Some Travel Inpiration for this spring / summer 2015 holidays:
THE DEAD SEA
The Dead Sea, between Jordan and Israel and the Palestinian Territories, is a very salty lake in the bottom of the Jordan valley. At 400 metres (1,312 feet) below sea level, it is the lowest point on Earth. The salts of the Dead Sea are used by the chemical and cosmetics industries. They are collected by allowing water from the sea to evaporate, leaving the salts behind. This, combined with a reduction of water entering the Dead Sea, is causing the shoreline to retreat by up to 1 metre (3 feet) every year.
On the eastern shore of the Dead Sea in Jordan, the shoreline has ^ retreated leaving behind heavy deposits of salt.
Seas and oceans Around:
The coastline of the region stretches from the Atlantic Ocean off Morocco through the Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, and Persian Gulf, to the Arabian Sea off Oman. Only Afghanistan lacks any coastline. Coasts have long been important for trade and fishing, and for this reason are quite heavily populated. The region's coasts also attract tourists, as in Tunisia and the Sinai peninsula in Egypt. Sinai has the added advantage of some of the world's best coral reefs, close to shore in the Red Sea. These attract divers from across the world.
The region also has three inland seas - the Black Sea, the Caspian Sea and the Dead Sea. The Black Sea, to the north of Turkey, is connected to the Mediterranean by the Bosporus Strait. The Caspian Sea is an inland salty lake to the north of Iran. It is the world's largest lake, covering 370,992 square kilometres (143,240 square miles), and has large reserves
of oil and gas beneath its waters.
Visit : Dead Sea Page.
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It has been said that if you do not have time to visit the world you should visit Madeira. Imagine what it would be like to have a bit of all the best parts of the world in one place, add in some European culture and you have the Madeiran archipelago. However, Madeira is more than the sum of its parts; it has an identity that is also unique.
The islands of the Madeiran archipelago are a fascinating blend of contrasting and unlikely ingredients, places that I remind you of other far-flung i destinations, while remaining uniquely themselves. H N Coleridge wrote in 1825 that Madeira... ‘ensures almost every European comfort together with almost every tropical luxury’. The steep terraced hillsides with their burgeoning banana crops may put you in mind of Bali or the Philippines; English roses and perennials grow in profusion alongside Asian orchids and Indian tulip trees; the island’s fragrant eucalyptus woods recall Australia, while the gorse- covered moorlands of the central plateau could be in the Scottish Highlands. The architecture of Madeira’s capital evokes yet another place and time - the elegant balconies and shaded patios of Funchal seem straight out of the half- real, half-imaginary world of an Isabel Allende or Gabriel Garcia MArquez novel, while its streets depict paving patterns with I more modem aesthetic.
On top of all this, Madeira encompasses spectacular ravines and waterfalls, ever- changing skies and seas, and mountain tops where you can enjoy a rare sense of stillness and peace as you admire the magnificent panoramas. Bustling Funchal is also part of Madeira’s rich texture and it is a pleasure to return to the capital at the end of a long day’s tour, knowing that you can look forward to all the modem comforts of a luxurious hotel and the prospect of an excellent dinner - with or without a glass or two of Madeira, the island’s fortified wine. Nature’s profusion is all the more enjoyable when accompanied by such civilised comforts, and that is why Madeira is such a delightful and ' satisfying holiday destination. Walking the island’s levadas and visiting its gardens, observing its wealth of folk traditions and customs and meeting its hospitable and easy-going people, will provide a complete change