Chimney Rock!

Chimney Rock has been around for 35 million years and was formed by volcanic activity. As time went by the harsh mid-west weather gradually wore down the rock to a chimney like tower, making it very easy to identify. In the 1800’s Chimney Rock was one of the most famous landmarks in the US, as it was an important marker for the people that were heading west, as the trail along this pathway was easier as it avoided the harsher lands of other paths.

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Warsaw “The Phoenix City”

The ending of world war 2 in 1945 brought joy to the world, as a whole. But for the people of Poland and especially Warsaw it was the start of what was to be a massive rebuilding program of both their people and their city.

By the time Poland was liberated by the Soviet Union, Warsaw was basically wiped off the map. 85% of its buildings were destroyed and the city’s population was down from 1.3 million to just 174.000. But, slowly and surely Warsaw was repaired, most of the old city by 1955, but the royal castle was not fully repaired until the 1970s. But for some here in Warsaw the city has never been rebuilt, as Warsaw is still facing serious urban planning issues.

Upon my visit to Warsaw, I had the chance to see for myself the devastation which was coursed here, yes you see it on films and war programs which is very educational, but to still see bullet holes in buildings and flowers which are still been laid today is a stark reminder of what life must have been like here during the darkest hour.


Warsaw has the nickname of the Phoenix City: because it has also risen from the ashes. But, the local nickname of Warsaw is “The City of Statues” and it is well suited, as there seems to be a statue or monument on every street corner! So, for the tourist it is a fascinating city to explore, there is always something to do from statue hunting to museums.

Here are a few of Warsaw’s historical sites;

Monument to the Ghetto Heroes

Pomnik Bohaterow Getto

The Monument to the Ghetto Heroes was designed by Leon Suzin and unveiled in April 1948 to honor the fighters and martyrs of the Warsaw uprising in 1943 against Nazi Germany. The monument is located on the spot of the first armed clashes, which is located on the square of Anielewicza Street, Karmelicka Street, Lewartowskiego Street and Zamenhofa Street. This was also the last location of the Judenrat (Jewish Council) from August 1942 till the end of the Warsaw Ghetto.

The monument is made of materials originally brought to Warsaw, Poland by Hitler’s chief architect Albert Speer and stands 11 meters tall (36 feet). The first part of the monument (A small memorial tablet) was unveiled in April 1946, with the larger monument sculpted by Nathan Rapport. Nathan Rapport worked closely with Leon Suzin on the monument and said “the wall of the monument was designed to evoke not just the Ghetto Walls, but also the western wall (Kotel) in Jerusalem. The great stones would thus have framed the memory of events in Warsaw in iconographic figure of Judaism’s holiest site”.


Maly Powstaniec (The Little Insurgent)

The little insurgent is a moving monument that tributes the child soldiers of the Warsaw uprising in 1944 which lasted two months and one day (1st August 5pm – 2nd October) The statue is of a young boy holding a submachine gun and a helmet which is styled after the German forces. This equipment was seized during the intensive fighting of the uprising, and then used by the resistance against the invading forces. It’s reported that the statue is of a young fighter who fell to his death on August 8th 1944 whilst fighting for the pseudonym of “Antek” (The underground) warsaw

The designer of the monument was Jerzy Jarnuszkiewicz who created the statue in 1946. But it wasn’t until 1983 that the monument was revealed after collections by boy scouts help raise funds. Professor Jerzy Swiderski himself a courier for the resistance during the uprising had the honor of revealing Maly Powstaniec (Little Insurgent) on the 1st October 1983 which is situated in the old town of Warsaw.

Behind the statue is a plaque reading “Warszawskie Dzieci” (“Warsaw Children”) which was a popular song from that period.


“Warszawskie Dzieci, pojdziemy w bojza kazdy kamien twoj, stolico damy krew” (“We’re the children of Warsaw, going into battle – for every stone of yours, we will give our blood”)


The Uprising Museum


The uprising museum is a must for all visitors. I’ve been lucky enough to have visited twice, and the museum still educates me with all the information from the uprising period.


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The Historic Pigeon Roost Site!


The memorial to Pigeon Roost is in “The Hoosier State” Indiana, located between the cities of Scottsburg and Henryville, off US highway 31. On the 3rd September 1812 (just after the war began in June) a war party of Native Americans attacked and surprised the settlers of Pigeon Roost. 24 settlers including 15 children were killed with two children kidnapped. The attack came out of the blue, with a lot of settlers running for their lives and seeking refuge in a blockhouse. The Native Americans suffered just four casualties as they left before the local militia based in Charlestown could react. The militiamen, lead by the Major John McCoy, followed the attackers as far as the local Muscatatuck River, where the trail was lost and the attackers escaped.

The memorial to the victims of the Pigeon Roost Massacre stands at 44 foot and is set along side a memorial tribute site, which hosts all the names of the victims. The area of Pigeon Roost became a historic site in 1929 and more recently, a picnic shelter was added and on the second Saturday in September an annual picnic is held at the site. There is also a log cabin that has been built, similar to the ones built by the settlers.

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Entrance: FREE

Address: Pigeon Roost State Historic Site, Underwood, Indiana. Off US Route 31 between Scottsburg and Henryville.


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The Tree Rock!

I “stumbled” across Tree Rock on a road trip across Wyoming. Situated between Laramie and the state capital Cheyenne, this intriguing point of interest was sat right in the middle of interstate 80. It’s quite unbelievable how it’s survived all these years! With the harsh weather, and of course all the trucks and cars flying by. With all this in mind, this is how Tree Rock became Tree Rock!

“This small pine tree that seems to be growing out of the solid rock has fascinated travellers since the first train rolled past on the Union Pacific Railroad. It is said that the builders of the original railroad diverted the tracks slightly to pass by the tree as they laid rails across the Sherman Mountain in 1867-69. It is also said that trains stopped here while Incomotive fireman “gave the tree a drink” from there water buckets! The railroad moved several miles to the south in 1901 and the abandoned grade became a wagon road. In 1913 the Lincoln Highway Association was formed “To procure the establishment of a continuous improved highway from the Atlantic to the Pacific” The Lincoln highway was an instant success in a nation enamoured with the new-fangled automobiles and eager for a place to drive them. The Lincoln passed right by Tree Rock as did U.S 30 in the 1920s and interstate 80 in the 1960s. At this place, the road was approaching the 8.835-foot Sherman summit, the highest point on the Lincoln. The view of the surrounding mountains was like nothing that westbound easterners had ever seen. Still, they noticed the little tree which became the favoured subject of many early postcards and photographs. It still is.
The tree is a somewhat stunted and twisted limber pine (Pinus Flexilis) a type of tree commonly found in this area (Wyoming) where ponderosa and limber pines dominate the landscape. The age of the tree is unknown, although limber pines can live as long as 2000 years. The tree grows out of a crack in a boulder of Precambrian era pink Sherman granite formed more than 1.4 billion years ago”

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How to fine Tree Rock: Midway between Laramie and Cheyenne, in a wayside rest in the median of I-80 at mile marker 333.


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Pedernales Falls


Pedernales Falls is a state park west of Austin, Texas. It boasts beautiful walking trails with stunning scenery, which leads to a smooth following waterfall with warm sandy edges. Located north of Johnson City off highway 281, this quite Texas haven is great a place for a family day out and picnic. There is also facilities for camping at rates of $5 per night.


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Address: 2585 Park Road 6026, Johnson City, Texas, 78636

Fees: $6 Adult daily use – Children enter free if under 12


Phone: 830-868-7304


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