Monthly Archives: September 2017

Adrenaline Pumping at These Bungee Jumping Locations

In bungee jumping, the thrill from the free fall, notwithstanding the elasticity of the cord, leads to a sort of rebound which adds to the fun. There are a number of locations around the world where this extreme sport can be experienced to its fullest. Let’s take a plunge into knowing where they are.
Idaho, Perrine Bridge
One of the most exciting bungee jumping spots, Perrine Bridge in Idaho, offers a 486 ft fall in the Snake river. This is the only man-made bridge in the USA where bungee jumping is allowed, throughout the year, that too without a permit.
Victoria Falls Bridge
Go east in Africa, and you have Zimbabwe offering a fabulous and breathtaking bungee jumping location. This is a 500 ft drop from the Victoria Falls bridge over the Zambezi river, connecting Zimbabwe and Zambia. The thrill of the jump, combined with a dreamy spray of waterfall. Wow, must go!
Grande Canyon, Arizona
This is another location in USA. Here, at the northern tip of the Grande Canyon, Marble Canyon, at Kuskulana Bridge, you can jump from a height of 470 ft.
Ticino, Switzerland
Yes, this is that famous dam from where ‘007 James Bond’ jumped in the movie Golden Eye. Verzasca dam is the name of the place in Switzerland, which has on offer a plunge from a 220 m high hydroelectric dam. Ticino valley is the place where it is located.

The Bridge to Nowhere, California
This jumping site is one of the most popular ones in USA. The bridge is located around 40 miles north of downtown Los Angeles, in the lovely Angeles National Forest.
Bhote Khosi Bungee, Kathmandu, Nepal
Eastern ecstasy is at its best in Nepal, a cozy country situated in the heart of the magnificent Himalayas, very close to India. The snow-capped mountains are a perfect background to take a 500 ft fall. The Bhote Khosi river gushes wildly underneath the bridge, which is perfect for bungee jumping.
Great Canadian Bungee
If you are still not impressed, try jumping from a cliff in Canada. This spectacular site is flanked by limestone walls and an enchanting aqua-blue colored lagoon. Further, it is just around 30 minutes or less from downtown Ottawa at the Morrison’s quarry. Here, you can have a 200 ft head or body dip, and the rebound is a mind-blowing 160 ft.
Macau Tower
I saved the best for last. It is the Macau Tower in China. This plunge continues for 18 seconds, and you stop only 30 feet short of the ground, after going down a ripper―762 ft. I am getting goose bumps just writing about this. This fall will surely make you believe in God, and you are definitely going to get a flashback of your life while you go down.

Glacier National Park Hiking Trails

Glacier National Park is located in Montana, US, along the Canadian border. The national park has two mountain ranges and they stretch over the Canadian Rockies. The breathtaking beauty of this national park is a scenic splendor. It is an abode to 1,100 different vascular plants species and another hundred different animals. There are over 130 lakes spread over this pristine ecosystem. Relive the history of these mountains from the last ice age and discover their yet unexplored secrets. The divine glaciers have 700 miles of hiking, which is the best way of exploring the park.

Most of the visitors, who come to the park opt for hiking. The hiking trips have been designed as both, short and long trips. Nature unravels its beauty as you begin your hiking trip. The picturesque trials lead you to vertical trails, taking you to the great glaciers. The national park has a trip that fits each type of need.
Avalanche Lake Trail
Located on the west side of the continental divide, the Avalanche Lake is surrounded by massive mountains. The lake derives its name from the avalanches that come roaring down these mountains. Summer transcends these avalanches into waterfalls which cascade down, into the lake. Mountain goats, bighorn sheep, deer, and of course grizzly bears, are a common sight in this hiking trail. The two-mile long hiking trail takes you through the forest, to see a panoramic view of the grand mountains.
Hidden Lake Trail
The most popular of the trials, Hidden Lake Trail, is a flat walk leading to fabulous natural beauty. The 1.5 mile trail is known for its fishing pleasures. But patience is a virtue when it comes to fishing at this lake for the Yellowstone cutthroat trout. For those interested in exploring the nature, a short two mile walk down the lake shore is surely stunning.
Logging Lake Trail
Solitude is bliss and all those searching for bliss, must take this hiking trail. The logging trail takes you through uncharted forests, with open canopies in a few burnt areas. It is a moderately steep climb but flattens out as you get closer to the ‘Logging Creek Fire’ scar area.

Iceberg Lake Trail
This is a must do if you are out to catch the splendid snow. This is the best designed hiking trail and gains a vertical height of 1200 feet as you reach the top. At the end of the hike lies the iceberg lake. Wildlife viewing is simply incredible here. The scenic heights provide the finest wildlife, with grizzly bears in abundance. Bighorn sheep, mountain grouse, ground squirrels, etc. are also found on this trail.
Having your friends along for the hiking trip, will be icing on the cake. It’s a wonderful outing for a weekend as the giant landscape will make you forget all your worries and charge your batteries for a good-enough amount of time. So, put on those hiking shoes and pack your backpacks for the most adventurous getaway ever!

The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial

The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial is a presidential memorial honoring the 32nd President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and his era. The Memorial, located on the western edge of the Tidal Basin, in Washington D.C., depicts 12 years of American history (March 4, 1933 – April 12, 1945), when Roosevelt served as the President of the United States.

Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial, Washington

Also referred to as the FDR Memorial, it was dedicated to the nation on May 2, 1997, by the then President, Bill Clinton. On the same day, it was officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places―the official list of sites and structures deemed worth preserving, compiled by the United States administration. The Memorial, spread over an area of 7.5 acres, has four outdoor rooms, each representing one of Roosevelt’s 4 terms as the President. It is a part of the National Mall and Memorial Parks managed by the National Park Service.

The Memorial was designed by the American landscape architect, Lawrence Halprin. The sculptures and art works in the Memorial were created by George Segal, Neil Estern, Leonard Baskin, Robert Graham, and Thomas Hardy. The sculptures here depict the various incidents that took place during Roosevelt’s term as the President, ranging from him standing in the bread line to listening to a fireside chat on the radio. A bronze statue of Eleanor Roosevelt present in the Memorial, depicts her standing in front of the United Nations National Emblem, honoring her commitment to the United Nations.

Keeping a note of the ex-President’s disability (due to an attack of polio at age of 39), this memorial was designed in such a manner that it would be accessible even to those with physical impairments. The Memorial has an area which has tactual imprints in braille script to help people who are blind. A statue of the President depicts him in a chair, with a cloak hiding the chair, like he appeared in front of the public throughout his life. This didn’t go well with all the sections of the society. A group led by the National Organization on Disability collected $1.65 million to build another statue, which would clearly show the President on the wheelchair―identical to the one he used. This new statue was placed near the entrance of the Memorial in January 2001.

An extensive use of running water is noticed in the Memorial. A waterfall is present in each of the four rooms, which represent President Roosevelt’s four terms. The size of the waterfalls increases as you march towards the inner rooms. Initially, the visitors were allowed to wade in these waters, but now the National Park Service prohibits people from doing so. Small waterfalls were built to lend continuity to the theme of running water.

The five main water bodies here are symbolic and have the following meanings …
A single large drop symbolizes the crash of the economy, which triggered the Great Depression.
Multiple stair step drops represents the Tennessee Valley Authority dam-building project.
Chaotic falls at varying angles is a remembrance of the World War II.
A still pool in the Memorial symbolizes President Roosevelt’s death.
A wide layout of waterfalls gives a retrospective of Franklin Roosevelt’s term as the President.
The Franklin Roosevelt Memorial speaks not just for the President, but speaks in volumes about the era he represented. One of the most-visited memorials in the United States, this is a place worth visiting at least once.

The Best of Sandboarding

Sandboarding in Europe!
One would be surprised to find a sandboarding site in Europe, which is considered to be the hallowed turf of skiing. But Monte Kaolino in Hirschau, Germany, happens to be the host of the annual Sandboarding World Championships. It is also the only place to have a lift which ferries people to the top of the 120m-tall dune.
Sandboarding may seem like a fun sport, but wait until you hear this―in skiing, lifts take you to the top of the slope, and all that’s left for you is the thrill of waltzing down. Sand dunes, on the other hand, are a different ball game altogether, since it is impossible to build lifts in these areas. Therefore, sandboarders need to be extremely fit to climb these dunes (in the hot weather, mind you), before the fun part begins.

Well, there is the option of getting hold of a dune buggy or an all-terrain vehicle, but it kind of kills the macho-ness of the sport. So, let’s gather our wits, and draw up all the strength we can, before we head out to these fabulous sandboarding destinations.
The Middle East

Siwa desert Egypt
▶ Siwa, Egypt
▶ Big Red, Dubai

The most happening sandboarding happens where the deserts are―so the obvious place to begin with has got to be the Middle East. In fact, Egypt is actually believed to be the country where this sport originated. The Great Sea of Sand near Siwa, Egypt, is considered to be one of the top sandboarding sites in the world. With dunes rising as high as 500 feet, and slopes of 70 degrees or more, amateurs need to stay away from this one. Also, the area happens to be smack dab in the middle of nowhere, which means that only the truest sandboarders at heart can make it here.

Dubai is a hot-shot destination for all intents and purposes, as it even has a humongous skiing facility, despite being located in a searing, hot desert. But it’s these hot deserts that we’re interested in, at the moment, and Dubai sandboarding glory is the ‘Big Red’ (also known as Al Hamar), a massive 300-feet high sand dune. Dubai is also home to the Hugo International Sandboarding Championships, held annually in conjunction with the Dubai Shopping Festival in January.
Swakopmund desert Namibia

▶ Swakopmund, Namibia

Sossusvlei desert Namibia

▶ Sossusvlei, Namibia
Woman sandboarding
Cape Town, South Africa
▶ Cape Town, South Africa
▶ Johannesburg, South Africa

The southern region of Africa is home to the Namib desert, estimated to be the oldest desert in the world. The places which beckon sandboarders are Swakopmund, on the coast of northwestern Namibia, and the Skeleton Coast Sand Dunes at Sossusvlei, in the southern part of the Namib desert. The dunes here are massive, some of which can measure up to 900 feet. Needless to say, only the extreme thrill seekers head here.

Cape Town and Johannesburg in South Africa also have some fantastic sites for sandboarders. Close to Cape Town are the Fish Hoek Dunes, which are not as menacing as the ones in Namibia, and are suitable for beginners as well.