Chania is the second largest city of Crete, the largest of Greek Islands in the Mediterranean, with an estimated population of roughly 70000 people across its length and breadth. It lies along the northern Cretan coast and gets applauded for its tourism potential. The city consists of a typical Mediterranean weather with sunny dry summers and slightly moist and rainy winters. Thousands visit Chania every year to have a glimpse of its ancient past, and also to get a taste of its Mediterranean beaches and sea resorts. There are other alternatives available, apart from the usual hotel rooms for having accommodation in Chania, which includes self catering apartments and villas at affordable rates.The city of Chania could be divided into two major townships, the old and the new ones; the latter being the larger and more developed of the two siblings. The old city, located next to the old harbor, acts as the foundation upon which the new urban infrastructure was developed during the modern era. The city was earlier protected with the old Venetian fortifications that were built around 1538 AD. The eastern and western remains of these fortifications could still be spotted even now. The old city and the areas surrounding it form the core of what we know as the city of Chania these days. The two cities merge into a single entity from the southern front; however they are divided by the sea barrier in the northern part. Many travelers prefer having accommodation in Chania at this scenic joint while they spend holidays in Greece.The central part of old township is called Kasteli, and is believed to be inhabited by the humans since the Neolithic era. The area is geographically secure and conducive for the human settlements. The seafront next to it provides the right physical barrier and the nearby harbor and fertile valley in the southern area hand it over the needed sustenance. Despite having been partially destroyed in the World War II, the old township of Chania still gets regarded as the most beautiful of all the Cretan regions. Another region Splantzia is located next to Kasteli, and is equally appreciated for its serene backdrop. Some fresh development plans are being envisaged for this region now, which will also try to beef up the amount of accommodation in Chania.The other sibling of the old Chania is the modern township, where most of Chanias population resides and works for a living. There has been a substantial migration of the locals during the last two decades towards the modern suburbs and the rural areas surrounding them. Despite having been given the tag of modernity, the new areas of Chania could still be found having a good historical legacy to showcase to the outside world. This is because many new areas were developed during the last two centuries thus making it possible for some of the historic buildings to be preserved even today.One can see therefore, why Chania was an ideal location for spending holidays in Greece. The place is full of historical sites and carries all the needed infrastructure for hosting the outside world. It's well connected with the mainland Greece and the rest of the world through various means. One can choose to stay in Chania therefore, while being on holidays in Greece.
In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina smashed into a heavily populated part of the USA, specifically the city of New Orleans in the state of Louisiana.The city was ruined. Over 1,100 people died. Known as the "Crescent City", the city of New Orleans, in the US state of Louisiana, had a population of just under half a million people, with Greater New Orleans bringing the figure up to 1.3 million. One quarter of the population was under the age of 18, according to the 2000 census, and one-third was aged under 25."New Orleans" is usually pronounced by locals as "Noo Aw-lins". It was home to some of America's poorer citizens - more than one quarter of the population was considered to be living below the poverty line. Household income was 35% below the national average, and individual income 20% below the national level. The US federal government has a significant presence in the area. The NASA Michoud Assembly Facility is located in the eastern portion of Orleans Parish. Lockheed-Martin also has a large manufacturing facility located in the Greater New Orleans area that produces external fuel tanks for space shuttles.New Orleans is in the Mississippi River delta and has always had a history of flooding. The first levees were built by French prison labour around 1718 and were only three feet tall. The founding site was a rare selection of higher ground along the flood-prone lower Mississippi. Still, much of the city is located below sea level between the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain. Despite its economic and geographical disadvantages, New Orleans was famous for being a city of entertainment and excitement, both exuberant and hedonistic. It was a genuine world-class tourist destination, attracting visitors with the annual Mardi Gras (held on the iconic Bourbon Street) and the college-level "Sugar Bowl" gridiron match. Areas of the French Quarter and Central Business District in recent years began catering to booming tourism rather than residents and local businesses. The city's charm increased when streetcar upgrades in Canal Street were completed as recently as 2004. The city is also world-famous for its food. Specialties include beignets, square-shaped fried pastries that are sometimes called French doughnuts (served with coffee and chicory "au lait"), Po'boy and Italian Muffaletta sandwiches, Gulf oysters on the half-shell and other seafoods, etouffee, jambalaya, gumbo, other Creole dishes, and the Monday evening favourite of red beans and rice.Only time will tell if the desire exists to resurrect this famous city. The hurricanes, the flooding and the problem of the disappearing wetlands have not been defeated.
Not many places on earth get the opportunity to be discovered twice, but the islands of Madeira and Porto Santo have. These two islands together with Las Desertas and Las Selvagens islands make up what is called the Archipelago of Madeira. They are found 1000 kilometers southwest of Lisbon, Portugal and half that distance from the African continent. Since their discovery around 1419 and founded in 1425 by Joao Goncalves Zarco, little was known about these islands but in the last decade have quickly become the major tourist attractions in the Atlantic Ocean. Joao Goncalves, with a special permission from the Portuguese government, used prisioners from the prisions and enticed settlers from the poorest regiones like El Algarve to colonize Madeira. The airport on Madeira in the town of Santa Cruz on the east side is just an hour flight from Lisbon and also serves the other island of Porto Santo with smaller planes. This archipelago is really something special to enjoy.Funchal was named the capital of Madeira in 1425 and is located on the south side. Under the rule of Joao Goncalves, Funchal prospered into being a very important sugar cane producer and by the year 1508, it changed its position from town to city and sugar canes were carved onto the coats of arms as its main symbol. Being as ocean travel was becoming more popular, especially among the greedy and pirates, Funchal was attacked and robbed. This fact made this enticing stopover react and built its city in a semi-circular way so that all the building would be looking and watching the sea. Even today there are houses and buildings that face the waterfront just to keep on eye on things. Animated Funchal All year Round Whatever season you decide on, you will be guaranteed a warm, mild climate with temperatures between 17 to 26 degrees. One would think that the busiest season for tourism would late spring to early fall, but Christmas is actually one of the hottest and most lively times on these paradisiac islands. With visitors from the colder countries and very much into the Christmas spirit, Madeira dresses its port streets with the best lighting decorations and the most colourful fireworks on New Years Eve. July and August are usually very muggy and with the highest humidity and temperatures, but quite welcomed after a long cold winter.The city of Funchal is chock full of history and architecture as you visit churches going back to the 17th century as is the Church of Colegio Sao Joao Evangelist or the Se which is cathedral in Portuguese. Being as Madeira means wood in Portuguese, the inside of the cathedral is done up in marble and cedar wood. One of the most impressive buildings is called Pacos do Concelho ( 18th c. ) with black volcanic stone counteracting with the white front facing and doorways. There are museums dedicated to religious art, the Museum of Natural History housed in the Palace of Sao Pedro where you can get a closer look at the marine life of these islands and a museum which holds many pieces left behind by all the different cultures that frequented the islands like Chinese porcelain and figures carved from the ivory tusks from the captured whales. Around this museum there are also interesting pieces of art accompanied by the aroma of fresh orquids.Bon Appetite in Funchal But man does not live on beauty alone and therefore must feed its physical spirit too. Tunafish and codfish are main dishes done in so many different ways: baked, fried, stewed with home-grown green beans and potatoes. Tropical fruits are abundant such as maracuyas, mangos and bananas to mention a few. And of course, the famous Madeira wine. And in order to sleep well, there are luxurious hotels or simple rural homes on the hillsides so that everyone can feel as though they are at home, amongst a paradise of lush green vegetation in the city of Funchal on Madeira, Portugal.
The Flinders Ranges are one of South Australia's most popular outback tour destinations, and are world-renowned for their rugged mountain landscapes, spectacular gorges, sheltered sandy creeks lined with majestic River Red Gums, and their abundant flora and fauna. An authentic Australia outback destination, the Flinders Ranges are nevertheless easily accessible from the South Australian capital of Adelaide. The Flinders Ranges are a perfect location in which to witness and marvel at nature on a grand scale. Home to magnificent, rugged and uncompromising landscapes, they are truly a destination where you can get away from it all. Though they seem a million miles from the hustle and bustle of city life, the southern areas of the Flinders Ranges begin only 220 kilometres from Adelaide. Wilpena Pound is around 450 kilometres (five hours drive) from Adelaide. Many different routes are available to explore the Flinders ranges, and all offer excellent scenery. To fully appreciate the area, a few days at least are necessary. For those without transport there are several Flinders Ranges tours operating from Adelaide. The Flinders Ranges National Park is situated in the Flinders Ranges between the outback South Australian towns of Hawker and Blinman. Covering over 950 square kilometres, the park is about 450 kilometres north of Adelaide and offers a broad range of outdoor activities for all ages and tastes including camping, bushwalking, scenic touring, photography, birdwatching and Aboriginal and European tour activities exploring the history and cultures of the region.The Flinders Ranges join the Gulf of St Vincent to the South Australian outback. The landscape of the region is truly spectacular, particularly in spring when wildflowers are blooming and carpet the countryside. Bush walking is a popular and rewarding activity in the ranges, including walks around the Arkaroola Mt Painter Wildlife Sanctuary, the Heysen Trail, Mt Remarkable National Park and Wilpena Pound. The indigenous Adnyamathanha people have lived in the northern Flinders Ranges for many tens of thousands of years, and the ranges remain of enormous cultural significance to them. Adnyamathanha (hills or rock people) is a term now used to describe the Pangkala, Pilatapa, Yadliaura, Kuyani and Wailpi peoples, the traditional indigenous owners of the Flinders Ranges. These groups share a common identity based on the Yura Muda, the culture and language of their ancestors. While European geologists explain the formation of the Flinders Ranges in scientific terms, the Adnyamathanha understand the landscape through the Yura Muda dreamtime stories, which invest the physical landscape with spiritual significance.The Flinders Ranges appear are mentioned in the journals and diaries of many Australian explorers. Matthew Flinders explored the upper reaches of Spencer Gulf in 1802. Sturt and Eyre traversed the area during their journeys north in search of an inland sea. Pastoral runs were established at Arkaba, Wilpena, Aroona and Oraparinna from 1851. By 1863, European settlement extended far beyond the ranges, and copper mining was booming in the region. No rain fell in the Flinders Ranges area from 1864 to 1866, when the saltbush plains were stripped bare and huge losses among both stock and native fauna occurred. Many pastoral runs were deserted and mining virtually ceased. The deserted runs were gradually reoccupied and stocking rates reduced. Today, the pastoral industry remains viable with greatly improved practices and sustainable stocking rates. An intriguing combination of both moisture-dependant and arid-adapted plants co-exist in the Flinders Ranges. The specialised habitats of local indigenous plants are bound to the geology of the region, and are shaped by landform, climate, soil and fire. A majority of the plants found in the Flinders Ranges National Park are arid-adapted. Cypress Pines are found across much of the park, while Porcupine Grass is found on stony hills. Black Oak and Mallee trees are found on the deeper soils in the north-east of the park, and Pearl Bluebush, Broom Emubush and Red Mallee are found on alkaline soils. Fringing the moister quartzite slopes of Wilpena Pound, Guinea Flowers, Grevilleas, Bush Peas, Shrub Violets, Native Cranberries and Fringe Myrtles are common. Nocturnal animals such as dunnarts and planigales are rarely seen as they are mainly active at night and are generally quite small. Bats represent one-third of the native mammal fauna of Flinders Ranges National Park. Their high pitched sounds can frequently be heard as they hunt insects attracted to the light of camp fires at night. Echidnas (native Australian porcupines) are common within the park in early spring (Sep-Oct). Over 100 native bird species are found in the Flinders Ranges National Park, including colourful Australian Ringneck Parrots, Pink and Grey galahs, the migratory Rainbow Bee-eater, the small Elegant Parrots and the Red-capped Robin. Tree-lined creeks and springs provide an ideal habitat for a large variety of reptiles, including skinks, geckoes, legless lizards, lizards, goannas and snakes. Now rare, the large Carpet Python can be found in tree hollows, on rock ledges, and moving on the ground to hunt at night.
Nestling in the shadow of El Misti a snow-capped volcano which towers above it lies the city of Arequipa. Known as La Ciudad Blanca (the White City) because of the local white volcanic rock, it is one of the jewels of Peru. Combining modern amenities with a laid-back lifestyle, stunning scenery and beautiful colonial archictecture, it is somewhere everyone should try and visit while on holiday in Peru.The Plaza de Armas is the heart of the city and is a peaceful, beautiful square - the perfect place to sit and wonder where to visit next on your Peru holiday! It is surrounded on three sides by colonial arcades and on the fourth by the beautiful white cathedral. The cathedral itself is open to the public in the morning and the evening and is well worth a visit. There are also several other colonial-era churches close to the Plaza that are fine examples of the elegant mestizo style.As well as the kind of facilities and culture you'd expect from a major city, the people of Arequipa are justly proud of the amazing sites the city offers for tourists. Probably the main attraction in Arequipa is the convent-city of Santa Catalina, 2 blocks from the Plaza. It really is a city in miniature and housed over 200 nuns and 300 servants until it opened its doors to the public in 1970. It was a closed convent and today the nuns live in a small closed area while the miniature streets and houses which were previously the nuns cells are open from 9am-4pm. Its an amazing place and you can really feel the history as you walk around. If the sun is shining (which it always is here!) then there are some nice bars and restaurants in the Pasaje de la Catedral a pedestrianised street which lies just behind the cathedral from the Plaza. Its a lovely, tranquil place during the day and at night, and is a great place to unwind and send home those postcards making everyone feel jealous of your Peru holiday!Outside the city itself, Colca Canyon is one of the undoubted highlights of many peoples' Peru holidays. It is twice as deep as the Grand Canyon and is 163m short of being the deepest in the world - all this at 3,500m above sea-level! It offers almost unparalleled views and is also probably the best place to see the famous giant Andean Condor. The sides of the canyon are lined with pre-Inca terraces, lying inbetween tiny villages clinging to the precipitous sides. You've got to see it to believe it!And when you think that Colca Canyon was only 163m shallower than the deepest canyon in the world... it's because a few miles away is Cotahuasi Canyon! Similarly an area of more than outstanding natural beauty, Cotahuasi canyon is slightly more remote and harder to get to but is all the more breathtaking because of it. It was declared a Zona Reserva Turistica in 1988 and is only slowly opening up to tourists.There's so much to see and do in Arequipa and the surrounding areas as part of your Peru holidays that your only problem is likely to be wanting to spend too long here!