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Shalom Y’all

By Linda Tancs

This Sunday marks the annual Shalom Y’all Food Festival in Savannah, Georgia, an event of Congregation Mickve Israel (one of the oldest synagogues in the United States).  Held in Forsyth Park from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., Jewish delicacies include homemade blintzes and challah, noodle kugel and potato latkes.  Food tickets can be purchased for a nominal fee, but admission to the festival grounds and entertainment is free.

Many Fountains

By Linda Tancs

Many fountains.  That’s the translation for Switzerland’s valley town, Lauterbrunnen.  Located in the Bernese Oberland (Bernese highlands), there is indeed plenty of H2O in the Lauterbrunnen Valley.  One of its most famous exhibits is the Staubbach Falls at the edge of the village.  The spectacular cliffside plunge, one of the highest free-falling waterfalls in Europe, is the inspiration behind Goethe’s poem, Gesang der Geister über den Wassern (Song of the Spirits Over the Waters).  Just as impressive is Trümmelbach Falls, a series of ten glacier waterfalls thundering through the Jungfrau with a spill rate of 20,000 liters per second, accessible only in summer via tunnel lift (something to look forward to next year).  In all, there are 72 waterfalls in the valley.  May the force be with you.

Bannack’s Glory Days

By Linda Tancs

Did you know that the U.S. Geological Survey ranks Montana as the seventh largest producer of gold in the United States?  The first hint of gold in The Treasure State came in 1852, but the major strike in Grasshopper Creek a decade later spawned the state’s Gold Rush era.  That discovery led to the creation of the mining town, Bannack, where thousands of prospectors with gold dust in their eyes settled for a time.  After the furor died down, this area just 24 miles southwest of Dillon became a ghost town and ultimately a state park.  Named after the Bannock Indians, most of the sixty structures in the area can still be explored.  During the third week of October, the Bannack Ghost Walks feature live re-enactments of significant events throughout the town’s history.

The Most Fun Place on Earth

By Linda Tancs

Wales just might be the most fun place on Earth.  Snowdonia, to be precise, is where Europe’s longest and fastest zipline debuted.  Now, hold on to your hats–or bottoms, as the case may be–the same site has unveiled the world’s largest underground trampoline.  A special train transports adventurous souls into the depths of the former Blaenau Ffestiniog slate mine, where three huge trampoline-like nets are hung at varying levels, linked together by walkways and slides.  Participants in this first-of-its-kind experience are outfitted with cotton overalls and a safety helmet.  Granted, an abandoned mine can be a bit drab, so LED lighting has been added to the walls for a more illuminating experience.  Are you ready to put a little bounce in your step?

The Art Gallery Town

By Linda Tancs

In the restful enclave of Wellfleet, Massachusetts, life is good.  Located on the narrowest part of Cape Cod, it’s surrounded by beautiful beaches bayside and oceanside.  Hikers will find some of the best trails in the Cape Cod National Seashore, not to mention nature walks, workshops and classes available through the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary.  These days it’s taken on particular renown as the art gallery town, bursting at the seams with galleries featuring local works.  And let’s not forget the internationally acclaimed Wellfleet oyster.  The annual OysterFest is this weekend.  Free shuttles will run to the town center from Newcomb’s Hollow Beach, White Crest Beach and LeCounts Hollow Beach (Maguire Landing).

Flush with Interest in India

By Linda Tancs

Loos, privies, chamber pots, water closets–call it whatever you like, the toilet is an indispensable element of human hygiene.  Though it might not generate much mention in polite conversation, those flush with interest can indulge their curiosity in its evolution at New Delhi’s Sublabh International Museum of Toilets.  Hailed as the only exhibition of its kind, the museum traces the evolution of the toilet and includes Victorian-era chamber pots and ancient carved and decorated commodes.  A highlight is the replica of King Louis XIV’s throne, allegedly outfitted to allow for potty breaks while conducting official business.  A royal flush, indeed.

The Belgian Coast Tram

By Linda Tancs

Belgium’s Kusttram (Coast Tram) is the longest single-path tram line in the world, gliding between De Panne and Knokke on the Flemish coast.  It’s convenient (a connection every 20 minutes), which means that you have no excuse not to explore the many holiday romps along its 43-mile trek.  Did you know that Knokke was a favorite among the Hollywood elite like Frank Sinatra and Marlene Dietrich?

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