Tag Archive | flowers

Haifa’s Gorgeous Bahai Gardens

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We specifically visited Haifa, the largest city in northern Israel, to visit the Bahai Gardens. Also known as the Hanging Gardens of Haifa, these gardens are stunningly beautiful. At its center stands a domed shrine dedicated to the Bab, the resting place of the Prophet-Herald of the Bahai faith. From the shrine, there are nineteen terraces with stairs extending up the northern slope of Mount Carmel.

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Beautifully manicured trees and hedges, among colorful flowers and graveled pathways can be found throughout the gardens.

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The gardens provide an excellent view of the city below and the vast Mediterranean Sea.

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The gardens are also worth visiting in the evening. The lights and fountains add to the beauty of the gardens.

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We ended up visiting the Bahai Gardens twice because they were so gorgeous. A trip to Haifa, just to see these gardens is worth it. These were some of the best gardens we have seen during our travels.

Witnessing the World’s Largest Flower: The Rafflesia

Situated in Malaysia, The Cameron Highlands is one of the country’s most extensive hill stations. It is home to plenty of vegetation, fresh as well as cool air, and the world’s largest flower, the Rafflesia arnoldii. To witness the Rafflesia fully bloomed is a very rare event. This unisexual flower opens up after 9 months and only lives for 5-7 days.

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This flower is one of the 28 species that belongs to the genus Rafflesia, which is now becoming endangered. It is a huge five-petaled flower that can weigh up to 10kg! Interestingly, this parasitic flower has no leaves, stems, and roots. To obtain nutrients and water, the Rafflesia attaches itself to a host plant called Tetrastigma.

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The flower is notorious for its bad smell that aims to attract flies for pollination purposes.

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While we happened to be visiting the Cameron Highlands, we were informed there might we a possibility to see a fully bloomed Rafflesia. We trekked for a few hours in the beautiful rainforest, before came upon some buds of the Rafflesia.

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This bud was likely to bloom very soon.

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Eventually, we were lucky enough to spot a fully bloomed Rafflesia! The flower was indeed huge! The redish brown petals of the Rafflesia were peppered with white freckles.

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The trek through the rainforest was definitely a worthwhile adventure. We got the rare opportunity to not only see the fully bloomed Rafflesia, but also its earlier and later stages. We got a sense of the complete cycle from the buds to the bloomed flower and eventually to the dying Rafflesia.