Airport Tips to Help You Get Through Security Quicker

This article is brought to you by the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) to help you avoid delays during the summer travel season.

Airplane

It’s summer, you’ve been planning your big vacation for a while, and all you can think about is getting to the lake/beach/mountain – it’s understandable! But with your mind’s eye fixed on your destination, it’s easy to forget about the journey, particularly security screening at the airport. The good news is that being prepared can help you breeze through the screening checkpoint, leaving you more time to shop, eat or just relax before your flight.

The first step is doing your homework so you know what goes in your carry-on and what goes in your checked baggage. The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) has some handy tools on its website, including a searchable “What can I bring” list that lets you know where to pack your items and what can and can’t fly. It also has a travel checklist generator and tips for all sorts of challenges –  from what to do with large sports equipment and medical supplies to travelling with pets.

According to CATSA, one of the biggest hold-ups at security is having too many liquids, aerosols and gels. Containers over 100 ml and 1-litre bags that are overstuffed with smaller containers (no seal; no deal) will need to be checked. As for that cup of java or water bottle in your hand – if it’s over 100 ml, be prepared to chug.

There are some exceptions, like liquids for kids under two years old and medication. You can check out more here. In all cases, the containers should be taken out of your carry-on bag and ready to present to the screening officer for inspection.

Once you hit the front of the line, it helps to have your boarding pass ready to show to the screening officer. You can also speed things up if you put any loose change, keys and small electronics (smartphones, cameras, tablets) in your carry-on bag so you can just drop it in the bin. If you’re travelling with a laptop or other large electronics (gaming console, DVD player) you’ll need to put them in a separate bin. For more information on what you can put in the bins at the checkpoint, you can find it here.

If you’re still wondering what to do with an item or want more information about security screening, you can always send questions to CATSA on Twitter or Facebook.

Lastly, travel is all about being mobile, so you should definitely download CATSA’s free mobile app. It’s available on Android, iOS and Blackberry, and can help you with all this and more, including wait times for security at most major airports.

 

Wishing you a great summer of travel!

Source: http://nomadicsamuel.com/travel-tips/airport-tips-help-get-security-quicker

Traveling to Santorini: Top Tourist Attractions

traveling to sanorini best things to do

When traveling to Santorini, the top tourist attraction is just simply being there! Considered as one of the most romantic and serene places in the world, there is no shortage of fun for when you get bored with gazing out at the beautiful surroundings and views of the Caldera.

Listed here you will find the top tourist attractions for when you are visiting Santorini.

Helicopter Tours of Santorini

Unlike the boat tours these do get fully booked, so reserve early. Tours last 20 minutes, 30 minutes, or 1 hour and you get incredible views of the caldera, cliffs, volcano, vineyards, and towns.

traveling to santorini

Explore the island from a different view, great for aerial photos!

Outdoor Cinema in Kamari

Who doesn’t like watching movies outside?! This outdoor cinema in Kamari is awesome and considered as one of the best in all of Europe! Its well worth a visit if you are visiting Santorini through the high seasons of April – August.

Take a break from the beautiful views of the Caldera and get cozy under the stars with some wine, beer, and snacks that are available at the kiosk. Movies are on daily and they usually start around 9:30pm.

best things to do in santorini attractions

Traveling to Santorini: Top Attractions

Take a sunset cruise out to Swim in the Hot Springs

The santorini sunsets are magnificent. What better way to see the sunset hit the white washed houses from out on the ocean with a glass of champagne.

Before the sun sets, you will be taken out to the natural hot springs where you will jump from the boat into the cold water of the caldera then swim towards the warm water of the volcanic springs. It never gets hot but it’s warm enough to never feel the need to get out.

The different options for boat tours include: hike the volcano, swim in the hot springs, visit the area of Thirassia and explore its villages, stop at Red Beach and White Beach to swim and snorkel, eat lunch or dinner on board, and watch the sunset below Oia.

Atlantis is believed to be buried under these waters around Santorini… so take a snorkel with you if you feel like diving for treasures!

traveling to santorini popular attractions

Santorini sunsets are famous all over the world, enjoy the view from a cruise out on the water for a different perspective

The Seafood Restaurants Of Amoudi Bay

Ammoudi Bay is a small picturesque bay just below Oia. This is where you will probably see some of the most crystal clear sea waters in your life!

You can go to Ammoudi by going down the stairs from Oia or by driving through the road and park a few meters before the bay.

It’s surprisingly quiet down here and you can usually get away without a reservation.

top tourist attractions in santorini

If you love seafood this is a great place to stop for lunch and is only a short walk down the the bay from Oia

Spend an afternoon visiting the wineries

Wine production in Santorini dates back to Roman times and it is still one of the main local products of the island. Artisanal wines, lovely terraces, incredible views and amazing Greek Food.

Red Beach & Akrotiri

Santorini’s beautiful beaches are legendary but the unique Red Beach is even more amazing and unique with each famous red and black volcanic pebbles. It’s only a short walk from the ancient site of Akrotiri.

Visiting Akrotiri is like traveling back in time. Walk around the streets and squares of a prehistoric city, admire the elegant mansions and high finesse of the 17th century B.C. If you have time, visit some of the Castles and Fortresses that are around this part of the island too.

santorini tourist attractions

Red Beach, Santorini

Hike the trail between Oia and Fira

This one can easily be the highlight of your trip to Santorini. It’s roughly a 2-3hr hiking trail which can be a bit steep at some points but it’s definitely worth doing as it will reward you with some of the best views of the island.

Make sure you do the hiking early morning or late in the afternoon as in the summer the sun gets very hot so take plenty of water with you, and sun cream.

best things to do in sanorini

Hiking the trail from Thira to Oia, Santorini

Eat Baklava and Gyros

You have to try a baklava and ice cream if you’re in Greece. Lucky’s is a small Gyros stand on the main street of Fira and a 3 minute walk from the bus station. (Ask anyone and they’ll point you in the right direction).

This is the real thing and just as good as anything you’ll find in Athens or mainland Greece.

traveling to santorini attractions

Baklava is a traditional Greek desert of nuts, filo pastry and honey

The post Traveling to Santorini: Top Tourist Attractions appeared first on WanderingTrader.

Source: http://wanderingtrader.com/travel-blog/traveling-santorini-top-tourist-attractions/

Ancient Spanish Monastery Of Florida: The St. Bernard de Clairvaux Church

How a monastery built during the 12th century in Spain, would end up being one of the oldest buildings not only in Florida, but in the Western Hemisphere is an unusual tale.

It provides the Church of St. Bernard de Clairvaux an unusual history, in the path to become the tourist attraction known as the Ancient Spanish Monastery. It provides the story to our 9th stop, in the series Off The Beaten Path.

City of Segovia, Spain

The monastery of St. Bernard de Clairvaux was begun in 1133 CE in Sacramenia. The area is located in the northern part of Spain, near Segovia.

After eight years of construction, the monastery was dedicated to the Virgin Mary in 1141 CE. The original name was The Monastery of Our Lady, Queen of the Angels.

The monastery was founded by Alfonso VII of Castile and Leon. It was built in the traditional Spanish style, of Cistercian Romanesque architecture. After its completion, he would have it occupied by Cistercian monks who had come from France.

Bernard of Clairvaux
Abbot lifespan 1090-1153 CE

When Bernard of Clairvaux was canonized in 1174 CE, the monastery would be renamed in his honor.

St. Bernard was a Cistercian monk and mystic. He was the founder and later abbot of the Abbey of Clairvaux, Bernard. Over time, he became one of the most influential Roman Catholic church leaders of the early to mid 12th century.

Some parts of the monastery were rebuilt, after being destroyed by fire in 1641.

Cistercian monks would occupy the monastery, for nearly the next 700 years.

The abbey would remain an active monastic community until 1835.

Queen Isabella II of Spain reigned from 1833 – 1868

Due to the social revolution of the 1830’s, the Monastery of St. Bernard de Clairvaux along with other cloisters, would be confiscated and sold. It would happen during the reign of Queen Isabella II of Spain.

The historic monastery building, would be converted into a stable and a granary. The Romanesque abbey church, remains one of the monuments of Sacramenia.

In 1925, newspaper magnate and publisher William Randolph Hearst, purchased the Cloisters and the monastery’s outbuildings.

The structures would then be dismantled stone by stone and packed with protective hay. It would take more than 11,000 wooden crates, that were numbered for identification purposes. The entire lot was then shipped to the United States. Some of the crates weighed over 3,000 pounds each.

William Randolph Hearst 1863 – 1951

An outbreak of hoof and mouth disease in Segovia around this time, resulted in the entire shipment being forced into quarantine, upon its arrival in the United States. Some of the information contained in the labeling process, was thus lost.

During the process of quarantine, the crates were opened and the hay filing was burned, as a measure to prevent the possible spread of disease. During the repacking, the items in the crates were not replaced correctly.

By this time William Randolph Hearst was unable to proceed with his plan, to reassemble the monastery, at his San Simeon estate along the California coast. Financial difficulties now made the venture no longer viable.

As a result, most of the collection would be sold at auction. The thousands of crates would then remain in a Brooklyn, New York City warehouse for the next 26 years.

Central courtyard surrounded by the cloisters.

In 1952, the year after the death of Mr. Hearst, the crates would be purchased by Raymond Moss and William Edgemon. Their plan was to reassemble the monastery and create a tourist attraction, on the site of a small plant nursery in northern Miami, Florida.

The crates would be shipped to the Port of Everglades in 1953.

It took 23 men, 90 days just to open all the crates.

It would then take 19 months and would cost $1.5 million USD (United States Dollar), to assemble the pieces for reconstruction. This is the equivalent of nearly $20 million USD in modern day cost, to put the monastery back together again.

Entrance to the cloisters.

Interestingly, some of the original stones would remain unused, in the process of rebuilding.

A 1953 Time Magazine article, would call it the biggest jigsaw puzzle in history.

Edgemon and Moss would take charge of the reconstruction in 1964. They together decided to add other decorative pieces, from different Spanish buildings to the original complex.

One of the most prominent additions, was the large round carved-stone coat of arms, seen in the cloister. This artifact had originally belonged to the House of Albuquerque and came from the monastery of San Francisco de Cuellar, also in the province of Segovia.

Another acquisition for the monastery, was the chapel that had been erected in the 15th century, by Beltran de la Cueva, the 1st Duke of Albuquerque. He has been a favorite of Henry IV of Castile. This also had been sold in the 20th century, after the secularization of the monastery.

Gardens surrounding the building.

Also later in 1964, the property would be purchased by Bishop Henry I. Louttit, for the Episcopal Diocese of South Florida. The geographic area encompassing the one Diocese, would soon be divided into the Central, Southeast and Southwest Florida.

Eventually financial difficulties, would force the three dioceses to sell the monastery.

Colonel Robert Pentland, Jr., who was a multimillionaire banker, philanthropist and a benefactor of many Episcopal churches, purchased the Cloisters. He would then present them to the Bishop of Florida, for the Episcopal parish of St. Bernard de Clairvaux.

Three doors from the monastery would be removed and are now in a private home located in Atlanta, Georgia.

The monastery is listed on the United States National Register of Historic Places.

Today, the parish Church of St. Bernard de Clairvaux is an active and growing congregation. It is located in the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida.

Church services are held regularly on Sundays and weekdays, in both English and Spanish.

Location

The Ancient Spanish Monastery is located at 16711 West Dixie Highway, North Miami Beach, Florida. The Zip-code is 33160. The phone number is (305) 945-1461

The e-mail address is Info@SpanishMonastery.com

Admission

Adults $10.00 USD

Students $5.00 USD

Seniors $5.00 USD

How To Get There

  • Take Interstate 1-95 to Exit 14 (State Road 860) marked Miami Gardens Drive.
  • Go East on Miami Gardens Drive. (It is a four lane street)
  • Drive for 1.2 miles.
  • Turn Right (South) onto West Dixie Highway (also marked NE 26th Avenue).
  • Drive 1.2 miles south on Dixie Highway.
  • Monastery will be on your Left (East) side of the street.

Days and Hours of Operations

Monday – Saturday 10:00 am to 4:30 pm

Sunday 11:00 am to 4:30 pm

Visitors should note, the church and gardens do close for special events. Weekends are the most popular time for such occasions.

Check this website for details: http://www.spanishmonastery.com/calendar

Lodging

Is available in nearby communities, surrounding the monastery and other nearby attractions.

The post Ancient Spanish Monastery Of Florida: The St. Bernard de Clairvaux Church appeared first on WanderingTrader.

Source: http://wanderingtrader.com/travel-blog/united-states/ancient-spanish-monastery-florida-st-bernard-de-clairvaux-church/

The Famous Temples Of Madurai India: The Athens Of The East

In southeast India, travelers can find the famous Temples of Madurai. Known as the Athens of the East, these wondrous structures, can be found in the state of Tamil Nadu. They were built over hundreds of year ago during ancient times, the Middle Ages, Renaissance and early modern period. It is the 7th stop in our series Journeys to Discovery.

The city of Madurai has an incredible history, that can be traced back some 2,500 years. The place was mentioned since antiquity in Tamil literature. The cultural richness and historical significance of the city, led it to become a major center of religious worship in Hinduism.

Vaigai river in Madurai

The city of Madurai is filled with both large and small temples, with some of them gaining international fame for their sheer size and exquisite beauty.

The city became known as the Athens of the East, when a Greek ambassador arrived in the court of Chandragupta Maurya, who reigned from 321 to 298 BCE. The diplomat was so awestruck by what he saw, he immediately compared it to the most beautiful city in ancient Greece, the city of Athens.

Meenakshi Amman Temple

Over the centuries, Madurai was ruled by a number of different dynasties and numerous rulers. The city would be taken over by invaders and for awhile was even an autonomous state, with its own Sultan.

The city of Madurai is built around the massive temple complex of Meenakshi Amman Temple. Upon arrival to the city a visitor will observe the 14 gateway towers to this enormous and sprawling temple. The towers are beautifully designed and are decorated with vibrant colors.

Taj Mahal, Mausoleum in Agra, India

Over the centuries the temple complex has been a center of culture, literature, art, music and dance. It is considered to be most impressive religious building in south India. It is to south India, what the Taj Mahal is to northern India. The temple remains the best example of South Indian Vijayanagar temple architecture.

The entire complex encompasses near 15 acres or 6 hectares.

Indra King of the Gods
God of Lightning, Thunder, Rains and River flows, King of Heaven

Legend reports that this huge temple was founded by Indra the king of Deva, while he was on a pilgrimage to redress a number of misdeeds.

He found solace and peace on the site that would become Madurai. Indra worshiped Shiva, who caused golden lotuses to appear in the nearby pool. This initiated the construction, as a place of worship according to the story.

The original temple was purportedly built during the 6th century BCE by survivors of the Kumari Kandam. In the 14th century, the Sultanate Muslim Commander Malik Kafur looted the temple.

Meenakshi Amman Temple

The rebuilding would begin under the first Nayak ruler Vishwanatha Nayakar late in the 16th century. It would be reconstructed in accordance to the shilpa shastra ( the design rules, principles and standards of Hindu architecture).

The temple has 14 gateway towers known as gopurams ranging from 148 feet to 164 feet (45-50 meters) in height. The tallest is the southern tower at 170 feet.

One can also see two golden sculpted vimanas, architectural features on top of the towers. These are located over the shrines of the main deities and are identified as garbhagrihas.

Goddess Meenakshi also known as Parvati

The main building was built to honor Parvati, known as Meenakshi locally, and her consort Shiva, that locals identify as Sundareswarar. The central enclosure has two beautiful golden shrines to Meenakshi.

The Meenakshi Temple contains around 33,000 different sculptures. There is a staggering array of gods, goddesses, heroes and demons. There are about 4,000 different granite sculptures on the lower levels. The sculptures placed further up the edifices, are repainted every 12 years. The last such touch up was in 2009.

The temple complex is the most prominent landmark in the city. It was listed as one of the top 30 contenders to be added to the New Seven Wonders of the World.

The annual 10-day Meenakshi Tirukalyanam festival, celebrate during April and May, attracts 1 million visitors alone. Throughout the rest of the year, there are usually 15,000 visitors a day with 25,000 on Friday.

Tirupparankunram Murugan Temple

The Tirupparankunram Murugan Temple can be found about 5 miles (8 kilometers) outside of Madurai.

What is unique about this temple is that it is carved in a rock face and is enormous in size. The building is ancient and has stood on this site, since the 7th century according to some records.

The Tirupparankunram is one of the six homes of lord Muruga on Earth. He is known to be the Hindu God of War. Also known as Kartikeya, he is a son of the powerful god Shiva. The main shrine was built in his honor. There are smaller shrines dedicated on the site for the Goddess Durga, Shiva, Vinayaka, and Vishnu.

The ancient Alagar Kovil Temple, lies a couple of miles from Madurai. Historical text have the area a place of pilgrimage for many centuries.

Azhagar Koyil Temple

The golden canopy on the dome of the temple however, was commissioned by King Sundara during the 13th century.

Writings from centuries before identify Alagar Kovil Temple as a refuge for Jainism monks. There is a holy spring nearby, that has provided water for both residents and pilgrims alike.

There is a legend about a holy cow collapsing right where the temple was later built.

The temple is built in the Dravidian style and possesses beautiful carvings on the outside facade.

Koodal Azhagar Temple

The Koodal Azhagar Temple dates back to the 5th and 6th centuries CE. The edifice is dedicated to the God Vishnu. It is one of the most important temples to followers of Vishnu. There are additional shrines to the Krishna, Lakshmi Narasimha, Lakshmi, and Rama.

The Koodal Azhagar has a five-tiered gateway tower. The main idol with the temple is fastidiously carved out of granite. It is said that the shadow of the main shrine does not fall on the ground. There is also a five metals (panchloha) idol of Vyuga, the temple’s festival deity.

In addition, there are a number of splendid paintings in the temple, that add to the magnificence of the place.

Pazhamudircholai Murugan Temple

The Pazhamudircholai Murugan Temple is just over 15 miles (25 kilometers) from Madurai. It is another home of Lord Muruga. The Temple is far smaller than the aforementioned ones, but there is a rich history associated with the place.

Legend has it that the saint and great poet Avvaiyar, was subjected to a test from Lord Muruga.

The poet found a boy sitting under a tree at the site. The child asked if she wanted ripe or unripe fruits. Not wishing to argue with the boy, she asked for unripe ones. While the boy went up the tree to collect the requested fruits, a number of them fell with sand on them. After blowing away the sand, the boy insisted that Avvaiyar was blowing the ripe fruits as they were too hot.

Sculptures inside the Meenaakshi Amman Temple

The boy of course, was Lord Muruga himself.

Information for the Meenakshi Temple

Hours of Operation

4:00 am to 12:30 pm and then 4:00 pm to 9:30 pm daily

Best time to visit is from late October to early March

It will take about 2 hours to visit the main temple complex. The best time to visit is in the early morning and late evening to avoid the larger crowds.

Close up of gopurum figures at Meenakshi Amman Temple

Admission And Entrance Fees

The official general entrance fee for the Temple Art Museum is for Indians just 5 rupees for foreigners it is 50 rupees ($0.77 USD) United States Dollar. If one want to use a camera, there is an additional charge of 50 rupees. Be advised the use of your camera, is restricted in many parts of the complex.

So called Temple Guides will try to charge an additional fee rarely below 200 rupees ($3.10 USD). They are usually just fronts for the various shops, especially those involved with clothing.

Cultural Norms

Parts of the temple are off limits to non-Hindus. Dress codes have been recently tightened. No legs should be exposed for either men or women. Shoulders on women need to be covered. If you find yourself improperly dressed, there is always someone willing to sell you articles of clothing, to alleviate the problem.

Personal items like cameras, mobile phones, bottles, food items and such, can attract attention and are restricted in many areas of the complex. It is best to minimize their use or better yet, leave them in your hotel room.

An aerial view of Madurai city from atop the Meenakshi Amman temple

The post The Famous Temples Of Madurai India: The Athens Of The East appeared first on WanderingTrader.

Source: http://wanderingtrader.com/travel-blog/india-travel-blog/famous-temples-madurai-india-athens-east/

Crazy Horse Monument To Become The World’s Largest Sculpture

Within the Black Hills of South Dakota in the United States, the world’s largest sculpture is slowly being carved out of Thunderhead Mountain. The Crazy Horse Monument has been under construction since 1948.

When completed it will depict the Oglala Lakota warrior, Crazy Horse, riding a horse while pointing into the distance. The Crazy Horse Memorial is the eighth stop, in the series Off The Beaten Path.

The final dimensions of the Crazy Horse sculpture is to be 563 feet (172 meters) high and 641 feet (195 meters) wide. The face of Crazy Horse alone, is 87.6 feet (26.70 meters) high. The nose itself is 27 feet long. The eyes are 17 feet wide.

Some of the other dimensions of the sculpture include, the outstretched arm which will be 263 feet, the horse’s head at 219 feet high (22 stories) and the horse’s mane at 62 feet high. The opening under the warrior’s arm will be 70 feet wide and 100 feet high.

The closest comparison in size that can be made is to Mount Rushmore, which is just 17 miles away. The heads of the four sculpted American Presidents, are each 60 feet or (18 meters) high.

Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore was completed in 14 years and the total cost was less than $1 million USD (United States Dollar).

Construction on the Crazy Horse Monument consumes near $1.75 million annually, which is about one quarter of the yearly budget of the foundation established, for the decades long project. The final date of completion remains unknown.

The site is privately owned, despite being one of the major tourist attractions since the late 1990s, when the face was finished. It is located on land considered sacred, by some of the Oglala Lakota people.

Korczak Ziolkowski and Henry Standing Bear.

The memorial was originally commissioned by Henry Standing Bear, and elder of the Lakota nation in late 1939. He engaged the services of the famous Polish-American sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski, who had previously worked on Mount Rushmore under Gutzon Borglum.

In his original letter to Mr. Ziolkowski, he informed the sculptor My fellow chiefs and I would like the white man to know that the red man has great heroes too.

Standing Bear later decided to write a letter to the then Undersecretary Oscar Chapman of the Department of the Interior. He proposed offering all his own 900 fertile acres of land in exchange for the barren mountain, in the purpose of paying honor to the legendary warrior Crazy Horse.

The United States government responded with a permit through the National Forest Service, agreeing to the project.

There was also a commission set up to oversea the project, but Standing Bear chose not to seek government funds. He instead wanted to rely upon influential and wealthy Americans interested in the culture of Native Americans. These individuals would hopefully, privately pay for the project.

Korczak Ziolkowski

In the first half of 1940, Ziolkowski would spend three weeks with Standing Bear, at the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.

During this time he learned about the legend of Crazy Horse and the Lakota way of living. It was at this time that he began the new journey, that would consume the rest of his life.

At the commencement ceremony in 1948, with the first blast of rock on the mountain, five survivors of the Battle of the Little Bighorn attended.

From the beginning the entire project was a non-profit undertaking. Sculptor Ziolkowski was reportedly offered $10 million USD from the federal government, on two different occasions. He would turn down these public funds.

Model of the Crazy Horse memorial

Ziolkowski felt the project was more than just a mountain carving, and feared his plans for the more extensive cultural and educational goals of the memorial, would be overturned by intrusive federal involvement.

The Memorial Foundation charges fees for its visitor centers and earns a constant stream of revenue from its gift shops. Over a million tourists arrive every year from both the United States and abroad.

The master plan includes the monument, an Indian University of North America, an Indian Museum of North America, and a Native American Cultural Center.

Black Hills of South Dakota

After Mr. Ziolkowski died in 1982, his widow Ruth took over the project and leadership of the foundation. She made the wise decision to focus on the completion of the face of Crazy Horse first, rather than the horse, as her husband had originally planned.

The judgment was made by Mrs. Ziolkowski, because she believed the face once completed, would increase tourism, which would then provide increased funding for the project. After completion of the face in 1998, Ruth and seven out of her 10 children, would carry on with work on the memorial.

Daughter, Monique Ziolkowski herself a sculptor, began a slight modification of her father’s original design. She wanted to be sure the outstretched arm when completed, would have sufficient support.

Mr and Mrs. Ziolkowski

The foundation would also commission reports from two engineering firms in 2009, to help guide completion of the project.

Ruth Ziolkowski would die in 2014 at the age of 87, but the work will continue with family members still in charge. Monique has been CEO, since the death of her mother.

Crazy Horse was a Native American war leader of the Oglala Lakota. He fought against the federal government of the United States, to preserve the territory of his people and their way of life.

He is known for his action against the United States military in the Fetterman Fight in 1866 and the Battle of the Little Bighorn, in June 1876.

Lieutenant Colonel Custer and his U.S. Army troops are defeated in battle with Native American Lakota Sioux and Northern Cheyenne on the Little Bighorn Battlefield, June 25, 1876 at Little Bighorn River, Montana.

Crazy Horse would later surrender to American troops under General Crook in May of 1877. He was fatally wounded by a military guard, while allegedly resisting imprisonment at Camp Robinson, in what is today the state of Nebraska.

There is no known likeness of Crazy Horse known to exist, so the sculpture on the mountain is that of a generic Native American warrior.

Today, the Crazy Foundation sponsors a number of Native American cultural events and educational programs. Every year in June and in October, the Memorial hosts a Volksmarch, when the public is permitted on the mountain. As many as 15,000 have attended these annual events.

On the second Monday in October, there is also a celebration of Native American’s Day, a state holiday since 1990.

The gift shop has many unique items related to the monument and Native American culture.

Location

Crazy Horse Memorial is located at 12151 Avenue of the Chiefs Crazy Horse, South Dakota. The Zip-code is 57730-8900. The phone number is (605) 673-4681

The e-mail address is memorial@crazyhorse.org

Admission

Tickets are $28.00 USD (United States Dollar) per car with more than 2 people.

The cost is $22.00 USD for 2 visiting adults.

Single visitors will be charged $11.00 USD.

Visitors arriving by bikes and motorcycles will pay $5.00 USD per person.

Children 6 and under are admitted free.

Free admission is provided for Native Americans, Active Military, Custer County residents and Boy or Girl Scouts in Class A or B uniforms.

Admission includes the Indian Museum of North America, the Mountain Carving Room, the Native American Educational and Cultural Center, Sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski’s Studio-Home and Workshops, Sculptures, Artwork, Antiques, and the Laser Light Show at dark (when in season).

Visitors are able to witness the colossal carving in progress from the Viewing Deck, juxtaposed with Ziolkowski’s model.

From Memorial Day through September, visitors can interact with Native artists, lecturers, and performers representing numerous indigenous Nations.

Additional Optional Tours include a rustic bus ride to the bottom of the mountain for a close up view (weather permitting) for $4.00 USD per person. A trip to the top of the mountain is possible with a gift of $125.00 USD per person. Children 12 and under are free with a paying adult.

There are a number of special events throughout the normal tourist season, so visitors may wish to contact the foundation for additional information or use the provided website: https://crazyhorsememorial.org/crazy-horse-memorial-special-events.html

Amenities include free parking

How To Get There The entrance would be along US Highway 16/385 (the Crazy Horse Memorial Highway) 9 miles south of Hill City, South Dakota and 4 miles north of Custer, South Dakota.

Days and Hours of Operations

The Crazy Horse Memorial is open daily:

From January 2 through March 14 from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

March 15 – May 16 from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm.

May 17 – October 09 from 7:00 am to 30 minutes after laser light show.

October 11 – November 11 from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm.

November 2 – November 15 from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

November 16 – November 29 from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.

November 30 – December 13 from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Holiday Hours for December from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm.

Christmas Day from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.

For Bus Tours call (605) 673-4681.

Lodging

Is available in nearby communities surrounding the monument and other nearby attractions.

The post Crazy Horse Monument To Become The World’s Largest Sculpture appeared first on WanderingTrader.

Source: http://wanderingtrader.com/travel-blog/united-states/crazy-horse-monument-become-worlds-largest-sculpture/

Imperial Summer Palace Of China: Masterpiece Of Historical Landscape Garden Design

The Summer Palace in China is an extensive ensemble of hills, gardens, lakes and palaces, that was originally built outside the city of Beijing. Today it serves as a recreational park and has become a popular tourist destination, for both the Chinese and foreign travelers.

It is our 6th stop in the series Journeys to Discovery.

The total area of the Summer Palace encompasses a total of 1.1 square miles or 2.9 square kilometers. Three-quarters of the complex, is compromised of water from the lakes.

Kunming Lake with Nanhu Island and the 17-Arch Bridge

The Summer Palace is located 13.17 miles or 21.2 kilometers from the heart of the Chinese capital. This equates to a travel time of 39 minutes from the Forbidden City.

The attractions of the Summer Palace can be divided into six different scenic areas. They are the Halls, Longevity Hill, Kunming Lake, the Farming and Weaving Picture Scenic Area, the Long Corridor, and the Central Axis area.

In 1998, UNESCO included the Summer Palace on its World Heritage List. It identified the site as a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design. The natural landscape of hills and open water is combined with artificial features such as pavilions, halls, palaces, temples and bridges to form a harmonious ensemble of outstanding aesthetic value.

Longevity Hill

The Summer Palace is mainly dominated by Longevity Hill and Kunming Lake. The central Kunming Lake, covers some 540 acres (2.2 square kilometers) and is entirely man made. The soil excavated by hand, was used in the creation of Longevity Hill.

The latter is about 200 feet (60 meters) high and has numerous buildings built in a sequence. The front part of Longevity Hill was endowed with magnificent halls and pavilions that number over 3,000 rooms. The back hill as a contrast, is a simple display of natural beauty.

The origins of the Summer Palace can be traced back to the Jurchen-led Jin Dynasty in 1153. The fourth ruler, Wanyan Liang who reigned from 1150 to 1161, moved his capital to Yanjing. This city would later evolve into the present day Beijing.

Standing atop the Longevity Hill, the Tower of Buddhist Incense is the highest building in the Summer Palace.

It was this ruler that would order the construction of the first palace in the Fragrant Hills and Jade Spring Hill, located in the northwest part of his new capital.

Around the year 1271, after the Yuan (Mongol) Dynasty also established its capital at what was known as Khanbaliq (Beijing), a waterworks project was designed and built in the area. This would later become Kunming Lake. The aim was to provide a reliable supply of water for the capital.

Later in 1494, the Hongzhi Emperor of the Ming Dynasty has a temple built in front of Jar Hill, which was later renamed Longevity Hill. This structure would eventually be abandoned and fell into disrepair.

Garden of Harmonious Pleasures

The Zhengde Emperor who succeeded to the throne, built a palace on the banks of the Western Lake and turned the area into an imperial garden. Both he and the Wanli Emperor who reigned from 1572 to 1620, relished taking boast rides on the lake.

During the reign of the Tianqi Emperor from 1620 to 1627, a court eunuch would take the imperial garden and make it his personal property

The construction of the Summer Palace itself started around 1750 by the Qianlong Emperor. He decided to build a palace there, to celebrate the 60th birthday of his mother, the Empress Dowager Chongqing. He had the Western Lake expanded to create two more lakes known as Gaoshui and Yangshui. He would name the three lakes collectively as Kunming Lake.

Pavilion of Precious Clouds

Some 150,000 peasants would dig a lake by hand that would end up being 6 miles long. They would also shape an incredible landscape, that surrounded this new body of water.

The excavated earth was used to enlarge Jar Hill, which was now renamed Longevity Hill. The peasants would now build up the hill some 200 feet high and then create buildings, built out of teak, enhanced with bronze and gold.

The Summer Palace would be completed in the year 1764 at a cost of 4.8 million silver taels. It was at first named Qingyiyuan, which translates into Garden of Clear Ripples.

Suzhou Street

The grounds around the buildings were a luxuriant garden, for the imperial families to relax and entertain guests.

A number of the buildings and temples were taken from other sites around China, to complete the almost magical scenery of the extensive gardens.

The arrangement of the Summer Palace was attributed to a legend in Chinese mythology. The story is about three divine mountains in the East Sea. The three islands in Kunming Lake were built to represent these mythological places.

Kunming Lake itself, was modeled after the West Lake in Hangzhou.

Tower of Buddhist Incense (northern side)

Many of the architectural features in the palace were also built, to resemble various famous places around imperial China. A model of the whole of China, created on just 12 square miles.

The centerpiece of the Summer Palace was the Great Temple of Gratitude and Longevity.

There was also the Long Corridor a 2,297 (700 meters) which was decorated with intricate artistic decorations.

The Qing (Manchu) Dynasty began to decline following the thirty year rule of Daoguang Emperor. His reign from 1820 to 1850, were the years when China was falling ever further behind the West, in technological advances.

Kunming Lake viewed from Longevity Hill

After his death, the Summer Palace began to be neglected and the architectural features on the three islands, were ordered to be dismantled. They had become too expensive to maintain.

The turning point arrived in 1860. At the end of the Second Opium War, the British would burn down the nearby Old Summer Palace, known as Yuanmingyuan. Over 200 halls of teak and gold leaf would be burned. A soldier wrote at the time that you can scarcely imagine the beauty and magnificence of the places we burned. It made ones heart ache to burn them.

The destruction of the palace was ordered by Lord Elgin, the British High Commissioner to China. The reason given for the command, was the torture and killing of two English envoys, a journalist and their escorts.

Zhuanlunzang

The Summer Palace itself, was seriously damaged and looted at the same time, by both the British and the French.

The wanton destruction of large sections of the Summer Palace, is still remembered among many Chinese and is considered by them, to be a crime against their culture and history.

The next evolution of the Summer Palace would result from an unusual chain of events within the royal family.

The reign of the Guangxu Emperor from 1875 to 1908 comprised the 11th ruler from the Qing dynasty and the 9th one to rule over China. He was strongly under the influence of his aunt, the Empress Dowager Cixi from 1889 to 1898.

Effective Rule 11 November 1861 – November 1908

Empress Cixi had been the mother of the previous Emperor and was his regent. She would never really relinquish power from this point. When her son died at 19, she would appoint a nephew to rule, but would maintain the real political power in her own hands.

For the first time in a thousand years, China was being ruled by a woman. She would become known as the Dragon Empress.

Empress Dowager Cixi wanted to restore the Summer Palace to what it was like during her youth. To accomplish this task, a great deal of money would be needed.

In 1884, she would embezzle the equivalent of 50 million USD (United States Dollar) intended for the Chinese navy, to be used instead in the restoration of the Summer Palace.

From the years 1884 through 1895, the Empress would use 22 million silver taels, an incredible fortune in the ongoing building project.

The enormous expense, forced most of the construction to take place on the buildings in front of Longevity Hill and the dams around Kunming Lake.

17-Arch Bridge

The Tower of the Fragrance of the Buddha was by far, the most expensive building. At a time when a comfortable Chinese peasant earned just $0.15 USD a day, the Empress spent more than a million dollars on the gold roof finial alone.

A great deal of the national wealth of China was used in reconstructing and enlarging the Summer Palace, in time for the 60th birthday of Empress Cixi in 1895. It would consume a seventh of the Chinese budget during these years.

It is noteworthy to remember, that during this period some 20 million peasants would starve in the outlying provinces, as the Empress lived a lavish and extravagant lifestyle.

Long Corridor

She concealed the fact that court expenses, were costing the Chinese Treasury some $20 million USD, a year. The royal staff at the Summer Palace alone, numbered a thousand.

The cost of just one of her elaborate meals, would feed 50 peasants for a month. The Empress would insist on 128 separate dishes, for both lunch and dinner. However, she would mostly dine on only a few favorites.

The Empress Dowager would also accumulate some 20,000 gowns over the years.

The Summer Palace had taken its present name (Yiheyuan) during its reconstruction in 1888. The same year, that the Empress moved her imperial court there for good.

Great Opera Hall and Theater

The Empress Cixi would have constructed at the heart of the complex, China’s largest theater. Its magnificent stage alone, would comprise three stories. Personal performances for the Empress would be presented in a continuous manner.

In 1894, China and Japan would go to war over Korea. Without a modern navy, the Chinese forces were destroyed, by the rapidly modernizing Japanese. The Empress on hearing the news, simply complained the whole episode, ruined her 60th birthday celebration.

At the Summer Palace, the Empress Cixi restores an ornamental marble boat, to honor the Chinese patriots,who had collected money for the navy.

Guangxu Emperor (nominal reign) February 1875 – November 1908

When her nephew the Emperor Guangxu initiated the Hundred Days’ Reform to modernize China, he was stopped by the Empress Cixi. She instead launched a military coup and seized the throne for herself. He would be imprisoned until his death in 1908, likely by poisoning.

Her victory over the reformers inspires a group of Chinese ultra nationalists, who become known as the Boxers. They would soon stage an uprising. In 1898, they begin to kill Chinese Christians. In 1900, against the counsel of her advisers, she orders all foreigners in China to be killed.

The Boxers subsequently kill, thousands of foreign nationals. This would lead to Western military intervention, once again. Countless thousands more Chinese citizens would be killed, due to the allied assault on the Chinese capital.

Representative U.S., Indian, French, Italian, British, German, Austrian and Japanese military and naval personnel forming part of the Allied forces during the Boxer Rebellion.

In 1900, towards the end of the Boxer Rebellion, the Summer Palace would suffer a great deal of damage. Parts of the complex would suffer being consumed by fire, once again. The forces of the Eight-Nation Alliance would destroy the imperial gardens. They would also steal countless historical artifacts and works of art.

The Empress Cixi had fled ahead of the invasion. When she returned, the Empress orders the Summer Palace to be restored,with most of the work completed between 1902 and 1905, in time for her 70th birthday.

The Empress had been placed back on the throne by the Western powers, as a stabilizing force in China. Her political power over the nation however, was greatly reduced. She had largely become a figurehead, over an increasingly restive nation.

A three-year-old Puyi (right), standing next to his father (Zaifeng, Prince Chun) and his younger brother Pujie

She would die six years later while in residence. The throne would be left to another nephew. Empress Cixi would expire only a day, after choosing him as her successor. The three year old Puyi, would be China’s last emperor.

Soon the tradition of monarchy, which had lasted some 2,000 years would come to an end.

Following his abdication in 1912, the Summer Palace became the private property of the former imperial family. Two years later, the Summer Palace would become open to the public, with the sale of entry tickets.

After Puyi was expelled from the Forbidden City by a warlord in 1924, the Beijing municipal government, would see to the administration of the Summer Palace. It was soon turned into a public park.

After the Communist victory in 1949, the Summer Palace would briefly house the Central Party School of the Communist Party of China.

Marble Boat at the Summer Palace

Many of Mao Zedong’s friends and other noteworthy members of the Communist Party, would also take up residence.

Since 1953, there have been numerous renovations and restorations projects at the Summer Palace.

Today, it is open to the public as a park and a major tourist attraction for the Chinese and for numerous foreign tourists.

How To Get There

From the downtown Beijing area, the Summer Palace it just 9 miles (15 kilometers) away.

Tourists can enter the Summer Palace from the North Palace Gate, the East Palace Gate, the West Palace Gate or the New Palace Gate.

One can either take Subway Line 4 or Subway Line 16. If a visitor would prefer to travel by bus, there are a number of them one can take, depending on the Palace Gate they wish to enter.

Hours of Operation

There are two seasons of operation. The summer schedule runs from April 01, to October 31. The Summer Palace will be open from 6:30 am to 6:00 pm (18:00). The scenic areas are open from 8:30 to 5:00 pm (17:00).

The winter listing is from November 01, to March 31. It will be open from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm (17:00). Scenic areas are open from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm (16:00).

Your tour at the Summer Palace will last at least 3 hours, to adequately visit the most famous sites.

Admission And Entrance Fees

The general entrance fee is 30 (CYN) during the summer schedule and 20 (CYN) during the winter one. This is the equivalent of $4.35 USD and $2.90 USD respectively.

The combination ticket which includes the entrance fee and the most popular sites of Dehe Garden, Tower of Buddhism Incense, Wenchang Hall, Suzhou Street and Danning Hall, sells for 60 CYN, the equivalent of $8.70 USD in the summer and 50 CYN or $7.25 USD, in the winter.

Children under 3.9 feet or (1.2 meters) are admitted for free.

Seniors that are older than 70, are admitted for half price, by showing a valid identification or passport.

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Historic Shirley Plantation Along The James River In Virginia

The Great House at Shirley Plantation

The seventh stop in our series Off The Beaten Path, brings travelers to the James River in Virginia. Along this historic watercourse are a number of colonial mansions, that were built in the period before the United States became an independent nation. Among the oldest is Shirley Plantation, the senior active landed estate in Virginia, having started operations there in 1638.

Shirley Plantation also has the distinction of being the oldest family-owned business in North America, dating back to 1614. This is a mere seven years, after the first English settlers arrived in Jamestown in 1607. The history of the estate, now spans over four centuries.

The plantation as a whole was added to the National Register in 1969 and was pronounced a National Historic Landmark, the following year. This is a result of the estate still possessing many of the authentic structures, from its colonial past.

The brick outbuildings built in 1723, form a unique Queen Anne style looking courtyard. As these other smaller structures seem to frame the mansion, it adds to the majesty of the main house.

Included in the collection of buildings are a large two-story kitchen, with living quarters for slaves, and a two-story laundry house, also with quarters for living.

The Shirley Plantation dovecote

In addition, there is a stable, a storehouse, a smokehouse and dovecote. One of the two barns has an ice cellar beneath it. The latter, is the only remaining example of this building method in the United States.

Construction on the present day Georgian mansion, was begun in 1723. It features the pineapple throughout the woodwork, which was the Colonial symbol for hospitality. Unfortunately, the architect of the main building remains unknown.

The house was built with red brick walls and white trim boards, on a square foundation. The mansion does not really possess a front door, as the riverside and courtyard side entrances, have a two-story portico, with Doric columns supporting a pediment.

The entrance is located in the center, framed by a pair of long rectangular windows on each side.

The hipped roof rests on an entablature. This is a superstructure of moldings and bands which lie horizontally above the columns,resting on their capitals. At the Shirley mansion it contains dentil moldings.

The Shirley Plantation, c. 1900-1906. Photo by William Henry Jackson.

The roof is broken up by dormer windows and two large brick chimneys. In the center of the roof, is the famous white pedestal, supporting a finial of an overturned pineapple.

Encompassing over 700 riverfront acres, the property is still managed by direct decedents of the original owners. These are the tenth and eleventh generations of the Hills and Carters.

The mansion is considered an architectural wonder due to its flying staircase and hand-carved woodwork. The steps rise for three stories, without visible means of support. It is the only one of its kind in the United States.

Sir Thomas West, 3rd Baron De la Warr

The superior paneling and elegant wood carving throughout the house, are among the finest examples of 18th-century artisans.

Shirley Plantation remains a family home that today is filled with portraits, historical furniture, crested silver and endless memorabilia, associated with past occupants.

The lands embracing Shirley Plantation were first settled in 1613 by Sir Thomas West, 3rd Baron De la Warr and were named West and Sherley Hundred.

In those days, the land was primarily cultivated for growing tobacco, to be used throughout British North America and to be shipped across the Atlantic, bound for England.

In 1638, a tract of land was granted to Edward Hill, which began the control by the Hill family.

Governor Berkeley baring his breast for Bacon to shoot after refusing him a commission

The original 450 acres (180 hectares) was expanded by both gradual acquisition and most importantly, through marriage.

The estate would eventually be inherited by Edward Hill II, who would be in charge during Bacon’s Rebellion in 1676. The decision to back Governor William Berkeley, led to an attack on the plantation by rebels, who proceeded to ransack and plunder the place.

Shirley Plantation would pass on to Edward Hill III in 1700. His only son Edward IV, would die of consumption at 16, leaving no male heirs. His youngest daughter Elizabeth, would thus inherit the property in 1723. She was the wife of John Carter, eldest son of Robert King Carter.

Robert “King” Carter

The construction on the present day mansion known as the Great House, began that same year. It would be completed in 1738. The original nearby residence known Hill House, would remain until the late 1860s, when it would finally be demolished. The building materials would be used in the construction of another famous plantation house at Upper Shirley.

During the American Revolution, Shirley Plantation was a supply center for the Continental Army. Twice, it was a listening post for both opposing sides. It laid in the no-man’s land between Lafayette’s army at Malvern Hill and the British at City Point. The latter is today known as the town of Hopewell.

Henry Lee III, 9th Governor of Virginia

One of the most noteworthy family members born at Shirley Plantation, was Anne Hill Carter in 1773. She was the wife of the ninth governor of Virginia, Henry Lee III of the Stratford Plantation, known as Light-Horse Harry.

The couple were married in 1793, in the parlor of the mansion at Shirley. They were the parents of the famous Confederate General, Robert E. Lee. He has been recognized as one of the greatest American generals in history.

During the American Civil War, also known in the South as the War Between the States, the Shirley Plantation survived the Peninsular Campaign. In the later nearby struggle for Richmond, the Confederate capital, the mansion would again escape destruction.

General Robert E. Lee

The house remains largely in its original state. The upper floors are occupied by members of the eleventh generation of the Hill-Carter family. They are responsible for the running of the plantation, which is still in the private hands of the clan.

The bottom floor alone is open for touring, which allows visitors a glimpse of American life in the centuries before the modern era.

Many famous individuals have visited and even stayed at the Shirley Plantation. Over the generations, the members of the family have entertained the Byrds, the Harrisons, not to mention President Thomas Jefferson and even George Washington. The list of illustrious Virginians who have visited the plantation, is quite extensive.

Location Shirley Plantation is located at 501 Shirley Plantation Road in Charles City, Virginia. The Zip-code is 23030-2907. The phone number is (800) 232-1613

Admission Tickets are to be purchased in the gift shop, before you begin your tour of the grounds.

The gift shop has many unique items related to the plantation.

Adults will be charged $12.50 USD (United States Dollar). Seniors (age 60+) are admitted for $11.50.

AAA members with a valid card, are eligible to buy a ticket for $11.00. Active Duty and Veteran U.S. military and their spouses, are admitted for $10.00, with a valid identification.

For those aged 7-16 admittance is $8.50, with AAA/Military Youth charged $8.00. Ages 6 and under, are allowed in for free.

Special rates apply for groups of ten members or more, but reservations will be required. These must be made at least one week prior of arrival, to receive the group rate.

Shirley Plantation property can be made available for corporate functions, special events and weddings. Your contact e-mail for these type of requests, is Anne Hale at information@shirleyplantation.com

Further information is accessible in the special events section of the Shirley Plantation Website. http://www.shirleyplantation.com/

Amenities include free parking, restrooms, with snacks and drinks being sold in the gift shop. 

Photography Visitors may take photographs or make illustrations of the buildings, gardens and grounds as they wish, but it must be for personal use only. No such accommodations are permitted inside the Great House.

How To Get There Shirley Plantation is located 29.4 miles (47.3 kilometers) southeast from Richmond via I-64 East and Virginia 5 East. It will take about 34 minutes in normal traffic, to reach the plantation from the state capital.

Days and Hours of Operations

The Shirley Plantation is open daily for 363 days a year, with a summer schedule (April 15 to November 15) from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm, with the last tour beginning at 4:00 pm. The grounds close at 5:00 pm. Tours take place at 10:00 am, 11:00 am, 12:00 pm, 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm, 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm.

Hours of operation are shorter during colder months.

Tours of the Great House will take visitors about 35-40 minutes. The rest of the tour is self guided and will take about 30 additional minutes.

The attraction is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

Lodging

Is available in the nearby community of Charles City, which is located 12 miles (19.3 kilometers) east of the plantation, on Virginia Highway 5 East. It will take approximately 17 minutes to traverse the distance.

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The Sea Lion Caves of Oregon

The sixth stop in our series Off The Beaten Path brings travelers to the Sea Lion Caves, located on the coast of Oregon. The privately owned caves are open to the Pacific Ocean and allow easy access for the sea lions that live along the shore. Together these caverns constitute the biggest sea caves in the United States and one of the largest in the world.

The Sea Lion Caves are one of the great sea grottoes of the world. It is comparable in coloration and size, to the well known Mediterranean Sea Blue Grotto.

Entrance to the Blue Grotto in Campania, Italy

These particular caves created out of basalt rock, began to form some 25 million years ago.

The caves are near sea level with the Pacific Ocean continually rolling into the main cavern, which has a floor area of about 2 acres or 0.81 hectares. As a comparison, it comprises the length of a typical American football field.

The vaulted rock dome inside rises to about 125 feet or 38 meters high. This is the height of a 12-story building.

Sea lions with pups outside the caves.

The sea level component of the caves and the adjoining cliff rocks, have over the millennia, become the only mainland rookery and wintering home of the Stellar’s Sea Lion and to a lesser extent, the California Sea Lion.

Although the Sea Lion Caves are the natural home to numerous wildlife, the namesake sea lions gather in the caverns, in the autumn and winter. In the spring and summer they will breed and give birth to their young on the rock ledges, just outside the caves.

Sea lions inside the caves

There are 3 openings to the enclosure. Southward from the main chamber, a low passage runs 1,000 feet or 300 meters to a sea level opening. This corridor is flooded at high tide and totally free of water at low tide. The western entrance is a rather short high passage, through which the ocean waves wash at all tide levels.

At the north entryway, the passage is about 50 feet or 15 meters above the ocean. This side serves well, as an elevated observation area. From here the entire underground cave system and its remarkable varied wildlife, are the most visible.

The Sea Lion Caves themselves, were discovered in 1880. They were first observed by a local seaman by the name of Captain William Cox, who entered the chasm through the western channel. He was in a small boat and it was a calm day. He reportedly returned a number of times, to further explore the caves.

According to local legend, Captain Cox was once trapped for several days inside the caves, due to stormy weather and turbulent ocean waves. He was able to sustain himself, by shooting a young sea lion and then consuming the meat on its flippers.

Captain Cox would later purchase the land in 1887, from the State of Oregon. His family retained ownership of the Sea Lions Caves until 1926.

U.S. 101 along the Oregon Coast

In those early days, there were no roads in the area and the surrounding rocky headlands were used mostly for sheep pasture. It made access to the site rather difficult and was only possible by boat.

In 1927, the Sea Lion Caves would be acquired by R.E. Clanton. His intention for the purchase, was to open the caves for public viewing, but he mainly saw it as a business venture.

Mr. Clanton would be blessed later, with the good fortune of having the newly constructed U.S. Route 101, run adjacent to his property.

Once it became likely, that Route 101 would allow tourists easy access to the site of the Sea Lion Caves, Mr. Clanton was able to bring on board, two additional partners, by the names of J.G. Houghton and J.E. Jacobson.

Steps to the caves.

The three men pooled their financial resources, to construct a way to approach the caves by land. As a result, a 1,500-foot (460 meters) pathway, would be excavated by hand into the face of the steep cliff, that towered above the grotto below.

Near the bottom, a 135 step wooden tower was extended down as far as the north entrance to the caves.

The trail and the wooden steps were challenging and quite dangerous to construct, but it finally allowed the Sea Caves to be opened to the public at large, in August of 1932.

Clanton would subsequently withdraw his interest in the partnership as of 1934 and would be replaced by R.A. Saubert.

The gift shop in the early 1930s.

Tourism to the site, was not extensive at first. The nearby Highway 101 saw relatively light traffic and remained a gravel road until 1934. As late as 1937, there were still five ferry crossings within 100 miles needed, to traverse Route 101.

The number of visitors did rise steadily however, throughout the late 1930’s.

In 1942, almost all such tourism ground to a halt, as a result of World War II. Gasoline was rationed and car trips to the Sea Lions Caves, came to be seen as a rare event.

In the 1950s

After the war tourism would revive and begin to expand, with the construction of the interstate highway system, inaugurated by President Eisenhower in the 1950’s. The former general, had admired the German autobahn network, in the preceding decade. When he later became president, it was decided the United States would benefit enormously, from a national highway plan.

The number of visitors to the Sea Lion Caves would grow tremendously, with the addition of an elevator in 1961. It took a total of three years to construct, having to be cut out of solid rock. It is able to accommodate a total of 400 people per hour. It has the capacity of 23 passengers per trip.

The elevator can travel 208 feet (63 meters) at 250 feet per minute. This would equate to a speed of 2.8 miles or 4.5 kilometers per hour.

The Houghton, Jacobson and Saubert families would continue the operation of the Sea Lions Caves attraction, until 2006. After that, the Houghton’s would decide to leave the business.

Some interesting points inside the caverns, include the aptly named Indian Maiden, Lincoln’s Head and The Goddess of Liberty. These are formed by the numerous rough surfaces that are covered with algae, lichens and mineral stains. Together, they provide coloration of greens, pinks, purples, reds and yellowish-beige.

Brandt’s cormorant

The high vault of the main cave area provides a natural resting place, for many species of sea birds. The varieties that can be seen at or nearby the caves, include Brandt’s cormorant, California herring and western seagulls, pigeon guillemot and tufted puffins.

Tourists may also view an occasional bald eagle or hawk.

There is also a whale watching deck, that can be found below the gift shop.

Gift shop at the Sea Lion Caves

This platform permits a seaward view of around 20 miles or 32 kilometers on clear days. At 300 feet in elevation, it has become one of the most popular sites in the area, to view grey whales.

The whales can be seen for most of the year, if a traveler is lucky. Smaller groups will often end their migration and move closer to the shoreline, in an effort to feed.

Orcas may also be seen, but this is only during their regular migration north.

Location

The Sea Lion Caves are located at 91560, Highway 101, Florence, Oregon 97439. The main phone number is (541) 547-3111 and the fax number is (541) 547-3545

The electronic contact is www.sealioncaves.com email info@sealioncaves.com

The gift shop over the Sea Lions Caves, is where you will begin your tour.

Admission

Adults will be charged $14.00 USD (United States Dollar). Seniors will need to pay $13.00 USD. Children aged 5 to 12 are admitted for $8.00 each, with youngsters 4 and below admitted free.

* It is important to remember that all children, must be accompanied by an adult.

Amenities include free parking

How To Get There

Visitors will arrive by using Highway 101, 10.5 miles (16.9 kilometers) north of Florence. The trip will take about 15 minutes depending on traffic. If one is driving south, the Sea Lion Caves are located 38.8 miles (62.4 kilometers) south of Newport, Oregon. It will take about 53 minutes from this community.

If a traveler is driving west from Interstate 5 from Eugene, Oregon, the trip will take 1:31 hours on Route 126 West. The distance traversed will be 71.4 miles or 115 kilometers.

One can also use the Eugene Airport also known as the Mahlon Sweet Field, located 7 miles (11.3 kilometers) northwest of the city of Eugene. It is the 5th largest airport in the Northwest. From there, a tourist can easily rent a car.

Days and Hours of Operations

The Sea Lion Caves are open daily for 363 days a year, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. The attraction is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas. There is an early closure that occurs at noon, on the day before these two holidays.

Lodging

Is available in the nearby community of Florence, which is located to the south of the attraction on Highway 101. To the north on this same highway, one can find lodging in Newport. To the east, travelers can find accommodations in Eugene, located on Route 126.

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Shoshone Falls: A Natural Wonder On The Snake River In Idaho

The fifth stop in our series Off The Beaten Path brings travelers to Shoshone Falls located in Idaho. The waterfalls are part of the Snake River and are sometimes referred to as the Niagara of the West. Shoshone Falls is 212 feet (65 meters) high, which is 45 feet higher than the far more famous Niagara Falls.

Shoshone Falls flows over a rim between 900 and 1,000 feet (300m) wide. It is one of the largest natural waterfalls in the United States. It is located outside the city of Twin Falls.

The Columbia River Gorge facing east toward Beacon Rock.

The water flows over the falls are comprised of the seasonal runoffs from the Snake River. Over the years the force of erosion and floods, has carved its way through the various canyons and ravines, as the largest tributary of the Colombia River makes its way west.

Being located in an arid region, Shoshone Falls naturally receives most of its water from snow melt in the Rocky Mountains of Idaho and Wyoming. The watershed is near Yellowstone and the Grand Teton National Parks and to a lesser extent, a number of springs in the Snake River Canyon above the town of Twin Falls.

The Snake River

The place drew national attention in 1974, when the American daredevil Evel Knievel made an unsuccessful attempt, to jump over Shoshone Falls to a crowd of 30,000. He survived the dangerous stunt after nearly drowning.

Shoshone Falls are named for the Lemhi Shoshone or Agaidika people, so named because of their consumption of salmon. They descended on the area near the falls, because of the immense salmon runs in the Snake River.

The Bannock people also traveled to the Shoshone Falls each summer, to gather salmon and to trade.

The noteworthy Expedition by Lewis and Clark, during the years 1805 to 1806 did encounter the Shoshone, but did not pass through the Falls area.

A Shoshone encampment in the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming, photographed by W. H. Jackson, 1870

The 1811 Wilson Price Hunt Expedition, looking for new routes to assist the growing fur trade, were traveling on the Snake River, at least as far as the present-day American Falls.

They did not make it to Shoshone Falls, because of the increasingly unsafe conditions of the river. The members of this party turned back, at a place they called the Devils Scuttle Hole.

The route they set would become part of the famous Oregon Trail, which would facilitate the eventual arrival of migrants, from the eastern part of the United States to the area of the Falls. Some early settlers named the cataracts Canadian Falls. It is still not clear where this moniker originated from.

John C. Fremont an American military officer, explorer, and politician.

In the 1840’s John C. Fremont would pass by Shoshone Falls. In his now famous 1843 expedition, in which he attempted to map the western portion of the Oregon Trail, he would name the cataracts the Fishing Falls.

He further added that the salmon were so abundant, that the Shoshone could throw their spears at random and still catch the tasty fish.

The Shoshone encounters with Americans were generally friendly, but would later end in conflict over land ownership. After the Bear River Massacre of 1863, the Shoshone were forced onto reservations.

There would be a Geological Exploration in 1868. The director of the survey Clarence King, would be the first to suggest, that the canyons and falls might have been created by a great catastrophe, rather than forces of slower paced regular erosion.

Shoshone Falls and the Snake River Canyon as it appeared before damming, photographed by Timothy H. O’Sullivan, circa 1874

Thomas H. O’Sullivan also on this expedition, is the first known person to photograph the falls. He would later return in 1874, for a second photography trip.

Despite barren and isolated surroundings, Shoshone Falls still managed to become a major tourist attraction from the mid-19th century onward. The reason for this was the close proximity it had to the Oregon Trail. Only a slight deviation to the north, was necessary to see the Falls.

By the 1860’s it was already being referred to as The Niagara of the West. The falls would become even more famous, once they were painted by Thomas Moran, well known for his depictions of Western landscapes.

Shoshone Falls on the Snake River by Thomas Moran, c. 1900

The discovery of gold in the Snake River Canyon during 1869, would bring a rush and subsequent boom that would end rather quickly, as local geology made mining somewhat difficult.

It was in 1876, that Charles Walgamott as a local homesteader, finally saw the true potential of Shoshone Falls as a tourist destination. He would later start the construction of the first lodge for visitors.

In 1883, the Oregon Short Line Railroad would be extended to Shoshone, Idaho making traveling to the falls far easier. The true isolation of the place, had at last ended.

Milner Dam

The vast Snake River Aquifer is a creation of the region’s porous volcanic rock and gets recharged every year, by the melting snows throughout this mountainous area.

Since the Shoshone Falls canyon lies lower in elevation than the surrounding terrain, groundwater is forced to the surface, through the motion of large springs located throughout the canyon walls.

Even though Milner Dam can often divert almost all the water up stream, these canyon streams can provide up to 3,000 cubic feet per second of water to the falls. Flows can vary according to the season, although it has increased since the 1950’s, due to the irrigation water on the surrounding land trickling into the aquifer.

Map of Pleistocene lakes in the Western US, showing the path of the Bonneville Flood along the Snake River.

Shoshone Falls was formed by a catastrophic outburst of water, known as the Bonneville Flood at the end of the last ice age, that geologists refer to as the Pleistocene. This is estimated to be between 14,500 and 17,500 years ago.

Sometime during that period the immense freshwater lake known as Lake Bonneville that covered much of the Great Basin, overflowed through the Red Rock Pass and into the Snake River.

At that time about 1,100 cubic miles, the equivalent of 4,600 km3 of water was released. This is 1,500 times the average annual flow of the Snake River at Twin Falls. This incredible flow of water carved the entire Snake River Canyon in a matter of several weeks.

During this dramatic event, a number of local geographic features would be created, including Shoshone Falls, where the local geology interacted with the much harder underlying rock layers.

Shoshone Falls Dam, located directly above the falls, diverts water for hydro-power generation and can greatly reduce the flow of the falls in the dry season.

The Falls mark the historical upper limit of fish migration in the Snake River. This would include the commercially important salmon. The entire region remained an essential fishing and consequently trading place, for native tribes of the Americas for numerous millennium.

Shoshone Falls was already being mentioned by Americans and Europeans as early as the 1840’s, despite the isolated location of the site.

Within the next 20 years it had become a tourist attraction, although it was not easy to access during those early days.

In the early 20th century, the Snake River became a primary contributor to economic development in southern Idaho. The irrigation diversion for the Magic Valley and hydroelectric power plants, built right above the falls, provided the needed resources for an influx of settlers.

Shoshone Falls high flow of about 20,000 cubic feet per second (570 m3/s) in June 2011

These alternative uses of the water were quite controversial, because it greatly reduced the amount of water available to Shoshone Falls. This greatly impacted tourism, especially during the dry season.

As a result, this makes a trip to the Falls a seasonal event, if you wish to view the cataracts at their full potential. Peak water flows can be expected between the months of April and July. Many travelers recommend May and June as the ideal months for a visit.

The seasonal variation is quite dramatic. The water flow over the falls ranges from 20,000 cubic feet per second during late spring of wetter years, to a minimum 300 cubic feet per second in dry years.

Water is often released from the dams ahead of the falls, to ensure what is known as a scenic flow. Shoshone Falls has become a major tourist attraction for the area and therefore, water is discharged periodically for that specific purpose.

A nearly dry Shoshone Falls on July 7, 2013

Idaho Power’s Dam which is upstream from the falls, is required to provide this minimum flow of water from April through Labor Day in early September.

The multipurpose use of the waters of the Snake River, makes the various stakeholders competitive for a scarce resource.

The water diverted to the Shoshone hydroelectric plant for example, continually reduces the water flow throughout the year. The facility requires up to 950 cubic feet of water per second.

There are a large number of reservoirs and huge diversions of water from the Snake River for irrigation purposes. The cultivation of some 2 million acres (810,000 hectares) of farmland, depends on this water source during the dry season.

Downtown Twin Falls. Idaho

The deficit of water can easily be measured. The stream gaging station at Twin Falls averages about 3,530 cubic feet per second. At Idaho Falls, just 190 miles (310 kilometers) upstream, the flow can be measured at 5,911 cubic feet per second.

The average flow just below the Milner Dam, a mere 24 miles upstream, is just 884 cubic feet per second and frequently hits zero discharge in the late summer and fall.

This results in the local canyon springs, being the main source of water during the summer, for the spectacle at Shoshone Falls. That is why a spring visit is crucial, for experiencing the falls when their optimum effect can be viewed.

The highest flow of water ever recorded at Twin Falls was 32,200 cubic feet per second, all the way back in June of 1914. The lowest recorded to date was 303 cubic feet per second, on April 01, 2013.

On a monthly basis, June witnesses the highest average flows at 6,280 cubic feet per second. August bring the lowest numbers, at only 956 cubic feet per second.

In 2015, Idaho Power finally initiated the Shoshone Falls Expansion Project. This involved reconstructing portions of the Shoshone Falls Dam, to reduce its aesthetic impact on the area.

In addition, it directed low water releases to the most scenic part of the falls, mainly the Bridal Veil Falls on the north bank of the river.

Location

Shoshone Falls is located at Falls Avenue 3300 East, Twin Falls, Idaho 83301. Phone numbers are (208) 736-2265 and (208) 736-2266.

The electronic contact is https://visitsouthidaho.com/adventure/shoshone-falls/

There is a park overlooking the Shoshone Falls, that is owned and operated by the City of Twin Falls. It encompasses the south bank of the Snake River at the falls. A $3.00 USD (United States Dollar) vehicle fee is collected from March 30th through September 30th.

Season passes can be purchased at $25.00 and are available at the Parks and Recreation Department building and the ticket booth at Shoshone Falls.

The park includes an overlook, interpretive displays and a trail system along the south rim of the Snake River Canyon. The trails provide access to a number of points of interest, including Dierkes Lake and Evil Knievel’s jump site.

About 250,000 to 300,000 vehicles enter the park annually.

Amenities Include a boat launch to Snake River, 11 grills, a drinking fountain, a concession stand, picnic tables, restrooms, and the overlook of the falls as well as the nature trails.

How To Get There

Visitors will arrive by using Interstate 84, turning south on Route 93 and crossing the Snake River by using the Perrine Bridge. Continue on 93 also known as the Blue Lakes Boulevard North into the City of Twin Falls. Take a left on Falls Avenue East for 3 miles and another left at 3300 East Road. Drive for 0.9 miles. This will run directly to the park and canyon about 1.1 miles further on.

Shoshone Falls is located about 130 miles east of Boise, Idaho. It will take about a two hour car drive on Interstate 84, to reach your destination. It is about 113 miles west from Pocatello, Idaho. It will take about 1:45 hours to reach the falls by I-86 and I-84.

One can also use the Magic Valley Regional Airport, located about 5 miles south of Twin Falls.

Hours of Operations

Shoshone Falls Park is open daily for most of the year from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm.

Lodging

Is available in the city of Twin Falls.

The post Shoshone Falls: A Natural Wonder On The Snake River In Idaho appeared first on WanderingTrader.

Source: http://wanderingtrader.com/travel-blog/united-states/shoshone-falls-natural-wonder-snake-river-idaho/

Longwood Gardens: A Treasure Of The Brandywine Creek Valley In Pennsylvania

Italian Water Garden at Longwood Gardens

Longwood Gardens have evolved into one of the premier horticultural display gardens in the United States. The history of the gardens, can be traced back to the beginning of the 18th century. Today, the more than 1,000 acre estate (436 hectares), features endless beds of flowers and exquisitely maintained grounds, featuring 11,000 different types of plants.

These marvelous gardens are our fourth stop in Off The Beaten Path. Having explored Mesa Verde in Colorado, and making two excursions in Arkansas, one at Blanchard and the other at Crystal Bridges, travelers should now consider a trip to Longwood Gardens. These magnificent gardens are located in Southeastern Pennsylvania within the Brandywine Creek Valley.

Hagley Mill Race on the Brandywine Creek

Longwood Gardens has attracted more than one more million visitors annually since 2012.

Our story begins, on land owned by William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania. George Peirce would purchase 402 acres from representatives of Mr. Penn in 1700. One of his sons named Joshua, built the brick farmhouse in 1730. It still stands today, though it has been somewhat enlarged.

Peirce-Du Pont House, currently a museum.

Twin great grandsons,both who pursued an interest in natural history, began planting different varieties of trees in 1798, that would eventually cover 15 acres. The collection included individual specimens from North America, Europe and elsewhere.

By the middle of the 19th century, the Peirce Arboretum was one of the finest collections of trees in the United States.

At this time,the local citizenry began to use the grounds for public events.

Towards the end of the century, the family was no longer maintaining the property. In early 1906, a lumber mill operator was contracted, to remove trees from a 41 acre section of the estate.

Exterior walkway,in November

It was this pending action, that prompted Pierre du Pont to purchase the entire property. The du Pont wealth permitted a major expansion of the grounds.

What visitors see today, is largely based on the creativity and imagination of Pierre, in his new vision of what would become Longwood Gardens. There was no grand master plan, but he would later draw heavily on French and Italian garden designs.

Pierre would refer to the property as Longwood. The name came from the nearby Longwood Meeting House, which in turn was titled after a nearby farm named Longwood. The original use of the name was probably derived from a nearby expanse of forest, referred to as The Long Woods.

Longwood Gardens Railway Display

The following year Mr. du Pont would lay out the first garden, a 600 foot long bed that would become known as the Flower Garden Walk. It remains one of the most popular attractions at Longwood even today.

The first fountain at Longwood would be constructed in the center of the walk.

The beauteous effect of the Flower Garden Walk in the springtime, prompted Pierre to begin hosting garden parties in June. As one of the highlights of the social season, it also encouraged the entrepreneur to attempt even more natural extravagance at Longwood.

Indoor Hall in November

One result would be the Open Air Theatre, that would come into existence as of 1912. Pierre had been inspired from a similar facility near Siena, Italy. Within a year, he equipped it with secret fountains that shot out of the stage door, to drench visiting family members.

In 1915, Pierre would build an extension onto the original Peirce house and connected the new wing with the old one through a conservatory. It would become Longwood’s first winter garden. It would be quickly planted with exotic foliage, that became a favorite of the new Mrs. du Pont that same year.

One-Thousand Bloom Chrysanthemum shown during the annual Chrysanthemum Festival held in November

The following year, Pierre was contemplating the creation a much larger indoor garden installation. In 1921, the remarkable Conservatory would be inaugurated. The latest technology was used to heat the water and power the facility, but it would all be hidden, so as to not distract from the grandeur of the place.

In 1923, an elegant Music Room with a massive 3,650 pipe Aeolian, was built opening onto the main greenhouse. A Steinway Grand Piano would be purchased the same year.

In 1930, Pierre would engage the construction for the largest residence organ in the world. This would be the 10,010 pipe Aeolian organ. This famous instrument was placed in the Ballroom. Today, it forms the cornerstone, to the resident performing arts program at Longwood.

Of course, Mr. du Pont allowed the public, access to all these wonders and they came in droves to experience it. Numerous social and civic events would be staged on the premises, adding to the fame of Longwood.

Main Fountains at Longwood Gardens

From 1925 to 1927, a Water Garden would be constructed in a low lying area. It can be found northeast of Longwood’s Large Lake. This feature was inspired by the Villa Gamberaia outside Florence, Italy. The version designed by Pierre would have 600 jets in nine separate displays, that shot from six blued-tiled pools and 12 pedestal basins.

Also installed was a 40-foot tall jet fountain, at the end of the central avenue of trees in Peirces’s Park.

He then enlarged the Open Air Theatre and replaced the old waterworks with 750 illuminated jets.

However, his masterpiece for hydraulic engineering, would be the Main Fountain Garden in front of the Conservatory. Here 10,000 gallons of water a minute, can be shot 130 feet in the air and may be illuminated in every imaginable color.

Between 1929 and 1930, Mr. du Pont would commission the construction of a 61 foot tall stone Chimes Tower. It was based on a similar structure he had seen in France.

Chimes Tower in Longwood Gardens

In 1956, the original chimes would be replaced with a 32 note electronic carillon. In the year 2000, a new 62-bell carillon would arrive from the Netherlands.

The completion of the fountains in the mid 1930’s, marked the end to major construction at Longwood by Pierre du Pont. Although he would later have built, a huge 30 by 36 foot oval analemmatic sundial at the end of the decade. It was to be placed in the Topiary Garden.

The estate had grown from the 202 acres purchased originally by Pierre to 926 acres. This was accomplished by adding 25 contiguous properties. It permitted Longwood to be a functioning farm that provided food for the du Pont family and their many employees. Farming operations would later cease in 1951, except for the orchards and the growing of some vegetables.

The gardens would be enriched, by the gift of a famous orchid collection from Mrs. William K. du Pont.

In 1946, the federal government gave approval for the Longwood Foundation, the charitable organization set up by Pierre, to operate Longwood Gardens. This was done to give the property tax-exempt status.

Mrs. du Pont had died in 1944, and the couple did not have any children. Mr. du Pont himself, would die in 1954, at the age of 84.

The foresight of Pierre left a well funded and adaptable model in place upon his death. Five very experienced businessmen who were his nephews, were already trustees of the Longwood Foundation.

They would hire as the first director of the Gardens, Russell Seibert an experienced horticulturist and public garden administrator. He would soon embark on a new path for these now famous gardens.

Longwood Gardens Fountain Night Display

The 1950’s and the 1960’s brought enormous change to Longwood Gardens similar to the expansion that took place in the 1920’s. New gardens, a plant nursery, and an experimental greenhouse were soon established. Other greenhouses devoted to tropical plants would also be built including the now spacious Palm House. It contains over 60 varieties of palms.

The late 1960’s saw the installation of the still popular Eye of Water and a more wild garden of 86 acres known as the Meadow, which the latter would finally be opened to the public in 2014.

A Desert House and 13 outdoor waterlily pools, were also created.

Brochures, guide maps and other publications were soon being produced. Along came a new visitor center, auditorium and a 1,000 car parking lot.

East Conservatory, Longwood Gardens

Longwood Gardens would be added to the National Register of Historical Places in 1972. The house would be opened for guided tours in 1976.

In 1973, the huge Azalea House now called the East Conservatory opened, which was a refurbishment of the 1928 structure.

Two outstanding professional education programs were developed during this period. Graduate studies and a practical school for horticulture and floriculture.

Fireworks with the fountains were first introduced in 1980, pre-ticketing became necessary by 1985, due to the popularity of the event.

The Terrace Restaurant would open in 1983.

One of the most popular events and one that has grown tremendously since the early 1960’s has been Longwood’s Christmas Display. Today as many as 300,000 guests enjoy the spectacular display of some 400,000 lights, 200 concerts and superb floral arrangements.

In the 1980’s and the 1990’s new gardens include the Silver Garden, the tropical Cascade Garden, the Mediterranean Garden and the Children’s Garden.

Two million minor bulbs were planted over a 20 year period starting in 1985, to create huge drifts of late winter and early spring color every year.

Native azaleas and rhododendrons would be added to Peirces’s Park starting in 1989. A new distinction was then made between the original arboretum (the Park area) and the seven acre pleasure park, renamed Peirces’s Woods to the southeast.

The biggest change in designation came in 1995. It was then that Peirces’s Woods was designed as an art form garden, that brought together the most ornamental characteristics of the eastern deciduous forests. The concept was to use native plants to create a woodland garden as an art form. The whole idea was new to Longwood and it would be among the first to try such a construct.

Also in 1995, the Heritage Exhibit would open in the Peirce-du Pont House.

Today Longwood Gardens has a staff of over 1,300 employees, students and volunteers. The Foundation manages a yearly budget of some $50 million USD (United States Dollars). The site is continuously evolving, to meet the changing tastes and demands of a new century.

The contributors to these wonderful gardens are all part of the Visionary Master Plan, which is to keep and maintain the facility as one of the world’s greatest gardens.

Location

Longwood Gardens is located at 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania 19348. Their phone number is (610) 388-1000.

The website for online information is www.longwoodgardens.org/

How To Get There

Visitors will arrive using US Route 1, about 3 miles northeast of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.

Longwood Gardens is located 30 miles west of Philadelphia.

Hours of Operations

The museum is open daily for most of the year from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.

The cafe is open 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

There are a number of holidays where hours are more restrictive.

Between Thanksgiving through New Years, hours are expanded to better enjoy the holiday displays.

Different parts of the park may be closed for maintenance, upkeep and preparations for new displays, at various times of the year.

Admission and Entrance Fees

The admission fees for the Gardens for most non-peak days, is $23.00 USD for adults.

During the Christmas Season (peak days), this will rise to $30.00 USD.

College students with valid identification are admitted at $20.00 USD and $27.00 USD respectively.

Seniors (62+) are also admitted at $20.00 USD on non-peak days and $27.00 USD for peak days.

Youth admission fees (from 5-18) are admitted at $12 USD on non-peak days, to $16 USD for peak days.

Children ages 4 and under, are admitted free on all days of operation.

*To receive a group discount there must be at least 15 members in your party.

*Military personnel, both active and retired as well as their families, with Department of Defense identification, are entitled to a 25% discount off of the general admission. This reduction in price is only available on site.

* Timed admission tickets are required for everyone and only a limited number of tickets are available at any given time. Especially if there is a special exhibition and during holidays, this writer recommends you purchase your tickets in advance or on-line.

* It must also be noted, that all of the Gardens are considered a smoke-free environment.

Lodging

Is available in the town of Kennett Square and numerous nearby communities.

The post Longwood Gardens: A Treasure Of The Brandywine Creek Valley In Pennsylvania appeared first on WanderingTrader.

Source: http://wanderingtrader.com/travel-blog/united-states/longwood-gardens-treasure-brandywine-creek-valley-pennsylvania/