Monday, July 28, 2014

Gros Morne National Park

Gros Morne National Park
Gros Morne National Park, a world heritage site is located on the west coast of Newfoundland and at 1,805 sq. km it is the second largest national park in Atlantic Canada and surpasses Torngat Mountains National Park, which is 9,700 sq. km.

It takes its name from Newfoundland’s second highest mountain peak which is 2,644 feet, located within the park.Located on the west shore of the Great Northern Peninsula of the island of Newfoundland, the Park is a rare example of the process of continental drift where deep ocean crust together with the rocks of the earth’s mantle lie exposed.

The recent glacial action was the outcome of some spectacular scenery together with coastal lowland, alpine plateau, glacial valley, fjords, cliffs, waterfall as well as several pristine lakes. It consists of a part of the Long Range Mountain towards the Gulf of St. Lawrence which includes coastal lowlands and an alpine plateau. Included in the park in the marine areas it covers the inner portion of St. Paul’s Inlet, with intertidal zones and estuaries.

The shoreline has amazing beaches, steep cliffs together with dune formations which are up to a height of 30 metres. A large proportion of the eastern central park is covered by an upland alpine plateau with perched lakes, bare rocks and valleys while the serpentine hills towards the south west consist of ultra-basic igneous rocks the outcome of high heavy metal content that inhibit most plant life.

 Cutting through the Long Range scarp face, is a number of steep sided glacial valleys which form deep oligotrophic fjords, with vertical cliffs of around 685 meters high. Several waterfalls are fed by snow melt at higher altitudes in the summer.

Coast Inclusive of Shoreline Communities 

The coast is also inclusive of typical shoreline communities, active dunes along with white spruce together with cliffs of prostrate spruce and balsam fir and further island, the coastal plain has a variety of plant communities which include mosaic of sedges in meadows together with American larch scrub.

Balsam fir is found in more protected and mesic areas and black spruce dominates wet, oligotrophic sites. The park is geologically diverse with area of Ordovician sedimentary rocks, Precambrian granite and gneiss, Palaeozoic serpentineultra-basic rocks, gabbros, volcanic as well as Lower Palaeozoic sedimentary rocks.

Exposed oceanic crust, mantle, which is a section of ancient Mohorovicic discontinuity together with other distinctive geological features are also found here. Besides this there is also an unusual complete palaeotological sequence which could have been probably been the world stratotype for the border of the Cambrian Ordovician.Moreover there are also 36 distinct vegetation types and communities along with some vascular species and bryophytes which represent around sixty percent of Newfoundland’s insular flora.

Immense Natural Beauty

Gros Morne National Park of Canada had been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987 and the park is covered with an area of immense natural beauty with rich variety of scenery, wildlife as well as recreational activities.

Visitors can have a hiking experience through wild uninhabited mountains or even camp by the sea. Besides these, boat tours also bring the visitors under the towering cliff of freshwater fjord that has been carved out by the glaciers.

The waterfalls, marine inlets together with sea stacks and sandy beaches and colourful fishing villages in the vicinity provide an aura of natural and peaceful environment at this remarkable site known as Gros Morne National Park.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Kremlin – Living Example of Russian Culture and History

In the Russian language, the word kreml means citadel where several Russian cities have kremlins of their own. The Kremlin is located on Borovitsky Hill, which rises above the Moscow River in the centre of the city.

During early decades of the Soviet period, Kremlin was an exclusive enclave of the state’s governing elite’s workplace and residence. The site was the official residence of the president of the Russian Federation though access to other areas within the walls was admitted considerably.With almost a dozen churches and palaces, Kremlin is a living example of eight centuries of Russian culture and history together with its power.

The walls which run almost a mile and half, stands as high as 62 feet and 21 feet thick and has 20 towers and gates. The Kremlins or fortresses were built by several medieval Russians for protection from invaders.The original Kremlin in Moscow started in 1156 as a wooden structure towards the north of the Moskva River.

As the power and wealth of Muscovite increased by 1400, Prince Ivan III had the area presently known as Red Square, cleared, which at that time was a shantytown housing poor peasants and criminals and converted the Kremlin into its splendid form bringing in Italian architect to enhance it by building new fortified stone walls and structures like the Cathedral of the Assumption which is also known as the Cathedral of the Dormition.

Red Square – Interior Rich & Iconic

This was built directly east of the Kremlin, Moscow’s historic fortress and the centre of the Russian government, Red Square is now home to some of the most distinctive and important landmarks of the country which dates back to the 15th century and the Muscovite prince Ivan III – Ivan the Great expanded the Kremlin reflecting Moscow’s influence and growing power.

Red Square has the ornate of 16th century, St. Basil’s Cathedral, which are the State Historical Museum and the enormous GUM Department Store together with a modernist mausoleum for the revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin.

Red Square’s interior is rich with painted walls and icons from a different period of the church’s long history though its exterior domed spires and tents each capping one of the nine separate chapel are very iconic.

Kremlin – Private/Red Square - Public

Towards the 20th century the square was famous as a site of large scale military parades as well as other demonstrations which were designed to showcase the strength of Soviet.

Kremlin stands towards west side of the huge bricked Red Square separating the fortified citadel from the city where the square, for centuries was a marketplace, gathering place, festival ground and during the Soviet period, it was used as a parade ground.

Moreover, the tomb of Lenin lies along the Kremlin side of Red Square and since 1924, the former leader’s body which is embalmed has also been on view inside. Kremlin represented the private hidden side of the power of Russia while Red Square which is at the east of Kremlin is the public side of Russia where the square was created shortly after the completion of the Kremlin wall where the two since then have been interlined in popular imagination.

Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef – World’s Largest Coral Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef and one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It is larger than the Great Wall of China which is visible from outer space and is the world’s biggest single structure made by living organisms.

The reef structure is composed and built by billions of tiny organism which are known as coral polyps with over 2,900 single reefs, with 900 islands stretching over 2,300 kilometres across an area of around 344,400 square kilometres.

It is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland, in Australia. It supports a wide diversity of life and in 1981 had been selected as a World Heritage Site. Moreover, CNN has also labelled it as one of the seven natural wonders of the world and the Queensland National Trust named it a state icon of Queensland.

A major area of the reef is protected by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park which helps in restraining the impact of human use like fishing and tourism besides other environmental pressures on the reef and its ecosystem include runoff, climate change accompanied with coral bleaching together with cyclic population outbreaks of the crown of thorns starfish.

Breeding Space for Humpback/Whales/Dangerous Species

As per the study done by Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences, which was published in October 2012, it is believed that the reef had lost more than half of its coral cover since 1985.

The Great Barrier Reef is a breeding space for humpback whales that have migrated from the Antarctic as well as the habitat of a few dangerous species like the Dugong– Sea Cow and the large Green Sea Turtle.

On closer encounter with its impressive coral garden, it portrays many amazing underwater attractions which include the world’s largest collection of coral, which are over 400 different types of coral, coral sponges, rays, dolphins, molluscs, more than 1500 species of tropical fish, over 200 kinds of birds, about 20 kinds of reptiles which include sea turtles together with giant clams which are over 120 years old.

Home to Diversity of Plants/Lower Animals

This amazing colourful aquatic ecosystem is a home to a diversity of plants and lower animal though it is also frequented by the larger species like dugongs, sharks, besides dolphinsand sea turtles and to protect these biological treasures, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park was designated in 1975 which is the world’s largest national marine sanctuary.

Due to its natural beauty both above and below the water, this reef has become the most sought after tourist destination in the world. There were around 820 operators together with 1500 vessels and aircrafts that were permitted to operate in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park to provide easy access to all visitors for the Great Barrier Reef experience and to learn about its natural delights together with the World Heritage values.

The reef had for long been known and used by the Aboriginal Australian as well as the Torre Strait Islanders and is also an important part of their groups and cultures as well as spirituality. Moreover, the reef is a popular destination for tourist, especially in the Whitsunday Islands, and Cairns regions and tourism is an important economic activity for the people of this region, generating revenue of over $3 billion annually.

Victoria Falls – Spectacular Natural Wonders of the World

Victoria Falls
The Victoria Fall is one of the most spectacular natural wonders of the world which the locals call `Mosi-ao-Tunya’, referred to the smoke that thunders and the Falls that are remarkable,by the locals. Though the falls is not the highest or the widest in the world, yet it has been classified as the largest, due to its width of 1,708 metres and a height of 108 metres which has made it the world’s largest sheet of falling water and is roughly twice the height of North America’s Niagara Falls.

Moreover it is also twice the width of its Horseshoe Falls and in height and width Victoria Fall competes only with Argentina and Brazil’s Iguazu falls. The rivers’ course is scattered with various tree covered islands which tend to increase in numbers as the river reaches the fall. Some distance upstream from the falls, the Zambezi flows over a level sheet of basalt in a shallow valley which is bounded by low and faraway sandstone hills. There are no mountains, or deep valleys, but only flat plateau which tends to extend miles away in all directions.

Boaruka/Livingstone Islands

These fall are formed as the full width of the river which plunge into a single vertical drop into a transverse chasm of 1708 meters wide which have been carved by its water towards a fracture zone in the basalt plateau where the depth of the chasm which is called the First George ranges from 80 metres towards its western end to 108 meters at the centre.

The outlet which is the only one to the First Gorge is a 110 metres wide gap which is about two thirds of the way across the width of the falls from the western side, through which the entire volume of the river falls into the Victoria Falls gorges. Then there are two islands that are large enough, to divide the curtain of water even at full flood on the crest of the falls, namely Boaruka Islands towards the western bank and Livingstone Island at the centre, the point from which Livingstone had first viewed the falls.

When lesser than full flood, additional islet tend to divide the curtain of water into separate parallel streams and the main streams are named as Devil’s Cataract also called Leaping Water by some, Main Falls, Rainbow falls, which is the highest and the Eastern Cataract. These are named in order from Zimbabwe – West to Zambia – East.

Preserved in Its Natural State

The Victoria Falls being 1,708 meters wide makes it one of the largest curtain of water in the world which drops between 90 metres and 107 meters into the Zambezi Gorge as well as an average of 550,000 cubic metres of water plunging over the edge every moment.

The Victoria Fall is amazing with a magic, manifested in the towering column of spray when the river is high along with the thunder of the falling water, accompanied by the terrifying abyss and tranquil lagoon upstream, where one will find hippo and deadly crocodiles lurking there.

Victoria Falls is preserved in its natural state inspiring many visitors today as it did in the 1860s where the falls together with its surrounding areas have been declared National Parks as well as a World Heritage Site, thereby preserving this area from being commercialised.

4 Great Places To Buy Property in Ecuador

If you're dreaming of your own home on the coast of Ecuador, you should know in advance that some places are bigger, better and more valuable than others. Here are just four cities worth your time and your check.

1: Manta

If you enjoy blue skies, beautiful beaches and sun-kissed produce, you won't want to miss Manta. Buy a vacation home or simply rent a high-rise suite a few times a year in order to take full advantage of this tropical paradise.
2: Salinas

Salinas is one of the most affordable places to purchase real estate in the entire country of Ecuador. As a bonus, with malls, shops, restaurants, theaters and coastal activities as far as the eye can see, you'll never run out of things to do when you buy a home near the water.

3: Bahía de Caráquez

Known to the locals as Bahia, this sunny peninsula is a big tourist attraction for the wealthy, making it an excellent location for your expanding business. You'll enjoy thousands of visitors per year in addition to the ever-growing native population.

4: Cuenca

As an official UNESCO World Heritage, you won't find a better place to make an investment in Ecuadorian real estate. Property values will remain high as long as the government continues to recognize its worth, and their regard shows no sign of abating anytime soon.

These are just a few places in Ecuador where you might enjoy settling down or establishing your international business. Visit this site to learn more!