Mga Pahina

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Martes, Agosto 16, 2011

Milford Sound

Milford Sound History

Milford Sound and Fiordland were well known to the Maori. Many Maori legends relate to its formation, including the demi-god Tuterakiwhanoa, who is said to have carved the rugged landscape from formless rock.
The Maori named Milford Sound 'Piopiotahi' after a thrush-like bird, the piopio. Piopiotahi literally means a single piopio, which harks back to the legend of Maui trying to win immortality for mankind. When Maui died in the attempt, a piopio was said to have flown to Milford Sound in mourning.
The name Milford Sound was first given to the sound by Captain James Cook. He and his crew were the first Europeans to visit the area. He named it after Milford Haven in Wales. Following Cook's mapping of the sound, sealers and whalers formed the first European settlements there.

Historic Highlights of Milford Sound Area

  • Donald Sutherland and John Mackay find Mackay and Sutherland Falls in 1880.
  • Discovery of the McKinnon Pass in 1888, which later becomes part of the Milford Track.
  • William H. Homer and George Barber discover the Homer Saddle in 1889. Homer suggests that a tunnel through the saddle could provide access to Milford.
  • Homer Tunnel provides road access to Milford Sound in 1954 (almost 20 years since engineering work on the tunnel began).
  • The Milford Track is dubbed 'The finest walk in the world' by poet Blanche Baughan, in The London Spectator in 1908.

Lunes, Agosto 15, 2011

table mountain

Table Mountain is timeless - in terms of the multifaceted human history of Cape Town and South Africa - and in all human memory.

The familiar form of our unique flat topped mountain has always been there. In fact long before the early days when the original inhabitants of the Cape the indigenous Khoi San roamed the coastal plains.

Table Mountain sheltered the original Cape explorers in the 16th century, the first European settlers and the many following generations of slaves, immigrants and travellers who helped to build and develop our special city.

The extraordinary appeal of Cape Town's famous natural attraction is known and appreciated in South Africa and around the world. It is a regular feature on postcards and has been captured in its varied moods, in numerous pictures and films.

Table Mountain in fact stands at the head of a chain of mountains extending South along the backbone of the Cape Peninsula towards Cape Point. It is the direction from where the well known Cape south easterly wind originates, faraway over the Atlantic Ocean, and it is the region now known as the Table Mountain National Park

The Table Mountain range originated some 500 million years ago when Africa was part of the original Gondwanaland continent. The Earth was in a turmoil of earth quakes and volcanic activity. The gigantic tectonic plates within the mantle, many kilometres below the surface of the seas, shifted and molten lava was forced upwards through seabed shale to cool and form granite.

The quartzite/sandstone mountains we know today developed from sediment deposited by rivers, which covered the subsiding granite over millions of years. Rocky remnants of those ancient times can still be seen in the form of huge granite boulders which dot our coastline and flank many Cape beaches.

Today, Table Mountain is a magnet for photographers, tourists and hikers, and a visit to Cape Town is not complete without a cable car ride or hike to the summit. The upper cable station is at 1067 metres and the highest point Maclears Beacon stands at 1085 metres.

Linggo, Agosto 14, 2011


Mount Kilimanjaro History

Mount Kilimanjaro lies on the border of Tanzania and Kenya, just south of the Equator. To the west lies the Great African Rift Valley, created by tremendous tectonic forces which also gave birth to a string of other volcanoes. One of these, Mount Kenya, was originally much higher than Kilimanjaro.
The three summits of Mount Kilimanjaro, Shira, Kibo and Mawenzi are all of very recent origin. Shira and Mawenzi both have suffered considerable erosion and only jagged peaks remain. Kibo, the central, youngest and highest peak has survived as an almost perfect cone.
Although East Africa and nearby Olduvai Gorge is thought to be the cradle of mankind it is unlikely that early man would have been attracted to the steep and cold slopes of Kilimanjaro at a time when it was probably very active and dangerous. A Wachagga legend talks of Mawenzi receiving fire for its pipe from his younger brother Kibo. The Wachagga who live on the fertile volcanic soils around the base of the mountain probably only came to the area about 300 years ago thus this legend suggests very recent activity. Another of their legends talks of demons and evil spirits living on the mountain and guarding immense treasures. Stories are told of a king who decided to go to the top, few of his party survived and those who did had damaged arms and legs.
Arab and Chinese traders and historians make mention of a giant mountain lying inland from Mombasa or Zanzibar but few early traders ventured into the interior of the continent. Slave traders passed below it and sometimes raided the villages of the Wachagga but it was not till the middle of the 19th century that a more serious interest was taken in the mountain and attempts were made to scale it.
In 1848 Johann Rebmann a missionary from Gerlingen in Germany while crossing the plains of Tsavo saw Mount Kilimanjaro. His guide talked of baridi - cold, and of tales how a group of porters were sent up the mountain to bring back the silver or other treasures from the summit.They came back only with water. Rebmann's report stimulated great interest in Germany and in the following years several expeditions were organised; first by Baron von Decken then later by Dr. Hans Meyer who finally stood on the highest point on the 5th of October 1889.

Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, now attracts many thousands of walkers each year. On the 1st of January 2000 over 1000 people reached the summit to see the sun rise over a new Millennium.

Biyernes, Agosto 12, 2011


Yushan National Park is located in the Central Mountain Range of Taiwan. With the Yushan Main Peak being the center of the entire park, the park covers an area with a vast expanse. It crosses over the four couties of Nantou, Chiayi, Kaohsiung and Hualien, covering a vast expanse of area of over 105,000 hectares. It is a typical subtropical mountainous nation park.
Within the park, there are spectacular sights of peaks. Being 30 out of the Taiwan Hundred Mountains, they includeYushan Peaks and Siouguluan Mountain, Mabolashi Mountain, Dafenjian Mountain, Sinkang Mountain and Guan Mountain. Some are magnificently elegant with extensive vehemence. Others are bizarre and marvelous peaks, each with their own style. Naturally formed, such landscapes are extremely beautiful. Meannwhile, the park also covers the origin of the hydro system for the central, southern and eastern areas of Taiwan Province, making it a close relationship with the livelihood of the public at the public at the lower reaches of the river.
The ground area of Yushan ranges from the elevation of 300m to 3,952m. It possesses the entire eco-system that bears the breeds luxuriant, different kinds of forest vegetation. From the lowly elevated ground, vegetation that could be seen in the order of ascending elevation are: broad leaf forest, conifer broad mixed forest, spruce fir forest, humlock fir forest, the colossal alpine fir forest, the short entangled shrub and alpine naturally grown vegetation form by the Yushan single seed juniper and Yushan Azalea/rhododendron. On the main ridge of the Central Mountain Range there are numerous spreads of dwarf bamboo plains.
There are about 50 species of mammals in the park. Among therm, Formosan serow, Formosan sambar, Formosan black bear, Formosan wild boar/Sus scrofa taivanus, Formosan Reeve’s muntjac and Fomosan rock-mondy are the most precious large-sized animals within the park. Moreover within the park there is a complex bird kind of different species of about 151 species. This embraces almost all of the resident birds throughout the forests of Taiwan. Among them, the Mikado pheasant, Swinhoe’s pheasant, Formosan barwing, Steere’s Liocichla and Taiwan Yuhina are species endemic to Taiwan, Besides, according to surveying records, the park has approximately 228 species of butterfly, which takes up half of all the butterfly species in Taiwan. Reptilians consist of 18 species. Species endemic to Taiwan such as the Alishan turtle-designed snake, Sauter’s ground snake and Tree lizard are of larger quantities. There are 13 species of amphibians, among which the Formosan Salamander and Sonani’s s Salamander are remnants fauna of the Ice Age that possess an unusually high value of academic research. In the mountain streams are Varicorhinus alticorpus (Taiwan ku fish) and Hemimyzon taitungenisis, two species of the freshwater fish endemic to Taiwan.
In terms of cultural and historical traces, there are the Ching Dynasty Batongguan Historic Trail, the Japnanese Occupation Era Batongguan Traversing Road and the Guanshan Traversing Road near the southern Cross-Island Provincial Highway, all of which are important historical traces. The entire park had once been the region where the Bunun aboriginal tribe lived that left behind many traces of old community sites and heart-touching evetnts of the rebellion against the Japanese government.
These abundant resources of precious nature, people and culture within the park are all of the nation’s appreciation. Most importantly, this is an environment that provides people a site for direct contact with the nature, a place for spiritual leisure and revival of vitality. It is also the most excellent paradisiacal land, pure and clean to be inherited by later generations in future.

Miyerkules, Agosto 10, 2011

Mount Vesuvius

Today two million people live in the immediate vicinity of Mount Vesuvius. This mountain has erupted more than 50 times since the eruption in 79 A.D., when it buried Pompeii and its sister city, Herculaneum. After Pompeii was buried and lost to history, the volcano continued to erupt every 100 years until about 1037 A.D., when it entered a 600-year period of quiescence. In 1631, the volcano killed an additional 4000 unsuspecting inhabitants. It was during the restoration after this eruption that workers discovered the ruins of Pompeii, buried and forgotten for nearly 1600 years. It would take another 300 years for the excavations to reveal the story of Pompeii and Herculaneum. For excellent coverage of Pompeii, Vesuvius, and the continuing narrative of tragic human involvement with nature, readers may want to locate a copy of Planet Earth: Volcano by Time-Life Books.

Image of Mount Vesuvius as seen from the recently excavated ruins of Pompeii. This image links to a more detailed image.The picture to the left shows Mount Vesuvius as seen from the recently excavated ruins of Pompeii. Vesuvius is about 5 miles away. Try to imagine huge, billowing, gray-black clouds like those at Mount St. Helens rushing toward you at a hundred miles an hour. That is probably what the ancient Romans (whose body casts are shown below) saw just before they were entombed by hot ash.

Image of a satellite radar image taken of Mount Vesuvius and its surroundings. This image links to a more detailed image.The picture to the right is a satellite radar image of Mount Vesuvius and its surroundings. Vesuvius is the purplish cone near the center of the image with a prominent summit crater and radiating greenish lava flows. This is not a true color image. Vesuvius stands in the middle of a much larger and older eroded cone called Mount Somma, about half of which is still visible around the east side of Vesuvius. The rectangular docks of the port of Naples are visible against the dark water to the upper left of Vesuvius. The purplish areas with radiating lines above and below Vesuvius are other modern cities. The locations of Pompeii and Herculaneum may be approximated using the map shown below. This cropped image was taken by the SAR-C/X instrument aboard the Shuttle in 1994. The rest of this image and others taken by the SAR may be viewed by clicking here.

Pliny the Younger The following excerpts are from an account written by Pliny the Younger to the Roman historian Tactitus shortly after the 79 A.D. Mount Vesuvius eruption. While it is common for us to think of this date as ancient, students may learn a great deal about volcanoes from this first-person account. In terms of the age of a volcano, Pliny the Younger's writings are really very recent. He wrote to record the events surrounding the death of his uncle, Pliny the Elder.

Image of a map showing Mount Vesuvius and where it is located in Italy.

On August 24 of 79 A.D., the area around Mount Vesuvius shook with a huge earthquake. The mountain's top split open and a monstrous cloud raced upward. The inhabitants of Pompeii were showered with ash, stones, and pumice. A river of mud was beginning to bury the city of Herculaneum. The uncle of Pliny the Younger, known as Pliny the Elder, was a commander of a fleet of war ships at Misenum (see map). He decided to use his ships to rescue people close to the volcano. The nephew describes the huge cloud towering over the area (Radice, 1969):

    . . . its general appearance can best be expressed as being like a pine rather than any other tree, for it rose to a great height on a sort of trunk and then split off into branches, I imagine because it was thrust upwards by the first blast and then left unsupported as the pressure subsided, or else it was borne down by its own weight so that it spread out and gradually dispersed. Sometimes it looked white, sometimes blotched and dirty, according to the amount of soil and ashes it carried with it.

Pliny the Elder's ship approached the shore near Pompeii.

    Ashes were already falling, hotter and thicker as the ships drew near, followed by bits of pumice and blackened stones, charred and cracked by the flames . . . Meanwhile on Mount Vesuvius broad sheets of fire and leaping flames blazed at several points, their bright glare emphasized by the darkness of night.

But they could not land because the shore was blocked by volcanic debris, so they sailed south and landed at Stabiae. Hoping to quiet the frightened people, the uncle asked to be carried to the bath house. Afterward he lay down and ate. Next, hoping to quiet the inhabitants, he went to bed. The volcano did not do likewise, however.

    By this time the courtyard giving access to his room was full of ashes mixed with pumice-stones, so that its level had risen, and if he had stayed in the room any longer he would never had got out. . . . They debated whether to stay indoors or take their chance in the open, for the buildings were now shaking with violent shocks, and seemed to be swaying to and fro as if they were torn from their foundations. Outside on the other hand, there was the danger of falling pumice-stones, even though these were light and porous. . . . As a protection against falling objects they put pillows on their heads tied down with cloths. (pp. 431, 433)

Finally, the uncle decided to leave. The level of ash and pumice-stone had risen to the point that a hasty departure seemed the best option.

    . . . the flames and smell of sulphur which gave warning of the approaching fire drove the others to take flight and roused him to stand up . . . then [he] suddenly collapsed, I imagine because the dense fumes choked his breathing by blocking his windpipe which was constitutionally weak and narrow and often inflamed . . . his body was found intact and uninjured, still fully clothed and looking more like sleep than death.

Later, Pliny the Younger and his mother leave Misenam to escape from the approaching volcanic conflagration. They travel across country to avoid being trampled by the crowds of people on the road.

    We also saw the sea sucked away and apparently forced back by the earthquake: at any rate it receded from the shore so that quantities of sea creatures were left stranded on dry sand. On the landward side a fearful black cloud was rent by forked and quivering bursts of flame, and parted to reveal great tongues of fire, like flashes of lightning magnified in size. . . . We had scarcely sat down to rest when darkness fell, not the dark of a moonless or cloudy night, but as if the lamp had been put out in a closed room. You could hear the shrieks of women, the wailing of infants, and the shouting of men; some were calling their parents, others their children or their wives, trying to recognize them by their voices. People bewailed their own fate or that of their relatives, and there were some who prayed for death in their terror of dying.

Martes, Agosto 9, 2011

Jeju Island

Jeju-do which stands for the Jeju Province as per the South Korean dialect, are even referred to as the Jeju Special Self-Governing Province. Jeju is the sole self-governing province of South Korea, positioned solely within the area’s largest island. Jeju is cozily settled along the South Korea Strait lying towards the southwestern area of Jeollanam-do Province. Later on it got separated and was established as an individual identity in the year 1946.
As stated in the historical legend of Samseonghyeol, Jeju was desolate till three devout men appeared from the earth at Moheunghyeol, which is presently located close to the northern base of Hallasan. Jeju was previously an independent country and was referred to as Tamna. But later on by the place became a colonial province of the Goryeo district during in Ad. 662. But quite later Tamna lost its independence and King Uijong of Goryeo renamed the place from Tamna to Jeju. It was by 1271, Jeju was a pedestal to Sambyeolcho revolt against the Mongols. In the war, Mongols gained its victory in the year 1273 and in process took Jeju within its direct control and soon and it happened to be a part of the Goryeo territory in 1367.
As the history of Jeju claims, it was occupied by Japan in 1910 besides taking over the entire South Korea. It was in World War II, Japanese got defeated and Jeju was taken as an administrative division of the new Republic of South Korea. Jeju stands as an individual province, which became a unique part of the South Jeolla till1946. The year of 1948–1954, witnessed the period of Jeju massacre when about thousands of people were slaughtered. The cause of the massacre still remains uncertain. Though a whole lot of prejudice took place on the natives of Jeju due to its position and seclusion. It was by 1st of July 2006, Jeju was declared as the special self-governing province of South Korea.

Lunes, Agosto 8, 2011

Masurian Lake District

The lake region of Masuria in Poland with over 2.000 lakes as well as large forests and historic towns. It is a paradise for sailing, windsurfing and outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, kayaking, bicycling and horseback riding during the warm summer months, and also offers a range of winter activities. Many of the lakes in Masuria are connected with each other by rivers and canals, so it is possible to sail or kayak hundreds of kilometers in the region.
Masurian Lake District (Mazury in Polish) is located in northeastern Poland close to the border with Lithuania. The sparsely inhabited region has a great number of lakes, including the biggest ones in Poland. The area is the most famous lake district in Central Europe and has become a popular vacation destination for Polish people, who visit Masuria in summer. Especially the central Great Masurian Lakes region around the towns of Gizycko and Mikolajki attracts a lot of visitors.
Masuria is famous for its thousands of lakes and nearby forests, offering a wide range of outdoor activities, including sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, kite surfing, swimming, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, biking, hunting and wildlife watching. The region includes the largest lake in Poland, Sniardwy (or Spirdingsee in German), as well as small lake resort towns of Gizycko, Mikolajki, Elk, Wegorzewo, Ryn, Pisz, and Ilawa.
Nature attractions. In addition to lakes, Masurian region also has many rivers good for fishing and forest areas that offer many trails for trekking and biking in Masuria. There is also a nice variety of wildlife, edible berries and mushrooms, and large protected areas, including the Masurian Landscape Park that includes 11 nature reserves such as the Luknajo Lake that is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, or the Borecka Pushcha forest with a breeding station for European Bisons. The wide variety of lakes connected with rivers and canals offers great possibilities for kayaking in Masuria.