Grand Canyon National Park

Written by Gregg Strand

Grand Canyon National Park, a World Heritage Site, encompasses 1,218,375 acres and lies onrepparttar Colorado Plateau in northwestern Arizona. The land is semi-arid and consists of raised plateaus and structural basins typical ofrepparttar 143173 southwestern United States. Drainage systems have cut deeply throughrepparttar 143174 rock, forming numerous steep-walled canyons. Forests are found at higher elevations whilerepparttar 143175 lower elevations are comprised of a series of desert basins.

Well known for its geologic significance,repparttar 143176 Grand Canyon is one ofrepparttar 143177 most studied geologic landscapes inrepparttar 143178 world. It offers an excellent record of three ofrepparttar 143179 four eras of geological time, a rich and diverse fossil record, a vast array of geologic features and rock types, and numerous caves containing extensive and significant geological, paleontological, archeological and biological resources. It is considered one ofrepparttar 143180 finest examples of arid-land erosion inrepparttar 143181 world. The Canyon, incised byrepparttar 143182 Colorado River, is immense, averaging 4,000 feet deep for its entire 277 miles. It is 6,000 feet deep at its deepest point and 15 miles at its widest. However,repparttar 143183 significance of Grand Canyon is not limited to its geology.

Eurail travel - a way to extend a holiday to Europe

Written by Gareth Powell

You have permission to publish this article electronically or in print, free of charge, as long asrepparttar bylines are included. You can edit it to fit your publication. Most articles are improved by editing. If you can let me know when and where it appears it would be appreciated.

You can effectively extend a touring holiday of Europe by several days and perhaps save money. To do it you need a Eurail pass and a little forward planning. This is how it works. With a Eurail Pass you can go from city center to city center in Europe in great comfort at a reasonable price. The key to this isrepparttar 143172 phrase 'city center to city center'. Consider Paris. The airport, Charles de Gaulle, is 23 km north-east of Paris. If you go by taxi in either direction it costsrepparttar 143173 national debt and takes 45 minutes. There are regular buses and trains but your journey is never going to be less than 45 minutes. Leaving, you have security to go through andrepparttar 143174 airlines would like you there well before take-off. At least an hour, sometimes two hours. Thus on any flight you find that as much as six hours, never less than four, are spent getting torepparttar 143175 airport, checking in, flying, getting there and collecting your luggage. Then getting torepparttar 143176 center of your destination. By train, in every capital in Europe (I have searched and found no exception) you arrive inrepparttar 143177 center ofrepparttar 143178 city. Yes, you need to be atrepparttar 143179 train station ten minutes beforerepparttar 143180 train leaves -- make it fifteen minutes to be onrepparttar 143181 safe side -- and when you get to your destination it is instant arrival. Your baggage is with you and you are there, bang inrepparttar 143182 center ofrepparttar 143183 city. To test this stay with Paris forrepparttar 143184 moment. At Easter -- one ofrepparttar 143185 busiest times ofrepparttar 143186 year for Paris -- I arrived at Gare de L'Est, one ofrepparttar 143187 main stations of Paris. Inrepparttar 143188 station wasrepparttar 143189 tourist help desk -- every station in Europe has a help desk. There I explained what I wanted -- an inexpensive (as in under 50 Euros a night) room in a hotel near Place Republique with a view overrepparttar 143190 rooftops of Paris. And I got it confirmed in ten minutes and went happily on my way. (In passing, it wasrepparttar 143191 most romantic room I have ever had in a hotel anywhere and this was Paris inrepparttar 143192 spring andrepparttar 143193 chestnuts were in bloom and, alas, I was alone.) On this trip I traveled from Salerno in Sicily right through Italy and then France, on to Spain to Barcelona to wonder atrepparttar 143194 work of Gaudi, back to Greece and then up again to Germany to Mainz. I had a lot of ground to cover and this wasrepparttar 143195 best and least expensive and most pleasurable way. I saved a lot of time and a lot of money. (And, if you are interested in old motorcycles you should know that I spent my birthday touring Sicily on a 350cc Royal Enfield which was an exact replica ofrepparttar 143196 sixties model but made in Madras. I could have hiredrepparttar 143197 500 cc model but thought that going a bit overrepparttar 143198 top.) You will typically only be dealing with relatively short travel times -- Paris to Lyon is two hours, Amsterdam to Cologne three hours, Geneva to Paris three-and-a-half hours and so on -- and these will be pleasurable experiences becauserepparttar 143199 trains are fast, comfortable (especially in first class) and wonderfully quiet. The best example ofrepparttar 143200 modern trains of Europe arerepparttar 143201 TGV trains of France, which are part ofrepparttar 143202 EuroCity network. I am writing this while I travel onrepparttar 143203 TGV express -- TGV stands for Train a Grande Vitesse which translates, roughly, as high speed train -- from Paris to Avignon. The quietness -- we are running on rubber tyres -- is eerie. This is first class, and there is a three seat configuration inrepparttar 143204 carriage -- two and one. I am inrepparttar 143205 single seat, which is adjustable and comfortable. There is a tip-down table, on which rests my computer. We are now nipping throughrepparttar 143206 suburbs of Paris at more than 200 kilometres an hour. We will eventually reach our maximum cruise speed, which is more than 270 kilometres an hour. There is no sway, no rattle, no lurch, no jerk. A gentleperson's conveyance forrepparttar 143207 grand tour of Europe. For trains between big cities,repparttar 143208 best bets arerepparttar 143209 super fast name trains like (ah !repparttar 143210 romance inrepparttar 143211 names) Catalan Tago, Maria Theresa, Voltaire, Leonardo da Vinci, Etoile du Nord. These are very fast and are almost never late. Sometimes you will userepparttar 143212 train only as high-speed, economical and comfortable transport, but at other timesrepparttar 143213 train ride can be a sightseeing trip as well. Bernina Express in Switzerland,repparttar 143214 Bergen Express in Norway,repparttar 143215 Loisirail in France are examples whererepparttar 143216 journey is part ofrepparttar 143217 scenic holiday. Important points to remember: Bear in mind that Europeans very sensibly use a 24-hour clock in matters of this sort. That is: five o'clock inrepparttar 143218 afternoon becomes 1700 hours and half-past nine inrepparttar 143219 evening is 2130. Easy once you getrepparttar 143220 hang of it. As you start your train journeys you need to have your Eurailpass validated, for which you will have to show your passport. Do it before you get on any train atrepparttar 143221 information window of any largish railway station. You will be given back your ticket and a validation slip.

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