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Scotland


The drama and sheer variety of Scotland's natural features never fails to impress visitors. Though small, the country offers an amazing range of landscapes, from the gentle rolling hills of Dumfries and Galloway to the breathtaking peaks of the Cairngorms, and from the rugged coastlines of the north east to the sub-tropical gardens of Wester Ross.

Scottish Icons
Discover the different historical and culture elements that can be rightly claimed to be unique to this country. 
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Scotland's Geography
Perched on the outer rim of Europe, Scotland forms the northern part of Great Britain and is about two-thirds the size of England and Wales which occupy the remaining portion. It is surrounded by sea on three sides: to the west and north by the Atlantic Ocean and on the east by the North Sea. Its only land border, that with England, runs for approximately 60 miles (96 km) along the line of the Cheviot Hills. 
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Scotland's Region

Aberdeen City and Shire - Angus and Dundee - Argyll, the Isles, Loch Lomond, Stirling and Trossachs - Ayrshire and Arran - Dumfries and Galloway - Edinburgh and Lothians - Glasgow and Clyde Valley - Kingdom of Fife - Orkney - Outer Hebrides - Perthshire - Scottish Borders - Shetland - The Highlands

Hotel List in Scotland

* Aberdeen Hotel

* Dundee Hotel

* Loch Lomond Hotel

* Dumfries Hotel

* Edinburgh Hotel

* Glasgow Hotel

* Browse All Hotel

Czech Republic - A land Of Endless Fairy-Tales


There are over two thousand castles, castle ruins, chateaux and fortresses in the Czech Republic. Almost every one of them bears with it a legend, story or tale, and of course, children love such fairy-stories.
Castle guides are glad to relate stories to children or even organised tours in historic costume, making the illusion of the past almost perfect. During night-time tours children can meet the legendary white lady or head off down mysterious corridors in search of treasure. Many Czech castles often hold heraldic celebrations, where children can see princesses, kings or knights in armour.

Walking in a nocturnal costume parade, riding in an old steam-train or dancing in costume at a carnival are all possibilities for children in the town of Jičín during the Jičín – Home of Fairy-Tales event. Every year this festival has a different sub-title depicting the spirit of the overall programme. Moreover, the majority of events are held free of charge. According to a well-loved Czech folk tale, the forests near Jičín were home to Rumcajs the Robber, one of the most popular Czech cartoon characters, along with his wife Manka and son Cipísek, as well as many other bandits, water-goblins, forest spirits… with a bit of luck, you can see all of them at the festival

Nature too can tell its tales – all you have to do is to learn how to read them. For example, not far from Jičín you can visit the sandstone cliff formation called Prachovské skaly, the symbol of the Bohemian Paradise Nature Reserve. Children love this place, as the wild geological forms stimulate their imagination – you will certainly be surprised at how many strange figures and shapes your children can see in these ancient towers of living rock.

Another fairy-tale figure from a different region, the fishponds of south Bohemia, is Jakub the Carp. Children can meet him at the Fairy-Tales of South Bohemia festival, held every year during the summer holidays (July or August) in around 20 different places in the South Bohemia region. Jakub the Carp, however, can also be met year-round at such events as ‘A Hike with Jakub the Carp’ or the children’s masked carnival.


History
An important landmark in the overall development of the Slavonic territories was arrival of brothers Cyril and Methodius , “the apostles of the Slavs”, in the territory of the Great Moravian Empire at the turn of 863 and 864. Since that time, Old Church Slavonic became a language used in a translation of the Bible and in the liturgy intelligible to the Slavs. The Great Moravian Empire disintegrated and ceased to exist in the early nineties of the 10th century with the first form of the Czech state emerging on the ruins of the previous empire.
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Destination - UNESCO Sites
The Czech lands have a rich and eventful history.  People who came here from all corners of the world to cultivate our country did not only order castles to be built and decorated, churches erected and monasteries founded, but they also influenced the overall architectural design of our cities.  No fewer than twelve of these sites have already been entered in the UNESCO list of world cultural heritage, while yet others have submitted their candidacy.[Read more]

National Parks 
Nature in the Czech Republic and its forests and mountains were inhabited and cultivated since the ancient times. In spite of it we can still found beautiful untouched, wild places, unique with their sceneries and formations. The animals which still live in these areas - such as the wolf, the wildcat, the lynx, the big bustard and the grouse - are elswhere know only from books and zoological gardens.
 


Bílé Karpaty - České Švýcarsko - Jizerské Hory - Krkonoše - Křivoklátsko - Pálava - Podyjí - Šumava - Třeboňsko

Russia


There are thousand of natural, historical and cultural attractions in Russia, more than 30 nature national parks, almost two thousand museums, 79 museum-parks.
12 objects of cultural and natural value from various regions of Russia are included in UNESCO List of World Heritage Objects. They are the Moscow Kremlin and Red Square, the historical centre of St. Petersburg, the Kizhi Pogost, the historical centre and monuments of Velikiy Novgorod, monuments of Vladimir- Suzdal lands and Boris-Gleb Cathedral in Kideksha, the historical and cultural complex of Solovetsky islands, the architectural ensemble of Troitse- Sergiev monastery near Moscow, the Ascension Cathedral in Kolomenskoe (Moscow), wild forests of Komi (Pechoro- Ilich nature reserve, Yugid-Va natural park), Baikal lake, volcanoes of Kamchatke, Golden Mountains of Altai.

Popular Destination


Moscow
According to a legend mentioned in the old Russian chronicle, Moscow was founded by the Suzdal prince Yuri Dolgorukiy in 1147. In the fourteenth century Moscow becomes the centre of Great Moscow Principality. Later, it becomes a centre of the whole Russian State.
Moscow is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. This city combines the best pieces of old and modern architecture. Russian capital was especially renovated and changed over the last years. Most of historical buildings, architectural ensembles, churches and monasteries were restored. [Read more]

Golden Ring
The Golden Ring is the name given to a tourist journey, consisting of group of ancient and historic Russian cities starting with Vladimir and fanning our towards the north. The routes takes in cities and villages of old Moscow, each one of which has its own particular place in history.[Read more]

Novgorod The Great
Novgorod is one of the most ancient cities of Russia located in its North-West, near the site where the Volkhov river takes its waters from Lake Ilmen.
The history of Novgorod is closely linked with all major stages in the life of Russian state. At the times, when the statehood of Rus was just in its making, the Novgorodians invited a Scandinavian prince Rurik to keep law and order, thus giving birth to the prince Rurik dynasty that ruled over all Russian lands throughout more than 750 years.[Read more]

St. Petersburg
St.-Petersburg ranks with the most beautiful cities of the world - Paris, London, and Berlin. It is one of the ten cities considered to be particularly attractive for visiting.
Every year more than two million guests from many countries visit St. Petersburg. The leading countries regarding the number of tourists coming to St.-Petersburg are Finland, Germany, the USA, Sweden, and France. People often call St.-Petersburg either North Palmira or Northern Venice because of its exceptional romanticism and a great number of rivers and canals.
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Sakhalin And Kurile Islands
The Sakhalin and the Kurile Islands are located on the east of Russia; to the north and quite near Japan. The Major Kurile Archipelago stretches for 1,200 kilometers north west to the Kamchatka Peninsula. It includes 56 islands, of which Iturup, Kunashir and Paramushir are the largest. The Sakhalin Island lies between the continent and the Kuriles. It is equal in size to the European countries of Austria, Switzerland or Ireland. The Sakhalin resembles a giant fish in its shape. The broadest part of the island is about 160 km. The narrowest place - Poyasok Isthmus - is only 47 kilometers long. [Read more]

Trans Siberian Railway
The mere mention of the Trans Siberian Railway conjures up a feeling of mystery and excitement. The legend of the Trans Siberian – the world´s longest train journey – has lured people to undertake this mammoth trip ever since it was launched in the late 19th Century. Traveling by Trans Siberian Railway gives more than just new experience. It opens your memory for unforgettable impressions and enriches the knowledge of our Planet. Traveling by Trans Siberian Railway is a challenge for those who would like to have more than few hours journey by train. Tours including travel by Trans Siberian Railway during several days give a unique chance to see the immense Russian spaciousness with grand rivers and huge forests, to enjoy beautiful views of natural landscapes.
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Norway


Official name: Kingdom of Norway

System of government: Constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy

The Royal House of Norway:
Harald V, King of Norway, born 21 February 1937
Sonja, Queen of Norway, born 4 July 1937
Haakon, Crown Prince of Norway, born 20 July 1973
Mette-Marit, Crown Princess of Norway, born 19 August 1973
Ingrid Alexandra, Princess of Norway, born 21 January 2004
Sverre Magnus, Prince of Norway, born 3 December 2005

Head of Government: Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg

Area: 385,155 square kilometres

Population: 4 801 100 inhabitants (as of 1 January 2009)

Capital city: Oslo

Languages: Norwegian bokmål, Norwegian nynorsk and Sami

Religion: Church of Norway (Protestant Christianity)

Currency: Norwegian kroner (NOK) 1 krone = 100 øre
100 kroner equals approximately € 12,5

Time zone: Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) +1 hour

National day: 17 May

Average life expectancy: Female: 82.5 years, male: 77.7 years
Last updated: 2010-10-11


History
In medieval Norway the basis for agriculture was poor. Many people lived on the coast and boat building skills were easily the best in Europe. The result was voyages of discovery, trade and brutal raids. The voyages began in the latter part of the 9th century and stretched from Greenland in the west to the Caspian Sea in the east. 
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Popular Attraction
Sailing into the Norwegian fjords, you find yourself in a landscape that very few places can offer. You sit on deck and glide through the majestic scenery, with steep cliffs towering over you on both sides. High above you, water and glaciers form beautiful waterfalls that dance down the almost vertical mountain sides.[Read more of this review]



Mountain Climbing


Mountaineering or the sport of climbing mountains is simply one of the finest outdoor opportunities available to the lover of high places. Mountain climbing is all about challenge and perseverance, about putting hands and feet onto rocks and ice and snow and finally reaching a summit. There, high above the world of cities and civilization, the climber can pause and look across a natural world ruled by nature and her raw beauty.
Climbing Easy Mountains

Mountaineering, also called alpinism, is not only climbing mountains the hard way with an ice axe, crampons, cams, and rope, but it is also simply challenging and difficult hiking up steep rocky slopes, talus fields, and along airy ridges studded with gendarmes in the high mountains. Lots of people who would never think about rock climbing and its perils enjoy climbing or hiking up mountains throughout the United States, finding their challenges on Colorado’s Fourteeners or 14,000-foot peaks, Washington’s Mt. Rainer, California’s Mt. Whitney, the 4,000-foot peaks of New York’s Adirondack Mountains, or Old Rag Mountain in Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park. Farther afield are easily climbed peaks like Mt. Kosiusko, the highest point in Australia, and Mt. Kilimanjaro, the summit of Africa.
Climbing the World’s Hardest Peaks

Other climbers aspire to stand atop ice-bound peaks in the world’s highest mountain ranges—the Himalayas, the Andes, the French Alps, Mt. McKinley, the Canadian Rockies, and the remote ranges of Antarctica. These climbers risk life and limb to thin air, frostbite, bone-chilling cold, hypothermia, avalanche, and high wind to reach some of the world’s highest summits. To climb these mountains, mountaineers must be competent in both rock and ice climbing techniques; able to understand snow, glacier travel, and forecast weather; and above all, they must have good judgment and common sense to stay not only safe but alive.
Mountains are Dangerous

Mountain climbing is, like rock climbing, a risky activity and not to be taken lightly not matter how easy or benign your chosen peak might seem. Remember: Looks can be deceiving. The mountains are filled with danger and drama. Lightning can stab out of a clear sky. Thunderstorms quickly form and drench you with rain and sleet. Rockfall and avalanches sweep down mountain faces. Difficulties can slow you, forcing you to bivouac in the open. You or your climbing partner can have an accident, causing all kinds of complications. If you’re a novice and inexperienced in the ways of the mountains, then it’s wise to go with more experienced companions or a guide. You can learn from them what it takes to be safe in the mountains so you can return another day for a new adventure.

The mountains draw climbers who love the natural world and possess an adventurous spirit. To reach the summit of a mountain peak is not always easy, but it always seems worthwhile. It always seems worth the effort to stand atop a mighty peak and look across the world with the eyes of a soaring eagle. It’s at those precious mountain moments that you will remember Helen Keller’s admonition: “A happy life consists not in the absence, but in the mastery of hardships.”



Trekking


Trekking or hiking in the mountains is not usually comfortable and occasionally it's even tough. But still, it is a favorite activity of hundreds of thousands of men and women close to the planet! There are various good reasons to go trekking, let's look at some of them here.

1. Nature Trekking
Being inside the outdoors and experiencing the wild nature, far away from man-made civilization, is for several folks the main reason for trekking. You can encounter wonderful landscapes that you would otherwise just read about in magazines. The first-hand expertise is so rich that it can't even be compared to viewing snapshots of destinations. Being there, the nature will presents itself to you in all its awe and grandeur. It truly is an practical knowledge of the lifetime. But be warned. Trekking can be addictive!


2. Culture Trekking
Trekking is usually a fantastic way to find out cultures that you just do not meet in your daily existence. Trekking to exotic destinations, including the Himalayas or other areas, is really a sure approach to experience new cultures and new methods of living. And why would you would like to meet new cultures? The world is a pretty huge and wonderful place and everybody is various. It is usually an enriching life encounter to see how other folks live, talk with friendly strangers and perhaps even take part in their routines or festivities for any short even though. At least you will have excellent stories to tell your friends!

3. Social Trekking
Trekking is generally a quite social activity and ecuador trekking is a prime example.As opposed to high-paced sports, you've got time to talk with persons even though you might be trekking. Even should you set off alone on a trek, it is possible to typically meet other trekkers on the route. Especially around camp web-sites or trekking lodges, you have time to sit around, relax and chap using the other men and women there. You are able to also pre-arrange meet-ups and arrange joint trekking adventures with persons you do not know. Just go to one with the on the net trekking forums and ask if anybody want to join you for any trek. Trekking is usually a fantastic approach to build new friendships as well as make old friendships stronger.

4. Health Trekking
Trekking is usually a physical activity that's more about endurance than power. Usually a trek will last several days, if not weeks. The slow but continuous pace of trekking is great for burning fat and calories, loosing weight and getting your body in very good shape.


5. Spiritual Trekking
Trekking may also be a spiritual experience. Not inside a religious, super-natural way, normally, despite the fact that some cultures within the Himalayas go on religious pilgrimages to holy "power places" inside the Himalayas. But for ordinary trekkers, spiritual trekking is rather within the sense which you get to really feel very good about your self, you forget everyday worries, you concentrate your thoughts on the simple task of walking, you might have time to put your thoughts at peace and perhaps into a meditative state, and generally you get a much better really feel of who you might be, and what is crucial in living!




Camping


Are you ready to try camping? This five-lesson course will help you get started. By the end of this course you'll know what camping gear you'll need, how to find a campground, what to expect when you get to your destination, how to set up your campsite, and how to be a good camper.
Camping is fun, and easy. Common sense and a little knowledge will get you started. The rest is up to you. Do your homework, be prepared, and enjoy the great outdoors.

1. Gear Up
Camping is a great way to enjoy the great outdoors. If you are new to camping, the first thing you should do is become familiar with the basic camping gear that you will need. One way is to go camping with a seasoned camper. You can quickly learn from them. Basically, you need a shelter, which could be a tent, cabin, or RV, and you need a bed, which could be a combination of sleeping bags and pads, cots, air mattresses, and comforters, and you need to eat, which may or may not require cooking utensils.
First time campers usually start out as tent campers, who are also referred to as car campers because they carry all their campground needs in their car (rather than an RV). Your first tent need not be expensive, but it should provide adequate weather protection. Similarly, you can find moderately priced sleeping bags that work well too. With a little care and maintenance most camping gear will last for many years. And depending on your eating habits you may need nothing more than a cooler, a bag of charcoal, and a spatula.

Choosing A Tent
Why do you need a tent? A tent shields you from the wind, sun, and rain. A tent protects you from unfriendly outdoor pests like flies, mosquitoes, and noseeums. A tent provides a place to store clothes and other gear out of the weather. And a tent offers you a place to go for a little privacy. Remember there's nothing wrong with sleeping out under the stars, weather permitting. But sooner or later you'll likely need a tent.

Sleeping Bags and Pads
Making a bed at the campground is easy. First you need to have some type of padding to cushion you from the hard ground. There are inflatable pads and various closed-cell pads that work quite well. On top of the pad you'll place your sleeping bag. If you're a beginner, you're probably summer camping, so you won't need an expensive sleeping bag. A lightweight rectangular sleeping bag will do. If it gets too warm, you may opt to sleep on top of it with a sheet and/or blanket. Don't forget to bring a pillow.

Campground Cooking Supplies
Outdoor cooking is enjoyed by many whether at the campground or in your own backyard. So if you're a backyard chef, you already have lots of recipes to try at the campground. If not, you can always get by with a cooler of drinks, sandwiches, and snacks. Most public campgrounds provide a grill and picnic table at each campsite. With a bag of charcoal and a spatula you're ready to make steaks, hot dogs, and hamburgers on the grill. Add a propane stove, a skillet, and a few pots, and you're ready to cook up lots of stove-top meals. Get a Dutch oven, and now you can bake at the campground too. Depending on your cooking skills and equipment, you can make meals at the campground that can rival home cooking.

Get Organized - Make A Checklist
A camping checklist will help you remember essential items, like the can opener or your toothbrush. Make a list of your camping gear and refer to it every time you go camping. Revise it as needed.



2. Setting Up Camp
As you approach the campground entrance, the excitement begins and your heart beats a little faster. Don't get too excited yet, there's still the matter of checking in, picking out a site, and setting up camp.

Checking In
When you first arrive at the campground you'll want to stop at the campground office and check in. Identify yourself to the campground hosts, and tell them whether you have a reservation or not. They'll have you fill out a registration form and state the number of campers, how long you intend to stay, and whether you're tent camping or RVing. While registering, ask to drive through the campground to pick out a site. Tell them this is your first time here, and you want to see what's available. The office may have a map so that you can see the different areas of the campground. If you have any location preferences, like close to the bathroom and showers, or next to the lake, or away from RVs, ask the attendants. This is also a good time to ask some questions about campground rules, quiet hours, garbage disposal areas, emergency contacts, ranger patrols (good to know if you're camping alone), or whatever else comes to mind.

Preparing Your Campsite
You've finally arrived at the campground, and you're scoping out the area to see which spot looks best for setting up your campsite. What should you be looking for?
  • Look for relatively high, level ground
    There is some truth to the saying "high and dry." Pick an spot to set up your tent where it is elevated from the ground around it. In a storm, rain will flow away from your tent, rather than under it. You should never set up your tent on a slope, or you'll find yourself rolling out of your sleeping bag all night. So avoid campsites in low areas.
  • Check for a water source nearby
    Water is essential for camping. You'll need it for all your drinking, cooking, and cleaning up. When choosing a campsite, check to see how far it is to the nearest water source. You don't want to have to walk far with a five-gallon container.
  • Find an adequate area for cooking
    Don't ever cook in your tent. Most campsites have a grill and picnic table. For cook stoves, locate a flat area away from any leaves, twigs, or brush that may catch fire. And never leave an unattended campfire burning.
  • Pick another area for cleaning
    Campgrounds typically have cleaning stations and water faucets. Please don't use bathrooms or drinking fountains to do your dishes. Don't kill the flora with hot, soapy water. Use bio-degradable soap, and only dump gray water in designated areas or where it will do no harm.
  • Find the garbage cans
    Always keep a clean campsite. Collect all litter and keep it gathered away from your tent in a location out of reach of any of the local critters or pests. It's a good idea to bring plenty of plastic garbage bags and change them daily.
  • Pick a campsite with some shade
    It's nice to have a shady spot to relax in during the heat of the day or while hanging out at the campsite. But as a word of caution, don't set your tent up under trees when it's likely to rain. Not only are you a target for lightening strikes, but you'll also get rained on long after the storm has stopped.


Time For Recreation
After setting up the campsite it's time to go do what you came here to do, go play. Now is the time to enjoy doing whatever it is that you like to do. To many campers, myself included, seeing the campsite set up and smelling the country air is a refreshing change from all of the confines of the city. I like to take this time to just sit down, get something cold to drink, and relax a spell. It's usually around this time too that the thought goes through my mind, "what did I forget to bring?" It never fails, there's always something useful that gets left behind, like a bottle opener, or the clothes line, or something.

More Campsite Tips
  • Keep a checklist
    Itemize your gear and all the essentials that you use while camping. Depending on when and where you like to camp and what you like to do, the list will be ever changing. But most importantly use it.
  • Plan meal times
    Whether it's just two of you or the whole family, let everyone know when it's meal time before they run off to play. Meals take more time to prepare at the campground, but it's also one of the chores that everyone seems to want to help out with.
  • Keep a clean campsite
    After meals do a thorough job of cleaning the dishes and the eating area, and put all trash in appropriate containers. Never leave food unattended at the campsite because critters will make quick use of it and usually leave quite a mess in the process.
  • Observe campground rules
    Campground rules, which are usually posted near the campground entrance, were made so that everyone can enjoy the campground. It only takes one camper from hell to ruin it for everyone else. Be a good neighbor.
  • Take a late night walk
    Check out the stars, listen to the silence, smell the fresh air. It doesn't get any better than this.

All good things sooner or later come to an end, and the same goes for camping. This is a short but important lesson. There are two important things to learn: don't leave anything behind, and don't leave a messy campsite.

3. Breaking Camp
When it comes time to pack it up and head back to our other lives, consider these tips before departing:
  • Stow your gear
    Use a whisk broom and/or rags to wipe off gear as you stow it. Try to pack your gear as you had it when you came to the campground. It's also a good idea to separate dirty clothes so that they will be ready to be washed when you arrive home.
  • Check the cooler
    Dispose of any food wastes, empty out excess water, and replenish the ice, as needed, for the trip home.
  • Dowse the campfire
    Make sure the campfire is out. Dowse the area with the excess water from your cooler or another source.
  • Gather all trash
    To state it simply, leave no trace.
  • Police the area
    A broom and a leaf rake come in handy for grooming the campsite and gathering up the last of any litter. Always leave your campsite cleaner than you found it.
  • Take a potty break
    Before leaving, take advantage of this opportunity to take a final bathroom break and to wash up a bit.
  • Take a final walk around
    Time for one last check. Walk around your vehicle and look around the campsite to see if anything was missed.
  • Say goodbyes
    Until next time ...
Checking Out
Be sure to stop at the campground office to let them know you are departing. This way they know the site is available for any arriving campers. Now enjoy the ride home and the memories of your camping trip.



Rock Climbing


Introducing
Rock climbing is the activity in which one climbs either a mountain or other rock formations. These climbers will generally use gear and equipment which is designed to keep them safe, and which assists them in their task. There are a number of characteristics that climbers need to have while performing this activity, and some of them include endurance, strength, and a great deal of mental endurance. This is important, as rock climbing often requires them to ascend terrain, and the activity itself is often considered to be dangerous. Having a knowledge of equipment and climbing techniques is critically important.
If you're not familiar with rock climbing, the first thing you should know is that two climbers will often work together. One climber will ascend the terrain, and the other will perform a task called belaying. During the process of lead climbing, the belayer will be responsible for feeding rope to the lead climber, and this will be done through the belay device. The leader will continue to ascend higher, and he/she will place bolt hangers in specific locations until they reach the top. The belayer can "lock off" to protect the leader if they should fall. Both must be responsible for connecting the rope to the harness they use for climbing.
The rope will be tied to the harness, and it must be tied in a special manner called the "figure of eight loop." Another method called the "double bowline knot" can also be used to tie the rope to the harness. If the climbers are performing sports climbing, the leader will be responsible for putting down his own protection. If the pair is involved in sports climbing, the leader must put up clips into a location that is permanent. During traditional climbing, the protection can be taken off. A special nut can be placed within cracks inside the rock. During the sports climbing event, metal loops called bolts will be used.
The lead climber will also be responsible for connecting the protection to the rope via carabiners. Quickdraws can be used as well. If the leader should fall, he will be protected. However, the fall could be shorter or longer depending on whether or not the equipment breaks or comes out of the rock. If the belayer can quickly lock off the belay device, the fall will be short. With free climbing, the climber will ascend using his own strength, though equipment may be available to protect him.

Equipment
Rock Climbing requires different pieces of equipment and gear. It is important to know their features and purposes. Moreover, learn how and when to use these devices. Bear in mind that Rock Climbing is a dangerous activity. Knowing how to use your equipment can greatly help in ensuring your safety.

Climbing Ropes
Make sure that the ropes you use are designed specifically for the climbing style that you do. This section covers some aspects about Climbing Ropes.

Harnesess
Finding the one which is suitable to your needs will be easier if you have an idea of what to look for in a harness. Know the different aspects of Climbing Harnesses.

Belaying Device
In Belaying, the belayer needs to control the movement of the rope to protect the climber. This is made easier through the use of Belay Devices. 

Carabiner
One important piece of hardware used in climbing is the Carabiner. Make sure that you are using the ones which are manufactured specifically for Rock Climbing.

Active Protection - Spring-Loaded Camming Devices
Also called cams, SLCDs are probably one of the most versatile active protection you can imagine. Know more about Spring-Loaded Camming Devices in this section.

Passive Protection - Slings, Hexes, Nuts, Tricams
Passive protection is also an essential gear used in Rock Climbing and Mountaineering. Know the various tools under the passive protection category.

How to Use Active & Passive Protection

Knowing how and when to use your active and passive pros is essential in any climb. This section covers valuable tips on how to use Active and Passive Protection.

Rock Climbing Quickdraws
Quickdraws enable the rope to run smoothly from the Belay Point to the Climber. Learn more about its uses as well as its different types in this article.

Climbing Helmets
A helmet is a wise investment for climbers of all ability levels. It will protect you from falling debris when you are climbing. Know more about Climbing Helmets.

Climbing Shoes
Bear in mind that time invested in finding the right type and size of your shoes is very important. In this section, know what to look for in Climbing Shoes.

Rock Climbing Chalk & Chalk Bags
Rock Climbing Chalk keeps the climber's grip steady and secure when climbing up a rock face by keeping his or her hands dry. Chalk Bags meanwhile serve as a receptacle for the Chalk.

Bouldering Crash Pads
A Bouldering Crash Pad is placed under the climber to help prevent injuries when he or she falls. Learn more about crash pads in this section.

Rock Climbing Training Boards
Also called campus boards, the use of training boards can greatly improve strength of your fingers, shoulders, and forearms.

You need several pieces of equipment in Rock Climbing. As mentioned before, it is important to know the proper uses of your gear since this can help in ensuring your safety. Determine what you need in your climb, understand the features and use of each tool or device, and learn when to use it.



Cycling


What is adventure cycling
Adventure cycling is about:
  • travelling by bike (obviously);
  • being self-supported, i.e. carrying all your gear (so it's not about organised, "cycling for softies" tours where a van carries your gear);
  • going somewhere adventurous.
The great thing about adventure cycling is that it is an easy way for ordinary people to experience extraordinary adventures. It's cheap, easy to organise and you don't have to be superfit. By far the hardest bit of a 12,000km bike ride is finding the courage to set off.

Top ten reasons to go adventure cycling

At the end of my first tour, despite setting out feeling deeply sceptical, I was convinced cycling was the very best way to travel. Subsequent journeys have only served to confirm this.
Here are the top ten reasons why it's so good:


1. You are more independent

On a bike, carrying a tent, you are wonderfully self-sufficient. Without being tied to public transport or hotels, you can go where you want and stop when and where you want. And, instead of being couped up in a car or a bus, you are out in the fresh air, close to the landscape all day. It's much more fulfilling than backpacking. And a bike is the only transport you can take with you on a plane.


2. You'll see more of the world

Cycling is the perfect pace to see the world. Driving is far too fast to take anything in and walking is a bit too slow unless the scenery is really stunning. But around fifteen kilometers and hour is about right, slow enough to really take in the countryside, but fast enough to feel you are getting somewhere.


3. Cycling gets you further off the beaten track

On a bike it's really easy to get off the beaten track and visit places that few other tourists see. You can cycle or push your bike along tracks that are impassable for 4x4s.


4. You'll meet more people

Adventure Cycling Guide Uzbek Arriving by bike is a great way to meet the locals. It's an instant ice-breaker and seems to bring out the best in people. There's something about your absence of conspicuous wealth that gets you closer to the people of the country you are passing through.


5. It's more exciting

More than other ways of travelling, cycling seems to leave room for the unexpected. Something surprising, wonderful, or touching always seems to be just round the next corner. The days are very full and it's never dull.


6. You can eat as much as you like

Pedalling burns a splendid amount of calories. On a tour of any length you can eat as much as you like and you will still end up losing weight.


7. It's gentler on the planet

There are lots of reasons to feel virtuous about cycling touring. By bike, it's possible to travel through a country with almost zero impact on the environment. And the money you spend goes directly into the local economy.


8. It will restore your faith in humanity

From free cups of tea in Turkey to breakfast with truck drivers at the summit of pass in Kyrgzstan, the spontaneous acts of kindness from complete strangers you experience while cycling leave you feeling amazed and very humble.


9. It will get you fit

On of the things you learn on a cycle tour is that reasonably continuous physical exercise is what the human body is designed for. Cycling for a few hours everyday is very good for you and makes you feel incredibly well.


10. You'll be part of a community

Setting out an cycling tour get you immediate and free membership of the worldwide community of adventure cyclists.


So, what's stopping you?

Here are the most frequent excuses I hear for not setting off.


I'm not fit enough...

You don't have to be very fit to set off on a 12,000km journey. It's true that some long distance cyclists train before setting off, but they are significantly outnumbered by the unfit, couch potatoes like myself, who just get on their bikes and go. You may only do 50km a day in your first week, but who cares? You will have just as much fun as the bloke doing 100km a day.


I'm too old..

Ann Mustoe set off to cycle round the world when she was 54 and she is still doing big trips ten years later. Cycling definitely keeps you young. It guarantees instant rapport and friendship when you meet on the road.


I can't afford a posh bike...

You can sort yourself out with a suitable bike for as little as £300 see- 2nd hand MTBs.


I've got no one to go with...

Go by yourself. It's quite easy to meet and hook up with other cyclists.

I can't get the time off work, I've got a mortgage to pay...

This is more like it - a proper excuse. This really boils down to what your priorities are and how much you want to do something different. It is doable. Companies are becoming more understanding about people taking sabaticals or gap years, houses can rented out, jobs can be found on your return...




Sky Diving


If you are interested in skydiving, there are a few things that you must know. First and foremost, be prepared for the time of your life. When it comes down to it, skydiving is a thrill that you are not soon to forget. After all, nothing will get your heart pumping as fast as jumping from a plane from tens of thousands of feet above earth. For the thrill chaser in you, skydiving is the ultimate experience. And even if you are a big risk taker, skydiving is still something that you should consider. After all, this is a fun and safe way to get some kicks!

Of course, before you can actually jump, you need to make sure that you know what you are doing. For this reason, you will want to rely on a top notch skydiving school to get you ready. While you do not have to prepare for too long, there are some things that you need to know before you experience the thrill. Safety comes first, and this is what you will come to realize as you are preparing for your first jump.

Is skydiving right for everybody? The answer to this question is not simple. In one way, any adult with the nerve to jump from a plan will have a great time with skydiving. But at the same time, some people are a bit too nervous to take the leap. With that being said, once you receive the proper preparation from your instructor, you will no longer feel at risk. Instead, you will feel confident that your skydiving expedition will be a huge success; and this is very important.
The skydiving experience is like none other. Once you decide that you want to jump, all it takes is a bit of preparation. From there, you will be well on your way to skydiving with success!



Hang Gliding

Hang gliding is a flying activity where a pilot will fly in an aircraft that is unpowered. The aircraft is referred to as being a hang glider, and it is often light in weight, and the glider can often launch by foot. Hang gliding is basically a recreational sport, but it has been used for both military and commercial applications. While the hang glider may be light in weight, it will often be made out of materials that are strong and highly durable. Most contemporary hang gliders will be made out of aluminum or a composite wing, but older models will be made with materials such as bamboo, metal, or wood.
Some hang gliders even come with aircraft control devices, and the pilot will generally hang beneath the wing while flying. While hang gliding is very popular today, it has been around for centuries, and it has basically been used as a method of gliding down hills. However, the hang gliding technology of today allows gliders to stay in the air for hours at a time, and they can also go up thousands of feet, and even perform aerobatic tricks. There have been cases in which hang gliders have actually taken cross country trips. It should be noted that hang gliders will be broken down into three types, and these are rigid hang gliders, flexible wing hang gliders, and Class 2 hang gliders.
The flexible wing glider will allow the flight to be controlled by the glider wing, which will be flexible. The pilot can control direction by simply shifting his or her weight. As the name implies, the rigid wing glider has wings which are more rigid, and flying will be controlled by the spoilers. These spoilers will generally be located on the top part of the wing. Like the flexible glider, the pilot will hang below the wing. With the Class 2 hang glider, the pilot will actually be integrated with the wing via the fairing. This type of structure is considered to be the best, and it is also the most expensive.


Because of the nature of this sport, many people have always considered hang gliding to be unsafe. There is a bit of truth to this, since Otto Lilienthal, the first person to hang glide, died in a crash as a result of a spine that was fractured. While modern hang gliders are designed to be durable, operating them in hazardous weather conditions can be dangerous.



Paragliding

The sport of paragliding is becoming increasingly popular as more people discover just how much fun it can be. If you are not sure of what the sport of paragliding is all about, you should research it as soon as possible. You may find out that you are hooked, and have to get into the air right away!

Paragliding is a sport in which a person is flying through the air attached to a fabric wing that is specifically designed to keep you in the air.

The first thing that you need to know about paragliding is how you are going to be sailing through the air. After all, if you do not have a device to get you into the air, you are not going to have much fun. You will be using a wing or canopy which is a self inflating structure. They consist of a row of cells that are lined up so that they are open at the front, but closed at the back. With this structure, you will be able to stay suspended because the air will be able to get in the front, but it will not be able to escape through the back.

Now for the important part; where you are at during this activity. When you are paragliding you will be attached to the wing or canopy by a group of lines. The lines are attached to your harness that you will be sitting in. And before you start worrying about the lines not being able to hold your weight you can stop; they are specifically designed with heavy duty material in order to ensure that a pilot of any weight will be able to safely fly.

As the pilot you will be sitting in a bucket seat, and will have controls in your hand. With these, you can control the back of the canopy which will in turn allow you to increase or decrease speed and also change direction. You will also be supplied with a reserve parachute.

If you are interested in paragliding you will want to find somebody in your area that can help get you started. There are hundreds of paragliding schools all over the country that are willing to help anybody get started in this sport. It is important to get the assistance of a professional because you will never be able to get started on your own; not to mention the fact that it is very dangerous to paraglide if you do not know what you are doing.

Paragliding is a great sport for anybody that is interested in seeing the world from a different vantage point. If paragliding sounds like something that is of interest to you, you can get started in no time at all. Simply find somebody in your area to give you paragliding lessons, and you will be flying in no time at all!



Balooning

If you are interested in traveling, but don't want to take part in the same old methods, why not look into a hot air balloon ride? Not only is this one of the best ways to travel around the world, but it can also be one of the most exciting. Even though most people don't think of hot air balloons when they are looking for a way to travel, it does not mean that it cannot be a successful mode of transportation.

Hot air balloons have been around for hundreds of years. The hot air balloon has been around since the late 1700's, and in 1783 the first humans took flight. This took place on November 21 with two people aboard.

One thing that many people don't understand when it comes to hot air balloons is that they can be propelled through the air on their own. This means that they are not simply depending on the wind to carry them.

There are many reasons that people love hot air balloon rides. The main advantage to one of these is that you will get to see the world from a different perspective. Not only will you be up above the world looking down, but you will also have a sense of freedom because you are not completely enclosed; this is where the hot air balloon is much better than a plane or a helicopter.

A hot air balloon ride is also very serene because there is little to no noise while you are floating above the world. The only time that you will have to put up with a bit of noise is when the propane burners are on. Beside this, you will not have to listen to any propellers or engine noise. Also, being that the balloon moves in the wind, the passengers never feel the wind pushing them along. This will give you a sense of security and stability.

A hot air balloon has a simple yet effective design. The first part that everybody notices is the envelope, or the balloon; this part actually holds the hot air. Underneath the balloon is the basket that carries the passengers. There is also a source of heat in the basket that is used to propel the balloon into the air. The balloon is not sealed off at the bottom, but instead left open so that the hot air can expand the balloon and propel it into the air.

Over the past couple of year's hot air balloon rides have become very popular. There are festivals all over the world that interested parties can take part in. Also, people are beginning to invent different shape balloons that make this activity much more interesting and exciting.

Overall, if you have never been on a hot air balloon ride you will definitely want to consider it. After going on one of these rides you will never look at the world the same again.



Cliff Diving


If you want to experience the thrill of a life time you may want to look into cliff diving. Even though this sport has just started to gain popularity over the past five to ten years, there are many people that have taken part in this activity. Even though there are other ways to experience thrills, this is definitely at the top of the list. If you don't know much about cliff diving you are not alone. It has not been around long enough for it to garner a lot of attention. But as more and more people start to take part in this activity, it will begin to show up in media.

The sport of cliff diving really started to pick up about 10 years ago; this is when the sport jumped to its more modern routes as a competitive activity.

In 1996, the sport of cliff diving was officially born with the advent of the World High Diving Federation. To start, the main goal of this organization was to change the image of cliff diving as a whole. They wanted to get away from the stereotypes, and show the world that cliff diving can be a top notch competitive sport.

One year, the first Cliff Diving World Championship took place in Switzerland. This event alone helped the world come to realize that cliff diving is here to stay.

Since 1997, the World Championship has taken place every year in Switzerland. This has more or less marked with the title of being the birth place of modern cliff diving.

If you are considering joining this sport there are a few things that you will need to do in order to get started. First off, it is important to remember that cliff diving is not like the majority of sports that are available to the general public. You cannot simply decide that you want to go cliff diving, and head for the nearest mountain. There is a lot more that goes into it.

Just like any other sport, safety is very important. But for obvious reasons, safety is the most important thing when it comes to cliff diving. If you are not properly trained, you will be putting your life at risk. Also, you will need to have the proper equipment in order to keep yourself safe.

By finding a training complex in your area, or somebody that has knowledge in this sport, you will be able to get started in the right way. If you have the help of somebody that knows what they are doing, and can supply you with the right gear, you will be able to get off on the right foot. This is the only way that you should begin cliff diving. Taking this sport on alone is simply impossible.

Cliff diving has made a name for itself over the past 10 years. As long as people are looking for a thrill, cliff diving will have a spot in this world!



Bungee Jumping

History
The word "bungee" (pronounced /ˈbʌndʒiː/) originates from West Country dialect, meaning "Anything thick and squat", as defined by James Jennings in his book "Observations of Some of the Dialects in The West of England" published 1825. Around 1930 the name became used for a rubber eraser. The word bungy, as used by A J Hackett, is "Kiwi slang for an Elastic Strap". Cloth-covered rubber cords with hooks on the ends have been available for decades under the generic name bungy cords.
In the 1950s David Attenborough and a BBC film crew brought back footage of the "land divers" (known as "Naghol") of Pentecost Island in Vanuatu, young men who jumped from tall wooden platforms with vines tied to their ankles as a test of their courage and passage into manhood. A similar practice, only with a much slower pace for falling, has been practised as the Danza de los Voladores de Papantla or the 'Papantla flyers' of central Mexico, a tradition dating back to the days of the Aztecs.
A tower 4,000 feet (1,200 m) high with a system to drop a “car” suspended by a cable of “best rubber” was proposed for the Chicago World Fair, 1892-1893. The car, seating two hundred people, would be shoved from a platform on the tower and then bounce to a stop. The designer engineer suggested that for safety the ground below “be covered with eight feet of feather bedding”. The proposal was declined by the Fair’s organizers.

The first modern bungee jumps were made on 1 April 1979 from the 250-foot (76 m) Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol, by David Kirke, Chris Baker, Simon Keeling, Tim Hunt and Alan Weston of the Oxford University Dangerous Sports Club. The jumpers were arrested shortly after, but continued with jumps in the US from the Golden Gate and Royal Gorge bridges, (this last jump sponsored by and televised on the American program That's Incredible) spreading the concept worldwide. By 1982 they were jumping from mobile cranes and hot air balloons.
Commercial bungee jumping began with the New Zealander, A J Hackett, who made his first jump from Auckland's Greenhithe Bridge in 1986. During the following years Hackett performed a number of jumps from bridges and other structures (including the Eiffel Tower), building public interest in the sport, and opening the world's first permanent commercial bungee site; the Kawarau Bridge Bungy at Queenstown in the South Island of New Zealand. Hackett remains one of the largest commercial operators, with concerns in several countries.
Despite the inherent danger of jumping from a great height, several million successful jumps have taken place since 1980. This is attributable to bungee operators rigorously conforming to standards and guidelines governing jumps, such as double checking calculations and fittings for every jump. As with any sport, injuries can still occur (see below), and there have been fatalities. A relatively common mistake in fatality cases is to use a cord that is too long. The cord should be substantially shorter than the height of the jumping platform to allow it room to stretch. When the cord reaches its natural length the jumper either starts to slow down or keeps accelerating depending upon the speed of descent. One may not even start to slow until the cord has been stretched a significant amount, because the cord's resistance to distortion is zero at the natural length, and increases only gradually after, taking some time to even equal the jumper's weight. See also Potential energy for a discussion of the spring constant and the force required to distort bungee cords and other spring-like objects.

Equipments
The elastic rope first used in bungee jumping, and still used by many commercial operators, is factory-produced braided shock cord. This consists of many latex strands enclosed in a tough outer cover. The outer cover may be applied when the latex is pre-stressed, so that the cord's resistance to extension is already significant at the cord's natural length. This gives a harder, sharper bounce. The braided cover also provides significant durability benefits. Other operators, including A J Hackett and most southern-hemisphere operators, use unbraided cords in which the latex strands are exposed (pictured at right). These give a softer, longer bounce and can be home-produced.
Although there is a certain elegance in using only a simple ankle attachment, accidents in which participants became detached led many commercial operators to use a body harness, if only as a backup for an ankle attachment. Body harnesses are generally derived from climbing equipment rather than parachute equipment.


Highest Jump
In August 2005, AJ Hackett added a SkyJump to the Macau Tower, making it the world's highest jump at 233 metres (764 ft). The SkyJump did not qualify as the world's highest bungee as it is not strictly speaking a bungee jump, but instead what is referred to as a 'Decelerator-Descent' jump, using a steel cable and decelerator system, rather than an elastic rope. On 17 December 2006, The Macau Tower started operating a proper bungee jump, which became the "Highest Commercial Bungee Jump In The World" according to the Guinness Book of Records. The Macau Tower Bungy does have a "Guide cable" system which limits swing (the jump is very close to the structure of the tower itself) but does not have any effect on the speed of descent, so this still qualifies the jump for the World Record.
There is another commercial bungee jump currently in operation which is just 13m smaller, at 220 metres (720 ft). This jump, which is made without guide ropes, is located near Locarno, Switzerland and takes place from the top of the Verzasca Dam. This jump was prominently featured in the opening scene of the James Bond film GoldenEye.
The Bloukrans Bridge in South Africa and the Verzasca Dam jumps are pure freefall swinging bungee from a single cord.
Bloukrans Bridge was opened in 1997 and uses a pendulum bungee system. It is 216m high, from the platform to the river below.
Guinness only records jumps from fixed objects to guarantee the accuracy of the measurement. John Kockleman however recorded a 2,200-foot (670 m) bungee jump from a hot air balloon in California in 1989. In 1991 Andrew Salisbury jumped from 9,000 feet (2,700 m) from a helicopter over Cancun for a television program and with Reebok sponsorship. The full stretch was recorded at 3,157 feet (962 m). He landed safely under parachute.
One commercial jump higher than all others is at the Royal Gorge Bridge in Colorado. The height of the platform is 321 metres (1,053 ft). However, this jump is rarely available, as part of the Royal Gorge Go Fast Games—first in 2005, then again in 2007.

Variations

Catapult
In "Catapult" (Reverse Bungee or Bungee Rocket) the 'jumper' starts on the ground. The jumper is secured and the cord stretched, then released and shooting the jumper up into the air. This is often achieved using either a crane or a hoist attached to a (semi-)perma structure. This simplifies the action of stretching the cord and later lowering the participant to the ground.
"Twin Tower" is similar with two oblique cords.

Trampoline
Bungy Trampoline uses, as its name suggests, elements from bungy and trampolining. The participant begins on a trampoline and is fitted into a body harness, which is attached via bungy cords to two high poles on either side of the trampoline. As they begin to jump, the bungy cords are tightened, allowing a higher jump than could normally be made from a trampoline alone.

Running
Bungee Running involves no jumping as such. It merely consists of, as the name suggests, running along a track (often inflatable) with a bungee cord attached. One often has a velcro-backed marker which is used to mark how far the runner got before the bungee cord pulled back. This activity can often be found at fairs and carnivals and is often most popular with children.


Ramp
Bungee jumping off a ramp. Two rubber cords - the "bungees" - are tied around the participants waist to a harness. Those bungee cords are linked to steel cables along which they can slide due to stainless pulleys. The participants ride bike, sled or ski before jumping.

Safety And Injuries
Injuries occurring as a result of bungee jumping may be divided into those which may occur secondary to equipment mishap or tragic accident and those which may occur regardless of any safety measures. In the first instance, one can be injured during a jump if the safety harness fails, the cord elasticity is miscalculated, or the cord is not properly connected to the jump platform. In 1986 Michael Lush died of multplie injuries after bungee jumping for a stunt on a BBC television programme and in 1997, Laura Patterson, one of a 16-member professional bungee jumping team, died of massive cranial trauma when she jumped from the top level of the Louisiana Superdome and collided head-first into the concrete-based playing field. She was practising for an exhibition intended to be performed during the halftime show of Super Bowl XXXI Injuries which may occur despite equipment being made safe are generally related to the abrupt rise in upper body intravascular pressure during recoil of the bungee cord. Damage to eyesight has been the most frequently reported complication with respect to this. Impaired eyesight secondary to retinal haemorrhage may be transient or take several weeks to resolve In one case, a 26 year old woman's eyesight was still impaired after 7 months Whiplash injuries may occur as the jumper is jolted on the bungee cord and in at least one case, this has led to quadriplegia secondary to a broken neck. Very serious injury can also occur if the jumper's neck or body gets entangled in the cord. More recently, carotid artey dissection leading to a type of stroke after bungee jumping has also been described. All of these injuries have occurred in fit and healthy people in their twenties and thirties.



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