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 B√Ętiaz 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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Wing Lee Street – An Image of the Past

The attractive Wing Lee Street provides a glimpse into Hongkong as it existed many years ago. This fascinating enclave contains many tenement buildings which once housed a harmonious and closely knit community.

The cosmopolitan city of Hongkong offers many interesting experiences for the visitor. In addition to modern malls and varied shopping opportunities the city also offers interesting places to visit, such as historically and culturally significant districts.

One of these captivating areas is the well-known Wing Lee Street. This lane is not an imposing site and it is not a modern showpiece. In contrast it presents an intriguing glimpse of the city as it existed many decades ago before the advent of modernity. The tenement style buildings known as tong Laus which are found here are unlike others found anywhere in the city as they are constructed in sets of clusters on a common terrace. This style of construction is not to be seen in other parts of Hongkong.

In recent years Wing Lee Street has come into the international limelight as it was featured in the well-known motion picture ‘Echoes of the Rainbow’. This memorable film which starred Simon Yam gave Hongkong its first prestigious Crystal Bear prize at Berlin’s well recognized international movie festival. In fact the creators of this film have called for the preservation of this unique urban environment.

Additionally this fascinating film has made many of its viewers actually visit the street, captivated by its historical and cultural legacy. The quaint residential buildings evoke images of an era when its residents were a closely knit interlinked community which lived in harmony and shared each others’ joys and sorrows.

Interestingly many of the local businesses were printing shops as many printers moved their businesses to this part of the city. Even today you will find a few such businesses still in operation. Some of the local buildings have been renovated but have not been transformed into shops or restaurants. You will also find an interesting information centre which displays photographs of the original buildings as they once existed. With so much to see and admire a visit to Wing Lee Street will always be enthralling.

If you are visiting the city and are interested in a 4 star hotel Hongkong an outstanding choice would be the Cosmo Hotel. This Hongkong boutique hotel offers attractive interiors and gracious hospitality.

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