Daily Archives: 20.02.2014

Longmire’s Paradise: Mount Rainier National Park



Longmire’s Paradise: Mount Rainier National Park

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Mount Rainier National Park is a form of paradise famous for the wildflower meadows and its splendid view. It is called paradise because when James Longmire’s daughter-in-law, Martha had a first look on the garden, she cried, “Ah what a paradise!” The park’s central visiting center known as the Paradise Jackson Visitor Center is situated in the upper parking area of the National Park.

Mount Rainier National Park is a National Park of United States located in the southeast Pierce Country and the Washington’s northeast Lewis Country. The National Park was recognized in 1899 as the United States’ fifth largest national park. The park is covering an area of around 956.60 kilometers square and if Mount Rainier is included then it will be 4,390 metres. The mountain raises suddenly its elevation from 1,600 feet to around 14,000 feet including the surrounding areas. The highest point of the track in the Cascade Range is the waterfalls, valleys, sub alpine, wildflower meadows, various old growth forests and plenty of glaciers. Volcanoes are usually cloaked by clouds which dump a huge amount of rain and snow on the peak of the mountains every year which hides the view from the crowd which lead to the park.

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Mount Rainier is rounded by the Wonderland Trail and is endowed by various glaciers and snowfields which cover an area of 91 kilometre square (around 35 square miles). Mount Rainer National Park has on an average 1.8 million visitors throughout the year. It contains Carbon Glacier which is the largest glacier by volume in the whole the continent (United States) and also the largest glacier by area called as Emmons Glacier. Mount Rainer is a famous peak for mountain climbing with around 10,000 attempts every year with approximately 50% climbing till the highest point. The park encloses terrific sub alpine meadows and old growth forests covering an area of around 370 kilometers square.

Mount Rainer National Park gives an excellent opportunity for activities like hiking, diving and mountain climbing. Mostly roads open for six months from late of the May month to early October, which provide fantastic views of a variety of scenic sites and hiking trails. Usually it takes two to three days for visitors to explore the park.

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Longmire

Another major attraction of Mount Rainer National Park is the visiting centre Longmire. It is located 6.5 miles east of the Nisqually Entrance. The area revoves around the Nisqually River valley at an altitude of 2,761 feet which is in between the Tatoosh Range and the Ramparts Ridge. Longmire is famous for the old growth Douglas fir, western hemlock and the western red cedar. Along with these Longmire is also the location of Longmire Museum, Mount Rainer’s National Park Inn, and the National Park Service Administrative Building in the year 1928, which in today date is known as the Wilderness Information Centre. The only accommodation in the park open is the National Park Inn for all the year.

Longmire is also the most popular visiting place for the tourists of Mount Rainer National Park after the Paradise. In the year 2000, it is found that from the 1.3 million people visiting the National Park, around 38% visited Longmire. Another tourist attraction the Cougar Rock is also only 3 miles away in the north west of Longmire with around 5 or 6 group sites and near about 170 individual campsites in the months between May to September. Longmire is called as the starting point of the famous Wonderland Trail of Mount Rainer National Park.

Sunrise

Sunrise is also an important destination of visitors while visiting the national park. It is a lodge located in the north eastern side of the park. It is the highest point of the park with an elevation of 6,400 feet (1,950 m) which can be reached by the vehicles. Sunshine centre is surrounded by miles of trails all around the place such as Sourdough Ridge and the Mount Fremont.  The lodge can be accessed via turnoff of 10 miles from SR410 near the entrance of White River.

Other developed areas of the Mount Rainer National Park include Carbon River, Ohanapecosh and Mowich Lake. Ohanapecosh is a camping ground, ranger station and visiting centre located near the south eastern part of the park which is around 3miles away from the park boundary. It is located in one of the deep valley in old growth forest with an elevation under 2,000 feet. Ohanapecosh is one and the only developed portion of the National Park which does not have the view of Mount Rainer. Some of the famous attractions of the place are Silver Falls, Grove of the Patriarchs and the Ohanapecosh Hot Springs. Another developing area, the Carbon River is situated in the northwest past of the park from highway 165 and is the only rainforest site at Mount Rainer. There is a campground, a trail towards the Carbon Glacier and a short trail towards the rainforest, which is also one of the smallest glaciers in the United States. Other then the above visiting places, Mowich Lake located near south of Carbon River, is the deepest and the largest lake in the park. The lake encompasses various activities such as hiking, camping and it is the best place for family picnic.

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Spain – the Exotic Country of Europe



Spain – the Exotic Country of Europe

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The exotica unparalleled of Europe, Spain, is among the most naturally beautiful countries of the world with great history, culture, folklore, enthusiastic and hospitable people and great food. The country located in the south-western part of Europe and occupying the dominant share of the Iberian Peninsula was considered to be the furthest tip of the world or the edge before the New World was discovered by certain Christopher Columbus. It was from this idea of being the ‘edge of the world’ that the region got itself named Hispania by the Greeks from which the current name of the country has been derived “España”. With a geographical area of 505,000 sq. km Spain boasts itself as the second largest country in the European Union, and has a parliamentary democracy in a constitutional monarchic set up.

The territory of Spain stretches from the small principality of Andorra at its border with France to the straits of Gibraltar to the south bordering Portugal to the West and having the extended boundaries till Africa. The world famous Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean and the cities of Ceuta and Melila in North Africa are also part of its territorial range. Te Iberian Peninsula experienced first human footsteps in some 35,000 years ago with led to the development of many Hispanic tribes such as the Iberians, the Celts and the Basques. These tribes fought a valiant battle with the Roman Empire but ultimately seceded and were ruled for centuries under the Roman Flag. They were also occupied by the Germanic Tribes in the Dark Ages which also saw Christianity come to its shore. The Moors of North Africa occupied the Spanish territory from the Germanic Tribes and brought a period of great cultural and architectural development which saw the establishing of many of the greatest examples of Islamic architecture in the world.

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Around the time The Moors were busy running their rule of the Iberian land, the small Christian rulers who were largely concentrated in the Northern parts of the country slowly began their war for reclaiming their homeland from the Moors which is known as the Reconquista. The Reconquista which ended in 1492 saw the establishment of a single crown ruled by the orthodox Christians. From this point onwards in its history Spain went on to establish one of the greatest overseas empires in the world with massive colonization in the New World which was discovered by Columbus being funded by the Spanish Queen Isabella. They became the most powerful kingdom in Europe and remained so for the coming century and a half and remained colonial rulers for three centuries. In the modern era constant battles for sovereignty triggered by the invasion of Napoleon and a bloody civil war before the Second World War saw the status of Spain diminished. Post Second World War under a democratic setup Spain joined the European Union and enjoyed a period of cultural renaissance and economic stability making it a developed country.    

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Spain has been popularized as a tourist destination more for its beautiful beaches which are tourist hotspot during the summer months but there is so much more to this Iberian country with great geographical and cultural diversities, history, festivals, cathedrals and food that any who come to these lands to expect just great beaches are left in wonderment with the extra toppings. Spain has been divided into autonomous states which have their own traditions, history, culture and languages. If you wish to see the mountains travel to the Basque Country in the North home to the Pyrenees ranges and the region of Sierra Nevada home to stunning Ski Resorts which are largely covered with snow all year round. The world famous beaches of Spain can be found in the southern and eastern parts of the country with the best cities being the second city of Spain Barcelona, the coastal areas of Andalusia and the beautiful island of the Canary off the Atlantic Coast.

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Being historically so relevant throughout Spain is home to the second highest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is home to the largest number of World Heritage Cities.  The Andalusia region of Spain holds many reminders of the glorious past of this country with the city of Cadiz being the foremost example which still has remnants of its Roan past. The cities of Cordoba and Grenada are wonderful testament to the beautiful architectural gifts that The Moors left to this region, the amazingly built mosques and palaces of the region are just brilliant in their appearance. In the Galician state is located one of the holiest sites in the world in the form of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostella which is the end point of a great religious journey known as the Way of St. James and also the resting place of St. James.

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Spanish folk culture, arts, cuisines and dances require no second introduction, the country that gave the world Salsa and Flamenco is home to many such great traditions and cultural art forms which have been part of their identity for ages. The San Fermin of Pamplona which includes the adventurous Bull race and the Tomatino Festival are great cultural fiestas which attract millions of tourist from all across Europe and the world. Spain is not to be left behind when it comes to cuisines and is home to some great Mediterranean delicacies as well regional cuisines such as those of Galicia, Basque and Cataluña. The beaches, the mountains, the Canary Island, Salsa, cathedrals and historic monuments undoubtedly make Spain the exotic country of Europe.

Cayman Islands – The Caribbean Heaven



Cayman Islands – The Caribbean Heaven

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What makes a holiday special? Is it just about going to a new place and spending time doing nothing? Or does it have something to do with what you do when you are vacationing? Cayman Islands don’t let you ponder this question. How does it do it? It is a combination of some of the most breathtaking natural scenery that you can ever find. Add to that fine restaurants and innovative resorts, you have the perfect holiday destination.

Cayman Islands don’t have a very daunting presence on the world map. If you look at the world map, you would see them as the three tiny dots. Zoom in and you will find some of the whitest beaches and bluest waters to dive in. First a little bit of Geography of Cayman Islands.

Cayman Islands consist of three Islands. There’s the Grand Cayman, then the Little Cayman and finally the Cayman Brac. Each of these islands has their own attractive features. While Grand Cayman is something of a cosmopolitan area, Cayman Brac is where you would get the Natural Treat. Little Cayman is an island which has a small population of around 125-150 people. Among themselves, they share many places to visit.

Places to Visit In Cayman Islands

Let’s start with the largest of the Islands, the Grand Cayman. For a casual viewer, the Grand Cayman is the Cayman Islands. It has posh shopping malls, high quality restaurants and five star hotels. It is also a global financial center. Ever heard in the movies, someone having an off-shore account in Cayman Islands? Well, that’s what happens in the Grand Cayman.

The Grand Cayman

The Grand Cayman

The most attractive place in the Grand Cayman is the Seven Mile Beach. The Beach isn’t 7 miles long, but the sheer width of the white sand, makes it look like an endless candy to the eye. This 5 and half mile beach consists of some of the softest and the whitest sands across the world. What makes, the beach even more attractive is its maintenance. You wouldn’t see vendors around. There’s a place which is designated specifically for vendors, and then there’s parking etc. With such a large area, the seven miles can always give you a place where you can sit down and call it your own. The scene of the wealthiest people on the planet, sipping cocktail and enjoying the beach is very common.

Among other notable places to visit, there’s the Queen Elizabeth Botanic park, where you can see some of native species of plants, animals and birds. Then, of course, you can take the Grand Cayman Resort Dive Course. With this, you can learn to dive in one day, in just four hours. Away from the hustle and bustles of the crowded Seven Mile beach and resorts, there’s the quieter side, which has its Caribbean flavors.

Cayman Brac

Cayman Brac

Cayman Brac is named after the limestone which is located in the Island. The island is a 12 mile long. It is a nature lover’s heaven. It has some of the best scenic sights. Unlike other Islands, it is not entirely engrossed in the Tourism industry. On the contrary, Brac is more of a pace to escape the crowd and the hustle bustle of the Cayman Island as whole. So, what can you see at Cayman Brac?

There’s the Cayman Brac Museum, which doesn’t look much like a museum at the first look. It has a large collection of artifacts relate to the early settlers of the Island. Then there’s the Sandy Point, which is touted as the best beach in the Brac. The best thing about the beach is its serenity, which can be daunting sometimes, because of the presence of only handful of people. However, a tiny pier to watch the waves, is something that you would treasure for a long time. Owen Island as a Pirate-y feeling to it. The island is lonely, and has lots of things to do. The forests are unexplored, and the vegetation is wild– The pristine look of the island is something of wonderment. Then of course there’s the Bat Cave, which is famous for an odd geological structures.

Little Cayman Islands

Liitle Cayman Island

What makes Little Cayman stand out, is its idyllic island lifestyle. We are talking about an island which got electricity just in 1990. The calmness and the rare population makes the Little Cayman a very hotly visited honeymoon destination. The beaches are so beautiful that they seem to be straight out of the photographs. The prize of the island is its small population. No one would bother you, neither would you be stressed with all the adverts for the vacationer. Pure bliss.

 With three distinctive islands, having very different things to offer, Cayman Islands, make for the perfect holiday destination. You have got nature, you have got a rich culture and the serenity that’s something every holiday-er wants. There are plenty of resorts to spend the days in leisure. Plenty of activities to do too. Either actively engage in diving or just sit down and wonder all the beautiful things that nature has to offer. Visit Cayman Islands, and make the best out of your holidays.