Travelrific® Travel Journal

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

A Mangrove Sanctuary

By Linda Tancs

A mangrove is a tidal swamp ecosystem found in tropical deltas, estuaries, lagoons or islands. Mangroves protect shorelines from damaging storm and hurricane winds, waves and floods and also help prevent erosion by stabilizing sediments with their tangled root systems. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they provide sanctuary for bird and aquatic species. A new attraction in Abu Dhabi is Jubail Mangrove Park in Al Jubail Island. A short drive from the airport, it’s a sanctuary for bird and marine life native to the area. Its highlight is the boardwalk, comprising three routes totaling nearly 3 miles. The routes are posted with educational material and include a viewing tower, a floating platform with a net to view marine life, a beach tower for some toe-dipping (swimming is prohibited) and an area dedicated to the mangrove roots. High tide is the best time to visit.

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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.

Plums in Portugal

By Linda Tancs

A plum job takes on new meaning in Elvas, Portugal, site of a 100-year-old plum-processing factory. Still operating today, the facility is faithful to the age-old recipe for the region’s famous ameixas d’Elvas (preserved plums). There’s a museum on the premises, where visitors can observe the manufacturing process and learn about the city’s long history of plum production. Of course, the factory (formerly Frutas Doces and now known as Sereno & Fonseca) has goodies for sale in the gift shop.

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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 Grand Canyon in Argentina

By Linda Tancs

Argentina has many canyons that are grand. One of them is Atuel Canyon, in the heart of Mendoza Province. Formed millions of years ago from the winds and waters of the Atuel River, it’s a popular tourist attraction near San Rafael, offering activities like river rafting, hiking, climbing, horse riding and mountain biking. At the Valle Grande Dam riverside base you’ll find breathtaking views of the canyon as well as along the Atuel River, south of San Rafael and before Valle Grande Dam.

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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.

Rainbow Mountain

By Linda Tancs

If Matisse could’ve applied his color palette to an actual mountain, the result would likely resemble Peru’s Vinicunca Mountain. Also known as Rainbow Mountain or the Mountain of Seven Colors, these peaks in the Ausangate Mountain region of the Peruvian Andes offer an impressionistic portrait filled with turquoise, lavender, gold and other colors. You can thank the sediment and atmospheric conditions of the region for the rainbow-like appearance of this growing tourist attraction. A day trip from Cusco, there are plenty of bus tours offering treks, which is best done between March and November.

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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.

Experiencing Gin in Manchester

By Linda Tancs

If you’ve ever fancied becoming a master distiller for a day, then head to Manchester, England, where you’ll find The Gin Experience at The City of Manchester Distillery. Their award-winning experience guides visitors through the production facility and the art of making gin. Afterward, every guest gets the opportunity to make his or her own bespoke bottle of gin from over 50 botanical flavors. Best of all, they save guests’ recipes so that you can re-order another bottle of your unique concoction at any time.

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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.

Bali’s Botanic Garden

By Linda Tancs

Bali Botanic Garden is reportedly the largest of its kind in Indonesia. Nestled in the cool, mountainous region of Bedugul in central Bali, it’s a refreshing respite from the hot and humid weather this time of year. Less than two hours away from Denpasar, the 388-acre paradise is prized for its wild orchid collection, some of which bloom year-round. It also boasts the world’s most comprehensive collection of begonias with around 100 species on display, including three endangered species unique to Bali. Other highlights include carnivorous plants, medicinal plants, the bamboo and fern gardens and a giant, age-old fig tree on the slope of Tapak Hill.

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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.

Jade Green in Slovenia

By Linda Tancs

All destinations benefit from great reviews that boost tourism. That was certainly the case for Slovenia’s Zelenci Nature Reserve, when British scientist Humphry Davy wrote, “There is nothing more beautiful in Europe than this.” Apparently, he was attracted to the area’s lakes and waterfalls. No doubt he found the reserve’s centerpiece enchanting, which is its jade-green lake sourcing the Sava River (the country’s longest). You can view the lake and the 36-acre reserve through a series of well-constructed walkways. Along the way you’ll likely see some of the rarest plants in the region, like cottongrass, pygmy willows and alder trees. The reserve is also home to species like the whiskered bat, sand lizard and scarlet grosbeak. The reserve is less than 2 miles from the alpine resort Kranjska Gora near the village of Podkoren.

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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.

Pinballs in Budapest

By Linda Tancs

Pinball wizards, and fans, should flock to the appropriately named Flipper Museum in Budapest, Hungary, Europe’s largest ongoing interactive museum dedicated to pinball machines. Many of its 130 machines invite unlimited play by visitors for the price of the museum’s entrance fee. The facility features Humpty Dumpty, the first pinball ever made with flippers. Apart from play, a pinball history presentation and guided tours in English at prearranged times are also an option.

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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.

 

Valley of Fire

By Linda Tancs

Nevada’s Valley of Fire State Park owes its name to fiery Aztec sandstone, which formed from shifting sand dunes during the Jurassic Period. Established in 1935, the park comprises over 40,000 acres dominated not only by its iconic outcrops but also by creosote bush, burro bush and brittlebush. Consider yourself lucky if you spot the desert tortoise, a rare species protected by state law. Temperatures are mild this time of year, making it a preferred time to visit.

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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 Republic Within a Republic

By Linda Tancs

Sandwiched between France and Switzerland, Saugeais is a micronation in eastern France. Established in 1947, the self-declared nation in the Haut-Doubs region comprises 11 communes, from Gilley in the north to Arçon in the south and from the Swiss border in the east to Crêt Monniot in the west. Its origins lie in jest, following a French official’s anointing of the area as a republic after jokingly being told he needed a permit to enter the region. Today, visitors are granted a permit to enter, evidence that a good joke is one you can use over and over. The unofficial republic boasts a Prime Minister, a Secretary General, two customs officers, 12 ambassadors and 450 honorary citizens throughout France and Europe who promote its charms.

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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.

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