Travelrific® Travel Journal

A blog for travel enthusiasts. Listen to our podcasts on the blogroll at Travelrific® Radio. Visit our Wanderful Places® Travel Shop for travel-inspired merchandise!

The Young Europeans

Kosovo is a young country—in more ways than one. The small, landlocked country in the Balkans declared its independence from Serbia in 2008. Apart from its political infancy, though, Kosovo boasts a youthful population. Purportedly with more than 70 percent of the population under the age of 35, they’ve taken on the moniker “the young Europeans.” But don’t let all of this youthfulness get in the way of centuries-old delights awaiting you. A series of monasteries dating to the 12th century are at Peja Patriarchate, just down the road from the Church of Saint Catherine, built between the two world wars. Vushtrri’s iconic arched stone bridge is one of the oldest bridges in the country. Five of its arches originate from early medieval times; four semi-arches were added in the 18th century. And then there are caves. Although discovered in the 1960s, the marble cave in Gadime is one of the most popular attractions. So named for the marble limestone rock, it is believed to originate from the Paleozoic or Mesozoic Era.

Gateway to the Dukeries

By Linda Tancs

Worksop is at the northern edge of Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire, England. It’s known as the Gateway to the Dukeries thanks to the number of ducal estates in its environs. One such gem is Clumber Park, boasting the longest avenue of lime trees in Europe at around two miles in length. Another attraction is Thoresby courtyard and gallery, a place where local artisans mix and show off their wares. It sits beside Thoresby Hall (rebuilt by the third Earl Manvers in 1860), which is now a luxury resort. Welbeck Abbey was first mentioned in the Domesday Book. Although privately owned, some of its outbuildings have been renovated and are open to the public in the form of a cooking school, a farm shop (selling prized stichelton) and an art gallery. The town’s namesake estate, Worksop Manor, is where Mary Queen of Scots was held prisoner by her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I. The mansion, however, was destroyed in the 1800s after some fire damage, leaving only a servant’s wing. This peaceful country escape is just one hour away from Nottingham city centre.

The Cliffs of Kauai

By Linda Tancs

Sheer cliffs with crayon hues descending into the deep blue sea, playing host to an array of dolphins, sea turtles, whales (in season) and colorful fish. That’s the promise along Na Pali, the rugged coastline on the northwest shore of Kauai, Hawaii’s oldest inhabited island. Widely acclaimed as one of the most beautiful views in the world, it is best viewed by sailing, rafting or hiking the Kalalau Trail (an 11-mile trail that leads from Ke’e Beach to Kalalau Beach). Rainbows are virtually guaranteed.

Place of a Thousand Drips

By Linda Tancs

Named for a roaring mountain stream, Roaring Fork is one of the larger and faster flowing mountain streams in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Located in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, its namesake motor nature trail is a scenic loop over five miles long, offering rushing mountain streams, a scenic overlook with glimpses of old-growth forest, a number of well-preserved log cabins, grist mills and other historic buildings and, at this time of year, spectacular fall foliage. Two of the most popular waterfalls in the Smokies are located here: Rainbow Falls and Grotto Falls. Their smaller cousin is no less popular, though. Known as Place of a Thousand Drips, it is, as the name implies, a low-flow fall driven by wet weather. Located at the end of the trail, you can observe its streams (weather permitting) cascading through dozens of crevices and tiny pathways.

The Art of Bean in Chicago

By Linda Tancs

To bean or not to bean—that is the question for visitors to Chicago, Illinois. That is to say, will you visit The Bean? Officially known as Cloud Gate (because 80 percent of its surface reflects the sky), it’s an interactive sculpture (shaped like a bean, of course) gracing the promenade at Millennium Park. Its stainless steel skin captures the environment around it, a mirror to the soul of The Windy City. And a fun house mirror for those gawking at it. The monument is 33 feet high, 42 feet wide and 66 feet long. Its reflection is kept pristine by washing it twice a year with 40 gallons of liquid detergent.

Tribute to the Tire Man

By Linda Tancs

Art Nouveau. Proto-Art Deco. Secessionist Functionalism. Geometrical Classicism. However you’d describe it, London’s Michelin House is a symbol of quality and style in Chelsea. A beloved London landmark, the building was commissioned in 1909 as the British headquarters for the tire company, Michelin. When Michelin vacated the premises in 1985, it was converted into the Bibendum Restaurant, Oyster Bar and Café. Bibendum is commonly referred to as the Michelin Man, the iconic symbol of the tire company. It should come as no surprise that the converted space is a tribute to the famous tire man, its floors, walls and windows adorned with his image.

Where the Buffalo Roam

By Linda Tancs

South Dakota’s Custer State Park is where the buffalo roam. Nearly 1,300 buffalo—one of the largest publicly owned bison herds in the country—roam the park’s prairies and hills. Commonly sighted along the 18-mile Wildlife Loop Road that winds around the southern edge of the park, you can enjoy a different view of them en masse at tomorrow’s annual Buffalo Roundup. Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, feel the clap and thunder of the herd as it’s driven by cowboys and cowgirls in a roundup event that’s actually a critical management tool. Want in on the action? Private citizens have a long tradition participating in the event. An orientation ride takes place today.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 459 other followers

%d bloggers like this: