Daily Archives: 01.07.2015

The Countryside Peace: Yorkshire Dales



The Countryside Peace: Yorkshire Dales

The Yorkshire Dales are also known as ‘The Dales’ is an area located in the county boundaries of the Yorkshire’s historical area in the Northern England. This art of land is dissected by a lot of valleys and lies between the countries:  North Yorkshire and Cumbria. This place is blessed by Mother Nature and a lot of natural sights which will take you to a peaceful heaven can be found. The term ‘Dale’ is a Germanic term which means ‘Valley’. Yorkshire Dale is the term used to refer to the west of Vale of York and to the north of the urban area of West Yorkshire. The picturesque of the Yorkshire Dale includes everything like rolling hills combinations, wild moorland, woodland, valleys, landscapes, etc. that will create a very unique and beautiful ambience all around. You also get to have a look of the traditional like of Yorkshire which is a little old-fashioned but quite interesting. Tourists in Britain make sure to visit this wonderful creation of nature.

the-middle-aysgarth-falls

The major attraction of the Yorkshire dale is the exceptionally beautiful waterfall called the Aysgarth Falls which are 30 meters deep. These are waterfalls with triple flights coming out of the River Ure and are spread to a stretch of around one mile after it is descended to mid-Wensleydale. During the rainy season or wet weather, the Aysgarth Waterfalls looks spectacular. This fall is more than 200 years old and is appreciated since then for the outstanding beauty and has appeared in many films such as the Robin Hood. The triple flights are called the Upper Falls, the Middle Falls and the Lower Falls. There are walks creaked through the wooded valley that allows one to see the falls and the river with a large variety of flora and fauna including wild flowers, wild birds, deer, squirrels.

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Another major attraction of the Dale is the Druids Temple. This temple is located at 4 miles from the west of Masham near Ilton. It was created by William Danby in the year 1820 when he was the High Sheriff of Yorkshire. The temple is structured inside a private forest and comprises of a giant stone table, a cave and an altar stone. The Druids Temple is 100 feet in length and 5 feet in width having a height of 10 feet. The intention of creating this temple was to provide work for the locals and a way to give them salary. It is also known as the Brikigg Stone Circle and comprises of two rings of stones. The outer ring has a diameter of 26 meters and has 15 stones. The inner circle is 9 meters wide and has 10 stones.

skipton-castle

Skipton is another place where every visitor must go to. This is a historic place of North Yorkshire and is also popularly known as the Southern Gateway of Yorkshire. The main fun and joy is the walking around this town on foot. The most famous place of Skipton is the Skipton Castle. The castle is one of the most preserved castles from the medieval times of England. The castle was built in the 12th century and is preserved in the exact condition. The town of Skipton has a very attractive historic market. Another place to visit in Yorkshire Dales is the Ingleborough. It is the top second highest peak of mountain in the Yorkshire Dales with a height of 723 meters. Yorkshire has three famous peaks: Whernside, Pen-y-ghent and Inglebororugh. Recently, a Three Peaks Challenge was held in Yorkshire which is a challenge to walk a circular track of 24 mile starting and ending in Horton, Ribblesdale. To climb the Ingleborough is one of the tasks of this challenge. The mountain itself is very strikingly beautiful and if you view the entire landscape after climbing the mountain, it will be a lifetime experience.

malhamcove

Malham is a village in North Yorkshire near the Dales. The major attraction of this village is Malham Cove. Malham is a huge curved limestone cliff located at the head of the valley. There is a pavement, again of limestone, at the top of this cliff. It has irregular heights with the western part having 80 meters. There are more than 400 stone steps irregularly shaped and made of limestone. There used to a large waterfall flowing over this cliff originally which has dried now. The cove has eroded at some places which gives it the curved shape.

Richmond 008

Going to Yorkshire Dales demands you to visit this market town of Yorkshire named Richmond which is located at the edge of the National Park of Yorkshire Dales. This is the administrative centre of the entire region and is thus economically important town of North Yorkshire. This town has the Richmond Castle as the centerpiece. Other famous places of the town are Scolland’s Hall, Green Howards Regimental Museum (which used to be an old Trinity church), Richmondshire Museum, Georgian Theatre Royal (one of the oldest extant theatres of Britain) and a very large market place which is large not just for this town but for the entire Europe.

Apart from the above mentioned places, the town also has other attractions like the Bolton Abbey, the Grassington, Masham, Hawes, etc. All these small town and villages surrounding Yorkshire Dales are very beautiful and filled with natural beauty.

Where The Sun Is Bright: Sun City, South Africa



Where The Sun Is Bright: Sun City, South Africa

This vast country which is bordered by Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana and Mozambique is situated at the south most tip of Africa. South Africa is very diverse and has eleven official languages. South Africa is indeed among the largest producers of gold in the world and is well known for its wines. South Africa has the greatest impact on the economy of Africa in comparison to others. The very first world cup help on the African continent was hosted by South Africa. People who want to explore the whole Africa; South Africa is the place to start. This place is not only rich in culture but in history, Flora and fauna also. It is a very famous jumping off point also for people. Whole Africa is decorated with the same stereotypes. South Africa is not just one but two countries within one.

Table Mountain - The Landmark of Cape Town 2

The major and popular cities of South Africa are Cape Town and Johannesburg. Other cities are Pretoria (administrative capital of the country), Durban (3rd largest city of South Africa), Bloemfontein (place of constitutional court), Newcastle, East London, Kimberley, Port Elizabeth, Upington and Polokwane. So with all these cities it is quite difficult to decide which places are good to visit. Well, the world famous is the Table Mountain of Cape Town. This is the main attraction of the tourists. The mountain is flat-topped and perfect to hike to the top. There is a magnificent view of the whole Cape Town from the top of the mountain. There is a perfect sea breeze which will freshen up your mind.

CAPETOWN_PENINSULA

The next place which is very popular in Cape Town is the Cape Peninsula. It is the best adventurous place to go in Cape Town. The Cape of Good Hope and the Cape Point are also located within the boundaries of the Table Mountain. People often like to visit the place in spring as at that time they can also enjoy the beauty of the Southern Right Whales. Boulders Beach is the only place where you can see 3,000 African penguins together. An UNESCO World Heritage Site, Robben Island, is also located in Cape Town. People visit this Heritage Site mainly for the famous jail where the political prisoners of South Africa are being held. A defense training region and a mental hospital for care is also located within the boundaries of this prison. Maximum security is provided to the tourists while visiting this prison. People can see the jails and the working area of the prisoners. It will be very exciting for the people to see the life of the prisoners.

kruger national park

Next must visit place of South Africa is The Kruger National Park, Phalaborwa which actually falls in the Limpopo Province. This is the largest reserve of South Africa and the sight of this reserve will definitely take your breath away. The place is rich in Flora and Fauna diversity. There are 336 kinds of trees, 114 different reptiles, 49 kinds of fish, 147 types of mammals, 34 kinds of amphibians and 507 species of birds. Thulamela and Masorini are the two famous archeological sites in this area only. A beautiful route to walk is the Garden Route which starts from the Mossel Bay (located in Western Cape) and ends at the Storms River (at Eastern Cape). People will have the opportunity to witness 300 unique bird species, seals, coral reefs, dolphins and other different species also.

caves-ancientsouthafrica

Another interesting place is The Cradle of Humankind. The Cradle of Humankind is actually a series of caves of limestone which is very complex as well as beautiful to watch. A lot of research has been done in these caves and scientists have proved that very old (back to the time of birth of mankind) fossils fuels are present in these caves. The most popular among many fossil fuels are the “Little Foot” which a 3 million old skeleton and “Mr. Ples” which is a 2.1 million year old skull. It is being said that even our ancestors came through The Cradle of Humankind.  Oudtshoorn, the Ostrich Capital of S.A, is a place of eggs. All the hotels located in that area always offers eggs especially in breakfast. These eggs are different in taste as compared to normal eggs. This Ostrich town is also famous for Ostrich meat served with steaks and sausages.

knysna_lagoon

Another shinning gem among the other gems of South Africa is Knysna. This town is situated in the center of the Garden Route and it always gets the special attention from the tourists. People usually enjoy the wave jumping activity on a lagoon. The place offers quite adorable food and the image of the sunset is a remarkable. It is a great place to have fun with your friends and family. Another friendly place on the list is Durban, which stands third among the largest cities of South Africa. The best thing in Durban is “Golden Mile” which is place full of shark free beaches. People usually do surfing or will relax on the beaches. Afterwards, The Marine World Aquarium is also a place worth remembering. South Africa has many other beautiful things in store that people will want to visit and explore. The whole journey of South Africa can be a long and also a tiring one. Once been there you will never want to return to your own home.

Nature’s tea factory : Assam



Nature’s tea factory : Assam

Moving down the dual valleys of the Brahmaputra and the Barak, slow and steady as the divine waters, as the rivers approach their destination – the Bay of Bengal, we stop by to find peace and solace in the beautiful place called Assam. Situated in the southern part of eastern Himalayas, this spectacular tourist place attracts visitors in huge numbers from all over the world.

Talking about Assam, the first picture that comes to anyone’s mind, is of the famous Assam tea, owing to his/her preliminary knowledge. In a country with dominant holy culture, where beverages are still limited to rather tea and coffee, one might miss what the capital of the tiny state is, but its contribution to the production of tea cannot be ignored by anyone.

This part of India experiences high precipitation during monsoon, the tropical climate is particularly suitable for the unique malty taste of the tea produced in Assam. Assam tea is famous for this unique taste, the briskness, the flavour and the brightness.

Plucking_tea_in_a_tea_garden_of_Assam

The culture of tea production in Assam was first introduced by the English East India Company. This reform encouraged employment as well as income in large amounts in the north-east India.  Since those days, they follow a different time zone, which is one hour prior to the Indian Standard Time, keeping in mind the early sunrise.

Assam is the largest producer of tea in the world, which is why it is also titled as ‘nature’s tea factory’. Produced from the bush Camelia Sinesis, Assam tea can be bifurcated into two categories : orthodox and CTC, depending on the manufacturing process.

What does it take to manufacture any product? Sure the answer goes as capital, raw material, equipment, labour etc. But that is not all when it comes to producing tea. Tea plucking is a fine art. It includes years of experience and technical know-how. Also, good quality tea is a liable to good quality leaves. The quality of leaves depends on the pedigree and health of the bush.

Being a small state, relying mainly on tea production other than tourism for income, these are few things of shear importance in Assam, yes, they master the skills of tea plucking and pamper the plants  to the best of their ability.

The crucial step in black tea production is ‘fermentation’ in which the juices in the rolled leaves are allowed to darken from contact with the air. A similar process occurs when a cut apple turns brown. The dark substances that form while the tea leaves are exposed to the air is produced by the chemical reactions of the tannins in the tea.  The leaf is spread out and left to wilt, losing some moisture, stiffness and much of its weight. Then it’s rolled, exposing essential oils to the air and starting the oxidation process.  When the leaves have transformed sufficiently, then they are ‘fired’, dried over heat to stop the oxidation process. The quality of tea leaves is usually tested by the colour and the taste.

Being a delicate and mainly humanised process, the tea industry in Assam not only adds to the GDP, but also to the amount of employment in the region.

How ‘tippy’ the tea is, is actually a measure of the grade/quality of the tea. The more tippy the tea, more is the percentage of buds (which appear like golden flecks), and more expensive it is. The sub categories of Orthodox tea are:

  1. Flowery orange pekoe
  2. Orange pekoe
  3. Pekoe
  4. Souchong.

CTC is the acronym for Crush, Tear, Curl. This method is used to increase the volume of tea.

In India, as we have already discussed, the most popular beverage is tea. It therefore is no source of surprise that India is the largest consumer of tea in the world. Also, it comprises of around 12% of the world exports in tea.

Because it is black tea, very healthy and nutritious, having delicately produced with skills, Assam tea is valued even more in and around the country. Apart from being the largest producer, it is also the second commercial producer after China.

Assam tea is basically black tea, often sold as ‘breakfast teas’. For example, the English breakfast tea or the Irish breakfast tea contain different types and sizes of Assam tea.

Assam supplies its valuable and world renowned tea right from small democracies to huge continents. USA, UK, Russia, Germany, Iran, UAE, Pakistan, Japan, France and Canada are among the top importers of tea.

Right from the sweet, melodious songs of the river water, to the sensational anthems of the birds in the morning time, from the warmth and love of a true Assamese, to the brightness of the sun upright, everything is so much in synch with the description of this heavenly place which being in the East of the country, gives it the true definition of sunrise and symbolically welcomes every morning with its natural beauty and tea-culture it has, is just as much in flow with the picture. Assam is for sure nature’s tea factory but not one with the noise, machines and pollution, but one with nature’s true blessings, a scenic spot making the culture and heritage of India.