Bathe in sound at Joshua Tree’s Integratron

The world is filled with many wondrous places that have a history we don’t yet fully understand. Locations such as Stonehenge and Easter Island draw people from all over the globe, all claiming to feel some sort of spiritual pull towards those places. While we may never know all the details of these ancient wonders, there are some newer spiritual locations whose history is very clear. That knowledge does little to deter those folks who feel as though they need a little magic in their lives. One such place is the Integratron, which can be found in a small town near Joshua Tree in California.static1.squarespace.comSeemingly stuck in the middle of nowhere, the Integratron is a dome shaped building that, at first glance, looks a whole lot like an observatory. Given the history of the building, it is perhaps no real surprise that it looks the way it does. There is an alien connection to this place, and while it is not used for such purposes nowadays, we do know the reasons why it was built.5205162597_b5e848d562_bThe history of the Integratron goes all the way back to the 1950’s, when former aircraft mechanic named George Van Tassel moved to the area with the intention of opening a small hotel. Shortly after moving there, George would spend a lot of time at Big Rock, a spiritual destination for Native Americans. It was during one of his moments of quiet solitude that Van Tassel claims he received messages form intelligent beings beyond the stars. The idea of the hotel was put on the back burner in favor of what was to become the Integratron.3860944225_d0c9b898f1_bGeorge hosted many successful UFO conventions in the area, the proceeds of which he used to build his masterpiece. More than just a simple building, George intended the Integratron to work like a massive battery that he claimed could recharge the cells in the human body. The main construction was finished in 1959, but George continued to make changes all the way up to 1973, which was when he passed. Rather than slipping into obscurity and falling into ruin, the Integratron continued to thrive, albeit under several different guises.6330619775_c48d33d7fd_bThe building was used for a variety of different purposes, and at one point came very close to being turned into a disco. Despite all the changes over the years, the Integratron has come full circle, and is now used for the purposes that Van Tassel initially intended. This is the place to go for a full body regeneration, which is delivered via sound baths. Essentially, you get to lay back and relax for an hour while the session leader created music through a series of different vessels.8772658209_afb3a3ff43_bThe acoustics of the building make this experience something quite magical. Several musicians have visited over the years, testing the sounds and sonics that the interior of the Integratron creates. The building is open to the public, so it’s certainly a place to visit if you feel as though your energy is waning and you need a little recharging.

8772657085_e3631e1117_b  Images: integratron.com

Impressive architecture: The Gehry Buildings of Dusseldorf

Dusseldorf, Germany. A typical German city, with typical squares and buildings, and with Baroque and Gothic styles all over the place. The Old City and the Rhine offer colorful and picturesque landscapes, but there is something else amazing in Dusseldorf: the Gehry Buildings.Gehry_photo_office_buildings_river_bank_fa+ºade_01_D++sseldorf_Germany_2005-07-27-minBuilt in 1999, based on a design made by the American architect Frank O. Gehry, the Gehry Buildings are three buildings which look like a huge sculpture. One is covered in white plastic, one is covered in stainless steel, and one is covered in red brick. The stunning trio are curved and all lean. Round shapes and metallic exteriors put Gehry within the Deconstructivism architectural style. These buildings are Gehry’s masterpiece. Even if the exterior is unusual and strange, the interior is designed perfectly as office space and not a single inch is wasted.Gehry_Building_D++sseldorf-minSituated in the new harbor of Dusseldorf (Media Harbour), the Gehry Buildings attract architects and photographers from all over the world. When you see a building made of cylinders of different heights, with protruding window frames which seem arbitrary distributed around the building (there are more than 1, 500 of them with individual design), and totally different from anything you’ve seen, you think it would be hard to find a good place for it. But the German harbor adopted the buildings so well that they became the modern landmark of Dusseldorf, the first step to urban development in the 21st century.2015.09.26.162620_Gehry_Buildings_Neuer_Zollhof_D++sseldorf-minWhat is even more amazing is the fact that the Gehry Buildings look so awesome together, even if they are so different. The shapes and glaze, the colors and glamour give the impression of a very photogenic jewelry. Modern and romantic, rough and sweet, these buildings will still look perfect in 100 years and will always be the pride of Dusseldorf.  Gehry_Building_Duesseldorf-min ghxdn9-min

The forgotten pyramids of Sudan

Sunrise over orange-red dunes, constantly shifted by the light early morning desert breeze that threatens to engulf everything in its path with sand. Centuries pass in the blink of an eye. The River Nile meanders slowly north beside a cluster of pyramids, silhouetted by the already blazing sun. Yet this is not Egypt, but the forgotten pyramids of Sudan’s ancient Nubian kingdoms.13147094655_57caa307c3_b-minThe deserts of Sudan, one of Africa’s largest nations, boast 255 pyramids compared to Egypt’s 130. Like those in Egypt they were constructed centuries ago as the final resting places for the grand granite sarcophagi of the monarchs of two kingdoms, Napata and Moroe, which ruled an area encompassing southern Egypt and northern Sudan. The sarcophagus of just one king, Aspelta, weighs 15.5 tons and its lid another 4 tons.32706062082_845f1a959f_b-minIt is at Moroe, just 60 miles north of the modern Sudanese capital of Khartoum, in what is poetically described as between the fifth and sixth cataracts of the Nile, which has the most extensive group of pyramids. Over forty mummified kings and queens were buried here covered in jewels and surrounded by regal earthly goodies. They date to between 700 and 300 BCE.Sudan_Meroe_Pyramids_30sep2005_2-minDespite more than two millennia of plundering, when first explored by archaeologists in the nineteenth century they were found to still contain a multitude of treasures. From bows and arrows to glass and intricate pieces of furniture – they contained everything the royals might need in the afterlife.Sudan_Meroe_Pyramids_30sep2005_10-minToday the pyramids bear the scars of a Victorian adventurer sure the structures contained gold and other precious goods, leaving many of them decapitated. However, rising between 20 and 100 feet into the expansive African skies, the pyramids remain a powerful reminder of the agelessness of human civilisation, while reconstructions demonstrate what the site must have looked like in its heyday.     Sudan_Meroe_Pyramids_2001-min