiful Indian Ocean along the way.


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With a number of unique wonders like the Tsingy stone forests - visiting Madagascar is also must.


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It's off to Central Africa from there - where we'll get to explore wild Africa at its finest along with a number of natural wonders. Algae-rich lakes such as Lake Logipi attract countless lesser flamingos - and when they migrate, it makes for one of the greatest sights on the continent.


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We'll then head out to West Africa - visiting a number of small rural scenes, like the ones found in Rural Congo.


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And we'll wrap up in North Africa - after traveling through the Sahara, we'll get to see one of the continents greatest landmarks, the Pyramids.


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Additionally, as you might expect - there hasn't been a great deal of African themed custom content to work with. Because of this, custom content creation has been absolutely vital to this series. I've been creating various BATs from scratch on a massive scale to make some of these scenes possible:


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WIP:

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If anyone's interested in some of the stuff I'll be using over the next couple of updates, feel free to PM me. I don't know yet though how long it will take me to upload some of this stuff, there's still lots of various odds and ends that I need to sort out and I've been extremely busy with my CJ/MD as of late.


 

Don't forget to comment, like, and follow True Earth if you haven't already!

-korver


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Replies for "Bohemia"

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@Jeffrey500 Thanks! Bohemia is certainly one of my dream destinations *:)Might be a while though before I find the time to upload this stuff so feel free to PM me if you're interested in anything.

@mike_oxlong Thanks *:)I've been slowly accumulating a whole bunch of pics really since the beginning of the year and I'm finally finding the time to put them all into proper updates.

@dabadon5 Thank you for the comment! *:)

@Simmer2 *:thumb:

@_Michael Thanks for the kind words!

@JP Schriefer Thanks for the comment! *:)

@tariely Thanks! I had to do a lot of fiddling around in 3dsmax to make sure the models were just perfect, glad you liked it *:thumb:

@raynev1 Thanks raynev! *:)

@Akallan Thank you! When I first saw that village I knew I wanted to do the update. It's so magical!

@RandyE Thanks for the comment! I was thinking the same exact same thing when I was working on those. I actually got started on a Yosemite update a real long time ago (late May of last year I think? Never made much progress on it though.) and whipped up a really fancy national park themed banner like the ones you mentioned. Perhaps I'll have to give a couple US national parks another go in the future *:)

@TekindusT Thank you! *:)

@jmsepe Thanks for the nice words! *:lol:

@kschmidt Thanks for the comment! Those houses were actually just released on the LEX, check them out here *:)

@Namiko Thank you, glad you liked the animation *:)I've been trying to work more of those in to my updates here recently.

And big thanks to @Toby Ferrian, @Fantozzi, @Jeffrey500, @mike_oxlong, @Tyberius06, @Simmer2, @matias93, @bobolee, @kingofsimcity, @bladeberkman, @RobertLM78, @CorinaMarie, @_Michael, @RandyE, @JP Schriefer, @SC4L0ver, @Marushine, @huzman, @Manuel-ito, @raynev1, @Akallan, @nos.17, @MushyMushy, @mrsmartman, @AlexSLM520, @Silur, @kschmidt, @juliok92012, @Elenphor, @Yarahi, & @Namiko for all the likes!
 

korver

Bohemia

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Located in the western Czech Republic, Bohemia is a region full of picturesque landscapes and charming villages. Few are as delightful as Hrensko - and its where we'll begin our tour. Founded back in the 15th century as a trading settlement on the Kamience gorge, its turned into one of the most popular tourist destinations in the area. Hrensko also serves as the entrance gate to Bohemian Switzerland National Park - but be sure to take in the village for a day or two before sailing down the Kamience gorge.


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The Kamience gorge cuts through the heart of the park, and riding a slow sailing boat down the river is one of the most popular tourist attractions. The steep cliffs are quite incredible, but remain quiet until our tour guide finds a rope attached to the other side and gives it a huge pull...


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The Umelý vodopád (artificial waterfall) comes gushing out of a small crack at the top of the rock cliff - creating quite the splash and the perfect photo opportunity.


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We emerge out of the gorge and start making our way through the heart of the park. After a few hours, we finally reach one of the most stunning tourist attractions in the area - the striking Pravcická brána, the largest natural sandstone arch in Central Europe. In 1826, an inn was built here and has remained a popular spot ever since - after a hard day of hiking, there's nothing better than a good meal here. Be sure to take advantage of the many paths that wrap their way around the arch to get a great view of the landscape - but remember that the top of the arch has been out of bounds since the 1980s due to heavy erosion from tourists.


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Our last destination in Bohemia is the impressive Pravcický kužel (Pravcický Cone) - one of the most imposing structures in the entire park. For the thrill seeker out there, its the premier destination in the entire park - but only the bravest of climbers would dare to take on these sheer cliffs in the dead of winter...


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During summer however, when things are a bit more manageable - rock climbers from all across Central Europe will take on the cone. For those who can scale up these challenging cliffs - hundreds of feet high with little to no room for error - they will be rewarded with some absolutely incredible views from the top.


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I hope you enjoyed your visit to Bohemia - its truly a timeless beauty.


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NOTE: In order to make this update, I really had to put my BATing skills to the test. I modeled and textured these BATs completely from scratch (1, 2, 3 - pictures taken from the Lot Editor window) specifically for the update - if anyone would like to try the models out for themselves then please PM me *:)

 

Don't forget to comment, like, and follow True Earth if you haven't already!

-korver


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Replies for "Natural Wonders"

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@IL. Thank you for the comment! *:)

@BC Canuck Thank you *:)I actually hadn't heard of the Danakil Depression either until recently - but once I first saw the mesmerizing colors I knew I had to give it a go.

@tariely Thank you for the kind words! Yeah, I'm planning on releasing a bunch of stuff here at some point. I'm going to be insanely busy with my CJ for a bit as I get out a lot of older updates though, so probably once things settle down. But in the meantime, if there's anything you're after in particular, feel free to send me a PM and I'll see what I can do *;)

@mattb325 Thank you for the nice words! *:)

@elavery I just checked it out - quite stunning. The cliffs and lack of proper BATs though would be a concern, but I'll think about it in the future *;)Thanks for the suggestion.

@Mymyjp Thank you, glad you liked it! *:)

@gaiskerein Thank you for the comment and kind words!

@TekindusT Yep, 100% certified photoshop free *:PThanks for the comment *:)

And finally, big thanks to @Manuel-ito, @RandyE, @matias93, @AlexSLM520, @bladeberkman, @Brooklyn81, @CorinaMarie, @tariely, @Odainsaker, @huzman, @mattb325, @scotttbarry, @nos.17, @_Michael, @Marushine, @Tonraq, @Jolteon, @Tyberius06, @jakis, @Fantozzi, @raynev1, @Elenphor, @Andrey km, @Yarahi, @bobolee, @SC4L0ver, @juliok92012, @Silur, @mayor11, @mrsmartman, & @Jonas_Chaves for all the likes!

korver

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Our world is full of incredible natural wonders that keep us in awe. Today we're going to take a tour around the globe (except Antarctica - that's probably going to be a separate update down the road *;)) - visiting a few of the most unique and stunning natural wonders our planet has to offer.

Note: this update contains a few gifs (4MB and 6MB) - it was difficult to get them any smaller.


Africa
Danakil Depression - Ethiopia

Our first destination can be found in the hot, humid climate of northern Ethiopia. The alien like world of the Danakil Depression is known for its incredibly colorful sulfur pits - and also being the home of the hottest temperatures on earth. With temperatures reaching as high as 125 degrees, you won't be able to stay here long - just long enough to load up your camel with salt and continue on with the journey.


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Asia
Sigiriya - Sri Lanka

On the small island nation of Sri Lanka in South Asia is where you'll find our next location - the ancient rock fortress of Sigiriya. This stronghold was selected by King Kasyapa of the Ceylon civilization back in the mid 400s CE as a new capital - and it was truly ahead of its time. The original structure featured a massive city perched on top of the rock, with expansive gardens and trails leading around the entire structure. Little of it remains - but it continues to keep tourists in awe to this day.


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Australia
Uluru (Ayers Rock) - Northern Territory


When you think of Australia - one of the first things that comes to mind is its stunning Uluru (Ayers Rock), dramatically rising some 1,142 feet out of the outback. Uluru is the original aboriginal name for the area - and it has no specific meaning behind it. They believed that the rock has a great spiritual meaning - and was created at the dawn of time. To this day, those visiting it are urged not to climb the rock out of respect to these beliefs - and taking photographs of certain areas is also strongly urged against.


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Europe
Holuhraun Lava Field - Iceland

We're traveling to the Arctic for our next destination - the volatile and unpredictable Holuhraun Lava Field. This lava field is the size of Manhattan and its been growing at an unprecedented rate - and its also been spewing out a record-breaking amount of lava and sulfur dioxide in recent years. Hiking is surprisingly allowed here - but make sure you watch your step, especially with lava that can reach temperatures as high as 1,470 degrees Fahrenheit.


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North America
Nares Strait - Canada/Greenland Border

We're staying in the Arctic for our next sight - and you'll find the stunning Nares Strait located on Greenland's wild west coast. This pathway to the North Pole is lined with dramatic fjords and mountains - and with some of the most inhospitable temperatures on earth, every trip is an adventure.


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South America
Devil's Throat (Iguazu Falls) - Brazil/Argentina Border

Our tour wraps up with one of the most awe-inspiring destinations in all of South America - the majestic Devils's Throat of Iguazu Falls, located on the Brazil/Argentina border. This is a sight unlike any other on earth - water cascades from 3 different angles down nearly 300 feet of sheer rock, creating a thundering splash that can be heard for miles around. This is nature at its best - and its a destination that you won't want to miss out on.


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Note: a lot of these pictures required extensive custom content creation, and although it may look like it - there actually wasn't that much photoshop being used at all. The Iguazu Falls & Danakil Depression gifs are completely unedited - the in game animations were recorded using ScreenToGif.

For those wondering where I got Sigiriya, it was downloaded here and imported into the game as a big BAT - some small editing was done though at the top to add things like better looking trees. Ayers Rock was made using the in game terraforming tools, but had a couple edits to the terrain mod and the clouds.

As for the pics from the Arctic - the main use of photoshop was adding reflections to the water (in the Greenland pic), giving the lava a little life/making it glow a bit (the lava itself is real), and adding some mist/clouds in general as well. I created an entire set of textures for those pics - consisting of two parts. First one being just a simple terrain mod - consisting of fairly basic cliff/ground texture mods. Here's a demonstration of some of the base textures/cliff textures at work. Secondly, I also finally figured out a while back how to create overrides for the JENX terrain paints: 1, 2.

And again, these aren't some sort of photoshop effect or whatever, they're just overrides of the in game terrain paints. For those interested, here's the pics completely unedited: here and here (the lava is usually supposed to be used at day, so I had to make some enhancements for the night time image.)

So yeah, there's finally legit lava + glaciers in the game *:DThere's still plenty of work to be done and they don't have proper icons yet so they're sorta hard to use, so it could be a while for a release on anything. But as always, if anyone is interested in something then please PM me and I can send you what I've completed thus far.

 

Don't forget to comment, like, and follow True Earth if you haven't already!

-korver


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Replies for "Scenes From South America"

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@TekindusT Thank you! I really went all out on that Buenos Aires pic - took forever but it was worth it!

@Bojci Thanks for stopping by! Appreciate the kind words *:thumb:

@Dgmc2013 Thank you, appreciate the nice comment *:)

@tariely Thanks for the kind words! I'll try to incorporate more little tutorials and whatnot into my entries from time to time  - and to show how I make them come to life.

@mrsmartman Thank you! I'll hopefully try to do a few more of those in the future to show a bit of what goes into my scenes *:) 

@IL. Thank you! Although I've done some very heavy photoshop pics for fun in the past, it's important to keep things in moderation. Photoshop had a minor role in the update - mainly for things like mist/clouds/rain effects, adding filters to give some of the pics to give them a unique character, and to also do a number of small cosmetic edits like adding power lines to the MMP'd poles in the Tocanao pic. All the buildings, MMPs, lots etc are real in the pics - containing a bunch of custom content I created along with creative uses of existing content.

@GoKingsGo Thanks for the wonderful comment! *:)

@raynev1 Thanks for the kind words *:)I've been thinking about it recently and I might try to fit them into some sort of prop pack along with some of the other models I've been working on. If you want them in the meantime though, feel free to PM me *:)

@Fantozzi Thanks for the nice comment *:)As for the buildings I used in those pics, I believe I used the following: a rusty shack from Simmer2's prop pack vol3, some shacks from the fordoniak prop pack vol2, and the main buildings were from RDQ's prop pack and from Wallibuk's collection on the STEX. I used some of Maloskero's stuff too -  he graciously sent me a decent amount of BATs that haven't been released yet though, so I think a few of the buildings in the pic might not be available yet. But I believe he is working currently on getting the other blds on the STEX here soon. Also, one last note - a few of the buildings I used had their roofs recolored to orange/red to give them a bit more of a South American flavor - hopefully that shouldn't be an issue though *:P

@Namiko Thanks! Yeah, that scene is hard to beat *:) I'm gonna keep the updates coming too, I have a loooot of stuff I need to publish into updates.. *:P

@Mymyjp Thank you for the kind words! It would be great to see some more updates - I really enjoyed your work *:)

@Akallan Thanks for the comment! I've actually thought about Nordic countries, but the lack of BATs is a big issue. Especially the stave churches - I could texture one pretty good but unfortunately my modeling capabilities are lagging behind. I've found enough stuff though for Ancient Egypt so that's definitely going to happen *;)

@JP Schriefer Thanks for the nice comment as always *:)

@f3cs Thanks, glad you enjoyed it!

@_Michael Thank you! I usually do big, massive scenes - so I wanted to change things up a little and do a few zoom 6 scenes like the Amazon river one, glad you liked it *:)  

@dabadon5 Thank you! With each update, I really want to convey that feeling of being on a great adventure across the globe - so it's nice to hear that *:)

@RandyE Thanks for the comment Randy! It's quite amazing what we can create using the canvas of SC4 *:)

Finally, big thanks to @Jolteon, @CorinaMarie, @Manuel-ito, @Fantozzi, @MushyMushy, @Dgmc2013, @tariely, @matias93, @Marushine, @mike_oxlong, @mrsmartman, @bobolee, @kingofsimcity, @Krasner, @_Michael, @bladeberkman, @Francis90b, @GoKingsGo, @raynev1, @Namiko, @mattb325, @scotttbarry, @Akallan, @JP Schriefer, @RandyE, & @APSMS for all the likes!

korver

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Our journey to South America begins in Baños, Ecuador - located in the Eastern Andes, this popular tourist resort town offers lots to do. From restaurants, hot springs, waterfalls, and plenty of other activities to keep you occupied - its an excellent destination for anyone wanting to get a taste of the region. We won't be staying here long though, as the neighboring Amazon awaits..


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While Baños may be located in the Andes Mountains - it's also known as the "Gateway to the Amazon" due to its close proximity to many of the Amazon River's tributaries and streams, offering a direct route into the jungle itself. We rent a boat from one of the locals, and we're soon on our way - into the dense, humid climate of the Amazon rainforest..

 

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We travel deeper into the Amazon, and it might be hundreds of miles before we reach the next town or village. The locals here live simple lives - while some are tucked away so deep into the forest that they haven't been reached yet by civilization - others live on the shores of the Amazon and its tributaries with limited contact. We get a chance to meet a group of them, high up on their stilt houses - the brief glimpse into their lives and customary rituals is quite fascinating.


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In this part of South America - much of the local economy depends on important natural resources such as oil to keep afloat. Lake Maracaibo, located in northern Venezuela, has been vital for the locals - outside of the Middle East, this is one of the world's largest oil producers since oil was first discovered here back in 1914. Much of the land surrounding the lake is surrounded by endless fields of oil pumpjacks - they've quickly become a common symbol of the region.


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We head back into Brazil and the next stop will be a common sight in many of the major cities. From São Paulo to Rio de Janeiro - favelas dot the outskirts and creep up along the mountainous hillsides. The people here might not have a lot - but they make the best of their situation for them and their families, creating makeshift houses from whatever they can find.

 

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Some 1,000 miles west is where you'll find our next destination - one of South America's greatest cities, Buenos Aires. The mighty obelisco rises some 221 feet above the surrounding Plaza de la República and the spaciously wide 9 de Julio Avenue - commemorating the founding of the city back in 1536, its one of the main landmarks in the city and one of its premier destinations.


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Our final destination takes us back to the Andes - and although much of the land here is inhospitable and harsh, there's still a number of small, charming villages and towns that you'll want to check out. The small village of Tocanao in Chile stands on the edge of the Atacama Desert - despite the lack of rain (this is the driest area on the face of the planet) - the people here have adapted quite well, making the most of a few small streams that run close by. The bell tower here dates from 1750 - built from volcanic stone, its a unique landmark that's quite striking.


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Note: For this update (and others) - custom content creation has been vital. I've been creating custom road texture sets (this is only a small portion of it - there's about 20 or so for the Banos pic), BATing various small buildings from scratch (1, 2,), making HD water textures, and much more. I don't know if any of this stuff will make it to the exchange soon as there isn't any documentation, a number of small things still need to be fixed/improved, and I've also been extremely busy with my CJ lately. In the meantime though, if anyone is interested in these then just send me a PM.

Additionally, about the last update - the obscure BATs were not photoshopped in (that would be waay too much photoshop in my book) - they're all ingame BATs I got from 3d warehouse. The Petra pic used a bit more photoshop than usual - I made it a long time ago when I was still messing around with PS - but the pic still uses an ingame BAT from 3d warehouse with some extra effects around it (added lights, made the cliffs look better.) Anyways, if I'm doing a scene and I need something from 3d warehouse, I'll import it into 3dsmax, render it, and use it as a prop in my scene. They are like any other BAT you would use. I already wrote a number of moderately in-depth guides on this in my other "South America" update here - I might consider doing this again (more in depth) if there's enough interest.

Also, all of my scenes with the crazy road textures are really just a big flat prop (ingame props, not some sort of crazy photoshop effect. That would be an excessive amount of photoshop in my book). I'll make a big texture, place it on the prop in 3dsmax, render it, and use that prop in Lot Editor. So it isn't some sort of post processing effect, these are ingame props, no different than any other prop you would use. I already made a guide on this here in my "Year in Review" entry (the Pisa picture) so feel free to check it out.

 

Don't forget to comment, like, and follow True Earth if you haven't already!

-korver


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Previous Update: Ancient Ruins - Pt. II

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Big thanks hanks to @Fantozzi, @kingofsimcity, @RandyE, @_Michael, @MushyMushy, @Jolteon, @CorinaMarie, @Yarahi, @mrsmartman, @mike_oxlong, @Manuel-ito, @matias93, @tariely, @raynev1, @Dgmc2013, @GoKingsGo, @Ducio, @Namiko, @Akallan, @Oerk, @scotttbarry, @Bastet69008, @schokoladeneis 1, @mattb325, @Elenphor, @Krasner, @juliok92012, @JP Schriefer, @Don_Pato, & @sucram17 for all the likes!

 

korver

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For the second part of our tour, we begin by traveling to the Middle East to take a look at one of the world's most unique set of ruins - Petra. Founded by the Nabataean civilization as early as 312 BCE, this ancient sandstone city flourished for centuries - and the construction of the Treasury in the 1st century CE was a time of considerable growth and prosperity for the civilization. By 106 CE the Roman Empire captured the city - while Roman influence can be seen throughout the complex, they still thrived as a trade center for many more centuries. Eventually though, the Romans moved their trade capital from Petra and the entire city faded into obscurity and was abandoned shortly afterwards. The ruins have remained a mysterious landmark since then - in fact, the whole facade of the Treasury is riddled with bullet holes after Bedouin tribesmen tried to break in, hoping to recover riches inside. To this day, the entire complex remains a popular tourist attraction in the area - be sure to visit at night when the entire complex is lit up by a stunning display of candles - its one of the most magical experiences imaginable.

 


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For our next iconic ancient ruin - we're traveling to the rural farmlands of southern England. Stonehenge was built between 3200 and 2000 BCE - making it by far the oldest ruin on our list. The druids who built this megalith used ingenious methods to move these rocks around - and although its not entirely agreed upon, most believe that some sort of earth ramp was used to lift the stones into perfect position. There's no better time to visit here than during midsummer sunrise - the stones themselves align to it perfectly, making it a magical experience that's one of a kind.

 


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We'll be taking an extended look at the Roman Empire next - and there's no better place to start than the famous Roman Forum in the heart of Rome. This impressive set of ruins was once the heart of the city, with the likes of Julius Caesar and other important Roman leaders once crossing these grounds. After several sacks of Rome though that led to the fall of the empire during the 400s CE, many of the rocks and stones were plundered extensively, leaving the entire complex a shell of its former self. Excavations and restorations began in the 18th century - and although much of the original structure is long gone, you can still get a glimpse of what these walls once held.

 


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Our next stop within the ancient Roman Empire is the famous Colosseum. First opening back in 80 CE, its size couldn't be rivaled - more than 50,000 people could watch the many events that were held here. Aside from the gladiator fights - the Colosseum was used for just about everything and remained an important site in the empire for hundreds of years. While much of the structure has been lost to time or plundered by enemies - there's still much of it remaining, making it one of the most popular attractions not just in Italy - but also the world.

 


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Our final archeological site is none other than the famous ruins of Pompeii, Italy. This ancient Roman city was founded between the 6th and 7th century - and continued to grow and flourish as an important trading center for centuries. However, in 79 CE, nearby Mount Vesuvius exploded - covering the entire city under a blanket of ash and pyroclastic materials. Although most of the town's inhabitants survived (nearly 80% evacuated before the eruption) - an estimated 2,000 people still lost their lives on that fateful day. After a series of excavations starting in the 1700s, the entire city has became a massive tourist attraction and one of the world's premier archeological sites.

 


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NOTE: Pretty much all the models in this update were downloaded and imported into the game from sites like 3d warehouse, as there were no close replacements for certain buildings I needed. These are ingame models imported into the game with 3dsmax, they are like any other BAT you would use. Besides the Petra picture where I added the lights and made the cliffs look a bit better - there was very little photoshop used at all.

 

Don't forget to comment, like, and follow True Earth if you haven't already!

-korver


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Rest of replies for "Ancient Ruins - Pt. II (Preview)"

@tariely Thanks for the kind words *:)Yeah, I'd agree with you there, I could have probably added a couple more cars (I really wish there were more FA car props out there though). But, let's just say it's an early morning in Rome for now *:P

@mike_oxlong Thanks! Surprisingly my plugins folders aren't that big, but that's mainly because I have about 8 of them by now and I just swap them out constantly. Even if I could share my Plugins folders (I don't know if the admins would be down with that.. *:P).. you'd probably spend more time trying to navigate through my messy menus than actually playing the game *:lol:

@JP Schriefer Thanks! Glad you liked it. Petra has to be one of my personal faves so far *:)

And finally, big thanks to @scotttbarry, @AlexSLM520, @GoKingsGo, @Simmer2, @mrsmartman, @Akallan, @Odainsaker, @RandyE, @bobolee, @JP Schriefer, @tariely, @tonyr, @Manuel-ito, @_Michael, @Jolteon, @raynev1, @Fantozzi, & @kingofsimcity for all the likes!

 

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