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African Safari

African Safari in Serengeti and Sabi Sand South Africa, also visits to Arusha National Park, and Nogoronogoro Caldera;

An African Safari is an wonderful experience, and time in Africa involving several safaris is even more amazing. Up at 5:30 every morning and in the trucks for the Game Drive by 6:00 takes some getting used to, but the anticipation of what we will see each day makes the early rising well worth it.

The photos on this page were taken in multiple places; Arusha National Park, Nogoronogoro Caldera and Serengeti National Park all in Tanzania, and Sabi Sands near Kruger National Park in South Africa. The land areas and habitats of the Parks and Caldera are different and there are some differences in the animals one will see, but the wonder at the massive herds, variation in individual species is God’s plan and we can only view in awe.

We easily saw “the Big Five” and I display pictures of them.
“In Africa, the big five game animals are the lion, leopard, rhinoceros (both black and white species), elephant, and Cape buffalo. The term “big five game” (usually capitalized or quoted as “Big Five”) was coined by big-game hunters and refers to the five most difficult animals in Africa to hunt on foot.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_five_game

Serengeti National Park has UNESCO designation.

The photos are all for sale in the size of your choice.

Yellow Beaked Oxpecker cleaning Giraffe teeth.

Yellow Beaked Oxpecker cleaning Giraffe teeth.

Bukhara Uzbekistan

A visit to Bukhara
Bukhara Uzbekistan (Uzbek Latin: Buxoro; Uzbek Cyrillic and Tajik: Бухоро) Bukhara as an ancient city is a city-museum, with about 140 architectural monuments dating from the 9th to the 17th centuries. People have inhabited the region around Bukhara for at least five millennia, and the city has existed for half that time. Located on the Silk Road, the city has long served as a center of trade, scholarship, culture, and religion. UNESCO has listed the historic center of Bukhara (which contains numerous mosques and madrassas) as a World Heritage Site.
I recently traveled the Stans with Road Scholar. If you would like to go to the Stans and travel that part of the the Silk Road I highly recommend them. Bukhara is an interesting city with a “Surprise Behind Every Corner”. We stayed near a bazaar in a caravanserai, and had great fun shopping and sightseeing. I will show pictures from our trip, and hopefully infect you with the desire to visit this amazing area.

 

Mir-i-Arab Madrassah in Buhkara UzbekistanKalon Minor
 Beautiful monuments,
Beautiful monuments, One of the Oldest is;
Kalyan minaret. More properly, Minâra-i Kalân, (Persian/Tajik for the “Grand Minaret”). Also known as the Tower of Death, as according to legend it is the site where criminals were executed by being thrown off the top for centuries. The minaret is most famed part of the ensemble, and dominates over historical center of the city. The role of the minaret is largely for traditional and decorative purposes—its dimension exceeds the bounds of the main function of the minaret, which is to provide a vantage point from which the muezzin can call out people to prayer. For this purpose it was enough to ascend to a roof of mosque. This practice was common in initial years of Islam. The word “minaret” derives from the Arabic word “minara” (“lighthouse”, or more literally “a place where something burn”). The architect, whose name was simply Bako, designed the minaret in the form of a circular-pillar brick tower, narrowing upwards. The diameter of the base is 9 meters (30 feet), while at the top it is 6 m (20 ft). The tower is 45.6 m (150 ft) high, and can be seen from vast distances over the flat plains of Central Asia. There is a brick spiral staircase that twists up inside around the pillar, leading to the landing in sixteen-arched rotunda and skylight, upon which is based a magnificently designed stalactite cornice (or “sharif”).
About a hundred years after its construction, the tower so impressed Genghis Khan that he ordered it to be spared when all around was destroyed by his men. It is also known as the Tower of Death, because until as recently as the early twentieth century criminals were executed by being thrown from the top. Fitzroy Maclean, who made a surreptitious visit to the city in 1938, says in his memoir Eastern Approaches, “For centuries before 1870, and again in the troubled years between 1917 and 1920, men were cast down to their death from the delicately ornamented gallery which crowns it.
Bakhautdin Naqshband Mausoleum
Camel in Front of Ark.Bolo Haouz Mosque Bukhara Uzbekistan UNESCO siteChor Minor MosqueStatue of Ulugh Beg
Ulugh Beg
Mīrzā Muhammad Tāraghay bin Shāhrukh better known as Ulugh Beg (الغ‌ بیگ ) was a Timurid ruler as well as an astronomer, mathematician and sultan. His commonly known name is not truly a personal name, but rather a moniker, which can be loosely translated as “Great Ruler”

A visit to Chan Chan

Chan Chan

Review the map on the Post of March 24th 2012 for the route taken for the South American trip.
The largest Pre-Columbian city in South America, Chan Chan is an archaeological site located in the Peruvian region of La Libertad, five km west of Trujillo. Chan Chan covers an area of approximately 20 km² and had a dense urban center of about 6 km². Chan Chan was constructed by the Chimor (the kingdom of the Chimú), a late intermediate period civilization which grew out of the remnants of the Moche civilization. The vast adobe city of Chan Chan was built by the Chimu around AD 850 and lasted until its conquest by the Inca Empire in AD 1470. It was the imperial capital of the Chimor until it was conquered in the 15th century. It is estimated that around 30,000 people lived in the city of Chan Chan.

Chan Chan was added as a UNESCO World Heritage Site on November 28 of 1986. The city is severely threatened by storms from El Niño, which cause heavy rains and flooding on the Peruvian coast. It is in a fertile, well-watered section of the coastal plain The city’s ruins are additionally threatened by earthquakes and looters. Present-day visitors to Chan Chan can enter the Tschudi Complex, believed to be one of the later citadels built in the city. There are also several other Chimú and Moche ruins in the area around Trujillo. This site was discovered by the Conquistador Francisco Pizarro.

The city is composed of ten walled citadels which housed ceremonial rooms, burial chambers, temples, reservoirs and some residences. Chan Chan is a triangular city surrounded by walls 50–60 feet high. A distinguishable aspect of Chan Chan is that there are no enclosures which open to the north. The tallest walls shelter against south-westerly winds from Peru’s coast. Northern-facing walls gain the greatest exposure to the sun, serving both to block the wind and absorb sunlight where fog is frequent. The numerous walls throughout the city create a labyrinth of passages.

The walls themselves were constructed of adobe brick and were then covered with a smooth surface into which intricate designs were carved. There are two styles of design present in these carvings: one is a ‘realistic’ representation of subjects such as birds, fish, and small mammals; and the other is a more graphic, stylized representation of the same subjects. The carvings at Chan Chan depict crabs, turtles, and nets for catching various sea monsters. Chan-Chan

Chan Chan, unlike most other coastal ruins in Peru, is located extremely close to the Pacific Ocean. In 1998, The “Master Plan for Conservation and Management of the Chan Chan Archeological Complex” is drawn up by the Freedom National Culture Institute of Peru with contributions from the World Heritage Foundation – WHR, ICCROM and GCI. The Plan is approved by the Peruvian Government, with involvement at the highest levels up until today.
From Wikipedia
http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/366

Goats who Climb Trees


7 Incredible Natural Phenomena you’ve never seen
Published on 11/16/2007 under Weird Science –

“Morocco’s Climbing Goats
Goats on trees are found mostly only in Morocco. The goats climb them because they like to eat the fruit of the argan tree, which is similar to an olive. Farmers actually follow the herds of goats as they move from tree to tree. Not because it is so strange to see goats in trees and the farmers like to point and stare, but because the fruit of the tree has a nut inside, which the goats can’t digest, so they spit it up or excrete it which the farmers collect. The nut contains 1-3 kernels, which can be ground to make argan oil used in cooking and cosmetics. This oil has been collected by the people of the region for hundreds of years, but like many wild and useful things these days, the argan tree is slowly disappearing due to over-harvesting for the tree’s wood and overgrazing by goats.

As a result a group of people and organizations have banded together to try to save the tree. To do so one of the primary locations where the trees grow has been declared a biosphere preserve. It was also decided that by making the world aware of the oil, it’s great taste and supposed anti-aging properties, would create a demand for it. However, the people who planned to market the oil could not envision people wanting to put an oil on their food or their face that was collected from goat excrement. As a result, a campaign is being led to ban grazing on the trees by goats during certain parts of the year to allow the fruit to ripen and fall off on its own. The fruit is then collected and turned into oil by oil cooperatives.”

I was just there, and the coop seem to be working. Most argan sold today is produced by a Berber women’s cooperative that shares the profits among the local women earning money which provides health and education to them and the whole community. The cooperative has established an ecosystem reforestation project so that the supply of argan oil will not run out and the income that is currently supporting the women will not disappear. The goats are kept out of the trees from May to August thus the trees are looking much healthier than the pictures of trees taken in 2007.

According to the Department of Water and Forests, Argan oil provides income for 3 million people in the southern part of the kingdom. The oil provides a total of 20 million workdays per year. Its operation is an income-generating activity and has always had a socio-economic function.

Co-sponsored by the Social Development Agency (SDA) with the support of the European Union, the UCFA (Union des Cooperatives des Femmes de l’Arganeraie) is the largest union of cooperatives for argan in Morocco. It comprises twenty-two cooperatives that are found everywhere in the region (e.g., Coopérative Al Amal, Coopérative Amalou N’Touyag, Coopérative Tissaliwine, Coopérative ArganSense, Coopérative Maouriga). These women come together to be better organized and thus guarantee a fair income through cooperatives, allowing them a better living environment.

Argan oil is an oil produced from the kernels of the argan tree, endemic to Morocco, that is valued for its nutritive, cosmetic and numerous medicinal properties. The tree, a relict species from the Tertiary age, is extremely well adapted to drought and other environmentally difficult conditions of southwestern Morocco. The species Argania once covered North Africa and is now endangered and under protection of UNESCO. The Argan tree grows wild in semi-desert soil, its deep root system helping to protect against soil erosion and the northern advance of the Sahara. This biosphere reserve, the Arganeraie Biosphere Reserve, covers a vast intramontane plain of more than 2,560,000 hectares, bordered by the High Atlas and Little Atlas Mountains and open to the Atlantic in the west. Argan oil remains one of the rarest oils in the world due to the small and very specific growing areas.

Before modern times, the Berbers (also known as the Amazighs) of Morocco would collect undigested Argan pits from the waste of goats which climb the trees to eat their fruit. “Amlou” a thick brown paste with a consistency similar to peanut butter is produced by stone grinding roasted almond and Argan oil and is considered a favorite local bread dip. However, the oil used in cosmetic and culinary products available for sale today has most likely been harvested directly from the tree and processed with machines. The unroasted oil is traditionally used as a treatment for skin diseases, and has found favour with the cosmetics industry.

Sites above Bergen Norway

Bergen – World Heritage City

Bergen has given a warm welcome to its visitors for more than 900 years. Bryggen has become a symbol of our cultural heritage and has gained a place on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The old Hanseatic wharf is architecturally unique and is perhaps one of the most familiar image in all of Norway.

Bergensers are proud of their city and of their city’s traditions. They look after their past because it is a part of their living present. A city with its feet in the sea, its head in the skies and its heart in the right place – full of infectious enthusiasm, and happy to share it with visitors. Welcome to Bergen, the old city with a young outlook.

Surrounded by seven mountains, Bergen is ideal for enjoying the beauties of nature. A few minutes’ ride on the Fløibanen funicular will take you from the city center to the top of Mt. Fløyen where there are numerous hiking trails.

Check out the Jack Carter Facebook page to see my corresponding pictures.

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