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  • Worldwide Quest - Blog
    there yet we will have the fantastic opportunity to discover the extent and grandeur of Scotland s natural spaces and the great wildlife that is here for ourselves Here are some tour highlights Please click here to learn more about this brand new tour and request a detailed itinerary Recent Articles Lynette Husum on Why would you ever want to go to India Hotels in South India You May Never Want to Leave Quest will be at the Festival of Birds From Vegas to the Copper Canyon on the Wings of a Small Reddish brown Bird Private Journey Testimonials Secrets of the Sound A Winter Birding Challenge Looking Back on Evolution Gone Wild in Madagascar Iceland an Unlikely Nation Going with the Floe Featured Photo Powder Puff plant taken by tour leader Glenn Barrett in Cuba We Want To Hear From You Have a travel tip or news item you want to share with us Please send us an email with the details and if we can credit you for providing us with the info Questions Ready to book Call 1 800 387 1483 or email us Visit us at 491 King Street East Toronto Ontario Canada M5A 1L9 View

    Original URL path: http://worldwidequest.com/?page=lets_travel&id=110 (2016-04-24)
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  • Worldwide Quest - Blog
    tween the 1st and 4th century 7 Rich salt fields south of the city may in part explain the reason for the importance of this city within the early trade network and its associated wealth Several Pyu inscriptions have been found carved in stone and in clay which can be dated between the 4th and 9th century Inscriptions appear to include royal or honorific titles A stone inscription dated 1238 found at Balin s Shwegugyi stupa mentions that the city was known as Hamsa Iagara or Hamsawaddi Silver coins locally minted but bearing Indic auspicious symbols ceremonial utensils and intricate gold jewellery which are displayed in the recently opened site museum hint at the life of the wealthier city dwellers The second Pyu city Beikthano myo meaning City of Vishnu mentioned in various early chronicles was only identified by chance in 1896 when road engineers discovered silver coins and brass cups Systematic excavations started in 1959 by U Aung Thaw Director General of the Dept of Archaeology Ministry of Culture uncovered a walled city of 9 square kilometres located near the east bank of the Ayeyarwady River between Sri Ksetra and Bagan The key relationship between the Pyu cities and their engineered landscapes of irrigated rice fields is best demonstrated by the city of Beikthano Aerial photographs have revealed a sophisticated hydraulic system involving the diversion of local rivers into canals that fed the city s man made reservoirs and tanks which were used for consumption and to irrigate extensive rice fields to the west of the city Conversion of the Pyu to Buddhism probably began around the 3rd or 4th century Remnants of a major monastery dated to the 4th century have also been unearthed at Beikthano The large multi room building built of well fired bricks is situated in close proximity to a stupa and shrine It closely resembles the monasteries of Nagarjuna konda a major Buddhist centre of southern India m Andhra Pradesh The largest and by far the most important of all Pyu cities is Sri Ksetra covering an area of 18 square kilometres This extended urban format included low dense settlements but also large areas reserved for agriculture and irrigated rice fields This ancient city locally known as Tharay Khit taya meaning Field of Prosperity or Auspicious Land reached prominent iconic and symbolic status in legends which evolved over time in oral traditions and were later written down in various chronicles Its future founding was prophesied by the Buddha himself and it was built by Sakka king of the celestial beings It is located close to the east bank of the Ayeyarwady River near the modern city of Pyay about 40 kilometres south of Beikthano In contrast to the rectangular and square layout of Halin and Beikthano Sri Ksetra s city plan is roughly circular in shape 8 The archaeological exploration in Sri Ksetra was started in 1882 1883 by the Pali scholar Dr Emil Forchammer followed by exploratory expeditions by U Taw Sein Ko and the French General Leon de Beylie in 1905 1907 The spectacular trove of over 500 objects largely gold and silver from the undisturbed Khin Ba relic chamber found by Charles Duroiselle in 1926 has provided a great wealth and variety of study material 9 Since the 1960s a programme of more intensive excavation and preservation has been carried out and a Field School of Archaeology was established at this important archaeological site Sri Ksetra experienced its zenith between the 5th and 9th century as revealed by the relative abundance of architectural sculptural and artistic remains To date well over 270 monuments the majority outside the city walls have been located Early written documentation is scarce as any documents made of organic materials would have deteriorated What remains are inscriptions in Pyu and Sanskrit and texts in Pali on durable materials such as stone and metal which mainly relate to royalty and Buddhist texts It is through the study of the material culture left behind in and around these cities that we can draw some conclusions about their culture although the intangible culture i e of dance music storytelling and rituals related to their beliefs will remain largely hidden from us These cities flourished and were sustained by rice cultivation and exploitation of re sources specialization of crafts such as ceramics metal working and weaving and trade contributed to its wealth and influence Going back at least 2000 years trade was an important factor in the spread of religion technology culture and ideas from India and beyond along land and maritime routes The movements of traders accompanied by monks along the invisible networks would over time leave imprints on indigenous cultural traditions This is especially true for maritime trade which occurred according to the rhythms of the monsoons and was sustained over many centuries it has been a formative force in the spread of both Hinduism and Buddhism throughout Southeast Asia Myanmar being the closest land to India just across from the Bay of Bengal would have also been easy to reach overland Pyu people could have travelled to parts of India as traders and as pilgrims for the purpose of visiting sacred Buddhist sites and to study at various Buddhist centres They would have brought home knowledge of other cultures and highly regarded ritual objects and scriptures The heyday of Sri Ksetra from the 5th to 9th century coincided with the Gupta Empire 320 720 in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent and the Pallava dynasty early 4th to late 9th century in the southern part Due to this prolonged interaction whether direct or indirect between the indigenous Pyu societies and Indic cultures from as early as the 2nd century BC Buddhism achieved a permanent foothold as it was embraced by members of society in particular by the ruling elite Along with Buddhism came expressions in art and architectural forms such as the stupa and monasteries constructed in durable materials The earliest evidence of this process of adopting

    Original URL path: http://worldwidequest.com/?page=lets_travel&id=109 (2016-04-24)
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    I had a ball Thirty thousand people young and old and from all different backgrounds came together with authors over five days in early March There were special sessions for children a Female Focus strand literary lunches and writing master classes Sessions were simultaneously translated from Arabic or English or vice versa Casual conversations across boundaries were easy and common The atmosphere at the InterContinental Hotel Festival City was more carnival than conference Children of all ages and cultural backgrounds were everywhere Many sessions were oriented toward their particular interests Others were focused on writing for children It was especially thrilling to see kids who couldn t wait to peel off on their own with a newly acquired book One enchanted evening the festival brought together music poetry and traditional Arab dining beneath the black desert sky punctuated with a bright crescent moon We were transported in dune buggies to a desert camp where I shed my shoes and satisfied all my senses fine sand still warm underfoot the haunting music of a lone oud player the dark sky and convivial company over wonderful food while sitting on carpeted cushions at a low table And there were the featured performances from some of the world s most prestigious poets As participating British poet Lemn Sissay said Poetry Camels Deserts at no other time will I be able to say that in a single sentence As with everywhere I ve travelled I found Dubai was a place of far more complexity texture and nuance than I had anticipated But what surprised me most from my short stay was the cultural and cosmopolitan vibrancy that can only be found in a young and optimistic society Apart from the glitz of over the top malls and the impossibly tall and narrow skyscrapers reaching up from the desert this city is making big business of the arts and seemingly doing so with energy excitement and a refreshing lack of cynicism The Festival of Literature has just announced that due to unprecedented author interest the 2016 festival will now take place over two weeks from March 1 to 12 Here is an early list of some authors already confirmed I have sprinkled several photos in this post I invite you to view more images in the Dubai slide show I prepared from my 2014 visit So Dubai or not Dubai I hope you decide tis nobler to extend your reach beyond what is comfortable and customary That is the way we bridge the gulf between us Do also consider staying on for an amazing desert experience in Oman Learn more about the trip Bridging the Gulf Between Us Dubai Finding Its Own Cultural Voice We will of course be discussing a couple of books to deepen our experience While more and more novels are being written by Emirati citizens and will be featured at the festival they are difficult to come by here in North America In Dubai we will discuss The Dog by Joseph

    Original URL path: http://worldwidequest.com/?page=lets_travel&id=108 (2016-04-24)
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    glaciers volcanoes geysers hot springs and clays wild salmon rivers and waterfalls provide endless photographic opportunities Close to the Arctic Circle but moderated by the Gulf Stream Iceland s early summer weather Reporting from the Camino de Santiago By Marsha Faubert Worldwide Quest client We are now two thirds of the way to Santiago and looking forward to completing the journey we began together only one week ago After meeting in Madrid our group made our way to Leon where we were met by our guide Jason an expat Brit who has made Spain his home His love of the country and his knowledge of the language history and culture have expanded our experience of the Camino beyond the pi Spain s Living Legacy By Justin Peter Spain may not be one of the first countries that comes to mind when we think of prime nature travel destinations Indeed we tend to think of Spain mainly as a destination of cultural interest But Spanish geography and history have aligned in favour of nature and wildlife in many different ways numerous internal mountain ranges often defy all but rudimentary human settlement and serve quite lite Making the Most of a Cooking Class By Samantha Clark Exquisite dining experiences combined with hands on culinary learning is the finest way to discover a country s culture If you cook only occasionally or are a professional chef you can always reap the benefits of cooking classes especially in other cultures Follow these tips to make the most of your learning experience Tip 1 Make good notesYou re going to First Previous 1 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 Next Last Recent Articles Lynette Husum on Why would you ever want to

    Original URL path: http://worldwidequest.com/?page=lets_travel&p=14 (2016-04-24)
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    right to their toes giving them wide snowshoe like feet for walking on snow and even for shovelling it In winter they dig into snow drifts where they stay protected from chilling winds and frigid temperatures Long claws on their toes are for scratching in the snow for seeds and buds Their spectacular winter plumage is all white except for a dark tail and a dark line behind the eye on males Rock Ptamigan are the favourite food of Gyrfalcons Gyrfalcon and Arctic History Largest of the world s falcons the Gyrfalcon is a stunning Arctic resident that we very much wanted to see Our opportunity came at Beechey Island after a touching ceremony at the graves of three Franklin Expedition sailors In our zodiacs we sailed to nearby Northumberland House an historic site with remnants of a supply depot for Franklin searchers and a memorial to Bellot a French explorer who drowned in 1853 while looking for Franklin There like a beacon perched on Bellot s monument was a dazzling juvenile white morph Gyrfalcon Soon there were two These Gyrfalcons weren t bothered by us as we watched and took photos from our zodiacs Gyrfalcons breed across Nunavut in a range that closely overlaps Rock Ptarmigan one of their preferred prey Many Gyrfalcons stay in the Arctic in winter and some wander south Seeing these two young birds that hatched in 2015 lifted our hearts from solemn reflections on past human tragedies to excitement about the survival of a new generation in the Arctic If you re interested in exploring the Arctic for yourself I encourage you to request a detailed itinerary from one of these fine tours Worldwide Quest will be chartering another Northwest Passage expedition similar to this in 2017 To get more information and pre register

    Original URL path: http://worldwidequest.com/?page=lets_travel&id=107 (2016-04-24)
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    in 2009 when Rick joined Marty and his team including numerous Algonquin Park staff on a bear research excursion Marty is a recognized authority on the biology of the American Black Bear and Polar Bear having led field studies on both of these species in Ontario as part of his work for the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources His ample time in the field has afforded him an intimate look into the lives of these animals Among his finds he has documented predation by a Black Bear on an adult Moose and he has even been chased by a curious Black Bear and lived to tell For many years Marty s work has involved surveying Ontario s Polar Bear population on the shores of Hudson Bay Marty will be heading back to Hudson Bay to lead our special Polar Bears of Churchill excursion in October 2016 To learn more about Marty and our tour please click here Recent Articles Lynette Husum on Why would you ever want to go to India Hotels in South India You May Never Want to Leave Quest will be at the Festival of Birds From Vegas to the Copper Canyon on the Wings of a Small Reddish brown Bird Private Journey Testimonials Secrets of the Sound A Winter Birding Challenge Looking Back on Evolution Gone Wild in Madagascar Iceland an Unlikely Nation Going with the Floe Featured Photo Powder Puff plant taken by tour leader Glenn Barrett in Cuba We Want To Hear From You Have a travel tip or news item you want to share with us Please send us an email with the details and if we can credit you for providing us with the info Questions Ready to book Call 1 800 387 1483 or email us Visit us at 491 King

    Original URL path: http://worldwidequest.com/?page=lets_travel&id=105 (2016-04-24)
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    we ve narrowed our selection of photos down to a couple of candidates but we re now at a stalemate To help us make our choice we d like to solicit your feedback We re inviting you to vote for your pick from the choices below Should we select the Purple Gallinule the beautiful wetland bird that graces wetlands from Florida down through the New World Tropics and beyond Or will it be the gorgeous White bellied Sunbird a nectar feeding songbird of southern African woodlands Or should we choose the lovely European Bee eaters long distance travellers with other worldy colouration Please let us know by sending us an e mail by Monday August 10 We look forward to hearing from you and thank you in advance for your assistance Please choose your favourite A new email will appear Type your choice in the subject line and hit send COVER 1 COVER 2 COVER 3 Thank you for your help Recent Articles Lynette Husum on Why would you ever want to go to India Hotels in South India You May Never Want to Leave Quest will be at the Festival of Birds From Vegas to the Copper Canyon on the Wings of a Small Reddish brown Bird Private Journey Testimonials Secrets of the Sound A Winter Birding Challenge Looking Back on Evolution Gone Wild in Madagascar Iceland an Unlikely Nation Going with the Floe Featured Photo Powder Puff plant taken by tour leader Glenn Barrett in Cuba We Want To Hear From You Have a travel tip or news item you want to share with us Please send us an email with the details and if we can credit you for providing us with the info Questions Ready to book Call 1 800 387 1483 or email us Visit

    Original URL path: http://worldwidequest.com/?page=lets_travel&id=104 (2016-04-24)
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    was reinhabited by Turkish Muslim rulers as a refuge after the region fell to the Ottoman Empire Ihlara Valley vs Rivendell Both of these stunning valleys feature giant rock formations as well as lush vegetation and fresh streams of water You would think that this Elven residence in J R R Tolkien s The Lord of the Rings was based off the stunning scenery of Cappadocia s famous landmark What s the difference While both places are considered in their respective world to be peaceful places of learning with endless nooks and crannies to explore the Ihlara Valley is additionally famous for its world class trekking And whereas in Rivendell it would not be uncommon to stumble across the grand architecture or high quality handicrafts of the Elves Ihlara has some beautiful works of its own to display most notably the rock cut churches and vibrant frescoes that were created by the Christians that came here fleeing persecution by the Romans in the fourth century AD Goreme vs Tatooine Although Luke Skywalker was born and raised on a planet in a galaxy far far away the dramatic landscape and dwarfing rock sculptures of this Star Wars locale seem somehow reminiscent of the fairy chimneys for which Cappadocia is famous What s the difference Although Tatooine is deemed a desolate place with nothing to see by its inhabitants Goreme which is one of the central towns of Cappadocia is actually quite the contrary Perhaps the most famous of its sights are the fairy chimneys which are rock formations protruding from the ground Goreme is home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site an open air museum displaying some of Turkey s finest ancient frescoes If you are interested in being transported to a real life fairytale land Cappadocia is for you To

    Original URL path: http://worldwidequest.com/?page=lets_travel&id=103 (2016-04-24)
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