Enjoy The View

When out and about enjoying the attractions of life you’re bound to encounter others just as excited as yourself! It’s a fact of exploration life! These realistic and comforting depictions of visiting beautiful landmarks with others are worth integrating into your artistic experience.

A giant Galapagos Tortoise has retreated into his shell as a group of tourists gather to learn more about this magnificent creature. Galapagos is an old Spanish word for tortoise. The signs at this ranch warn visitors not to feed or touch the “galapagos.” The Galapagos tortoise or Galapagos giant tortoise (Chelonoidis nigra) is the largest living species of tortoise and the 14th-heaviest living reptile. Modern giant tortoises can weigh up to 550 pounds (250 kg); even larger versions, now extinct, roamed every continent except Antarctica and Australia. Today, they exist only the Galapagos Islands, and Aldabra in the Indian Ocean. The tortoise is native to seven of the Galapagos Islands, a volcanic archipelago about 620 miles (more than 1,000 kilometers) west of the Ecuadorian mainland. With life spans in the wild of over 100 years, it is one of the longest-lived vertebrates. Shell size and shape vary between populations. On islands with humid highlands, the tortoises are larger, with domed shells and short necks – on islands with dry lowlands, the tortoises are smaller, with “saddleback” shells and long necks. Charles Darwin’s observations of these differences on the second voyage of the Beagle in 1835, contributed to the development of his theory of evolution. Tortoise numbers declined from over 250,000 in the 16th century to a low of around 3,000 in the 1970s. This decline was caused by exploitation of the species for meat and oil, habitat clearance for agriculture, and introduction of non-native animals to the islands, such as rats, goats, and pigs. Conservation efforts, beginning in the 20th century, have resulted in thousands of captive-bred juveniles being released onto their ancestral home islands, and it is estimated that the total number of the species exceeded 19,000 at the start of the 21st century. Despite this rebound, the species as a whole is classified as “vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Tourists crowd into a room featuring a portrait of Tsar Alexander I on horseback in the state Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. Portraits of other important Russian figures line the walls. The State Hermitage is a museum of art and culture and is one of the largest and oldest museums in the world. It was founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great and has been open to the public since 1852.

Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona is one of the world’s top natural attractions, attracting about five million visitors each year. Here, a few of those tourists take advantage of one of the many spectacular scenic overlooks. Nearly two billion years of Earth’s geological history have been exposed as the Colorado River and its tributaries cut their channels through layer after layer of rock while the Colorado Plateau was uplifted.

Three young men wait at sunset for Old Faithful Geyser to erupt in the Upper Geyser Basin of Yellowstone Park in Wyoming. Old Faithful erupts every 45 to 125 minutes, lasting from one and a half minutes to as long as five minutes.

Tourists take advantage of the waning light of day as they visit the Lower Geyser Basin in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.

A stage coach takes passengers through the sage brush of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. A line of horseback riders pass on the hill above.

On the left, tired tourists rest on a bench under the thatched roof of a reconstructed building at Machu Picchu in Peru. The altitude of Machu Picchu is 7,972′ (2,430 m) so the air is thinner, and there are a lot of steps to climb! Machu Picchu was built around 1450, at the height of the Inca Empire and was abandoned in 1572. This citadel is probably the most familiar icon of Inca civilization.

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