Geography Trips to Study the French Alps

Geography trips to the French Alps are an opportunity for students to improve their understanding of glaciated landscapes and the associated landforms by seeing and studying them for themselves. From dry ski slopes to rivers and gorge formations, the French Alps offer a wealth of options for youngsters seeking to expand their knowledge. Students can also examine the human uses of glaciated areas, and how the lifestyles of people living there are affected by their surroundings. Some potential highlights of geography trips to the French Alps are outlined below.

Gorges du Fier

Considered one of the natural wonders of the Alps, the Gorges du Fier is a stunning gorge carved by the River Fier. Youngsters can walk along a footbridge attached to the side of the gorge, giving excellent views of its features: stacked boulders, the play of light on the gorge walls, the circular ‘Giants’ Kettles’ eroded into the rock by the action of water bearing stones over extended periods of time, and the river running at the gorge’s base.

Gorges du pont du Diable

Another stunning gorge in the French Alps is Gorges du pont du Diable, gouged into grey marble amid a beautiful forest. It creates a link between the Leman’s Lake area and the Chablais Massifs. It can be admired from a footbridge over the rushing river.

Mer de Glace

The Mer de Glace (‘Sea of Ice’) is France’s longest glacier, at seven kilometres long and 200 metres deep, and is an excellent destination for geography trips in the Alps. Easily reachable by the Montenvers Train, it is located in the Chamonix Valley. It originates high in the mountains at an elevation of 2,400 metres and is fed by the confluence of three glaciers. It is renewed by accumulation and ablation, creating crevasses and seracs as it progresses downslope. It is also used for electricity generation, with tunnels bored under the ice to collect water from the glacier’s base and channel it to a hydropower plant downriver: a classic case of human use of the glacial landscape. Students visiting the glacier can also take a cable car to explore an ice grotto.

Barrage d’Emosson

Further evidence of people in the mountains using their landscape can be seen at Barrage d’Emosson, an impressive dam used for hydropower. The dam became operational in 1975. Water collected from the Mont Blanc massif is channelled into a reservoir lake at an altitude of 1,930 metres, which is controlled by the dam. This water is then used to power Vallorcine Power Station and La Bâtiaz Power Station. Visiting the dam on geography trips gives students a good sense of the scale of hydropower operations, as well as the stunning Alpine views around the reservoir.

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4 big benefits of stretching

Obviously, stretching increases flexibility, but so what?

First, flexibility can increase “stability, balance, and ease of movement,” as Michelle Matte at Livestrong.com describes, which reduces risk of injury, not just in athletic activities, but in everyday life.

Stretching also encourages the production of lubricants in our joints, as AZ Central’s Andrea Cespedes tells us. This, combined with the relief of tension around your joints earned by stretching, can ease arthritis and other joint pain.

After sitting at a desk or behind a steering wheel for hours and hours on end, your posture can start to go. Stretching out your back, neck and chest will not only help improve posture, but work towards alleviating the lower back pain and neck tension caused by long-term slouching.

Speaking of long days working and commuting, stretching is a great stress reliever. When combined with deep breathing (as used in yoga) stretching can help you calm down and ease your mind, while loosening all the areas where you hold tension. Cespedes also explains that various stretches can even aid in hormonal balance, digestion, and blood pressure, which can all be associated with stress.

In short, if stretching is not a part of your routine, it should be.

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Taking a Hike – Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls Langkawi

Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls in the north west of Langkawi Island comprises of seven interconnected pools fed by seven waterfalls. The waterfalls are in three segments and 638 steps up a steep hillside take visitors right to the top. Many stop at the second stage to enjoy a dip in the seven pools there.

Telaga Tujuh means seven wells and this refers to seven interconnected freshwater pools fed by seven waterfalls located in the northwestern corner of Langkawi Island. The waterfalls are part of the Machinchang Forest Reserve that is a dipterocarp rain forest. Not only do the tall trees of the rainforest provide a gorgeous backdrop for the waterfalls but it also harbours several species of endemic fauna.

The site is easily reachable by any mode of motorized transport and part of the way can be accessed by the Langkawi cable car as well. However visitors have to climb up 638 slippery steps at an angle of 45 to 60 degrees to get right to the top of the hill, the source of the waterfall. Since the waterfall is in three segments many just do two segments being exhausted from the climb. Those who have done the full climb estimate the first waterfall is reachable in about 10 minutes. The middle waterfall apparently can be reached in 20 minutes from the first. This is where the pools or wells are located and many visitors stop here to take a cooling dip in the pools which is really nice on a hot day. Another 15 minute climb from stage II takes visitors right to the top where those who have done it enthuse about the view. The whole trip takes up to 45 minutes, depending on individual fitness levels. The last waterfall, that is the first to come into view, cascades 90 meters to the foot of the mountain. The middle section of Telaga Tujuh waterfalls is the most impressive as unfortunately the bottom sections tends to dry up into a trickle particularly during the dry season. As with many waterfalls it is seen at its best after the rains. The hike through the rainforest to get to the sites brings into view long tailed Macaques, cream colour giant squirrels and even the occasional hornbill. Clearly marked hiking trails and visitor facilities at the foot of the falls and at the top makes climbing up and spending time there that much easier. The site has no opening and closing times. No one really attempts the climb late because the thick forest canopy makes the place dark pretty quickly.

Located on an idyllic 500 meter beach with views of tiny offshore islands, Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa offers the ideal tropical holiday destination. The selection of accommodation at this Langkawi beach resort includes superior and premium rooms, one and two bedroom suites finished in cool tones, with modern comforts and conveniences. Stay at this 5 star hotel in Langkawi and enjoy luxurious spa therapies, dining venues with a relaxing ambience and excellent menus, a fitness studio, multiple swimming pools, water sports and other onsite leisure facilities that make holidays for the whole family fun and adventurous.

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