Showing posts with label USA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label USA. Show all posts

Friday, November 10, 2017

5 Beaches at Los Angeles

Beaches at Los Angeles
Los Angeles has a temperature of 80-degree throughout the year. Because of this the Angelenos enjoys the great outdoor activities such as the best hikes that include the scenic views and even the hikes with the waterfalls. There are miles of picturesque coastline from Malibu to the south bay. The best beaches are in L.A. are from Venice and Santa Monica to Manhattan Beach and Playa Vista.

El Matador State Beach

It is one of the three beaches within Robert H. Meyer Memorial State Beach. This beach is the most famous of the three. It is closest beach to Malibu. A lot of photoshoots take place here. There is a special place to photograph the swimsuit models and the amazing sunset. This beach provides a huge parking lot with picnic tables that look over the Pacific Ocean. The beach is small, beautiful and dominated by rocky outcrops.

This beach perfectly looks like the European beach. One can find privacy on this beach as there are no life guards or any other facilities available on this beach. One can carry out activities like sunbathing, beach exploring, birdwatching, beach walking, snorkelling, swimming, photography and cave exploration, and many other things. It also has amenities such as caves, toilets, picnic tables.

El Porto beach

The El Porto beach is located in the neighbourhood of the northern part of the Manhattan Beach, CA. This beach is meant for surfing as often the waves are larger than the other nearby beaches, hence most of the surfers visit this beach quiet often. This beach is owned by the County Beach. Activities such as Surfing, Biking, Skating, Walking, Running, Beach Walking and Volleyball are carried out here. Also various amenities such as lifeguard, restrooms, showers, bike path, volleyball courts, accessible features and restaurants are provided. The Manhattan Beach is the main beach and El Porto Beach is just a part of the Manhattan Beach. The El Porto Beach has much less population than the main Manhattan Beach.

Zuma Beach

Zuma Beach is a Los Angeles County park in Malibu. This is the best beach in L.A. County, California. This beach is quite wide with enough parking spaces for the Super bowl. The main beach is about two miles away from Zuma beach, but it does not have any houses between the sand and pacific coast highway. The beach is quiet massive that it has lifeguard stations. These lifeguard stations are spaced out on the shore to protect people from getting drowned. The southern part of the Zuma beach is well known as the Westward Beach. Activities such as volleyball, surfing, scuba diving, fishing, swimming, windsurfing, bodyboarding and bodysurfing are carried out here on a large scale. Other amenities such as restrooms, showers, snack bar, picnic tables, Kids play area, lifeguards, volleyball courts and other accessible features are available here.

Venice Beach

The Venice beach is a Haven for artists. It is found in the southeast of Santa Monica. This is the busiest facility operated by the department of recreation and parks. This beach attracts many people from all over the world. The boardwalk is commonly known as the Ocean Front Walk. This place is ranked as the second place which almost every day remains full of tourists from all over the world. The Venice beach boardwalk is stretched over 2 miles and many vendors and performer’s along with many other permanent restaurant holders are present here. Though sometimes the street parking is jammed, there are several beachside lots. Facilities such as restrooms, basketball, tennis, bike paths, lifeguards, beach- adjacent bars and restaurants, Skate Park, workout equipment, etc. are provided here.

Rosie’s Dog Beach

The beach is along Ocean Blvd between Roycroft and Argonne Avenues opened in 2003. Though this beach is named as a dog beach this beach does not have fences at all. But still to this is the best place ever for all the stressed out dogs, so that they can move around without their leash. They have different amenities such as nearby restrooms, trash cans, free parking and many more things. One can only leave their dog off leash when they reach a mark which shows play area for dogs.

Do experience the quintessential endless summer in Southern California.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

The Ultimate Southern Bucket List

Most bucket lists feature exotic international locations, West coast national park or north-eastern metropolises, but the often forgotten southern states have just as much to offer . From natural wonders to bustling cities, explore the best of the south in this strictly southern bucket list where you should see, do, cook, read and drink at least once.

Whenever thinking of spending some time with your family, the south is one of the best places to live during your months off. Here are some essential ideas to add to your bucket list to experience different entertainment and places.

Experience New Orleans nightlife: New Orleans is a city defined and shaped by waterways. It is known as the CRESCENT CITY because of its quarter-moon shape, if you want to make a night out of listening to traditional jazz music in a comfortable atmosphere while sipping a drink. Snug harbour located on Frenchmen Street is the place for you.

DRIVE THE BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY: With killer hiking and unbelievable views the Blue Ridgepathway in Asheville has to offer, from North Carolina take a road trips to the next level. If you are looking for a cute southern date idea this could be one of the most unexpectedly romantic ones.

HOST a BONFIRE: Is there anything better than a night spent outside with friends around a bonfire? Snack on some more and catch up with hot besties. And see if you can host one on the beach.

Spend your night in the open under a beautiful blanket of stars. Summers in the south make for a perfect camping weather; even if you just plan to get a few friends together and sleep in the backyard. And just enjoy the lovely open weather.

Try hang-gliding at Jockey’s ridge in Nag’s Head on the outer banks area of North Carolina.

Raft in Olympic glory down the Ocoee River in South East Tennessee.

Swim across the Mississippi River.

Take an Adventurous white water rafting trip down West Virginia’s Gauley River.

Hike the Appalachian Trail.

Compete in the Texas Water Safari the world’s toughest canoe race.

Stroll along the Alamo plaza on a moonlit night or the walk down the river as the sun rises in San Antonia, TX.

Experience Washington D.C. in its element on the 4th of July. Watch fireworks, hear speeches, witness parades and feel the Patriotism.

Catch the iconic southern sunset.

During the heat of the day at Padre Island, take a break and watch a release of youth Ridley’s Sea Turtles- the rarest sea turtles in the world.

Every southern New Yorker's needs a bit of adventure this summer, there are some unique ideas that will keep your summer busy entertaining and adventurous.

To keep your palate watering try out Rocky’s deli, known for their delicious and unique sandwiches and their 24 hrs service is really good.

I Fly: if you ever wanted to go sky diving but never had the courage to do so. This is for you this sky diving simulator is nothing like you’ve ever experienced.

Dinner Cruise: Treat yourself to a dinner cruise around the Hudson River in New York City with great food and beautiful view.

So start planning your bucket list, which will keep you at ease and help you to move about your destination easily.

Friday, September 22, 2017

The Mermaids Attraction at Weeki Wachee, Florida

Mermaids
Credit: Weeki Wachee
Many people prefer going to a hill station or a romantic beaches for their holidays. But there is some different and unique attraction where one should enjoy during their vacation. So why not go to this place and experience this wonderful moments with the mermaids.

Weeki Wachee springs is a town with a name as quirky as its main attraction – the famous underwater mermaid show. Weeki Wachee is enchanted springs state park where you can see live mermaids, take a trip on a river boat cruise, learn about Florida Wildlife, and swim in the pristine waters at Buccaneer bay. Weeki Wachee Springs State park is one of Florida’s unique family destinations. They have been delighting guest with its mermaid show since 1947; it is located on Florida’s Adventure coast.

Mermaids are everywhere from the Starbucks icon to the Conehy Island Mermaid Parade. In the Las Vegas desert there is an annual mermaid convention. But this Weeki Wachee mermaid show on Florida’s northern Suncoast, not far from the Gulf of Mexico was the first of its kind. It’s here that you can sit in a 400-seat submerged theatre and watch a live show with beautiful mermaids performing their version of Hans Christian Andersen’ the Little Mermaid.

The Mermaids of Weeki Wachee perform underwater feats from the past six decades, including eating and drinking underwater. The show also includes several musical numbers. Apart from performing in shows or at resorts and special events around the world, professional mermaids also perform at birthday parties and at Hollywood parties, corporate events and modelling shoots.

They also have 2 days weekend camp for children. If your child has dreamt of becoming a mermaid, then you don’t have to miss this exciting 2 days camp. They teach your children what it is like to be a Weeki Wachee Mermaid Performer. They learn the basic ballot moves and have training session in 15 feet of water with a watchful instructor. Each camper gets to participate in one of our mermaid show as a dry performer in the underwater theatre. Your child will be thrilled to receive a beautiful Mermaid makeover and self-portrait, as well as a group shot of their camp.


Apart from Mermaid show, a dip in the Weeki Wachee waters where one can also go snorkelling, kayaking, canoeing, or brave one of the thrilling flume rides at the on-site water park. It is just perfect when you need to de-stress, get out on the picturesque waters and unwind under the natural canopy of cypress and oak trees. It is an excellent spot to take the entire family.

Buccaneer Bay offers plenty of thrills like the pirate’s plunge flume ride, lazy river and white sandy beach with covered picnic pavilions. The little ones can explore Lil mates Caribbean Cover, a fun water play area with a wading pool. Animal’s lovers will be mesmerised by the interactive animal shows that wow guest with its entertained and educational look, local wildlife such as domesticated birds and reptiles.

For a scenic look at the natural landscape in Weeki wachee hop in one of the river Boat cruises to spot surrounding wildlife and native flora and fauna. You can spot nesting bald eagles, blue heron, wild turkey and colourful fishes of all sizes.

Ultimately at the end of the day one feels like having a sumptuous food, so dine on casual fare at the Mermaid Galley, enjoy a snack at the Captains Quarters or sip on a frozen drink at the Tiki bar. You can also bring pre-made food.

So why not get attracted to something different this vacation.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Best Scenic Drives in U.S.

US Highway
Previously we had a list of most unique roads of the world, but now to add to that we can elaborate more about the most beautiful drives as well. A road trip is nothing without roads. There is a saying BEAUTY IS IN THE EYES OF THE BEHOLDER. Some of them are coastline roads with a view of the ocean others are mountain passes with countless curves. These roads aren’t just a road to something beautiful they are jaw dropping on their own. Most of all they offer a wonderful experience.

While driving around the HAWAII BELT, you come in contact with lush jungles, farmlands, active lava flow, snow-white beaches, mountains and valleys. This HAWAII BELT is also called as HAWAIIAN ISLANDS. The complete route around this island is about 300 miles long; people thinking to enjoy this drive should split the journey across several days in order to enjoy the local scenery attraction.

US highway
THE FINGER LAKES are a chain of lakes linked together it is shaped like fingers. It consists of 11 lakes CANADAIGUA,KEUKA,SENECA,CAYUGA,SKANEATELES,OWASCO,OTISCO,HONEOYE,CAMADICE,HEMLOCK AD CONESUS.

It is formed by glaciers; the lake shores are dotted with bucolic farmland, quaint towns and hundreds of wineries. The drive is lovely any time of the year. Autumn trip is the best time to drive.

PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY: This California route is one of the most scenic in the world. Hugging cliffs and coastlines, the pacific coast highway follows much than California coast. The road often takes hairpin turns with narrow shoulders and steep drop offs. The PCH also winds through wine country including Sonoma County.

If you’re looking for something really different try SEWARD HIGHWAY in Alaska. Seward Highway has three different routes. They are USDA forest service scenic byway, Alaska Scenic Byway and All American Road. In addition to gorgeous waterfalls and glaciers, tourist might see sheep’s eagles, moose and even beluga whales, the rest of the drive winds up down and around the wilds of Alaska. You can even stop off a place called Crow Creek Mine to pan for gold.

SAN JUAN SKYWAY COLORADO: The road to the sky provides views of the San Juan Mountains; quaint town’s adjacent to Native American Pueblo Ruins. The drive features steep cliffs, alpine forests, camp ground and plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities. Mountain biking, hiking and skiing are popular pastimes in the surrounding area. In spring, waterfalls crash down the mountains as the snow melts from higher up.

HISTORIC COLUMBIA RIVER HIGHWAY OREGON: Along this incredible stretch of road that begins just east of Portland there is waterfall after waterfall like the La Tourell Falls, the Multnomah Falls. The road is particularly narrow and features beautiful foliage tunnels and trees dripping with moss. This drive is incredibly a green drive.

THEY DON’T CALL ITS AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL FOR NOTHING. ROLL DOWN THE WINDOW AND FEAST YOUR EYES.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Palisades, New Jersey

Palisades

The Palisades – Impressive Line of Steep Cliffs


The Palisades which is also known as the New Jersey Palisades or the Hudson River Palisades are considered to be a line of steep cliffs along the west area of the lower Hudson River towards the north-eastern New Jersey and southern New Jersey in United States.

The Palisades are the most impressive cliffs lining the western margin of the Hudson River. Palisade is resultant from the word `pale’, which eventually is from the Latin word `palus’ that means `stake’. The Lenape had named the cliffs `rocks that look like rows of trees’, a phrase which became `Weehawken’, a name of a town in New Jersey which is perched at the top of the cliffs across from Manhattan.

The cliffs tend to stretch north from the Jersey City at about 20 mi/32 km to around Nyack, New York. The cliffs rise almost vertically from the edge of the river which are almost 300 feet high at Weehawken and tend to increase steadily to 540 feet high near their northern terminus. Towards north from Fort Lee, the Palisades seem to be part of Palisades Interstate Park and are considered as a National Natural Landmark. Land slide was happened along Palisades cliff in 2012.

Designated – National Natural Landmark


The Palisades had been designated a `National Natural Landmark’ as a best example of a thick diabase sill in the United states. The sill seem to spread southward beyond the cliffs in Jersey City below the Inner Harbour and again appear on Staten Island.

 The Palisades are the worn cross-section of a huge intrusive diabase sill which encroached between layers of sandstone and shale of the Late Triassic Stockton and Lockatong Formations. The sill lines 1,000 feet thick and could have probably been fed from an unknown stock buried below the basin towards the west.

Radiometric age determinations of the diabase indicate that the sill shaped in multiple stages, around 192 to 186 million years. The Palisades are some of the most histrionic geologic features in the surrounding area of New York City which forms a canyon of the Hudson north of George Washington Bridge. Besides this it also provides a vista of the skyline which is positioned in the Newark Basin, a rift basin located typically in New Jersey.

The Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory


There are several places of entrance to Palisades. A projection of diabase at the top of the cliff is one of the first you see while emerging onto the ramp from the Lincoln Tunnel on New Jersey end. The Palisades also tends to anchor the western area of both the George Washington as well as Tappan Zee Bridges.

The stretch of ten mile from the George Washington Bridge to the NJ-NY stateline tends to provide several locations for exploring the remarkable scenery within the Palisades Interstate Park. Moreover, a trail system which follows the crest of the Palisades starts at the western area of the George Washington Bridge with the possibility of walking across the bridge from the 175th Street or George Washington Bridge Station on the A train in Manhattan.

A better option would be to drive across the bridge going towards the north along the Palisades Interstate Parkway, pulling off at the various overlooks all along the way. The Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory which is part of Columbia University is just north of the New Jersey/New York border at Exit 4 on the Palisades Interstate Parkway and this satellite campus provides open houses yearly, which are an attraction to those, interested in geology and would not want to miss.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco


Fisherman’s_Wharf,
Fisherman’s Wharf – A Famous Tourist Site in San Francisco

Fisherman’s Wharf, a neighbourhood as well as a famous tourist site in San Francisco, California includes the northern waterfront area of San Francisco from Ghirardelli Squares or Van Ness Avenue which is east to Pier 35 or the Kearny Street. Fisherman’s Wharf has a wide range of land, sea as well as air activities to offer.

Running through the area, we have the F Market streetcar, Powell-Hyde cable car lines that run to Aquatic Park and at the edge of the Wharf with the Powell-Mason cable car line which runs a few blocks away. The Wharf has got its name and neighbourhood characteristics during the early of the mid to later part of 1800s when Italian immigrant fishermen had come to the city by the bay for the purpose of influx of population due to the gold rush.

An Anchille Paladini was successful in wholesaling local fish and became the owner of Paladini Fish Company which was known as the `Fish King’. Several of the Italian immigrant fishermen thereafter settled in North Beach territory which was close to the wharf and fished for the local delicacies which is presently the famed Dungeness crab.

Home Base of San Francisco’s Fishing Fleet

Since then till present times, it remained the home base of San Francisco’s fishing fleetwherein inspite of its redevelopments in converting it into a tourist attraction during the 1970s and 1980s this location remains to be the home to several fishermen together with their fleets.

A development plan costing $15,000,000 was proposed in 2010 by the city officials with the intention of revitalizing its appearance for the tourists and to change its downward trend in its popularity with the residents of San Francisco who had avoided the locale for years.

Fisherman’s Wharf, is considered as one of the most well-known tourist attractions as well as the busiest in western United States and is best known for being the location of Pier 39 which is the Cannery Shopping Centre, Ghirardelli Square, a Ripley’s Believe it or not Museum, Wax Museum and the Musee Mecanique at Fisherman’s Wharf as well as the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park.

One will find seafood restaurants in plenty in this location which include the floating Forbes Island restaurant at Pier 39 which serves fresh seafood especially Dungeness crab together with clam chowder which is served in a sourdough bread bowl.

World Class Fireworks Display

Restaurants like Fishermen’s Grotto, Pompei’s Grotto and Aliotos’ which has a three generation family ownership provides some of the most appetizing menus to the tourist while other restaurants comprises of chains like Joe’s Crab Shack and Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Fisherman’s Wharf also hosts several San Francisco event which comprises of world-class fireworks which are displayed on 4th July with some of the best displays of the Fleet Week Air shows that feature the Blue Angels.

The city’s most famous figure is a controversial and harmless resident of Fisherman’s Wharf known as the World Famous Bushman who is a local street performer sitting behind some branches, startling people who tend to walk in that area and has been a permanent entertainer at the Fisherman’s Wharf for the past 39 years. Many tourist as well as locals has been warned about him taking people by surprise.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Places to Visit in Montana (U.S.A)


Montana
Image Credit: lastgreatplaces.net

Montana is a state located in Western USA. It has many cities like Dillon, Livingston, Laurel, Miles city and Sidney. There are many mountain ranges in this state. So obviously the meaning of Montana is mountain. Helena is the capital of Montana and the nickname of this state is TREASURE STATE.

Though this country is not an over populated country; still too there are millions of tourists visiting this place every year. The following are worth mention places for sight-seeing.

GLACIER NATIONAL PARK: This Park is famous for hiking, wild spotting and sparkling lakes. It is also ideal for boating and fishing. While going through the Glacier National park one can drive on the Going –to- the- sun road and can see some best sights in North West Montana. Grinnell Glacier, Iceberg lake trail and highline trail are some more sights on the way to Glacier National Park. One can enjoy white water adventure, guided fly fishing trips and rafting.

BOZEMAN: This town is surrounded by rolling green hills, pine forest and snow-capped peaks. It has a lot of entertainment for tourist. You can visit THE BOZEMAN ANGLER where you are introduced to the fishing coaching classes.

BOZEMAN HOT SPRINGS: where one can get cured from the aches and pains while you are in a pool, sauna and steam room.

BOOJUM EXPEDITION: offers horse Riding, Mountain biking, fishing and trekking trips. One of the tourist attractions is the MUSEUM OF THE ROCKIES where there is a huge collection of dinosaur remains. It gives details on physical and cultural history of the people, animals and the Rocky Mountains.

GRIZZLY AND WOLF DISCOVERY CENTRE: This centre is located in West Yellowstone. It is a wild park in Montana and provides educational facility. The visitors are allowed to experience the world of grizzly bears and grey wolves.

QUAKE LAKE: Once an earthquake took place in this lake which created a landslide that brought down the mountains and hills and tons of stone came crashing down into the lake. The visitors enjoy the water from the shoreline. Thus this lake was named as Quake Lake. Fishing is done in this lake.

BERKELY PIT: It is an open pit copper mine in Butte. Now it is getting filled with contaminated water where it is dangerous if it overflows causing killing of the fish and seepage in the ground water.

RYAN DAM: It is a hydroelectric plant on the Missouri river. There is a park in the Middle of the Missouri river which is called the Ryan Island Park suitable for picnics. The Ryan dam also has a club house equipped with all the facilities.

GIANT SPRINGS: It is a fresh water spring which attracts number of tourist to this place. This site is also known as a Roe River. It is a shortest river in the world. This river connects the giant’s springs to the Missouri river. Thisriver is listed in the Guinness book of world record as the shortest river.

CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF MONTANA: Here the children have something for themselves. This museum has innovative, interactive exhibits especially on science, maths and culture and hands on activities where the children can actually feel,touch, examine the objects and explore many things. This brings a big smile across the children’s face.

OUR LADY OF THE ROCKIES: It is a huge statue of Virgin Mary built by David Adickes who was a sculptor in Butte. He planned to build this statue as a vow taken because his wife was cured from cancer. This statue is 90 feet tall. This statue could be seen from all the corners of the city. It takes half a day to reach this statue.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Alaska, A Land Of Midnight Sun


Alaska_Bear
On March 30 1867, the US agreed to purchase Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million dollars

The name Alaska was taken from Aleut word “alaxsxaq” that refers to the object to which sea is directed. This is translated as “GREAT LAND”. With beautiful scenic beauty, enormous ice-age glacier and abundant wildlife, there is nothing like this beautiful place Alaska on this earth.

The capital of Alaska is Juneau. In Alaska there is a famous reservoir named as ‘THE PRUDHOE BAY’ where a large oil and gas reservoir was found on the Arctic coast. From the commercial point of view there are many industries like Fisheries, Wood products and also Fur. The ‘‘Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes’’ which is an area of an active volcanoes is situated at ‘The Katmai National Park’. In Alaska there are different types of community’s such as Eskimos, Indians and Aleuts. Majority of the Eskimos community belongs to Alaska.

Alaska is known as the Land of the Midnight Sun. The sun never dips below the horizon. The sun is visible at midnight. Most of the parts of Alaska has day light for 24 hrs that is something which is incredible.

There are lot of activities like adventure whether you prefer to hike ice age glacier, skim the wilderness in the bush plain or take sled ride which you have always dreamt of. Alaska is the prime year round destination for visitors seeking connection with nature.

Alaska cruises are very popular. They have various pre and post cruise tour packages. Mostly Ocean day Cruises go to the famous destination like Glacier Bay, Kenai Fjords. While on cruise tourists’ get to see many Scenery, Glaciers, Different types of fishes and also Wild Life. Whenever people go on cruise, they have a special dress code like the men wear tuxedo’s and women wear cocktail dresses

Some of the famous cruise liners in Alaska are Norwegian Pearl Cruise, Holland America Cruise.

If you wish to go sight-seeing once you are in Alaska you can travel to your destination by car, train, bus, or boat.

Alaska is famous for Woven birch baskets, hand-made dolls, and many more items, even soaps are made from herbs, spices etc. the silky soil is also used in skincare products such as mask and mineral soap which makes the skin very soft and smooth.

If ever any one goes to visit Alaska don’t forget to purchase an Ulu knife which has a traditional design. There is also a cheap and affordable souvenir that is the metal coin.

The common diets of the Alaskan people, especially the Eskimos Community mostly eat fish and birds. In this place of Alaska there is not much of plant food available. Something very rare known as Eskimos ice cream which is also known as “Akutaq” is made by whipping the fat from the hunted Reindeers, Seals or Bears and also by adding the snow and wild berries which is really amazing.

Alaska is a snow bound region, since it is in the Arctic Ocean. Here the Polar Bears, wolves, snowy owls are famous artic wildlife. There is something amazing about the birds. The Fur and Feather of the birds turns white during the snow period. If you want to experience the wild life nature there are lots of National park for instance The Denali National Park, Kenai fjords National Park where mountains, ice and oceans meet, and Glacier Bay National Park.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Taos Pueblo


Taos_Pueblo
Taos Pueblo – Oldest Communities in United States

Taos Pueblo is an ancient pueblo of the Tiwa speaking Native American tribe of Pueblo people which is around 1000 years old. It lies about 1 mile north of the modern city of Taos, New Mexico, USA. The pueblos are considered to be the oldest continuously inhabited communities in the US. It has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Taos Pueblo is also a member of the Eight Northern Pueblos and the people speak two variants of the Tanoan language. The community is noted for being one of the most secretive, private as well as conservative. Placed in the valley of a small tributary of the Rio Grande, this settlement comprises of dwellings and ceremonial building which represents the culture of the Pueblo Indians of Arizona and New Mexico.

 Taos also has remarkable traditional form of architectural ensemble from the pre-Hispanic period of the Americas which are unique and have retained its traditional forms successfully till date due to the determination of the latter day Native American community who have been successful in resisting the pressures of modern society. Taos is the best preserved of the pueblos north of the borders marked by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

Tradition method of Adobe Construction

The modest rural community of Taos appeared before 1400 which was characterized by common social as well as religious structures and traditional agriculture practices. Taos Pueblo has the traditional method of adobe construction, comprising of two clusters of houses each of which is built from sun dried mud brick with walls that range from 70 cm thick at the bottom to around 35 cm at the top.

 The walls are refinished with new coat of adobe plaster each year as a part of the ceremony of the village and the rooms are placed back so that the roofs of the lower units form like terraces for those above while the units at the ground level as well as some of the ones above can be entered through doors which originally were small and low.

Access to the upper area was by ladders comprising of holes in the roof. On the top and outside were the living quarters while the rooms deep within the structure were utilised for storage of grains. Cedar Logs were used for the roofs with their ends protruding through the wall and mats of branches were placed on the logs which were laid grass covered with thick layer of mud with a finished coat of adobe plaster. This system of structure was most suitable for their rigorous climate.

Two Forms of Spiritual Practices 

Throughout the 18th century, it was a time of war for Taos, who had an important role in resisting the colonizers and their breeds of cattle as well as the types of grain were introduced by the conquerors in their agricultural system.

Converting the Pueblos to Christianity was made and ill-received though unconsciously the religious mentally of the people underwent a change. Two forms of spiritual practices were represented in the Pueblo, the original indigenous religious and spiritual tradition and Roman Catholicism.

While most of Taos Indians practiced their still vital, ancient indigenous religion around 90% of the Taos Pueblo community were baptized as Roman Catholics and St. Jerome or San Geronimo were the patron saint of the pueblo.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Glacier Bay National Park


Glacier_Bay_National_Park
Image Credit: National Geographic (By Peter Robertson)
Glacier Bay National Park – UNESCO World Heritage Site

Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve is a United State National Park and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site which is in the Panhandle of the state of Alaska, west of Juneau.

Glacier Bay became part of a bio national UNESCO World Heritage site and inscribed as a Biosphere in 1986 and undertook an obligation to work with Hoonah and Tlingit Native American organization in handling the protected area, in the year 1994, On February 25, 1925, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed this location around Glacier Bay, a national monument under the Antiquities Act and subsequent to an extension of the monument in 1978, by President Jimmy Carter, the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act – ANILCA, on December 2, 1980, increased the national monument by 534,000 acres, the process of which give rise to Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve with around 57,000 additional acres of public land.

This has been preserved as national preserve to the northwest of the park to protect an area of the Alsek River together with related fish and wildlife habitat at the time of sport hunting. The park is known for its massive glaciers as well as a remarkable destination for those interested in wildlife, kayaking or seeking to find a relaxing atmosphere.

First Surveyed in 1794 – Team of H.M.S. Discovery

The park comprises of snow-capped mountain ranges which rise to over 15,000 feet, with coastal beaches together with protected coves, deep fjords, tidewater glaciers, coastal and estuarine waters as well as freshwater lakes.

Sculpted, steep peaks, rock strewn valley indicate glacial activity, marking the advances and retreats of glaciers which date back over 115,000 years to prior to the Wisconsin Ice Age. The ocean waves lash the beaches of the wild and remote Gulf of Alaska coast and between the coast and the bay, snow clad peaks of Fair weather Range draws the moisture that comes in from the Gulf of Alaska spawns the park’s largest glaciers. Towards the base of these huge peaks lie the deglaciered foothills and plains which spread the greenery around once the ice retreats, portraying an awesome spectacle of nature.

The park and the preserve cover an area of 5,130 square mile and the major part of the Glacier Bay is designated as wilderness area covering around 4,164 square miles.The Glacier Bay was first surveyed in 1794 by a team from the H.M.S. Discovery and headed by George Vancouver.

 The survey indicated a mere indentation in the shoreline and the massive glacier was over 4,000 feet thick in some places and up to 20 miles wide, extending over 100 miles towards the St, Elias mountain range.

Discovered in 1879 – John Muir

Towards 1879, it was discovered by John Muir when the ice had retreated to over 30 miles and formed a bay and by 1916, the Grand Pacific Glacier which was the main glacier credited with carving the bay, melted back 60 miles to what is presently the Tarr Inlet.

Great efforts were taken by Muir and other conservationist to protect Glacier Bay and in 1925; President Calvin Coolidge signed a proclamation making Glacier Bay National Monument. The monument, at that point of time covered less than half the area of the current park.

 The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservations Act, in the year 1980, elevated the monument to the national park status as well as extended the park boundary northwest to the Alsek River and Dry Bay which gave rise to further recognition and protection of Glacier Bay’s significance, when the Glacier Bay Admiralty Island Biosphere Reserve, in 1986, was established under the United Nations Man and the Biosphere Program.

 The Glacier Bay became a part of an international World Heritage Site in 1992 together with neighbouring Wrangell-St-Elias National Park and Preserve as well as Canada’s Kluane National Pa.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Savannah, Georgia


Savannah
Savannah – Oldest City in Georgia

Savannah is the oldest city in Georgia and the location of one of biggest National Historic Landmark district in the country. It was established in 1733 and became the British colonial capital of the Province of Georgia which later on became the first state capital of Georgia. Savannah, a port city in the American Revolution during the American Civil War is presently an industrial centre as well as an important Atlantic seaport, whichis Georgia’s fifth largest city and the third largest metropolitan area.

This amazing destination attracts millions of tourist who get the opportunity of enjoying the city’s architecture as well as the historic building, such as, the birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low, who was the founder of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America, the Georgia Historical Society – the oldest continually operational historical society in the South, the Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences, which was one of the South’s first public museums, the First African Baptist Church – one of the oldest African-American Baptist congregations in the United States, Central of Georgia Railway roundhouse complex – the oldest standing antebellum rail facility in America and Temple Mickve Israel – the third oldest synagogue in America.

Largest Historic Landmark Districts in United States

Its downtown area includes the Savannah Historic District and the Savannah Victorian Historic district together with 22 park-like squares and is the largest National Historic Landmark Districts in the United States which had been designated in the year 1966, by the U.S. government.

The downtown retains the original town plan which had been prescribed by the founder, James Oglethorpe, a design presently known as the Oglethorpe Plan. Moreover, Savannah was the host city for the sailing competitions in the summer of 1966 Olympics which was held in Atlanta.

The Port of Savannah, in the 19th century, became most active in United States and the people had the opportunity of having some of the world’s finest goods which were imported by the foreign merchants and its port became the mainstay of the city’s economy.

Earlier for United States, goods that were produced in the New World had to pass through Atlantic ports like Savannah before they were shipped to England. Presently, Savannah Port manufacturing the military as well as the tourism industry is its four major economic sources.

Well Known for Architecture/Reputation/History 

During the first two centuries, agriculture was very essential for Savannah’s economy and silk and indigo productions were in great demand in England which was the early export commodities. Towards 1767, about a ton of silk each year was exported to England.

Its mild climate was suitable for the growth of cotton which turned out to be the dominant commodity after the American Revolution and its production under the plantation system and shipment through the Port of Savannah, was of tremendous help to the city’s European immigrants to enjoy prosperity and wealth. Savannah is well known for its architecture, reputation and history for Southern charm and hospitability.

Its former promotional name was `Hostess City of the South’, a phrase which is still in use by the city government while its earlier nickname was `the Forest City’, based on the large population and species of oak trees which flourished in that area.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Antelope Canyon


Antelope Canyon
Antelope Canyon – A Popular Slot Canyon

Antelope Canyon is a popular slot canyon, small but an exquisitely beautiful geological formation in northern Arizona. Placed on the Navajo Reservation, few miles east of Page, it is open to visitors by Navajo led tour only.

There are two antelope canyon actually located on either side of route 98 – Upper Antelope Canyon and the Lower antelope Canyon which are both owned by the Navajo Nation though separate fee of $18 for each person is charged for each area of attraction.

The Navajo name for Upper Antelope canyon is Tse bighanilini meaning `the place where water runs through rocks’, while the Lower canyon is Hazdistazi or `spiral rock arches’. It was formed by erosion of Navajo Sandstone mainly because of flash flooding and other sub-aerial processes.

 During monsoon season, the rainwater ran into extensive basin above the slot canyon areas with speed and sand as it rushed into the narrow passageways and over a period of time these passageways eroded away ending in making the corridors much deeper, smoothening the hard edges in a way so as to form flowing shapes in the rock.

Flooding still continues in the canyon and the flood which took place in October 30, 2006, lasted for 36 hours, which caused the Tribal Park Authorities to close Lower Antelope Canyon for five months

Ladders & Staircase Lead to Unbelievable Narrow Canyon

Photographers, nature loversas well as a source of tourism business for the Navajo Nation, will find Antelope Canyon an amazing and a popular destination. Since 1987 private tour companies had the permission to offer tours and have only been accessible by tour since 1997 when Navajo Tribe had made it a Navajo Tribal Park.

Due to the wide exposure range, photography within the canyons is not very easy which is due to the light reflecting off the canyons walls. When one approaches the Canyon on foot, it is not noticeable even from a short distance and will only see a small crack in the rock at the bottom of a dry stream bed. On closer inspection, it reveals a small metal ladder descending into the crack which is barely wide enough for a single person to pass through.

A number of ladders and stairs lead you down in an unbelievable narrow canyon. The sandstone bedrock is intricately carved by the infrequent though violent flow of water and is sculptured into beautiful curves and hollows which vary from one to three meters wide up to 50 meters deep.

Explore Through Guided Tours

The sunlight which filters down portrays a myriad of soft colours and shadows, the effect of which is amazing. Antelope Canyon is to be explored through guided tours especially in areas where it rains during monsoon season and the canyon tends to get flooded quickly since the rain falling several miles away upstream of the canyon tends to funnel into them with little prior notice resulting in flash floods which can take the tourist unaware.

The ladder systems have now been bolted in place and cargo nets are installed at the top of the canyon for safety purpose, while at the fee both, NOAA Weather Radio from the National Weather Service together with an alarm horn has been placed. In spite of improvements being done for safety purpose, the risks of injuries prevails from flash floods.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

San Diego, California


Museum of Man, San Diego
San Diego – Major City in California

San Diego, a major city in California lies on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in Southern California around120 miles south of Los Angeles and adjacent to the border along with Mexico. It is the eighth largest city in the United States as well as the second largest in California. It is also one of the fastest growing cities in the nation and is the birthplace of California.

San Diego is known for its mild climate all year round, natural deep water harbour with extensive beaches, long association with the U.S. Navy and the recent emergence as healthcare and biotechnology development centre. It was the historical home to the Kumeyaay people and was the first site which was visited by the Europeans which currently is the West Coast of the United States.

Arriving in San Diego Bay in 1542, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo claimed the complete area for Spain and formed the basis for the settlement of Alta California some 200 years thereafter. The Mission and Presidio of San Diego established in 1769 formed the first European settlement to what is now California and in 1821 it became part of a newly independent Mexico.

Towards 1850 it became part of the United States followed by the Mexican American War together with the admission of California to the union.

Seat of San Diego County – Economic Centre

The city is the seat of San Diego County which is the economic centre and the San Diego-Tijuana metropolitan area. Moreover, San Diego’s main economic engines are its military and defence related activities, international trade, tourism and manufacturing.

With the presence of the University of California, San Diego – UCSD together with the affiliated UCSD Medical Centre has made it a centre of research in biotechnology. San Diego’s main attraction is the weather where the average daytime temperature is 70 degrees Fahrenheit and most of the days it is sunny. The winter temperature rarely fall below 40 degrees Fahrenheit and the average annual rainfall is less than 10 inches which occurs during the months of December right through March.

Besides the 70 miles of beaches, it is also home to the historical site of Old Town State Park, Wild Animal Park, the world-renowned San Diego Zoo and the centrally located Balboa Park, together with its 13 Japanese Garden museums, outdoor organ pavilion and several other attractions.

Rich & Diverse Cultural Mecca

San Diego is also known for its rich and diverse cultural mecca with heavy emphasis on performing arts and is home to two Tony Award winning theatres namely the Old Globe Theatre and the La Jolla Playhouse, San Diego Opera together with dozens of dance companies, theatre groups and famous musical entertainers.

Due to its temperate climate, it makes several outdoor concerts at many venues, enjoyable events.The economy of San Diego is influenced by its deep-water port which has the only major submarine as well as the shipbuilding yards towards the West Coast with several major national defence contractors that started and are headquartered there including the General Atomics, NASSCO and Cubic.

The largest naval fleet in the world is hosted in San Diego and is also a home to the California National Guard’s 79th Infantry Brigade Combat team. Five percent of the civilian jobs are military related while 15,000 businesses in San Diego County depend on Department of Defence contracts.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Zion National Park, Utah


Zion National Park, Utah
Zion National Park – Interesting Feature, Zion Canyon 

Zion National Park is situated in the south-western United States near Springdale, Utah and the most interesting feature of the 229 square mile park is Zion Canyon, 15 miles long and around half a mile deep, cut through the reddish and tan coloured Navajo Sandstone, by the North Fork of the Virgin River.

 It is an amazing cliff and canyon landscape as well as wilderness which are full of the world’s most unexpected and largest arch, the Kolob Arch which measures around 310 feet. Millions of years of flowing water which has cut through the red and white beds of Navajo sandstones have formed the sheer walls of Zion and the geologic heart of the canyon originated as a vast desert many years ago while the winds blew one dune over the other till the sands reached a depth of over 2,000 feet.

Located between the Colorado Plateau, Great Basin and Mojave Desert regions, its unique geography as well as variety of life zones have given rise to unusual plant and animal diversity with numerous plant species together with 289 species of bird, 75 mammals inclusive of 19 species of bat and 32 reptiles which inhabit the park’s four life zones namely desert, woodland, riparian and coniferous forest.

Showcase of Geology – Shaping Zion

Besides this, the park also comprises of mountains, buttes, mesas, canyons, monoliths, slot canyons, rivers and natural arches. Wildlife like golden eagles, mule deer together with mountain lion also tend to inhabit the Park. The Park is also in the vicinity of St. George, Utah and is known for Tuacahn Amphitheatre and Tuacahn is an interesting site to explore.

Zion National Park is a showcase of geology with geologic processes playing a very important role in shaping Zion. Its arid climate and sparse vegetation has given rise to exposure of huge expanses of bare rock, revealing the park’s geologic history.

 The rock layers seem to be lifted and eroded which forms a features known as the Grand Staircase, a series of colourful cliffs that tend to stretch between Bruce Canyon and the Grand Canyon while the bottom layer of rock at Bryce Canyon is the top layer at Zion and the bottom layer is the top layer at the Grand Canyon.

Great Place for Rock Climbing

Zion is also a great place for rock climbing with short walls like Moonlight Buttress, Touchstone, Spaceshot and Prodigal Son which are very famous. Accommodation is available at Zion Lodge which is located halfway through Zion Canyon and is open throughout the year. Moreover it also has motel units as well as cabins together with restaurants, café and gift shops.

Three campgrounds are also available namely South and Watchman at the far southern area of the park and a primitive site at Lava Point which is in the middle of the park off Kolob Terrace Road. Watchman seems to be the only campground in the park which has reservations while Lava Point has only primitive facilities which are usually open from June to October and permits are essential for overnight camping in the backcountry. Guided horseback trips, nature walks together with evening programs are available from late March to early November for those interested.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Portland – The City of Roses


Portland, the city of roses is one of the largest cities in the U.S. state of Oregon, near the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers. Its population of 583,776 according to the 2010 census is estimated to have reached 609,456 in the year 2013 thus making it the 29th most populous city in the United States as well as the third most populous city in the Pacific Northwest region.

Around 2,314,554 inhabitants live in the Portland metropolitan area MSA, the 19th most populous MSA in United States. Portland is the county seat of Multnomah County which was incorporated in 1851. It has a commission based government which is headed by a mayor with four other commissioners and Metro, a distinctive regional government.

 Moreover the city is known for its superior land use planning as well as investment in light rail. Portland is recognized for its great outdoors environment scenic beauty, a large amount of microbreweries together with its eco-friendly urban planning policies.

It is the largest city which lies between San Francisco and Seattle and on comparing with these cities, its environment is not as fast paced but it has a more laid back feel of smaller town to it.

Largest Collections of Zine and Independent Publishers

Being a city it has its own amenities which include great music as well as arts scene together with the largest collections of zine and independent publishers. Though the city has not developed yet, in recent years, Portland has grown tremendously and has started to catch up with the daily activities like having some of the worst traffic congestion in the West, a high cost of living relative to wages as well as chronic underemployment.

The city has an amazing blend of historic as well as modern architecture together with lush parks like Forest Park and the Washington Park in the hills towards the west area of Downtown offering a variety of plants, trails and wildlife near the city.The beautiful seasonal colour is the result of the Vistas of Mt. Hood and the Willamette River,stately Douglas fir trees together with roses and trees at every corner.

Besides, environmental friendly practices like recycling and extensive public transportation system have been part of the culture here, fuelling several progressive city panning practices like an urban growth boundary making Portland a relatively compact city.

Divided into Five Sections/Five Quadrants

Moving around in Portland is easy either by bike, public transport or even walking though there are topographical features which could affect how the streets and roads flow, hence planning and maps would be essential on a journey of over a few blocks.

Portland is divided into five sections and at times referred to oxymoronically as the `five quadrants’ which are divided by Burnside Street between north/south, the Willamette River between east/west, fifth sector – north between the Willamette River and Williams Avenue. Situated in the Marine west coast climate region, its climate has both warm dry summers and wet cool to chilly winters which is ideal for growing roses having many rose gardens, the prominent one being the International Rose Test Garden.

Portland is a home to several numbers of independent microbreweries, micro distilleries as well as food carts which contribute to the unofficial slogan – Keep Portland Weird.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Iowa, United States


Grotto Arcade
Iowa – American Heartland

Iowa, a US state in the Midwestern United States is a region which is called the `American Heartland’. It is lined by the Mississippi River towards the east and the Missouri River and the Big Sioux River on the west. Iowa is the only U.S. state which has the eastern and the western borders entirely by rivers where it is bordered by Wisconsin and Illinois to the east, Missouri to the south, South Dakota and Nebraska to the west and Minnesota to the north. Iowa was part of French Louisiana, in colonial days and its current state flag is designed after the flag of France.

After the Louisiana Purchase, the settlers laid the foundation in the heart of the Corn Belt for agriculture based economy. Its agricultural economy in the latter half of the 20th century, expanded to manufacturing, processing, financial service, technology, information, biotechnology together with green energy production. It is the 26thmost extensive land area as well as the 30th most populous of the 50 United States. Iowa has been listed as one of the safest states and its largest city is Des Moines.

Natural Lakes & Manmade Lakes

Iowa is not generally flat and most of the state comprises of rolling hills. It is divided in eight landforms due to the glaciation soils, topography and the river drainage. Along the western border of the state lie the Loess hills, some of which are hundreds of feet thick.

Towards the northeast area along the Mississippi River lies a part of the Driftless Zone with steep hills and valleys which appear to be almost mountainous. Many natural lakes will be found in Iowa like the Spirit Lake, West Okoboji Lake and East Okoboji Lake towards the northwest area of Iowa while to the east is the Clear Lake, Some of the manmade lakes are Lake Odessa, Saylorville Lake, Coralville Lake, Lake Red Rock, Lake MacBride and Rathbun Lake. Towards the northwest area of the state are a considerable number of remnants of the common wetlands like the Barringer Slough.

Foremost State in Farming

Iowa is one of the foremost states in farming in the United States and one fifth of the nation’s corn harvest comes from Iowa. Iowa stands first in the nation in grain harvest. It produces food, clothing, fuel; medicine for the world and agricultures is one of the leading industries, having more than 100,000 farms in the state.

Each Iowa farm family produces enough food and fibre to feed around 279 people where one-fourth of which live overseas. The wet springs together with the warm summers provide an appropriate environment for plantings of corn as well as soybeans in the top grade farmland. Though agriculture is the main economy, Iowa also encourages the growth of manufacturing and service industries.

Iowa leads the country in the production of corn and has also been called the `Land where the Tall Corn grows’ and the nickname pays tribute to Iowa’s corn crop. Iowa has also been referred to as the `Land of the Rolling Prairie’, due to the vast rolling prairies which cover the state.

Its largest source of income comes from manufacturing, followed by services, wholesale or retail trade and government while 24% of America’s pork and 4% of the nations’ grain-fed beef are raised in the state of Iowa.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Mesa Verde National Park


Mesa Verde National Park
Mesa Verde National Park – UNESCO World Heritage Site 

Mesa Verde National Park is located in southwest Montezuma County, Colorado in United States. It is one of the largest archaeological preserve which has been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site.

It was named as the `Number One Historic Monument in the World by Conde Nast Traveler and National Geographic magazine called it`one of the 50 Places to visit in a lifetime’. Its canyons were created by erosion from the receding ancient oceans as well as waterways resulting in Mesa Verde National Park elevations that ranged from around 6,000 to 8,572 feet being the highest elevation at Park Point.

Now the terrain in the park is a transition zone between the low desert plateaus as well as the Rocky Mountains. The park was created by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 to protect some of the well preserved cliff dwelling in the world or according to him to preserve the works of man.

 Mesa Verde National Park seems to be the only cultural National Park which was set aside by National Park System and covers an area of 81.4 square miles towards the Four Corners, featuring numerous ruins of homes and villages that were built by the Ancient Pueblo inhabitants, known at times as the Anasazi. One will find over 4000 archaeological sites with over 600 cliff dwellings of these people at the site.

Known for Cliff Dwellings Structures

Mesa Verde is known for its cliff dwellings that are structures built with the caves and beneath outcroppings in cliff which include the Cliff Palace. This is considered to be the largest cliff dwelling in North America.

The term Mesa Verde when translated into English from Spanish means ‘green table’, which is considered to contain some of the best and notable preserved archaeological sites. The structures within these alcoves were of blocks of hard sandstones which were held together and plastered with adobe mortar.

Specific constructions were often similar though they were generally unique in form due to individual typography of various alcoves along the canyon walls. The cliff dwelling of Mesa Verde was a contrast to the earlier constructions and villages on the top of the mesas, reflecting a region wide trend towards the growing regional population into close and defensible quarters during the AD 1200 era.

World Class Archaeological Sites

The structure here showed a trend of the inhabitants that moved towards time masonry techniques on former jacal wall which were commonplace in architectural design. Mesa Verde National Park offers the tourists glimpses into the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo people.

Scientist has done research on the ancient dwellings of Mesa Verde by making comparisons between the Ancestral Pueblo peoples and their contemporary indigenous descendants who continue to live there. There are twenty four Native American tribes in the southwest who have ancestral affiliation with the sites at Mesa Verde.

The entrance of the Park is nine miles east of Cortex and 35 miles west of Durango in South-western Colorado on the US Highway 160. One can schedule a day or two to explore and enjoy the beauty of Mesa Verde National Park and experience the world class archaeological sites with the beautiful canyons and plateaus of Mesa Verde Country.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Golden Gate Bridge,SanFrancisco

Golden Gate Bridge,SanFrancisco
Golden Gate Bridge – Technical Masterpiece

The Golden Gate Bridge, a technical masterpiece, is a suspension bridge from the Golden Gate strait, which is a mile wide, three mile long channel located between San Francisco and the Pacific Ocean. Many felt the need to build a bridge to connect San Francisco to Marin County and since San Francisco was the largest American city, it was still served by ferry boats due to the absence of a permanent link with communities around the bay and the city’s growth rate went below the national average.

Several experts were of the opinion that the bridge would not be built across the 6,700 ft. strait due to the strong, swirling tides and currents, with water of 372 ft. deep at the centre of the channel together with strong winds.

They were also apprehensive of the ferocious winds as well as the blinding fogs which would prevent the operation as well as the construction. The construction of the Golden Gate Bridge commenced in 1933 which was designed by engineer Joseph Strauss and built to connect San Francisco and Marin County across a 1600 metre wide strait which came to be known as the Golden Gate that linked the San Francisco Bay with the Pacific Ocean.

One of the Wonders of the Modern World

It links the U.S. city of San Francisco towards the northern tip of San Francisco Peninsula, to Marin County, joining both the U.S. Route 101 as well as California State Route 1 across the strait and is one of the most internationally recognized structures of San Francisco, California and the United States.

The Bridges has also been declared as one of the Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. When the bridge reached its completion in 1937, it was considered as the world’s longest and the tallest suspension bridge which not only seemed to be an impossible project but also got completed within a span of four years.

It became one of the world’s greatest architectural icons which have influenced bridge design. Being the longest suspension bridge in the world, its mythical construction will always make it the bridge of all bridges as well as one of the most powerful urban structures that has ever been built.

Golden Gate Ferry Company – Largest Ferry Operation

Before the construction of the bridge the only possible route between San Francisco and what is presently Marin County was by boat across a section of San Francisco Bay with ferry services operating from 1820 with regular scheduled service which began in the 1840s to transport water to San Francisco.

Eventually, it was the Golden Gate Ferry Company, a Southern Pacific Railroad subsidiary, launched by the Sausalito Land and Ferry Company, in 1867 to become the largest ferry operation in the world towards late 1920s.

The Southern Pacific’s automobile ferries for railroad passengers as well as customers only, became profitable and good economy for that region and the duration of ferry crossing between the Hyde Street Pier in San Francisco as well as Sausalito in Marin County took around 20 minutes with a cost of US$1.00 per vehicle, which was later reduced to compete with the new bridge.

From San Francisco Ferry Building, the trip took about 27 minutes. The construction of the world’s largest suspension bridge being a colossal task became one of the wonders and a worldwide fame.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Seattle – Coastal Seaport


Seattle


Seattle, a coastal seaport city is located on a narrow isthmus between Puget Sound, which is an inlet of the Pacific Ocean and Lake Washington, around 100 miles south of the Canada-United States, bordered by the snow-capped Olympic and volcanic Cascade Mountains. The city had an estimate of around 652,405 people as per the 2013 census and is the largest city in the Pacific North-western region of North America. With around 3.6 million inhabitants in Seattle metropolitan area, it is the 14th largest metropolitan area in the United States. It is also the fastest growing major gateway for trade with Asia, the eighth largest port in the United States and the 9th largest in North America with regards to container handling. It offers a wealth of outdoor adventure from kayaking to the climbing of rocks and is a home to innovative companies which includes Amazon.com together with Microsoft and is also supportive to world class cultural institutions like the Seattle symphony, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Seattle Opera, and award winning theatre troupes. The area of Seattle was earlier inhabited by the Native Americans for around 4,000 years before the first permanent European.

Commercial & Shipbuilding Centre – Klondike Gold Rush, 1897

Arthur A, Denny along with his group of travellers known as Denny Party had arrived on November 13, 1851 at Alki Point where the settlement moved to its current site and was named Seattle in 1853 after Chief Si’ahl of the local Duwamish and Suquamish tribes. Seattle’s first major industry was logging, but the city had turned into a commercial and ship-building centre by late 19th century, as a gateway to Alaska at the time of the Klondike Gold Rush in 1897. Towards 1910, Seattle became one of the largest 25 cities but the Great Depression hampered the city’s economy drastically. During and after the World War II, the city developed gradually, due to the local Boeing Company which was established as a centre for aircraft manufacturing and developed as a technology centre towards 1980s. New software biotechnology together with Internet companied was the outcome of economic revival which led to the city’s population by 50,000 between 1990 and 2000. Thereafter, Seattle became the hub for green industry as well as a model for sustainable development.

History of Boom and Bust Cycles

Seattle Opera
The Emerald City has diverse attractions with distinctive neighbourhoods on seven hills, from Old West saloons together with high tech hotels to trendy boutiques as well as a 100 year old public farmer’s market. Seattle offers a magnificent setting with its modern skyline of glass skyscrapers accompanied with friendly charm mingled with lots of fun filled restaurants, coffeehouses and active clubs. It has an amazing musical history and from 1918 to 1951, there were almost two dozen jazz nightclubs along Jackson Street from the present Chinatown/International district to the Central district where the jazz scene developed the early career of Quincy Jones, Ray Charles and the rest. It is also the birthplace of Jimi Hendrix the rock musician as well as the alternative rock style grunge. Moreover, Seattle has a history of boom and bust cycles with areas of extensive mineral and natural resources and has risen many times economically and then gone into deep decline but has been rebuilt on solid infrastructure.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Chama - The Oldest, Longest, Highest and Scenic Railroad


Chama
At the foot of the 10,000 ft Cumbres Pass, lies a small town of Chama in Mexico which is bordered by the Rio Grande and Santa Fe national forest, offering various outdoor adventure, the most popular being the ride on the vintage railway, one of the oldest railroad. Chama, a cute little hidden town is a setting for the Cumbres and Toltec Steam Train which is a 3 ft – 914 mm narrow gauge heritage railroad running between Chama, Antonito and Colorado.

It runs over 10,015 ft (3,053 m) Cumbres Pass, through Toltec Gorge from which it derives its name. The trains operate from both ends meeting at the midpoint and presently the railroad is the highest narrow gauge steam railroad in the United State. The Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad, a vintage steam locomotive driven excursion train leaves either from Antonito, Colorado or Chama and as one journeys through it they get an amazing experience of journeying through spectacular mountains, canyons and valleys.

It takes one to the highest elevation in America in rail and its narrow gauge train ride is the most beautiful setting for anyone travelling by train in the oldest, longest, highest and scenic in North America.

A Living History Museum


This railroad is a living history museum which was built in the late 1800s which travels in 3 feet wide narrow gauge where the trains are pulled by historic steam engines. Steam engines carried passengers as well as goods from one place to another before roads linked the towns of the Rocky Mountains.

The railroad has been designated both as a National and State Registered Historic Site as well as a National Civil Engineering Landmark. The trains depart every morning from Chama, New Mexico and Antonito, Colorado and in peak seasons, trains are available in both directions every day of the week, meeting at Osier, the midpoint of the line where lunch is available.

Passengers have the option to continue on their train journey to the end or switch trains to return to their original destination, again with the option of a motor coach return to their original terminal. Reservation needs to be done especially during peak seasons though in rare cases, at times seats are available for last minute travelers.

Parlor Car and Gondola

Passengers are provided with standard seats in the coaches or first class seats in a parlor car while gondola without seats is usually provided for first class and standard riders who would prefer to ride in the open air. Besides this, a concession car with provision of snacks and gifts, along with bathrooms on each train is also made available for the travelers.

All the passenger trains are pulled by historic steam locomotives which earlier worked on this line as well as the others of the Denver and Rio Grande Western, while heavy trains out of Chama may have two locomotives for Cumbres Pass.

The steepest part is the east bound from Chama and hence the steam engines tend to work hard giving out an acoustic and visual show and the balance ¾ of the east bound trips is downgrade with the locomotive being fairly quiet. Westbound from Antonito, the grade is comparatively less though the locomotive tends to work harder especially on the last few miles to Cumbres Pass.