As seen in the recent photos of Venice, the city’s iconic canals are half-dry and muddier than ever. This has been blamed on the bassa marea or the low tide. Usually used in referring to the sea or less coastal areas, the term takes up a whole new meaning in Venice’s context. Here, it is used to refer to the time when water levels in the city are more than 20 inches lower.
The Bassa Marea
To fully grasp what changes have been taking place in terms of travel, we need to understand why this is taking place. In contrast to bassa marea, the usually heard of acqua alta refers to the city’s high water flooding that takes place when a combination of unusually high tide and low air pressure is witnessed. Bassa marea is a result of high pressure over Italy for almost a month now, with the levels reaching a low of 28 inches below average. Bassa marea is usually a result of high pressure over the winters, generally in January-February.
What’s to Blame?
Dr. Warren Cairns, a senior environmental scientist at Venice’s CNR Institute for Polar Sciences, elaborates on the reason. The coincidence of prolonged high pressure over the country with a low lunar tide has led to abnormally low water levels. This makes the canal dry up and look muddy. Regardless, the Venice canals are seen to be thriving.
The Effect of Tourism
The fluctuations in the water levels naturally hamper travel plans for a city based on water. However, there are provisions for alerts by the transportation company ACTV via apps like Telegram for people to track any traffic or blockages. As for the gondola rides and the classic canal aesthetic photos and vibes, it has been advised to visit during the high tide for more water in the canals. As for the low tides, the rides will be better on the Grand Canal, offering a mesmerizing experience. The low water levels also make it easier for the lesser-known details to be visible, including the carved lion heads around the base of the Bauer Hotel. If looking for attractions other than canals, you must visit the museums and galleries, as well as take a trip on the Venetian public water bus.
The ‘Mighty Five’ national parks of Utah protect a mind-blowingly diverse ecosystem and also draw millions of visitors each year. But exploring these highlights can be tricky and often overwhelming if you don’t know your way around. Here are a few helpful tips for you to experience the natural playground of Utah at your ease.
Planning Well Ahead
The Mighty Five national parks of Utah have witnessed a huge upsurge of visitors over the last few years. This situation has prompted the park service authorities to enforce strict limits on the number of visitors to protect the delicate landscape. Now, you need to book most of the popular hikes, and even the less-common ones, like the Subway hike in Zion, well ahead of the season.
Taking a Guided Tour or Two
Opting for at least one or two guided tours in the Mighty Five parks can make your trip easier, hassle-free, and more enjoyable. This way, all the logistics of your visits, including permits, will be pre-arranged or taken care of, and you’ll also get more depth in your visits with interesting information and not-to-miss highlights. The guides are trained to deliver you the best experiences with minimal impact on landscapes.
Traveling During Off-Season
Appreciating nature’s majesty can be tricky when you have to jostle for space among a hoard of visitors. As most families tend to visit the Mighty Five national parks during summer, the rest of the year, mainly fall and spring, are perfect for hitting the trails without the rush. These seasons also come with their own perks of changing foliage, early blooms or colorful wildflowers, livelier wildlife, and comfortable temperature.
Getting Up Early to Go Farther
Starting early is a great way to avoid tourist crowds. For example, if you choose the signature day hike in the Narrows at the popular Zion national park, you’ll need a special gear kit as the hiking trail includes running water. Most hikers rent the kit in the morning before starting, but collecting the kit the night before and heading up early will give you the benefit of having the scenery largely to yourself.
Opting for Less-Traveled Trails
Nothing works better to beat the crowd than heading off the beaten path. Among the Mighty Five parks, Zion earns the most reputation for being Utah’s main draw. But you can avoid the crowd here by taking the Subway route instead of the Narrows. Similarly, the gentler trail of Scout Lookout will give you the same views of the popular Angel’s Landing summit, minus the tough hike, crowds, and the need for permits.