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travels in geology

Getting There and Getting Around the Burren

If you’re in Ireland, the Burren is definitely worth a visit. The Burren’s nearest airport is Shannon Airport, approximately a 45-minute drive away. The trip from Dublin is a four-hour drive. Renting a car is the best way to explore the region in depth. But keep in mind that the roads are narrower than you might presume, and visitors often underestimate how long journeys can take. (Keep in mind also that in Ireland, like in England, you drive on the left side of the road.)

 
07 Oct 2011

Travels in Geology: The Burren: Ireland's "Great Rock" Region

The Burren — one of the largest karst landscapes in Europe — is a land of contradictions. In 1651, an English army officer noted that this region on Ireland’s west coast “is a country where there is not water enough to drown a man, wood enough to hang one, nor earth enough to bury him. This last is so scarce that the inhabitants steal it from one another and yet their cattle are very fat. The grass grows in tufts of earth of two or three foot square, which lies between the limestone rocks and is very sweet and nourishing.”

07 Oct 2011

Travels in Geology: Glacial pools to sea caves: A tour of New Zealand's South Island

New Zealand has a reputation for extreme adventure — sky diving, jet boating, bungee jumping and even “zorbing,” which sends you rolling down a hill inside a transparent plastic ball. But beyond the adrenaline sports, you’ll find unique geologic features in landscapes ranging from volcanoes and alpine peaks to beaches and rainforests.

21 Sep 2011

Getting There and Getting Around Nova Scotia

Getting to Nova Scotia is easy by plane, car or ferry. Most flights arrive in Halifax, roughly in the middle of the province. If you’re driving from the United States, take New Brunswick Route One from the Maine border to meet up with the Trans-Canada Highway, which meanders through the province; however, it’s an eight-hour trip from Bangor, Maine, to Halifax and there’s not a lot to do or see along the way. A shorter route is to take the car ferry that sails from Saint John, New Brunswick, to Digby, on Nova Scotia’s northwestern coast.

07 Sep 2011

Travels in Geology: Nova Scotia: A driving tour of Pangaea

What’s the quickest way to see the Scottish Highlands and Africa? Take a trip to Nova Scotia. The southeastern Canadian province is a mash-up of continental fragments whose landscape testifies to the power of glacial and tidal forces. Slightly smaller than West Virginia, the province is easy to get around and is packed with geological sites without being overwhelming.

07 Sep 2011

Getting There and Getting Around Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs is a good jumping off point for exploring Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument. A car is necessary to get around the area; you can rent one at the Colorado Springs Airport if you choose to fly into Colorado. Once you’re ready to visit the fossils, head west on Highway 24 for about 50 kilometers to the town of Florissant, where you’ll find gas, a couple of restaurants and convenience stores. Woodland Park, about 25 kilometers east of Florissant, offers accommodations and more eating options.

07 Aug 2011

Getting There and Getting Around The Blue Mountains National Park

The Blue Mountains National Park is about 100 kilometers west of Sydney. It is accessible by highway via the M4 Motorway and the Great Western Highway to the gateway towns of Leura, Wentworth Falls and Katoomba. Double-decker trains also run from 4 a.m. to midnight daily from Sydney’s Central Railway Station, stopping in the major mountain towns. Sydney’s international airport is connected directly to the train station by a rail line built in 2001. Alternatively, several bus or “coach” companies offer trips or tours of the Blue Mountains region from Sydney; tickets and information can be found in the kiosks along Circular Quay on Sydney’s harbor. Once you’re in the Blue Mountains region, it’s easiest to get around on foot. The trails are a short walk from most of the downtown areas, and, should you feel like switching towns, the rails are the easiest link between them.

 
07 Aug 2011

Travels in Geology: Australia's Blue Mountains Delight the Senses

Australia has a lot to offer when it comes to geology, but you don’t have to venture as far inland as the famed Ayers Rock to see spectacular sights. Sydneysiders have been seeking respite from urban chaos in the nearby Blue Mountains National Park for almost a hundred years. The mountains are known for their sweeping vistas, cool microclimate, wildlife, Aboriginal history and rock formations like the statuesque Three Sisters and the rubble heap of Ruined Castle.

07 Aug 2011

Travels in Geology: Twin coral reefs separated in time in Western Australia

Take advantage of the chance to explore similar-looking reefs in Western Australia: one from the Devonian and one forming now off the coast.

22 Jul 2011

Travels in Geology: Florissant fossil beds: An Eocene time capsule

Beneath the grassy meadows and pine-studded hills of central Colorado lies one of the richest and most diverse fossil deposits in the world. From enormous petrified redwood stumps to the individual lenses in a fly’s compound eye, an entire ecosystem of rarely preserved life forms has been fortuitously fossilized, narrating the story of a warmer and wetter prehistoric Colorado that thrived at the brink of a dramatic episode of global cooling.

07 Jul 2011

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