Although this UNESCO World Heritage site has attracted a deal attention in the last few years it still remains quite untouched and protected, it’s a treasure for visitors who want to enjoy vibrant colors, wonderful architecture and stunning cobblestone streets.
The Galápagos Islands are a province of Ecuador, and a volcanic archipelago lying in the Pacific Ocean nearly 850 miles (1369 km) west of Quito in Ecuador. Of the 21 volcanoes in the Galápagos 13 are active! The wildlife has been studied there since Charles Darwin first visited in 1835 on HMS Beagle where his studies of native finches later inspired his theory of evolution work on “The Origin of the Species”.
Since 1835, there have been over 60 recorded eruptions on 6 of the volcanoes. Scientists are fascinated by how such a delicate ecosystem – complete with its own micro climate – exists in such a volatile place! Historically, the critically endangered wildlife of the Galapagos has always been on the brink of destruction
Annexed by Chile in 1888 the 63 square mile island is one of the world’s most isolated. It is approximately 5688miles (9154 km) east of Sydney and 2,180 miles (3,510 km) west of Chile. Easter Island has a maximum altitude of only 1,663 feet (507 meters) and has no permanent source of fresh water. Like many Pacific Islands, the physical landscape is dominated by volcanic topography and it was formed geologically by three extinct volcanoes.
A large fortified settlement or pā on the hills at the southern edge of what is now Taradale was home to about 3,000 Māori people. Tahe pā was on an excellent defensive site beside the Tutaekuri River with easy access to the Pacific Ocean by canoe.
The Hawke’s Bay earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale only lasted two-and-a-half minutes, but it became infamous as the deadliest natural disaster in New Zealand, claiming at least 250 lives and thousands were injured. All but a few of Napier’s buildings were completely destroyed by the earthquake and the fires that followed.
Napier came back from the earthquake with a clean slate and fresh land to build on. One hundred and eleven new buildings were constructed in the downtown area between 1931 and 1933. The vast majority took their cues from Art Deco, the era’s cutting-edge architectural trend. The style is known for its linear structure and touches of intricate ornamentation in the form of geometric motifs like chevrons and zigzags. It was also relatively inexpensive thanks to its basic, boxy designs—a bonus considering that the earthquake struck during the middle of the Great Depression, the worst economic downturn in history.