Travelrific® Travel Journal

Picture postcards in prose.™ Check out the blogroll on the front page for official merchandise and other resources!

Between Pakistan and China

By Linda Tancs

Some might call the Karakoram Highway the ultimate road trip. Or maybe thrill ride is a better term. Connecting China and Pakistan across the Karakoram mountain range, it’s loaded with hairpin turns, pencil-thin roads and steep slopes. It’s also billed as the world’s highest paved international border crossing, reaching over 15,000 feet above sea level. Stretching about 800 miles, part of its path traces the ancient Silk Road, a network of trade routes formally established during the Han Dynasty of China. If you’re keen to test your stamina (as well as your nerves), then this might be the trip for you.

*************

To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Land of the Gonds

By Linda Tancs

The area occupying India’s Kanha National Park was once the domain of one of Central India’s indigenous tribes, the Gonds. Now it’s a popular tiger reserve, one of the finest in the country. But don’t overlook its other jewels, like the endangered swamp deer. Conservation efforts have boosted the population so significantly that the species is now regarded as “the jewel of Kanha National Park.” Get ready for a visit during peak season, October to March. The park is accessible from popular destinations like Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh.

*************

To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

An Agent of Change in Richmond

By Linda Tancs

The home of Maggie L. Walker in Richmond, Virginia, became a prime location in the heart of Jackson Ward (a National Historic Landmark), the center of Richmond’s African American business and social life at the turn of the century. At that residence she devoted her life to civil rights advancement, economic empowerment and educational opportunities for Jim Crow-era African Americans and women. She was no less an inspiration in her own right, being the first Black woman in the U.S. to found a bank. She also established a newspaper and spearheaded a variety of civic groups. Her home is a National Historic Site on North 2nd Street.

*************

To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

A Whale of a Time in Iceland

By Linda Tancs

If you’ve dreamed of getting up-close and personal with a whale without risk, then Reykjavik’s whale museum is the place for you. Appropriately named Whales of Iceland, it showcases life-size replicas of 23 whale species found in Icelandic waters. Painstakingly reproduced, the exhibition includes an 82-foot-long blue whale, a full-size sperm whale and even an endangered North Atlantic right whale. You can download an audio tour to your phone or tablet or take advantage of the guided tour offered at 1:30 p.m. to all ticket holders.

*************

To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

A Tip in Canada

By Linda Tancs

Point Pelee is the southernmost point of mainland Canada, a slip of land (the “Tip”) that tapers to a sharp point as it juts into Lake Erie. The area forms part of Point Pelee National Park, where you’ll see waves of Monarch butterflies this time of year. The park also enjoys the distinction of being the first place in Canada where the Northern Cardinal was recorded. More than 390 species have been recorded there overall, a go-to spot for birdwatchers thanks to the park’s location along major migratory flyways. The migration phenomenon is highlighted at an outdoor exhibit at the Tip. A seasonal shuttle bus runs there through October.

*************

To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Into the Wilderness in Greenland

By Linda Tancs

A nature lover’s dream, the Arctic Circle Trail in Greenland hits all the marks with its glistening lakes, fjords, mountains and low Arctic vegetation. Nearly 100 miles long, this trek through the backcountry runs between Kangerlussuaq and Sisimiut. Not for the faint of heart, it generally takes between nine to 11 days to complete the hike. At this time of year, expect cooler temperatures and overnight snow in the mountains. There are eight simple huts (some with restrooms) at various points along the trail that typically sleep up to six people. Given the limited number of guided hikes, you might want to download the maps and trail guides available from the Greenland GPS app for offline use.

*************

To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Mud in Your Eye in Germany

By Linda Tancs

“Here’s mud in your eye” is a toast with a double meaning in Föhr, one of the North Frisian Islands on the German coast of the North Sea. A popular way to get there is by hiking through the tidal mudflats from Emmelsbüll-Horsbüll. After a trek like that you might want a cocktail to ease into some relaxation. The drink you’ll find on virtually any menu is the Manhattan. Conceived, of course, in New York City, its popularity in this second-largest German island of the North Sea cannot be understated. A popular explanation is that German immigrants brought the concoction back to their homeland when fortunes there improved. Whatever the case, you can sleep off your indulgence in one of the island’s unique beach sleeping baskets along its white, sandy beaches.

*************

To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

A Sing-Sing in Papua

By Linda Tancs

A sing-sing is a gathering of tribes or villages in Papua New Guinea. In the Highlands, that’s characterized by the annual Goroka Festival, the longest-running cultural show coinciding with national independence celebrations in September. Held in Goroka (capital of the Eastern Highlands Province), the event attracts nearly 100 tribes from around the country who enchant visitors with energetic and colorful dance rituals.

*************

To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Playground of the East Midlands

By Linda Tancs

Located in Rutland (England’s smallest county), Rutland Water is one of the largest man-made lakes in Europe and the largest in England by surface area. Dubbed the “Playground of the East Midlands,” it offers not only a predictable array of watersports but also nature reserves, museums, historic homes and churches. An iconic landmark is Normanton Church, which sits upon a tiny peninsula out on the lake, giving it a floating appearance. Once it was abandoned as an active church, it was used as a museum before becoming a popular wedding venue. You can get stunning views of it from Rutland Belle, a tour boat operating from April to October.

*************

To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

A Pilgrimage in the Balkans

By Linda Tancs

Medjugorje is a town located in the Herzegovina region of Bosnia & Herzegovina, not far from the border of Croatia. It’s best known as a site of Catholic pilgrimage thanks to the apparitions of the Virgin Mary that have been reported since 1981. The area has attracted some 15 million people since then, despite the Pope’s lack of authentication of the events that have taken place there. In addition to Apparition Hill, St. James Church is noted for the many apparitions seen inside its walls in the early years. While you’re in the region, you’ll want to visit some other popular attractions, like the Herzegovina Wine Route, Kravica waterfall and the Ottoman-style bridge in Mostar.

*************

To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

%d bloggers like this: