четверг, 23 декабря 2010 г.

Japan.Part 1.

Panorama:
matsumoto   
Photo:
kanpai.fr   
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вторник, 21 декабря 2010 г.

Antarctica.

 
           
Antarctica is a land of extremes: it is the coldest and driest continent on Earth and has the highest average elevation. As the fifth largest continent in the world, Antartica is also the most Southern, overlying the "South Pole". Scarcely touched by humans, the frozen land boasts breathtaking scenery, broken by only handful of scientific bases and a "permanent" population of scientists numbering only a few thousand. Visitors to Antarctica generally must brave rough sea crossings aboard ice-strengthened vessels, but those who do are rewarded with amazing scenery and tremendous and unique wildlife.

Although several countries have laid claim to various portions of Antarctica, it is governed by the 1958 Antarctic Treaty, which establishes the continent as a peaceful and cooperative international research zone. There are no cities per se, just some two dozen research stations with a total population ranging from 1000-4000 depending on the time of year. These are maintained for scientific purposes only, and do not provide any official support for tourism. The laws of the nation operating each research station apply there.
Private travel to Antarctica generally takes one of three forms: 1) commercial sea voyages with shore visits (by far the most popular), 2) specially mounted land expeditions, or 3) sightseeing by air. Approximately 80 companies belong to the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators [1], a membership organization which regulates non-research travel to the region. In the 2005-2006 summer season, an estimated 26,250 people visited Antarctica or the surrounding waters.

понедельник, 20 декабря 2010 г.

Meteora.

 
           
The word Meteora means literally 'hovering in the air' and of course brings to mind the word meteor. What created this rare geological phenomenon is one of the mysteries of nature and there are many theories though they remain theories and none have been proven. But as amazing a marvel of nature as these giant rocks are the buildings on the top of these are a marvel of man and seem just as miraculous and make Meteora one of the most spectacular places to visit in Greece.

The area of Meteora was originally settled by monks who lived in caves within the rocks during the 11th Century. But as the times became more unsure during an age of Turkish occupation, brigandry and lawlessness, they climbed higher and higher up the rock face until they were living on the inaccessable peaks where they were able to build by bringing material and people up with ladders and baskets and build the first monasteries. This was also how the monasteries were reached until the nineteen twenties and now there are roads, pathways and steps to the top. There are still examples of these baskets which are used for bringing up provisions. Back in the days when these baskets were the only way to get to the monasteries a nervous pilgrim asked his monk host if they ever replace the rope. "Of course we do" he replied."Whenever it breaks", which I am sure put the guy at ease. But now you don't have to worry about ropes breaking since the monasteries are all connected by a series of pathworks that if you begin early enough you can see them all in one day. They are also connected by roads so if you are coming by car and don't have all day to wander around you can also get close enough and then continue on foot.
During the Turkish occupation it was the monasteries which kept alive the Hellenic culture and traditions and were not only relgious centers but academic and artistic as well. It is believed that were it not for the monasteries, Hellenic culture would have disappeared and modern Greece would be a reflection of the Ottoman empire with little knowledge of its roots and history. The monasteries attracted not only the deeply religious, but the philosophers, poets, painters and the deep thinkers of Greece. Today only six of the monasteries are active.

суббота, 18 декабря 2010 г.

Salzburg

 
           
Salzburg [1] is a city in central Austria, near the German (Bavarian) border with a population of some 148,000 in 2005. If you have seen the movie The Sound of Music [2], you may think you know all there is to see in Salzburg. Admittedly, it is difficult not to burst into songs when you're walking along the Salzach River, or climbing up to the Hohensalzburg fortress which looms over the city. But there is a lot more to this compact, courtly city than Julie Andrews and as Mozart's birthplace.

Salzburg is the fourth-largest city in Austria (after Vienna, Graz and Linz) and the capital of the federal state of Salzburg. Its "Old Town", with its world famous baroque architecture, is one of the best-preserved city centers in the German-speaking world and was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.

The name Salzburg literally means "Salt Castle", and derives its name from the barges carrying salt on the Salzach river, which were subject to a toll in the 8th century.
[edit]Early history and medieval period
Traces of human settlements dating to the Neolithic Age and later a Celt camp have been found in the area. Starting from 15 BC, the small communities were grouped into a single town which was named by the Romans as Juvavum. Little remains of the city from this period.
The Festung Hohensalzburg, the city's fortress, was built in 1077 and expanded in the following centuries. Independence from Bavaria was secured in the late 14th century.

Salzburg has been the capital of an independent state from the early 14th century until 1805. It was ruled by duke-archbishops, who became rich by the salt mines located in the south of the city. This led to the architectural gem you see today, as not only materials, but also architects were imported from Italy and other European countries. This is also the reason why, compared to other Austrian cities, sacral monuments overtop the few secular buildings in every respect.

четверг, 9 декабря 2010 г.

The Dead Sea

       
Introduction
The Dead Sea ( Hebrew transliteration:Yam HaMelach; Arabic transliteration: al-Bahir al-Mayyit), borders Israel, the West Bank and Jordan. It is the lowest point in the world at 394.6 m (1269 ft) below sea level. Currently, 25 km of Dead Sea coastline lie within Palestinian Authority territory, including Qumran and Ein Feshka.
Story
The water in the Dead Sea is extremely salty, and has been estimated to be the second saltiest major body of water in the world. Its name is derived from the fact that the water is far too salinated for marine inhabitation.

The Dead Sea is naturally endorheic (no outlet streams) with the Jordan River being its only major source. The northern part of the Dead Sea receives scarcely 100 mm (4 inches) of rain a year; the southern section receives barely 50 mm (2 inches). Due to the man-made reduction of the Jordan River (the river waters are 70-90 % used for human purposes) and the high evaporation rate of the Dead Sea, the sea is shrinking. All the shallow waters of the southern end of the sea have been drained and are now salt flats.

Although the Dead Sea would never entirely disappear (because evaporation slows down as surface area decreases and saltiness increases), measures are currently being proposed to siphon water from the Red Sea through a series of tunnels or canals in order to replentish the rapidly shrinking waters and provide water and electrical solutions to the surrounding countries.
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Venice Carnival 2010