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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Anacapa Arch, Channel Islands National Park, California

Anacapa Island
is a small volcanic island located about 11 miles (18 km) off the coast of Port Hueneme, California, in Ventura County.

Anacapa Island has a rich human history as well. Shell midden sites indicate where Chumash people camped on the islands thousands of years ago. In addition, visitors can view the 1932 light station whose mission revival style buildings include the lighthouse, fog signal building, one of four original keeper's quarters, a water tank building, and several other service buildings. The original lead-crystal Fresnel lens, which served as a beacon to ships until an automated light replaced it in 1990, is on exhibit in the East Anacapa Visitor Center. 

The Island is composed of a series of narrow islets 6 mi (10 km) miles long, running in a mostly east-west orientation, 5 mi (8 km) east of Santa Cruz Island. The island is composed of three islets: East, Middle and West Anacapa, collectively known as the “Anacapas” by some authors. The islets have precipitous cliffs, dropping off steeply into the sea. East and Middle Anacapa have fairly level areas at their tops, but West Anacapa is wider and reaches an altitude of 930 ft (283 m). Middle Island reaches an altitude of 325 ft (99 m) and East Island is 250 ft (76 m) at its highest point. All three islands total 699 acres (283 ha), or about 1.1 square miles (2.8 km2).

Anacapa is part of the Channel Islands archipelago (island chain), and is part of the Channel Islands National Park. It is the smallest of the northern islands. The islands are defined by the United States Census Bureau as Block Group 8, Census Tract 36.04 of Ventura County, California. The official 2000 census population was 3 permanent residents (Ranger Station in the eastern part of East Island), and the total land area was 2.947 km2 (1.138 sq mi).[1] The highest peak is Summit Peak 2 on West Island, 930 ft (283 m).

East Island's most notable natural feature is Arch Rock, a 40-foot (12 m)-high natural bridge.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque (Arabic: جامع الشيخ زايد الكبير‎) is located in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates,Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque was initiated by the late president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who wanted to establish a structure which unites the cultural diversity of Islamic world, the historical and modern values of architecture and art. His final resting place is located on the grounds beside the same mosque. The mosque was constructed from 1996 to 2007. It is the largest mosque in the United Arab Emirates and the eighth largest mosque in the world. The mosque site is equivalent to the size five football[clarification needed] fields approximately.and is considered to be the key for worship in the country.

As the country's grand mosque, it is the key place of worship for Friday gathering and Eid prayers. During Eid it can be visited by more than 40,000 people.

Island of Spice

Grenada is a rolling, mountainous island, covered with fragrant spice trees and rare tropical flowers. Bordered by stunning beaches, and dotted with picturesque towns, this verdant island has long been a major source of nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, and cocoa. The seductive   drifts through the colourful Saturday markets and Grenada's dense forests. In the interior of this volcanic island are cascading rivers and waterfalls, lush rainforests, and one of the most breathtakingly beautiful mountain lakes imaginable. The capital, St. George's, is widely held to be the loveliest city in the Caribbean. Its horseshoe-shaped harbour is surrounded by a pastel rainbow of dockside warehouses and the red-tiled roofs of traditional shops and homes.

Grenada's physical beauty is complemented by its rich history and vibrant, living cultural heritage. Local festivals, fairs, and markets remain an integral part of life on Grenada. Its centuries-old spice plantations and rum distilleries still use traditional methods, emphasizing quality rather than quantity. Although the tourist industry has become more substantial in recent years, the island's easy rhythms and the friendly openness of its residents evoke an atmosphere that has long since vanished elsewhere.

For many visitors, of course, the measure of any island is taken by its beaches and coral reefs, and Grenada offers plenty of both. The island is ringed with miles of picture-perfect strands, including both entrancing black and sugar-fine white sand beaches. Grand Anse Beach, a smooth expanse stretching for two miles around the curve of a gentle bay, is world famous. Grenada has plenty to offer those interested in offshore pleasure as well, with easily accessible and pristine reefs off the coast of both Grenada and its sister island, Carriacou. 

Nong Nooch garden, Paurovttaya, Thailand

Thailand is well known for its many beautiful orchids. In Nong Nooch garden, more than 650 species with a wide array of colors can be admired.Nong Nooch tropical garden close to Pattaya is the largest botanical garden in South East Asia.The vast gardens are set in an area of around 600 acres, that originally was to be used as a plantation to grow local fruits.

The area was then first turned into a garden for conservation of certain species of plants and flowers, and was later opened to visitors.

In the gardens you will find an enormous number of plant and flower species in a particularly well kept environment. Some sections of the garden are set in a specific theme such as Stonehenge, Butterfly Hill, French garden of pineapple garden.

Thai cultural shows

Apart from the flowers and plants, visitors can enjoy a number of cultural shows at Nong Nooch garden. A varied program of Thai cultural and traditional performances can be enjoyed, like sword fighting, Muay Thai boxing, Thai wedding ceremony and traditional Thai dance. The cultural shows take place four times per day, namely at 9.45 am, 10.45 am, 3 pm and 4 pm.
How to get to Nong Nooch tropical garden

Nong Nooch garden is located almost 20 kilometers South of Pattaya city. You can charter a songthaew baht bus to get you there. The bus is a converted pick up truck with covered seats in the back, but it is open and has no air conditioning. The price is up to your negotiating skills. If you prefer a more comfortable ride, book a taxi through your hotel or at one of the taxi stands in Pattaya. Before you leave, make sure you agree on the price.
Admission & opening hours

Nong Nooch garden is open daily from 8 am until 6 pm. Admission is 400 Thai Baht per adult, 200 Baht per child and includes admission to the cultural shows.