Total Pageviews

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Grand Canyon/Hoover Dam by Helicopter

Close up of the massive Hoover Dam

I have been to Vegas many times as the Fitness Circuit i was on for over a decade always ended their season on the west side of the USA. So to take advantage of my location  i decided to tour the dam and canyon by helicopter, i wasn't disappointed so highly recommend it to anyone if you get a chance to do so. I was picked up at my hotel and taken to the airport where before my journey started i had to get weighed to keep the load level right inside the chopper, so
as luck would have it i got to sit in the front with a very knowledgeable pilot who gave me this info that I'm passing on to you, my fellow travelers.  A)  it is 25 miles northwest of Vegas to the Hoover Dam and originally called Boulder Dam, then named after President Herbert Hoover  B) it was built in the 1930's (1931-1936)  and even from the sky it is the most concrete you will ever see in one place, how much you ask? enough to build a two lane highway from San Francisco to New York City.  C) It was constructed during the Great Depression so no shortage of workers
and to put an end to the myth that some were entombed in the cement not true, but unfortunately over 100 did die from the heat, carbon

monoxide poisoning in the tunnels, falls etc  D) the Grand Canyon it is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and it was formed by the Colorado River millions of years ago through erosion up to today's configuration ( 29km wide (18 miles) and 446 kms long (277 miles).    KeyTip;  when booking the tour look for an operator who lands in the canyon ( a special agreement is needed with the local Indian tribe as its consider sacred ground) and once walking around you will be in awe of Mother Nature as then you realize just how large the Grand Canyon is, that's when you know its one of those "special" places in the world.
On the floor

More of the Hoover Dam
Even in black and white  it shows the awesomeness of the Grand Canyon

Monday, May 28, 2012

Inter-Coastal Water Way /Fort Lauderdale

Originally built to avoid the dangers of ocean sailings and for the new country of the United States to protect their vessels with precious cargo, (as it was within their boundaries) the Inter Coastal Waterway is one of those projects that leaves you in awe. Since the 1800's the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have had the responsibility to maintain and improve this fantastic feat of mankind and today its 4,800kms (3,000 miles) that runs from New Jersey to Texas with many side routes branching off it....consisting of natural inlets, rivers, bays and artificial watercourses.
Even today its used for commercial activity  (barges carrying petroleum, manufactured goods, food etc) but also recreational boaters, some who travel from the north to escape the winter. So I'm exploring a small portion of this highway system in Fort Lauderdale area with its intricate canal system
where (KeyTip) for about $25.00 you can do the water taxi and take advantage of the all day "hop on/ hop off" and tour this great city plus during the water ride see the spectacular mansions and large boats. (there is 42,000 resident yachts & 100 marinas located within the city boundaries) So in closing its a great inexpensive way to view what they call the "Venice of America"

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Hot Air Ballooning over the Outback

Watching some of my fellow adventure seekers take off
We arrive early in our buses and get ready to soar with the birds in one of mankind's (1783 in Paris France) first way to fly. At first you don't realize how huge these balloon airships are, but once the propane is fired up to fill the bag or envelope ( made of nylon fabric and the material closest to the flame is of  fire resistant composites, plus Australian rules require that they meet the criteria of the Civic Aviation & Safety Code) you get a sense what it was like to be a pioneer back in the first days of flight.
 Our pilot must of  read the air currents better than our "sister ships," because within minutes we were up approx 5000 feet and above them as we flew around this valley for some great views. Then when it came time to land he eased it into an open field, but then
Our Captain had a camera tethered to the outside of the balloon.......and yes i could feel the heat from the gas on my neck
 needed some of us guys to jump out of the gondola to guild it along as the flatbed truck could not access the marshy grounds, finally to transport the wicker basket back to beginning of our tour for the next group of adventurists. After the pilot asked in typical Aussie humor if anything poisonous grabbed us while in the tall grass? So i asked what kind of animal or plant that could that be? Mate!! everything toxic in Australia.... even the women lol lol

Looking down at one of my sister airships at approximately 5000 feet up

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Rome Colosseum

Being a huge follower of history, i couldn't wait to visit the Colosseum located in the middle of Rome. It was awe inspiring to see this Amphitheatre and even with the general decay of the structure due to pollution, earthquakes and even stone-robbers  well worth the trip for anyone thinking about it. Now once inside the Arena you can see back in the day it could hold around 50,000 spectators who would view gladiatorial contests, executions and even mock sea you ask?  The Romans would flood the floor through a series of tunnels that ran underground from the outside and also these secret passageways where used to transport the animals, "performers" (lol) and even the Emperor to avoid the crowds. The floor was approx 83 by 48 meters (272 x 157 feet) but since it was made from wood and covered with sand its long gone, but because of this the top is open to view and you can now see how the  hypogeum (meaning underground) worked with its two level subterranean network of tunnels and cages.
To present times....because of the condition of the interior, the Colosseum can not host any large events inside but many large concerts have be staged outside and by using the Amphitheatre as a backdrop you get that feeling your going back in time and watching an event, much like the Romans in 80 AD

Walking the hallowed grounds of the Colosseum