Great Dismal Swamp
The great dismal swamp is a vast swampy terrain stretching on the coastal plain in the southeast of Virginia. This corner of nature is probably one of the last in the US untouched by human impact. The territory of the national park covers almost 500 kilometres of water territory and impassable forests. The uniqueness of the ecosystem of the Great Dismal Swamp lies in its water resources, which have become a home for many species of animals, as well as a diverse nature. In its historical significance, the Great Gloomy Swamp is among the unique places on the map of the United States.
Scientists believe that the swamp was formed because of one of the last shifts in the continental shelf. However, about its origin, there are many legends. For example, the Indian legend says that one of the lakes came from a nest that the giant Firebirds have created in the swamp. Later, rain water filled them. Archaeological excavations have shown that the first population appeared in these parts about 13 thousand years ago.
For centuries, wood was mined here, and there could be no trees growing directly from the water, but in 1974 the area was declared a reserve. Despite its harsh name, the Great Gloomy Marsh is not a boring place at all. Here you can stay with a tent, make a trip on a boat and enjoy this amazing desert place.
In the USA, in the state of West Virginia, in the Greenbrier resort, in the town of White Sulphur Springs, a bunker is located under the building of the luxury hotel Greenbrier. It is located at a depth of 25 meters and built in the 1950s. It was assumed that in the event of a nuclear war, the US Senate would sit there. For 30 years, the bunker was kept in full readiness, but few knew about its existence. In 1992, the object was declassified by publication in the Washington Post. After that, the bunker became owned by the hotel and now anyone can visit it.
The bunker consists of 150 rooms, protected by one-and-a-half-meter concrete walls and 25-ton gates. It was designed for 1100 people. There are 18 bedrooms, each with 50-60 beds, a dining room for 400 people, a disinfection room, where, after taking a shower, everyone was supposed to give out the same green uniform, as well as white sneakers. Also, here you can see a television studio, a perfect place to sit relax and play pokies for mobile (even though it is a bunker, internet connection is fantastic!), a hospital room with an operating room and an isolator designed for cases of mental disorders, and there was also a large stock of antidepressants.
The cave complex of Luray is one of the most mysterious sights of the state of Virginia. In addition to the amazing beauty of landscapes, here you can find ancient traces of human habitation, mysterious caves and optical illusions.
The caves were discovered in the summer of 1878. During the walk, a group of people stumbled upon a powerful stream of water that flowed out of an unknown rock, and cool air came from the cleft. Interested travellers began to deepen the hole and, four hours later, discovered the entrance to the cave. With the candle in their hands, the discoverers descended and were shocked by the magnificent and slightly horrifying sight. Before their gaze appeared huge stalactites and stunning vaults. They also found fragments of bones, including human bones – it became clear that people knew about this cave before.
Today, the caves of Luray are only partly open to tourists, but this does not stop admire their beauty and monumentality. The walls illuminated by artificial lanterns mysteriously play different shades of colours and create a magnificent background for stalactites. Descending from the ceiling of the cave to the waters of the underground lake, the stalactites seem to look into it, giving birth to amazing pictures in the minds of travellers. The bottom of another underground lake – the Well of Desires – is covered with coins, the layer of which reaches several centimetres. The crystal-clear water of this lake creates the effect of a shallow depth, but this is an illusion, and the true depth is almost two meters.
The George Washington Masonic National Memorial
The Masonic temple in Alexandria is a whole memorial dedicated to George Washington. A majestic and seemingly impregnable building is located on a hill and is topped by a stepped pyramid with an arch. The entrance is made in Greek style and framed by columns, the marble hall houses a monument to the first American president, who is depicted with Masonic attributes. It is believed that the prototype of a huge structure was a lighthouse in Egypt’s Alexandria, which is recognized as one of the wonders of the world.
In fact, the impressive building is not a temple, but a museum, where a variety of information about Freemasonry in the United States is collected. It is also a full-fledged information and research centre with a library and a concert hall. But still, first of all, it is a grandiose monument to the phenomenon called “Freemasonry”, which has special significance for the United States.
Typically, the entrance is only available on the first two floors.