Here are some of our favourite travel books to inspire your next adventure! The world certainly is a wonderful place!!!
The Traveller’s Atlas: A Global Guide to the Places You Must See in Your Lifetime by John Man and Chris Schüler 2004
This is a lovely book and a comprehensive guide to some of the wonderful places our world has to offer. They are organized into different geographical areas:
North America: Banff National Park; Grand Canyon; Cliffs of Yosemite; San Francisco and the West Coast; the Adirondack wilderness; and Florida;
Central and South America: Mexico; La Ruta Maya; Costa Rican wildlife; an Amazon riverboat; and the Inca Trail;
Africa: Marrakech and the Atlas Mountains, Morocco; a Steamer trip to Timbuktoo; Egypt and the Nile; the East African Rift Valley, the birthplace of mankind; and Zambesi and the Okavango, both rich in wildlife;
Mediterranean and Near East: Moorish Spain; Provence; Chamonix and the Alps; Renaissance Italy; Venice; the Meteora, Greece; Crusader castles in Syria, probably since obliterated by the Syrian War, and Istanbul, where East meets West;
Northern Europe: Western Isles of Scotland; West Coast of Ireland, which we have already visited; the Norwegian coastline; and the elegant cities of the Middle European countries of Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland;
Northern Asia: The Trans-Siberian railway; the Great Wall of China; and the cliffs of the Gobi Desert;
Central Asia: the Karakoram Highway and the Silk Road; the Roof of the World at Kathmandu in the Himalayas; the Gorges of the Yangtze River; and Kyoto, the cultural centre of Japan;
India and South-East Asia: the Princely States of Rajasthan and the Sacred City of Varanasi in India; the jungle temples of Cambodia at Angkor Wat; and the tropical island of Bali;
Australia: Dreamtime in the Northern Territory; the Great Barrier Reef; Cradle Mountain, Tasmania;
New Zealand: Rotorua, the geothermal hotspot; and Queenstown, the Adventure Capital;
And the Pacific: Hawaii; Tahiti; Easter Island and Cruising the Galapagos.
Each entry has a Fact File with details, which vary from access/ transport; the best time to visit; dimensions/ population; climate; currency; food and drink; and language; to information centres (addresses also listed in the back of the book); permits/ equipment required; and warnings and health precautions; with comprehensive maps, beautiful photographs and lots of information about each area, including inset boxes of historical interest. This book definitely gives you itchy feet!!
The Marshall Travel Atlas of Dream Places: A Guide to the World’s Most Romantic Locations 1995
This lovely book provides a grand tour of the world’s best loved romantic destinations and trips, which are divided into the following chapters:
Cities of Romance and Creation: St Petersburg; Venice; the Orient Express; Damascus; Vieux Carré; Montmatre; Paris by the Seine; Seville; and Prague;
Entangled in History: Gripsholm; Charleston; Dürnstein; the Romantic Road; Holyrood House; Wawel Cathedral; and Versailles;
Paradise Found: Grasmere; Victoria Falls; Livingstone’s Travels; Mount Kailas; Bay of Naples; the Grand Tour; and Fingal’s Cave;
From the Mists of the Past: Petra; Soúnion; Cuzco; the Inca Trail; Borobodur; Luxor; the Nile; and Chichén Itzá;
and Outposts of the Beyond: Kathmandu; Samarkand; the Silk Road; Bangkok; Kyoto; the Trans-Siberian Railway; Shanghai; and Havana, Cuba.
The book discusses the history and special features of each area, supported by maps and beautiful photographs and a more extensive gazetteer including further sights in the back. The book itself is a wonderful trip into the romantic past!
Silk, Scents and Spice: Retracing the World’s Great Trade Routes: The Silk Road, the Spice Route and the Incense Trail by John Lawton 2004
I have always been fascinated and entranced by the Silk Road, a network of overland trade routes 12 000 km long over the mountains, deserts and steppes of Central Asia between the Orient and the markets of Europe and the Middle East 2000 years ago.
Originating in Xian, the ancient capital of China, one route was 6 400 km long and followed the Great Wall of China westward, skirting the Taklamakan Desert and passing through the Fergana Valley to the caravan cities of Samarkand and Bukhara, then across the Caspian Sea to Constantinople in Turkey, while other routes climbed the Pamir Mountains and crossed Afghanistan and Iran to the ports of the Eastern Mediterranean, or crossed the Great Wall to Mongolia, crossing the steppes of Kazakstan and Southern Russia to Europe.
Camel caravans carried Chinese silk, tea, porcelain and lacquerware west, in exchange for European amber, silk and gold, travelling eastward. Other trade goods included indigo dyes, glassware and frankincense from the Middle East; pepper, cotton and sandalwood from India; furs from Siberia and war horses from Central Asia. It was also the conduit for the dissemination of ideas and cultural traditions in all directions, including the spread of religions, as well as the latest science and technology like papermaking, printing and gunpowder from China; and mathematics, medicine and astronomy from the West.
The authors follow the different sections of the Silk Road and their fascinating historical background and current political situation (post Cold War and the disintegration of the Soviet Union) are discussed in detail:
The Royal Road: This route is 2 500 Km long and runs from Susa, Iran, across Mesopotamia and Anatolia, to the Ankara, Turkey and Aegean Sea;
The Golden Road: Linking Central Asia with the metropolises of Mesopotamia: Samarkand and Bukhara;
The Mountain Passage: Traversing the roof of the world and some of the world’s mightiest mountain ranges: the Pamir, Tien Shan, Karakorum, Himalaya and Hindu Kush and providing lines of communication between Central Asia, China and India since ancient times;
The Steppe Route: Followed by the nomadic horsemen, the Scythians, Huns, Turks and Mongols from Mongolia across China, Southern Russia and Central Asia, through the Ukraine to Hungary; and
The Imperial Highway: from Xian to Lanzhou and Anxi, across the Gobi and Taklamakan Deserts, to the oasis of Turpan and the ancient jade market of Khotan and thence, the magical city of Kashgar.
I learnt so much about the different peoples, rulers and empires: the Assyrians and Hittites; the Scythians; Alexander the Great and the Ancient Greeks, the Parthians, Kushans and Sassanians; the Ancient Romans; the Seljuk Turks and the Ottomans; the Ghaznavids and Ghurid conquests; Genghis Khan and the Golden Horde; Tamerlane (Timur) and the Mongols; the Huns; the Khorezmshahs; Babur, the first of the Moghul emperors; Kublai Khan and the centenarian Hunzacuts (Ismaili Muslims), as well as the history of Constantinople (also called Byzantium and now Istanbul); the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia, which hold 200 early Christian churches; the Arab conquest of Central Asia; the beautiful architecture of Bukhara and Samarkand; the formation of the six Central Asian republics in 1927: Azerbaijan and the five ‘stans’: Kazakstan; Kyrgystan; Turkmenistan; Uzbekistan and the Persian-speaking Tajikstan; the celestial horses of the Fergana valley, stolen by the 60 000 strong Han army; the origins of Buddhism; the petroglyphs of Gandhara; the kurgans and grave goods of the Pazyryk nomads in the Altai region of Siberia; and finally, the secret of sericulture (silk).
The section on the Spice Route, a network of sea lanes plied by Arab dhows, Chinese junks and Spanish galleons between the Mediterranean and the Far East, including India, China and the Spice Islands of Indonesia and the history of spices is equally fascinating!
Apparently, the Ancient Mesopotamians used 3 to 10 condiments in their recipes, as recorded on Akkadian cuneiform clay tablets from 1700 BC. I also learnt that cinnamon was the most prized spice in antiquity and was used in embalming by the Ancient Egyptians; in a sacred anointing oil by Hebrew priests and as a flavouring oil by Ancient Greeks, Herodotus writing in 5BC that cinnamon came from remote swamps guarded by huge bat-like creatures.
The authors describe the different parts of the route: the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean; the ports of Muscat, Suhar (the legendary home of Sinbad the Sailor and the source of copper, the backbone of the Sumerians’ wealth), Malacca, Goa and Galle; Cochin (the present-day centre of the spice trade), the Maldives and Sri Lanka; the Spice Islands of Indonesia; and the history and source of the different spices involved: cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg and pepper.
Finally, the Incense Trail, the oldest caravan route in the world delivering frankincense and myrrh from the aromatic growing regions of Arabia to the incense-hungry empires of the Ancient World, including Egypt, Babylon and Rome.
This is a beautiful book with stunning photographs of the landscapes, peoples, architecture and artefacts and an excellent map showing all these important trading routes and cities at the front. It is also supported by a DVD based on the book and co-produced by UNESCO and Arté in 2008, with interactive menus, animated maps and related UNESCO projects. I would love to get a copy one day! See: http://www.unesco.org/archives/multimedia/?pg=33&s=films_details&id=603.
Discovering the Wonders of Our World: A Guide to Nature’s Scenic Marvels Reader’s Digest 1993
Readers’ Digest always produce excellent guides and this one is no exception. While discussing some of the places already mentioned, it also covers so much more, particularly those places with amazing natural features and attributes, like Tassili N’Ajjer in the Sahara Desert with its ancient rock art and pinnacles, carved out by the old, now non-existent, rivers; the Ruwenzori Mountains between Uganda and Zaire; East Africa’s Soda Lakes, frequented by millions of pink flamingos each year; the Ngorongoro Crater, Northern Tanzania, home to one of the highest concentration of wildlife in Africa; the stunning Blyde River Canyon of South Africa and the limestone razors of the Ankarana Plateau at the northern tip of Madagascar, with its amazing biodiversity and unusual animals. And that’s just a sample of the African entries!
There are so many other places described in this book, which I would love to visit like the Ritten Earth Pillars of South Tyrol; the Cappadocian Cones with their troglodyte cities in Turkey; the Heavenly Mountains of the Tien Shan in Central Asia; the Lunan Stone Forest in China’s Yunnan Province and the Guilan Hills in South China; and The Olgas and Lake Eyre in full flood here in Australia. In fact, in this book, there are 138 natural wonders described, accompanied by lovely photos, clear maps and diagrams and pages featuring early explorers, geologists and geographers; farming practices; early mountaineers; landscape in film and art; and monuments of lost empires.
In the back of the book is a 38 page section explaining how natural forces (heat from the Earth’s interior; heat from the sun; and gravity) have shaped our world, along with the mechanisms of continental drift; volcanoes and earthquakes; the birth of mountains; limestone formations; the coastal fringe; river erosion and the brief life of lakes; the sculpting glaciers; and sandblasted deserts, including inset boxes of key facts like the world’s deepest caves or ocean trenches; the worst eruptions or earthquakes; the longest rivers; highest waterfalls; the longest glaciers and the highest mountains.
Try this quiz WITHOUT looking at a map!:
1.Which is the world’s biggest lake?
2.Which is the largest hot desert in the world and how large is it?
3.Where is the lowest land point on earth?
4.What is a doline?
5.How long and wide is the world’s longest glacier and what is it’s name?
This wonderful book holds all the answers (though I will take pity on you and provide the answers at the end of the post to save you time googling!! Though having said that, I did check Google in the interests of accuracy, given this book was published almost 25 years ago and landscapes (and knowledge!) do evolve and change over time!
501 Must-Visit Natural Wonders Bounty Books 2007
A more recent guide and a lovely book to dip into at random, this enticing book is a great taster to some of the world’s amazing natural wonders, listing 501 places, plants and animals, each with its own page (with the occasional double page spread) and an inset box of quick details: What It Is; How to Get There; When to Go; Nearest Town; Don’t Miss; and You Should Know!
While many are well-known, for obvious reasons, there are many many places, of which I had never even heard like: the Laurentian Mountains in Quebec, with their incredible Autumn colour; the stunningly beautiful Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland; and the Cerrado, Central Brazil, one of the oldest and most diverse tropical ecosystems in the world, as well as the richest savanna area on earth, with over 10 000 plant species (half of which is endemic), 900 bird species and 300 mammals. And that’s just the Americas!
The pages on American flora and fauna include : the ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest and the Giant Redwoods (Sequoias) , the largest trees in the world, both in California; in Canada, the Caribou Migration, Orcas and the Polar Bears of Churchill, under dire threat by global warming; the Penguins of South Georgia and the Hummingbirds of Trinidad; the Horseshoe Crabs of Delaware Bay; and the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuaries in Mexico.
The section on Australasia and Oceania is very comprehensive with 65 entries, 27 of which are in Australia and 16 of which we have visited! It’s good to know there are still many more places to explore and even if we never get to visit all of these beautiful places (and really in the interests of preservation, its better that we don’t!), this book is a great record of the amazing natural wonders and biodiversity of our very special planet!
Paradise on Earth: The Natural World Heritage List: A Journey Through the World’s Most Outstanding Natural Places IUCN 1995
Given the huge environmental pressures, due to increasing human population and development, it is fortunate that many of these places are protected by World Heritage listing and the next book describes 113 of the 100 natural and 300 cultural areas mentioned in the 1995 book, though now there are 1052 sites listed by UNESCO. See: http://www.worldheritagesite.org/worldheritagelist.html and http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/stat. IUCN stands for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (https://www.iucn.org), the scientific advisor to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, which identifies areas worthy of nomination to the World Heritage List.
Areas are chosen following a rigorous assessment process, which compares them to other similar sites to determine their uniqueness and evaluates five factors (distinctiveness; integrity; naturalness; dependency and diversity) to ascertain their conservation importance.
The guidelines are very strict and all must be adhered to for inclusion in the list. For example, the Burrup Peninsula on the Dampier Peninsula, which has the world’s largest and most important collection of petroglyphs (ancient rock art engravings 30 000 years old) has not been given World Heritage Status because of the risk of polluting emissions from current and proposed heavy industry nearby. See: http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/australias-most-significant-site-kept-off-unescos-world-heritage-list-20170209-gu9sr9.html.
The following sites give some idea of the criteria used to select sites: http://whc.unesco.org/en/criteria/;
Unfortunately, as pointed out in the book, their inclusion on the list does not necessarily protect them (see the current furore over the Adani Coal mine in the Galilee Basin in North Queensland, posing enormous risks to the Great Barrier Reef, which obtained World Heritage Listing in 1981), and it is only through political commitment, pushed by widespread public support, that ensures their survival. This book was produced to increase public awareness and appreciation to achieve this aim.
It certainly is an incredibly beautiful and very important book! Divided into continents, each entry is 2 to 4 pages long with side inset panels, detailing its location; area; features; flora and fauna; and facilities. The main text describes these special areas, along with risks and pressures they face. As can be expected, the photographs of the landscapes and flora and fauna are superb!
There are also individual essays on Trees and Global Warming; Rainforest Riches; Biodiversity; Climate Change and How World Heritage Can Help; the World Heritage Convention; the Oceans: Our Lifeblood Threatened; and the Importance of Environmental Protection.
This book is essential for every natural history library, in fact I believe everyone should read it! We certainly have a stunningly beautiful and fragile planet!
A Journey Through Ancient Kingdoms and Natural Wonders: The World Heritage Sites of Australia, New Zealand and South-East Asia by Leonard Cronin 1995
Produced in the same year, this book is more specific to our part of the world, focusing on 11 World Heritage sites in Australia, two in New Zealand; and nine in South-east Asia. There are now 19 sites in Australia (See: http://www.environment.gov.au/heritage/places/world-heritage-list and http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/travel/destinations/2015/05/world-heritage-sites-of-australia), three in New Zealand and 37 in South-East Asia. See: https://aseanup.com/world-heritage-sites-in-southeast-asia/.
In this book, each site has an entire chapter devoted to it, with an in-depth discussion of its landscapes and habitats; characteristics; formation; history; diversity of species; their importance to the world community; and threats and preservation.
The Australian sites discussed include: Great Barrier Reef; the Wet Tropics of Queensland; Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park (Ayers Rock and the Olgas); Kakadu National Park; Australian Fossil Mammal Sites (Riversleigh, Queensland and Naracoorte, South Australia); the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves; Fraser Island; Shark Bay; Willandra Lakes; the Tasmanian Wilderness; and Lord Howe Island.
The New Zealand entries include Tongariro National Park and Te Wahipounamu (South-West New Zealand). The latest inclusion is the Subantarctic Islands (the Snares, Bounty Islands, Antipodes Islands, Auckland Islands and Campbell Island). See: http://www.fourcorners.co.nz/new-zealand/world-heritage-areas/.
Having visited many of the Australian and New Zealand sites personally, I can confirm the book does an excellent job of portraying them!
The South East Asian entries include:
Indonesia: Komodo National Park; Ujung Kulon National Park, Java, refuge of the last Javan Rhinoceri and the Prambanan and Borobodur Temple Compounds;
Thailand: the Ancient Kingdom of Ayutthaya; the Old City of Sukhothai; the Bronze Age settlement of Ban Chiang; and the Thung yai-Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary, the last true wilderness area left in Thailand;
And Angkor in Cambodia, the largest complex of temples and monuments in the world, covering almost 200 square kilometres.
This is an excellent book, which I can highly recommend!
World Travel: A Guide to International Ecojourneys Edited by Dwight Holing 1996
Ecotravel is a growing branch of tourism and essential for the continued survival of our fragile ecosystems. Not only is it important that we have as small an impact on these areas as possible, but the tourist dollar is often the reason these areas are able to survive the threats of over-exploitation and habitat destruction.
In the first chapter, this book defines ecotourism and discusses early nature travellers, modern ecotourism and conservation organizations and management.
In Chapter Two: Planning an Ecotour, the authors discuss trip research, timing according to the Wildlife Calendar (see photo below), choosing a tour operator, health, money and security issues, packing essentials and ecotravel equipment.Chapter Three: Responsible Travelling covers: Ethical considerations and culturally sensitive travel; Means of ecotravel: Hiking, camping, cycling, kayaking and rafting, scuba diving and animal-supported travel; and Different Types of Ecotravel: Naturalist-Led Tours and Volunteer Vacations (research surveys and habitat restoration).
The main bulk of the book features 68 ecojourneys, arranged under six geographical headings: North America; Central and South America; Europe; Africa; Asia; and Oceania and Antarctica.
Each section begins with an introduction to the overall area; a map and a list of the featured destinations. Each individual entry has a coloured background identifying the location of the region; beautiful photographs of the scenery, habitats and flora and fauna; colour illustrations of the latter; maps showing location and major roads and towns; an inset box with keyed symbols and traveller’s notes on access; visiting time; information centres and accommodation; and precautions; and feature boxes on specific information like local environmental issues; signification conservation projects; indigenous lifestyles and flora and fauna.
The Resources Directory in the back contains suggestions for further reading (books, magazines and internet sites); organizations (ecotravel; conservation; medical and security; and volunteer vacations); an index and glossary and a list of contributors to the book.
Ecotouring: The Ultimate Guide by Magnus Elander and Staffan Widstrand 1993
Another book on ecotourism, describing 30 key nature destinations in detail, as well as brief descriptions of a further 130 nearby locations. We have visited some of the sites described:
The steep bird cliffs of the North Atlantic (The Puffins of the Fair Isles; the Bonxies of Hermaness and the Bird City of Noss in the Shetlands);
The pink flamingos and white horses of the Camargue, France;
The crocodiles and birds of Kakadu National Park and the koalas and kangaroos (not to mention the odd wombat and seal!) at Wilson’s Promontary National Park, but that’s only four of the entries!
In each entry, the main text and stunning photographs are followed by a detailed description of the area and notes on access and transport; accommodation; climate and seasons; and flora and fauna of interest, as well as a brief description of nearby areas. It includes many areas, not covered in the previous books, and finishes with a list of key whale watching sites and coral reefs around the world.
Classic Treks: The Most Spectacular Treks of a Lifetime: The 30 Most Spectacular Walks in the World Edited by Bill Birkett 2000
A beautiful book with stunning photographs of thirty spectacular walks through incredibly beautiful natural areas in North America (7); South America (3); Europe (7); Asia (5); Africa (4) and Australasia (4).
It describes the unique qualities of each route, as well as providing essential facts and figures to help with trip planning, though obviously, you will need to check these on the internet for more up-to-date information.
There is a short introductory section on preparation and planning; safety; photography; and environmental awareness and responsibilities, followed by a guide to using the book and understanding the symbols like the degree of difficulty logo.
Each walk has a detailed itinerary, divided into days of set distances; detailed keyed maps and walk profiles; a monthly diagram of temperature and precipitation; photos and illustrations and a fact file containing an overview with start and finish points; walk difficulty and altitude; and details on access ( airports; transport; passports and visas; and permits and restrictions); local information sources (maps; guidebooks; background reading; accommodation and supplies; currency and language; photography; and area information); timing and seasonality (best months to visit; and climate); health and safety (vaccinations; general health risks; special considerations; politics and religion; crime risks; and food and drink); and highlights (scenic and wildlife and flora).
A list of contributors and travel information sites are listed in the back of the book.
We bought this book after our trip to England and France with the kids in 1994, where we unknowingly walked parts of the Pyreneean High Route on the French/ Spanish border, described in this book. We walked up to the snowline at Lescun (Day 1 and the start of the walk), where 6 year old Jenny fell in the icy melt-water stream and we saw giant snails and had a brief glimpse of an isard.
The next day, we walked the 11 km Tour des Lacs to the Refuge d’Ayous (Day 4) at 5 pm, 4 year old Caroline managing the whole walk on her own unassisted, discovering that the back of Pic Midi d’Ossau increasingly resembled a map of Australia the higher we went.
And on the final day, we called in briefly to the Cirque de Gavarnie (Day 12), the endpoint of the walk and an enormous shock to the system, given its total capitulation to the ravages of mass tourism with lots of highly madeup elderly ladies, riding staggering donkeys up to the cirque with its masses of postcard stands!
While I would love to explore some of the other overseas walks described, the probability is low, but the Overland Track from Cradle Mountain to Lake St. Clair (with a detour to the Walls of Jerusalem) in Tasmania and the Thorsborne Trail on Hinchinbrook Island off the North Queensland coast are still possibilities!
Top Treks of the World Edited by Steve Razzetti 2001
While the Pyrennean Haute Route and Overland Track also described in this book, most of the entries are about different walks to those described in the previous walk, as is the approach and format.
There is a general introduction to each continent with a general map of the area showing the walk locations, followed by a description of each walk, a more detailed map and an inset box of information including: Location; When to Go; Start; Finish; Duration; Maximum Altitude; Technical Considerations; Equipment; Trekking style; and Permits and Restrictions.
Again, the photos are superb! The Eden to Mallacoota Walk (Nadgee Wilderness) is on our immediate radar, being so close, but I still hanker after the Alta Via II Walk through the Dolomites in Northern Italy ; the Lycian way in Turkey; the Tsitsikamma Otter Trail Circuit in South Africa; and the Himalayan treks on the Roof of the World, seven of which are described in this truly beautiful book!
Lonely Planet’s 1000 Ultimate Adventures 2013
We have always enjoyed bushwalking and kayaking in the great outdoors, but there is also a huge market in adventure tourism these days, especially for the young and active, as well as adrenaline junkies and thrill-seekers!
This book is for them, though there is still plenty of relevant information for us like: the Best Birding Sites or Marine Encounters; the Most Stellar Star-lit Adventures; Famous Footsteps and Legendary Odysseys; and Rousing Reads for Armchair Travellers!
We might give the Wildest Flights; the Most Dangerous Places to Travel; the Most Dangerous Adventures; the Most Hair-Raising Road Trips; the Scariest Animal Encounters; the Hottest Volcano Ventures; the Most Vertiginous ventures; and the Best Adventures in the Buff a miss, but they are fun to read about!!!!
Tomorrow, I will post the third and final selection of travel books in our library. These books cover the practicalities of travel! Here are the answers to the quiz:
1.According to the book, the world’s biggest lake is the Caspian Sea, SW Asia 393 900 sq km (152 000 sq miles), though Google says 370 886 square kilometers (143 200 square miles), but it still is the lake with the largest surface area in the world!
2. The Sahara Desert, North Africa is 9.1 sq km (3.5 Million sq miles).
3. The lowest land point on Earth is the Dead Sea at 396 metres (Google says 414 metres) below sea level. The lowest natural point underwater is Challenger Deep at the bottom of the Mariana Trench 11 034 metres below sea level.
4. A doline is a hole on the surface, after a limestone cave roof has collapsed or dissolved.
5. According to this book, the Lambert Glacier in the Australian Antarctic Territory is the largest glacier in the world at 402 km (250 miles) and up to 64 km (40 miles) wide. Given climate change, I was expecting very different dimensions on Googling, but happily, it is still the largest glacier in the world and the Google figures were actually larger: 435 km (270 miles) long and more than 96 km wide (60 miles).