Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Beautiful Landscapes of Cayo Largo in Cuba

Cayo Largo del Sur, also known simply as Cayo Largo, is a small resort island belonging to Cuba, in the Caribbean Sea no more than 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) long and 3 kilometers (1.9 miles) wide. It is the second-biggest island in Cuba's Canarreos Archipelago.
Cayo Largo del Sur stretches along 27 km of virgin beaches with warm and crystal-clear waters. The sand is very fine, white and permanently fresh, characteristics which are unlikely to be found in another site in Cuba and rarely in the world. The always-turquoise sky contrasts magnificently with the white coral sand. The moderate tropical weather boasts an average temperature of 27c and has few rainfalls.
Tainos Indians lived here 800 years ago. This place is a natural kingdom of ecological beauty in perfect balance that is home to 350 iguanas, chelonian, pelicans, parrots, and herons. The sea contains colorful and varied fauna, as well as a 19 nautical mile coral reef where different kinds of black coral can be admired in less than 35 m of water. A diversified flora characterized by coastal vegetation and four species of mangroves decorate the old dunes and beaches.

Monday, March 30, 2009

More Pictures of Lake Tahoe in California

Beautiful Pictures of Lake Tahoe in California

Best Travel Destination of Lake Tahoe in California

Lake Tahoe is a large freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada mountains of the United States. It is located along the border between California and Nevada, west of Carson City, Nevada. Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America. Its depth is 1,645 ft (501 m) making it America's second-deepest.

The lake was formed about 2 million years ago and is a part of the Lake Tahoe Basin with the modern Lake being shaped during the Ice Ages. The lake is known for the clarity of its water and the panorama of surrounding mountains on all sides. The area surrounding the lake is also referred to as Lake Tahoe, or simply Tahoe.

Lake Tahoe is a major tourist attraction for both California and Nevada. It is home to a number of ski resorts, summer outdoor recreation, and tourist attractions. Snow and skiing are a significant part of the area's economy and reputation. Mountain and lake scenery are attractions throughout the year. The Nevada side also includes large casinos. Highways provide year-round access from Reno, Carson City and Sacramento. Read full at http://en.wikipedia.org

More Pictures of St. Maarten

The Open-Air Market at Marigot

Eastern end of Front Street

Wharf at The Center of Town, Front Street, Philipsburg

Sunrise at Guana Bay

Philipsburg, the capital of Dutch St. Maarten

Philipsburg, the capital of Dutch St. Maarten, fills a narrow stretch of land between Great Bay and the Great Salt Pond. Founded in 1763 by John Philips, a Scottish captain in the Dutch navy, it soon became a bustling center of international trade. Today it is as bustling as ever, with lively shopping streets, cafes, and hotels.

Two main roads cut across the length of Philipsburg--Front Street and, yes, Back Street. Front Street, the main thoroughfare, is lined with duty-free shops offering everything from Italian leather goods and Japanese cameras to native crafts. Narrow alleyways lead in either direction to arcades and courtyards filled with flowers. Visitors will also find examples of traditional West Indian architecture, including characteristic pastel-colored houses with second-story verandas looking out over the street.

Front Street's most prominent landmark is the Courthouse, built in 1793. A grand white wooden structure topped with a cupola, it now serves as St. Maarten's courthouse. Also on Front Street is the Simartin Museum, which gives visitors an excellent introduction to local history. Among the artifacts on display are pottery from the island's original inhabitants, the Arawaks, and cargo salvaged from a British ship which sank off the coast in 1801.
Two historic forts bear witness to Philipsburg's strategic importance in St. Maarten's history. Fort Amsterdam, built in 1631 on a peninsula between Great Bay and Little Bay, was the first Dutch military outpost in the Caribbean. Unfortunately, it was soon captured by the Spanish, who made it their most important bastion east of Puerto Rico. The Spanish abandoned the fort in 1648, and since then it has remained in Dutch hands. All military operations ceased in the 19th century, although the fort was used as a signaling and communications station into the 1950s. A few walls of the original bastion remain, and the site provides an outstanding view of modern Philipsburg. Fort Willem, easily recognizable by its television transmission tower, lies just to the west of downtown. Built in 1801 by the British, it was taken over by the Dutch in 1816. It's an easy hike up to the fort, with a lovely panorama of Philipsburg and neighboring islands at the top.

Today, Philipsburg combines its historical legacy with 20th century excitement. Its waterfront has become a popular stop for cruise ships, and the town's many restaurants, cafes and night clubs offer entertainment well into the night. The town offers accommodations to suit every need, from modern resorts to intimate guest houses.
Source :http://www.geographia.com/

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Exotic Niagara Falls

The Niagara Falls are voluminous waterfalls on the Niagara River, straddling the international border between the Canadian province of Ontario and the U.S. state of New York. The falls are 17 miles (27 km) north-northwest of Buffalo, New York and 75 miles (120 km) south-southeast of Toronto, Ontario, between the twin cities of Niagara Falls, Ontario, and Niagara Falls, New York.

Niagara Falls is composed of two major sections separated by Goat Island: Horseshoe Falls, the majority of which lies on the Canadian side of the border, and American Falls on the American side. The smaller Bridal Veil Falls also is located on the American side, separated from the main falls by Luna Island. Niagara Falls were formed when glaciers receded at the end of the Wisconsin glaciation (the last ice age), and water from the newly-formed Great Lakes carved a path through the Niagara Escarpment en route to the Atlantic Ocean. While not exceptionally high, the Niagara Falls are very wide. More than six million cubic feet (168,000 m³) of water falls over the crest line every minute in high flow,[1] and almost 4 million cubic feet (110,000 m³) on average. It is the most powerful waterfall in North America.[2]

The Niagara Falls are renowned both for their beauty and as a valuable source of hydroelectric power. Managing the balance between recreational, commercial, and industrial uses has been a challenge for the stewards of the falls since the 1800s.
Article Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niagara_Falls

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Excellent Places to Hike Around Las Vegas

Travel to Las Vegas and you'll likely hear plenty about nearby attractions like the Grand Canyon, the Hoover Dam, and Lake Mead. There are even places right on the Strip where you can take part in guided tours of these places. These highly publicized attractions are well worth it and have many interesting sights and are great ways to escape the lights of Vegas. But in addition to these high traffic tourist spots, there are a couple of not so highly publicized areas that are well worth your time, and cost no more than a rental car and a camera.

Red Rock Canyon is located about 15 miles west of the Strip. It is just outside of the city - you can take Charleston Boulevard all the way there. Charleston crosses the strip just north of the Stratosphere. Hop on Charleston and go west. Once you pass Red Rock Casino and Highway 215, you're almost there.

When you first get to Red Rock, there is a visitor's center where you can get out and check out some of the history of the canyon. You can learn about the Native American's who first lived in the area as well as the animals and plants that populate the canyon.

The canyon itself is made up of red sandstone which is very striking in color when the sun bounces off the canyon walls. There are numerous hiking trails that you can stop and hike. They range from easy to difficult. The canyon is also popular to rock climbers, who can often be seen scaling the cliffs and rocks of the area.

From the visitors center you can take the scenic loop, which is a 13 mile loop that winds its way through the canyon with numerous places to stop to either hike or take pictures. One of the stops along the loop is the Ice Box Canyon trail which is a two mile moderately difficult hike that includes some rock scrambling. This trail works it's way back into a canyon which is known for the cooler winds that blow through the rocks. While hiking be sure to look up the canyon walls as you can often see the climbers scrambling up their lines.

Along with the desert vegetation you're likely to see different animals in the conservation area. Bighorn sheep and deer accompany the wild burros that roam the land. The burros are rather tame and will often come up to car windows looking for food - though it is recommended not to feed them as this increases their independence on the tourists of the area. A picture of a burro sticking his head in your car window is often a great picture to share with friends back home.

The great thing about Red Rock is that you can see the sights without ever leaving the air conditioning of your car - or if you're feeling a little adventurous you can venture out on one of the trails and make your way a little off the beaten path. Even though you are just outside the sprawling city of Las Vegas, a trip to Red Rock is a great escape from the hustle and bustle of the city - a great way to take a vacation inside your vacation.

By: Patrick Treadway

Arkansas' Natural Treasure: Maumelle Park in Amerika

Arkansas is not called, "The Natural State", for any old reason. The state of Arkansas is home to a fabulous wealth of mountainous landscapes, valleys, plains and woodlands. Positioned not far from the state capital of Little Rock is the Pinnacle Mountain Valley, a 2000 acre site situated around the foothills of the Ouachita Mountains. Within the beautiful Pinnacle Mountain Valley is the Maumelle State Park, one of Arkansas' natural treasures and also one of the top locations for visitors to the Little Rock area, especially for all nature-lovers.

At Maumelle Park, visitors will find a diversity of wildlife in a variety of habitats. The area may be of particular interest to bird watchers, as it attracts an exciting assortment of birds and wildlife. Hikers are also well catered for, with various hiking trails traversing the region, so visitors who enjoy nature walks will find Maumelle Park and the surrounding Pinnacle Mountain Valley a delight; these trails include the Arkansas Trail through the Arkansas Arboretum (a 71-acre site dedicated to representing Arkansas' six main natural divisions); the Kingfisher Trail next to the Little Maumelle River; and the 223-mile Ouachita National Recreation Trail.

With so many hiking trails to enjoy, visits to Maumelle Park can often exceed the remits of a day trip. But with over 129 campsites to choose from, all of which are equipped with water and electricity, visitors to Maumelle Park will find camping a comfortable experience. Maumelle's Parks campsites are also open to visitors to the neighbouring Pinnacle Mountain State Park, which has no camping areas of its own. Its optimal site is situated just next to the Arkansas River which means that campers can enjoy beautiful vistas, as well as tables and grills nearby, bathhouses with hot water, a playground and a boat ramp for anyone wanting to sail or paddle through the park rather than hike.

However much you enjoy the beauty of Maumelle Park, camping may not always seem to be the most enjoyable mode of accommodation for a vacation, especially when with family members. Thankfully however, Maumelle Park is only a convenient fifteen minute drive away from the city of Little Rock where you can choose from a number of comfortable hotels. Maumelle Park's proximity to Little Rock means that visitors, if they choose to stay in the city, can enjoy the comforts of urban accommodation whilst revelling in the delights of the park's natural scenery and clean mountain air. Many of the hotels in Little Rock often offer package deals for larger parties, so that groups or families travelling together can often find some great deals to enjoy during their holiday to Maumelle Park.

By: Michael Hanna
Michael is a keen writer living in Edinburgh. Michael's Website: Belfast Airport Taxis.

Nicaragua Travel Destination

Wedge-shaped Nicaragua may be the largest country in Central America, but it is also one of the least visited. Even after more than a decade of peace, Nicaragua is synonymous in the minds of many with civil war; this reputation, when coupled with the dilapidated infrastructure of a country that has fought its way not only through a bloody conflict but also an American economic blockade, scares many off. Still, many travelers who spend any time there find - much to their surprise - that Nicaragua is their favorite country in the isthmus. Perhaps because it doesn't yet fully cater for the tourist experience, Nicaragua is an incorrigibly vibrant and individualistic country, with plenty to offer travelers prepared to brave Nicaragua's superficial obstacles of economic chaos, cracked pavements and crammed public transport.

Monday, March 16, 2009

History of Colosseum in Roma, Italy

Construction of the Colosseum began under the rule of the Emperor Vespasian[1] in around 70–72AD. The site chosen was a flat area on the floor of a low valley between the Caelian, Esquiline and Palatine Hills, through which a canalised stream ran. By the 2nd century BC the area was densely inhabited. It was devastated by the Great Fire of Rome in AD 64, following which Nero seized much of the area to add to his personal domain. He built the grandiose Domus Aurea on the site, in front of which he created an artificial lake surrounded by pavilions, gardens and porticoes. The existing Aqua Claudia aqueduct was extended to supply water to the area and the gigantic bronze Colossus of Nero was set up nearby at the entrance to the Domus Aurea.
Although the Colossus was preserved, much of the Domus Aurea was torn down. The lake was filled in and the land reused as the location for the new Flavian Amphitheatre. Gladiatorial schools and other support buildings were constructed nearby within the former grounds of the Domus Aurea. According to a reconstructed inscription found on the site, "the emperor Vespasian ordered this new amphitheatre to be erected from his general's share of the booty." This is thought to refer to the vast quantity of treasure seized by the Romans following their victory in the Great Jewish Revolt in 70AD. The Colosseum can be thus interpreted as a great triumphal monument built in the Roman tradition of celebrating great victories.[11] Vespasian's decision to build the Colosseum on the site of Nero's lake can also be seen as a populist gesture of returning to the people an area of the city which Nero had appropriated for his own use. In contrast to many other amphitheatres, which were located on the outskirts of a city, the Colosseum was constructed in the city centre; in effect, placing it both literally and symbolically at the heart of Rome.
The Colosseum had been completed up to the third story by the time of Vespasian's death in 79. The top level was finished and the building inaugurated by his son, Titus, in 80.[1] Dio Cassius recounts that over 9,000 wild animals were killed during the inaugural games of the amphitheatre. The building was remodelled further under Vespasian's younger son, the newly-designated Emperor Domitian, who constructed the hypogeum, a series of underground tunnels used to house animals and slaves. He also added a gallery to the top of the Colosseum to increase its seating capacity.
In 217, the Colosseum was badly damaged by a major fire (caused by lightning, according to Dio Cassius[12]) which destroyed the wooden upper levels of the amphitheatre's interior. It was not fully repaired until about 240 and underwent further repairs in 250 or 252 and again in 320. An inscription records the restoration of various parts of the Colosseum under Theodosius II and Valentinian III (reigned 425–450), possibly to repair damage caused by a major earthquake in 443; more work followed in 484 and 508. The arena continued to be used for contests well into the 6th century, with gladiatorial fights last mentioned around 435. Animal hunts continued until at least 523.

Colosseum in Roma, Another Pictures

Look the exotic Colosseum Pictures

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Best Travel Destinations of history Rhodes in Greece

ACROPOLIS OF LINDOS Lindos is its rock
This rock, which rises to 116 m. forms the finishing touch to the landscape of Lindos, standing dry and imposing in its bareness and surrounded on all sides by the sea, so that Lindos ,may rejoice in the ocean, in the words of a hellenistic epigram. Lindos does not seem to have been particularly important in the earlier periods, though sporadic finds of the Neolithic period and the Bronze Age have been discovered on the acropolis. According to legend, the foundation of the sanctuary of Athena Lindia goes back to the Mycenaean period, and Mycenaean finds have been yielded by cemeteries in the broader area of Lindos. The Archaic period (7th-6th c BC) was a golden age for Lindos, which played a leading role in the Greek colonisation movement, its most important foundation being Gela in Sicily. The 6th c BC was dominated by the figure of a moderate tyrant, Kleoboulos who ruled Lindos for many years, and was Included amongst the �seven sages� of the ancient world.
During his rule, the Archaic temple of Athena was built on the site of an earlier structure, and the acropolis received its first monumental form. The Persian advance and later the merger of the three old cities into the new city of Rodos (408 BC) led to a diminution in the importance of Lindos as a political and economic power.
It nevertheless continue to be an important centre, focused on the famous sanctuary of Athena, which received its final monumental form in the Hellenistic period and became the leading sanctuary on the island. The acropolis was used as a fortress in antiquity, as well as In Byzantine times, in the period of the Knights of St. John, and in that of Ottoman rule.
Today, the ascent to the acropolis is still by the same steep road as in antiquity. After the first outer entrance to the medieval fortress, and before beginning to climb the large stairway that leads up to the Administrative Building of the Knights, we encounter two important monuments on our left a semicircular Hellenistic exedra, and, next to it, a depiction of the prow of an ancient ship carved in relief in the rock, which formed the base of a statue of Agesandros son of Milkion, the work of the sculptor Pythokritos in the early 2nd c. BC The fortification of Lindos by the Knights goes back to the 14th-15th c AD.
Passing through the ground - floor of the Knights Administrative Build Building, we emerge into a large square, which occupies the lowest level of the acropolis and was full of votive offerings in ancient times. A row of vaulted structures, built in the l st c. BC, stood on either side of a stairway leading up to the level of the large Hellenistic stoa, built ca. 200 BC. The large stairway behind the stoa leads up to the highest level where are to be found the Propylaia and the temple of Athena, which formed the main sacred precinct.The temple was completely isolated from the outside world by a wall with five entrances. In front of and behind it were stoas with rooms. The inner stoa flanked a courtyard in front of the temple, in which there was probably an altar. The temple, which measures about 22x8 m is a Doric, amphiprostyle tetrastyle structure. It was constructed in the 4th c. BC or in the early Hellenistic period on the site of Kleoboulos� temple, which had burned down in 392 BC. It stands at the highest point of the rock and was the culmination of the stepped vista offered by the stoa and the Propylaia to anyone ascending to the acropolis.

From the highest point of the acropolis can be seen the lower city, in which the most important monuments still visible are the theatre, the Tetrastoon and the Archokrateion at Kambana, a monumental tomb of an important Lindian family. The Byzantine church of the Panayia is also in the lower city. it was built It In the 15th c. and decorated with wall-paint paintings in the 17th and 18th c. The traditional settlement of Lindos is in a very good state of preservation. A large number of archontika (mansions) survive, the most Important of them from the 17th c., indicating that Lindos was a flourishing naval power in the early period of Turkish rule, as indeed throughout its entire history.
The Lindos Castle is found on the top of a 116m rock and serves as an entrance point to the Acropolis and the temple of Athena and once was used as the administrative building of the Knights. Today, the ascent to the acropolis Is still by the same steep road as in antiquity. After the first outer entrance to the medieval fortress, and before beginning to climb the large stairway that leads up to the Administrative Building of the Knights, we encounter two important monuments on our left a semicircular Hellenistic exedra, and, next to it, a depiction of the prow of an ancient ship carved in relief in the rock, which formed the base of a statue of Agesandros son of Milkion, the work of the sculptor Pythokritos in the early 2nd c. BC

The fortification of Lindos by the Knights goes back to the 14th-15th c AD. Passing through the ground - floor of the Knights Administrative Build Building, we emerge into a large square, which occupies the lowest level of the acropolis and was full of votive offerings in ancient times.