TEXT 9B (стр.230-231) Interesting facts about canals ENG


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INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT CANALS


1.The best examples of canals for draining land are found in Holland, where much of the country is
below sea
-
level. Dams are used to prevent flooding and since 19
32 over 300,000 acres of land have
been drained. In winter the Dutch people use the frozen canals for ice
-
skating.


2.In a hot dry country such as Egypt water is scarce, and to prevent the land from becoming dry long
canals are built from dams. These canal
s must be continually kept open, for the Egyptian farms and
cotton fields cannot exist without these life lines of water.


3.Many inland waterways are used for the transport of heavy goods by barges. This method of carrying
materials is not so widely used
now, for although it is cheaper, it has the disadvantage of being much
slower. Speed is regulated by the number of bridges and locks which the barges encounter.


4.Two notable canals for ships in Europe are the Corinth Canal and the Kiel Canal. The former
was
built in 1893 across the solid rocks of the isthmus of Corinth. Bridges from the tops of the steep sides
of the canal connect north and south Greece. The Kiel Canal, which also has no locks, was built two
years later and it gives the countries of the B
altic Sea quicker access to the west.


5. Venice, at the Adriatic Sea, is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, for it has many canals
instead of streets. Long narrow boats with curved ends, called "gondolas", carry passengers and goods
from one part

of the city to another. The gondolas are supplied with lanterns, which at night make the
canals very colourful and romantic. A peculiar custom of former days was that the Ruler of Venice
used to throw a ring into the water each year to show that the city
was wed to the sea.


6.One of the greatest arteries of world trade is the Suez Canal separating the two continents of Asia
and Africa. As trade with India increased, the overland route across Suez became regular but very
expensive. In 1859, the French engi
neer, Ferdinand de Lesseps, started to cut a passage through this
flat desert country. Ten years later, the first sea
-
going ships passed through the canal, which is a
tic to the
Indian Ocean.

The journey along the canal takes about fifteen hours and shortens the distance from Britain to the East
by about 4,000 miles. The canal belongs to Egypt and is a vital waterway serving the merchants fleets
of many nations.


7.The
Great Lakes which lie between Canada and the United States have become part of the world's
ocean highways for it is now possible for big ship to sail up the Saint Lawrence Canal to the ports of
Toronto, Cleveland and Chicago. A 218 mile canal joins the Atl
antic with these Great Lakes which
contain half of all the fresh water in the world. There are seven locks, five on the Canadian side and
two on the United States side. Bridges needed to be raised fifty feet to allow big ship traffic to pass
and, indeed, f
rom Montreal, these ocean
-
going vessels are raised 246 feet above the sea
-
level to Lake
Ontario. The Saint Lawrence Canal takes the ships 2,200 miles inland, half
-
way across the North
American continent and deep into the heart of Canada.



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