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Lysefjord, Norway

May 31st, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Lysefjord (or Lysefjorden, the suffix "-en" is a form of the definite article in the Norwegian language) is a fjord located in Forsand in south-western Norway. The name means light fjord, and is said to be derived from the lightly coloured granite rocks along its sides.

The fjord was carved by the action of glaciers in the ice ages and was flooded by the sea when the later glaciers retreated. End to end, it measures 42 km (23 miles) with rocky walls falling nearly vertically over 1000 m (3,000 ft) into the water. Because of the inhospitable terrain, the fjord is only lightly populated and only has two villages on its length - Forsand and Lysebotn, located at opposite ends of the fjord. The few people who live or lived along the fjord are only able to leave their homes by boat, as the hills are too steep for roads.

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The Island of Ometepe, Nicaragua

May 29th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

The Island of Ometepe was formed by two volcanoes rising from Lake Nicaragua in the Republic of Nicaragua. Its name derives from the Nahuatl words Ome = two and Tepetl = mountain, meaning two mountains. The Volcanoes, Concepción and Maderas, are joined by a low isthmus to form one island, giving it the form of an hourglass. Ometepe has an area of 276 km². It is 31 km long and 5 to 10 km wide. The island has a population of 35,000, and an economy based on livestock, agriculture, and tourism. Plantains are the major crop.

Volcan Concepción (once named Ometepe volcano) is the northwest half of the island. Concepción is a symmetrical cone, and is still considered an active volcano (Baker, 2006). Concepción volcano rose in the early Holocene Epoch and, through continual eruptions, now reaches an altitude of 1 610 m. It is the world's highest lake island. This volcano is considered the most perfectly formed volcano cone in Central America. The volcano went through a long quiet period, but on 8 December 1880 Concepción came back to life. This eruption was extensive, and the volcano remained active for a year. More eruptions followed in 1883, 1889, 1902, 1907, and 1924. The most recent eruption was in 1957. This eruption was extremely violent; however few of the island's inhabitants heeded the order from the government in Managua to evacuate the island. Tourists visiting this volcano are accompanied by noisy howler monkeys and green parrots.

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The Andes, Peru

May 12th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

The Andes (Quechua: Anti(s)) is South America's longest mountain range, forming a continuous chain of highland along the western coast of South America. It is over 7,000 km (4,400 miles) long, 500 km (300 miles) wide in some parts (widest between 18° to 20°S latitude), and of an average height of about 4,000 m (13,000 feet).

The Andean range is composed principally of two great ranges, the Cordillera Oriental and the Cordillera Occidental, often separated by a deep intermediate depression, in which arise other chains of minor importance, the chief of which is Chile's Cordillera de la Costa. Other small chains arise on the sides of the great chains. The Cordillera de la Costa starts from the southern extremity of the continent and runs in a northerly direction, parallel with the coast, being broken up at its beginning into a number of islands and afterwards forming the western boundary of the great central valley of Chile. To the north this coastal chain continues in small ridges or isolated hills along the Pacific Ocean as far as Venezuela, always leaving the same valley more or less visible to the west of the western great chain. The mountains extend over seven countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela, some of which are known as Andean States. One theory says the name Andes comes from the Quechua word anti, which means "high crest". Another theory says that the name Andes derived from the Spanish word "anden" which means terrace in reference to the cultivation terraces used by the Incas and other related peoples.

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Yellowstone National Park, Montana, USA

May 12th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Yellowstone National Park is the centerpiece of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the largest intact ecosystem in the Earth's northern temperate zone. Yellowstone became the world's first national park on March 1, 1872. Located mostly in the U.S. state of Wyoming, the park extends into Montana and Idaho. The park is known for its wildlife and geothermal features; the Old Faithful Geyser is one of the most popular features in the park.

More than 1,000 sites of historical significance have been discovered. Native Americans have lived in the Yellowstone region for at least 11,000 years. The region was bypassed during the Lewis and Clark Expedition in the early 1800s. Aside from visits by mountain men during the next early to mid-1800s, organized exploration did not begin until the late 1860s. The U.S. Army was commissioned to oversee the park just after its establishment. In 1917, administration of the park was transferred to the National Park Service, which had been created the previous year. Hundreds of structures have been built and are protected for their architectural and historical significance.

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Sumidero Canyon and Grijalva River, Mexico

April 14th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Sumidero Canyon (Spanish: Cañón del Sumidero) is a canyon located about 40 km from Tuxtla Gutiérrez, capital of the Mexican state of Chiapas. Its cliffs are 900 meters above sea level and overlook the Grijalva River, which extends across the states of Chiapas and Tabasco and flows into the Gulf of Mexico. In its southern entrance, the canyon begins near the city of Chiapa de Corzo, and flows into the reservoir of the hydroelectric dam–Manuel Moreno Torres, best known as Chicoasén.

This canyon is a result of a geological fault during the Pleistocene. The canyon is regarded as an important tourist attraction in the state of Chiapas.

The importance and cultural symbolism of Sumidero Canyon for Chiapans are so great that its silhouette is the base of the Coat of Arms of the state of Chiapas.

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Colca Canyon - one of the deepest canyons in the world, Peru

April 14th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Colca Canyon is the canyon of the Colca River in southern Peru. It is located about 100 miles (160 kilometers) northwest of Arequipa.

Colca Canyon is one of the deepest canyons in the world at 10,725 ft (3,269 m), it is more than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in the United States. However, the canyon's walls are not as vertical as the ones of the Grand Canyon. The Cotahuasi Canyon nearby to the northwest is a deeper canyon at 11,488 ft (3,501 m). Since they are such major features of the landscape, the Colca and Cotahuasi canyons are both easily recognizable in even low-resolution satellite photos of the region. The Colca Valley is a colorful andean valley with towns founded in Spanish Colonial times and formerly inhabited by the Collaguas and the Cabanas. The local people still maintain ancestral traditions and continue to cultivate the pre-Inca stepped terraces.

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Flüela Pass, Switzerland

April 12th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Flüela Pass (el. 2383 m.) is a high mountain pass in the Swiss Alps in the canton of Graubünden. The pass road connects Davos and Susch in the lower Engadin valley.

[Source: Wikipedia]

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Col du Tourmalet, France

April 12th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Col du Tourmalet (el. 2114 m./6935 ft.) is a high mountain pass in the central Pyrenees in the department of Hautes-Pyrénées in France.

Col du Tourmalet is one of the most famous of the mountain climbs on the Tour de France bicycle race. The Tourmalet has been included more often than any other mountain pass, starting in 1910, when the Pyrenees were introduced in the race.

The ski station La Mongie is located on the eastern side of Col du Tourmalet, and the village of Luz-Saint-Sauveur is at the bottom of the western side.

Tourmalet is also the name of a cheese made from sheep's milk produced in these mountains.

[Source: Wikipedia]

Send by: Borek