Friday, 31 March 2017

Galesnjak, The Lovers Island, Croatia

There is a tiny island in Croatia which is causing a sensation between all lovebirds on the planet earth. It is small and uninhabited island doesn’t have any natural attractions.  Galešnjak is also called “Island of Love”, “Lover's Island”, and “Isle of Love”, is located in the Pašman channel of the Adriatic, between the islands of Pašman and the town of Turanj on mainland Croatia. The island is famous due to its naturally occurring heart-shaped objects such as the Heart Reef in the Whitsundays. The lover’s island has a surface area of 0.132 km2, with its beach measuring 1.55 km in length. It seems many lovers from around the world consider it the ideal spot for a romantic Day break. The beautiful heart shaped island features two peaks, the highest of which is 36 m high above sea level.

The island's unusual shape was first recorded in the early 19th century by Napoleon's cartographer Charles-François Beautemps-Beaupré. The island was highlighted on Google Earth in February 2009, which brought the island to worldwide attention. Therefore, in the recent times, the activity on the island has created two large scars across the heart, one spanning the island from a pier on the north to the south, and the other to the west of it. It has been incredible, and the most perfect heart-shaped island in the world. Nobody lives there so if lovers really do want to spend time alone it's the perfect desert island. It looked a bit like a heart but since it's been on Google Earth everyone else has seen it too and the whole world seems to want to stay here.

Therefore, couples on honeymoons, marrieds celebrating anniversaries and young men wanting to propose find Galešnjak the ideal destination. The island has an aura, a charm which is almost magical. Galešnjak is privately owned and contains only wild plants and trees. Human activity recorded on this island is three known Illyrian burial mounds and remains of an ancient building's foundations. It was included in an atlas of the Dalmatian coast which was created in 1806. But it was through Google Earth that Galesnjak first became a global sensation. Galešnjak does not have any tourist facilities or any sort of man-made structures. All it has are shrubs upon its rather rocky terrain, wild untamed atmosphere appeals to most lovers. The island is isolated, quiet and private.

It is the perfect place to relish a romantic moment uninterrupted. The heart shaped island has some pebble beaches, the best kept beaches on the planet, but they are good enough for a romantic swim. Galešnjak is surrounded by the emerald-blue waters of the Pašman channel; give it an idyllic, paradise-like feel. Hence, due to its beautiful atmosphere which makes all who visit Galešnjak not wish to leave? However, most people who travel to Galešnjak cannot stay overnight because of no amenities on the island. Therefore, the only available option of staying overnight here is camping. However, many people visit the island set up base in the adjacent island of Pašman or in the major tourist hub of Zadar. They rent a boat and ride to the island or take up one of the cruises which make stopovers on the island.  Therefore, Galešnjak is a must-visit island in Croatia for anyone who desires to share an unforgettable moment with their soul mate, flawless place to chill out, camp, picnic, swim and share sentimental moments. As mentioned above, the island is privately owned hence, permission has to be sought in order to access it.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

The US Military Air Planes Graveyard

World's largest plane graveyard of US military fighters in desert can now is explored online in incredible interactive map. The worlds largest “plane graveyard” where more than 4,400 aircraft are dumbed in dust in the Arizona desert can now be explored in intricate detail. This is the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, commonly known as The Boneyard, where the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) take care of disused fighter jets and warplanes. AMARG arranges its aircraft over almost 2,600 acres of desert in the city of Tucson, surrounded by houses and criss-crossed by roads. AMARG was established at Davis-Monthan to store planes in 1946 after the end of the Second World War, chosen for Tucson’s low humidity, infrequent rainfall, high altitude and hard alkaline soil.
The place has been inquisitiveness for eagle-eyed Google Earth users since the satellite imagery software was launched in 2005, but now for the first time it is available to view in high resolution. The $35billion worth of outdated planes is kept as spare parts for current models at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona. The US military planes of all shapes and sizes lined up in meticulous rows on the reddish earth with decommissioned fighters coated in protective sheeting and well covered in white to protect them from the scorching sun. So, it is home of everything from massive cargo planes to bombers, Hercules freighters, A10 Thunderbolts and the F-14 Tomcat fighters made famed in Top Gun. Thus, they were stored with their wings detached and placed on the ground to prove to Soviet satellites they had been taken out of service.
However, many planes are of Cold War in Vietnam including retired B-52 bombers capable of carrying nuclear weapons. Moreover, as long as aircraft flying, military and commercial aircraft boneyards required keeping other planes in the air usually performs a variety of functions from storing aircraft. These are for the time being out of service but likely to return to the fleet, to recouping useable parts which are checked, repaired, and then held until needed by active aircraft, to dismantling of the aircraft carcasses. Besides, some of the planes have noses or wings missing, surrounded by indifferent parts being salvaged by labors to be sent out to air bases across the world as spares. So, others are wrapped up almost ready to go, being kept as close to working order as possible in case they are required in a new operation. When they arrive, they must be washed, their fuel tanks drained and cleaned, ammunition and ejector seats removed and ducts sealed before they’re covered back up. It has been the atmospheric backdrop for numerous films, television series and videos.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Jeita Grotto, Wonderful Underground Caves in Lebanon

Jeita Grotto is actually a cave system stretches about 9 kilometers into the mountains 18km northeast of Beirut. Jeita Grotto is one of greatest natural wonders, discovered in 1836 by Reverend William Thomson; and opened as a tourist attraction in 1969. During civil war, the caves were used as an ammunition store, now interconnected, karstic limestone caves are situated in the Nahr al-Kalb valley within the locality of Jeita. Though inhabited in prehistoric times, the lower cave was not rediscovered until 1836 it can only be visited by boat since it channels an underground river that provides fresh drinking water to more than a million Lebanese. These lower caves are always explored by small boat and are closed when the flood levels rise too high. However, the extraordinary upper cavern stays open all year and is explored on foot or via a cable car. It has strategically positioned colored lights that showcase the stalactites and stalagmites in all their crystalline glory. Moreover, the upper galleries house the world's largest known stalactites are composed of a series of chambers the largest of which peaks at a height of 390 feet.

The Lebanese speleologists discovered the upper galleries 60 metres above the lower cave in 1958. This has been accommodated with an access tunnel and a series of walkways to enable tourist’s safe access without disturbing the natural landscape. In spite of all kinds of tatty side attractions the site remains a spectacular day trip from Beirut, but keeps in mind that there’s no photography allowed. Geita Grotto is Lebanese national symbol and most famous tourist spot, plays an imperative role in social, economic and cultural player in the country. Geita Grotto was one of top 14 finalists in the New 7 Wonders of Nature competition.

 The Jeita caves are solutional karst caves, formed more than millions of years due to the dissolution of limestone, dissolved by carbonic acid charged rain water and groundwater. Thus, when the limestone, were originally waterproof, contains cracks produced by tectonic forces the water oozes into the rock and starts to widen the cracks and solute caves inside the layers Jeita is the longest cave complex in the Middle East geologically, the caves provide a tunnel or escape route for the underground river, which is the principal source of Nahr al-Kalb.

The Jeita grotto is the longest explored cave in Lebanon, hosts approximately 280,000 visitors per year. Moreover, the Jeita cave emits a spring with a flow ranging from 1–2 m3/s, providing fresh drinking water for one-and-a-half million inhabitants of the capital, Beirut. However, water pollution, due to domestic and agricultural runoff, remains a serious concern as recent analysis detected an increasing presence of coliform bacteria.

The name of the cave changed many times since its discovery. Initially it is called as Grottoes of Nahr al-Kalb, also known as Djaita, Jehita, and finally Jeita meaning “roaring water”. Nahr al-Kalb is the name of the river that runs through the grottoes. The Jeita grotto contains a lot of touristic attractions that fill the visitor’s time with enjoyment and happiness. The main attractions include ropeways, train, miniature zoo, gardens and many sculptures.

Mount Roraima, Oldest Geological Formations on Earth

Mount Roraima is also known as Tepuy Roraima and Cerro Roraima; is the highest of the Pakaraima chain of tepui plateaus in South America. A mystic, flat-topped mountain on the Venezuela-Brazil border that mystified 19th-century explorers and inspired “The Lost World” novel is enticing ever more modern-day adventurers. In 1595, English explorer Sir Walter Raleigh first described during his expedition. Once impenetrable to all but the Pemon indigenous people, thousands of hikers a year now make the trek across savannah, through rivers, under a waterfall and along a narrow path scaling the cliffs of Mount Roraima. Its 31 km2 summit area is bounded on all sides by cliffs rising 400 metres. The mountain also serves as the triple border point of Venezuela (85% of its territory), Guyana (10%) and Brazil (5%). The throngs are a boon to Venezuela's tottering tourism industry; they also scatter a prehistoric landscape with unwanted litter and strain a delicate ecosystem. Mount Roraima lies on the Guiana Shield in the southeastern corner of Venezuela's forming the highest peak of Guyana's Highland Range. Mount Roraima Top Park is considered some of the oldest geological formations on Earth, as much as two billion years ago in the Precambrian. It's an exotic, faraway destination so it's both very costly and very attractive, have the peaceful aura appropriate to one of the Earth's most ancient formations.

Although the steep sides of the plateau make it difficult to access, it was the first recorded major tepui to be climbed: Sir Everard im Thurn walked up a forested ramp in December 1884 to scale the plateau. This is the same route hikers take nowadays. The only non-technical route to the top is the Paraitepui route from Venezuela; any other approach will involve climbing gear. The highest point in Guyana and the highest point of the Brazilian state of Roraima lie on the plateau, but Venezuela and Brazil have higher mountains elsewhere. Mount Roraima, a natural border between three South American countries, offer such breathtaking views that they might just stick with you forever and ever down in some rusty memory box. This spot is about unconventional traveling ideas, a place where people can find unworldly landscapes and a new way of seeing things. And this is definitely one of them. Moreover, almost daily rains have also created an exclusive ecosystem which includes a number of endemic species, black frogs, dragonflies, tarantulas and such as a unique carnivorous pitcher plant, clinging to cracks and crevasses and some of the highest waterfalls in the world.

Mount Roraima was considered a symbol of these regions, an “axis mundi”, a massive tree within which all the vegetables and fruits of the world grow, tall cliff a place of mystery, myths for indigenous people used to live here from many centuries. Though, hiking is not hard here, can seek help from local peoples against some money. Mount Roraima is said to have some of the most captivating hiking trails in the world. This remote landscape of jungle and cliffs has inspired the dinosaur infested landscapes of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s novel The Lost World, and the dramatic waterfalls dubbed “Paradise Falls” in the 2009 Pixar film Up. As the time progresses, Mount Roraima is getting popular among tourist, an average 3,000 and 4,000 people are climbing each year, up from hundreds a few years ago. That makes queues during peak times, and sometimes leaves the few sheltered coves at the top crammed with tents. On Mount Roraima's vast plateau strange & gnarled rocks formed when the African and American continents scraped apart, play with the mind, humorous in the sun, ghostly in the mist.


Monday, 27 March 2017

Victoria Falls, One of Seven Wonders of the World

Victoria Falls, or Mosi-oa-Tunya is a waterfall in southern Africa on the Zambezi River at the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe. CNN has been described as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the world. The Victoria Falls also known as “The Smoke That Thunders” continues in common usage as well. The World Heritage List officially recognizes both names. The legendary waterfall is among the most impressive & awe-inspiring to be found anywhere on the planet earth. David Livingstone, the Scottish missionary and explorer, is believed to have been the first European to view Victoria Falls on 16 November 1855, named his discovery in honor of Queen Victoria of Britain. The Victoria Falls generates mists sustain a rain forest-like ecosystem nearby the falls and on the opposite cliff that faces them like a dried-up mirror image, thick with mahogany, fig, palm, and other species of vegetation. The whole volume of the Zambezi River pours through the as much as six Gorge's zigzagging series of gorges designated by the order in which the river reaches them. Moreover, the geological history of Victoria Falls can be seen in the form of the gorges below the falls. The basalt plateau over which the Upper Zambezi flows has several large cracks filled with weaker sandstone. In the area of the present fall the largest cracks run unevenly east to west, with smaller north-south cracks connecting them. Thus, more than 100,000 years, the falls have been receding upstream through the Batoka Gorges, eroding the sandstone-filled cracks to form the gorges.

The Zambezi River is more than 2 km wide when it cascades over the lip of a large basalt plateau and plunges as much as 354 feet. The flow has been slicing gradually through this plateau for some two million years. During this time the river has slowly retreated and the leftovers of earlier, ancient falls can be seen in the gorges downstream from the current cataract. These days more than a few hundred thousand visitors from around the world trek to the falls each year; numerous hotels, restaurants, campgrounds, and other tourist businesses cater to them. The natural beauty of the falls lies in their natural state, but the area is at some risk of runaway tourism-based development as increasing resorts, hotels, and even a possible dam below the falls that could flood several park gorges. Moreover, operators in the area offer everything from helicopter overflights to bungee jumping, and the management of these activities while preserving a quality visitor experience for all is an ongoing challenge. Most visitors visit from either Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) or Maramba (Zambia), where complete tourist facilities exist. Each town is accessible by road, rail, and air.

It is recommended to visit the area in February and March, when the river is typically in full flood. In that period as much as 540 million cubic meters of water fall over the edge every single minute. Moreover in the rainy season, the spray plume can obscure the view of the falls themselves. However at the end of November, when the water is at low ebb, visitors may see the curtain split into many smaller channels of falling water. The incredible falls are massive and invite contemplation from various different viewpoints. The trails offer you to walk around the area and relish vistas. Moreover, rare views are also to be had from the Knife Edge Bridge and Victoria Falls Bridge. Thus, River-level views from below the falls are a good way to experience their power up-close. At certain times of the year the daring may even swim in pools on the very crest of the cataract. Victoria Falls has more Zimbabwean and Zambian visitors than international tourists; the attraction is accessible by bus and train, and is therefore comparatively inexpensive to reach. Both countries permit tourists to make day trips across the border to view the falls from both viewpoints. A famous feature is the naturally formed "Armchair" also called "Devil's Pool", near the edge of the falls on Livingstone Island on the Zambian side.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

The Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa, Alexandria Egypt

The catacombs of Kom Kom El Shoqafa actually a historical archaeological site located, just to the west of Pompy's Pillar, Alexandria in Egypt. The meaning of catacombs of Kom Kom El Shoqafa is “Mound of Shards” is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages. Kom El Shuqafa, The “hill of treasures” in the Arabic language, was unearthed by coincidence in the beginning of the 20th century. It is named, because the area used to comprise of mounds of shards of terra cotta, mainly resided of jars and objects made with clay. The objects were left by tombs visitors who bring food and other stuff for their consumption during the visit. When this area discovers, a heaps of broken plates founded, because they didn’t want to carry such items home from this place of death so they would break them. The city of Alexandria was originally established by Alexander the Great, the most famous Greek King and army leader, in 332 BC and soon became the cultural and commercial center of the Mediterranean Sea region.
The necropolis comprises of a series of Alexandrian tombs, statues and archaeological objects of the Pharaonic funeral cult with Hellenistic and early Imperial Roman influences. As the time passes, several features of catacomsb of Kom El Shoqafa, merge Greek, Roman and Egyptian cultural points. The Catacombs features includes a Hall of Caracella, comprises of bones of young Christian men massacred by order of the emperor Caracalla in 215 AD. The Hall of Caracella also contains the bones of horses and humans were found A circular staircase, which was often used to transport deceased bodies down the middle of it, leads down into the tombs that were tunneled into the bedrock during the age of the Antonine emperors 2nd century AD, used as a burial chamber, before being rediscovered in 1900 when a donkey accidentally fell into the access shaft. So far, three sarcophagi have been found, along with other human and animal remnants. It is believed that the catacombs were only intended for a single family, but it is unclear why the site was expanded in order to house numerous other individuals.
The western side of catacombs comprises of three levels cut through solid rock, however, the third level being now entirely underwater. The catacombs have a six-pillared central shaft which opens off the vestibule. On the left is a triclinium, a funeral banquet hall where friends and family gathered on stone couches covered with cushions, both at the time of burial and also on future commemorative visits. Moreover, a stone staircase descends to the second level, an area spookily alive with sculptures. Further, in the building lobby, two pillars are topped by the papyrus, lotus, and acanthus leaves of ancient Egypt and two falcons flanking a winged sun adorn the frieze. Therefore, figures of a man and a woman are carved into the wall. There’re 3 huge stone coffins with non-removable covers along the sides of the chamber supposed that bodies were inserted in them from behind, using a passageway which runs around the outside of the funeral chamber. There is a hallway with 91" deep walls in the central tomb chamber, with carved recesses, each providing burial space for three mummies.