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Dressed Up in Faversham

By Linda Tancs

Just over an hour from London, Faversham was one of Kent’s leading ports. In the 17th century more wool was exported from Faversham than from any other British port, and when London began to expand in the same century, it was the main source of its crucial supplies of wheat and, later, bricks and cement. Nowadays the bustling market town celebrates its nautical heritage with the annual Faversham Nautical Festival. Taking place on July 22 and 23, traditional vessels will be moored in the upper regions of Faversham Creek, including Thames sailing barges, Dutch barges, tugs, smacks, gaffers and many other boats “dressed overall” (the stringing of maritime signal flags on a ship from stemhead to masthead, from masthead to masthead if the vessel has more than one mast and then down to the taffrail). Visitors shouldn’t miss the chance for a walk about this pre-Roman town boasting nearly 500 listed sites.

The Cotswold Way

By Linda Tancs

A walker’s delight, the Cotswold Way in England is a 102-mile National Trail running from Chipping Campden to Bath. It’s recognized as much for the picturesque views as for its biodiversity. The trail passes through many lovely villages and close to a significant number of historic sites, such as the Roman heritage at Bath, the Neolithic burial chamber at Belas Knap, Sudeley Castle near Winchcombe and Hailes Abbey. No two days alike, a hike through this region exposes landscapes as diverse as wildflower meadows and shaded beech woodlands. Seven days is optimal for a full hike. This time of year brings the best views of the woodlands and grasslands.

Burying the Hatchet in Montana

By Linda Tancs

“Garry Owen” is an old Irish quick-step that can be traced back to the 1800s. The town of Garryowen, Montana, was named after the old Irish tune, purportedly one of Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer’s favorite marching songs. It was the last song played by the band for Custer’s men as they left the Terry column at the Rosebud River, the lead-up to the Battle of the Little Bighorn—a definitive engagement between the U.S. Cavalry and northern tribe Indians (including the Cheyenne, Sioux and Arapaho) known as “Custer’s Last Stand.” A registered historic site, the town is privately owned and the only one within the battlefield. It is the site of the Custer Battlefield Museum, housing important Indian War period artifacts and manuscripts related to Custer, Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull and the 7th Cavalry as well as a lock of Custer’s hair. You’ll also find the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the burial site of one of the first casualties of the Battle of the Little Bighorn. The granite tomb was dedicated 50 years after the conflict in 1926 during the Burial of the Hatchet Ceremony featuring White Bull (a Sioux Indian) and General Godfrey.

A Luxury Hotel on Wheels

By Linda Tancs

If a constantly changing room with a grand view of the world’s most remarkable sites sounds appealing, then hop on board the Danube Express. Operated by Golden Eagle Luxury Trains, they offer a comprehensive off-train excursion program, a fully inclusive dining experience with quality wines and overnight stays in some of the finest five-star hotels in Europe. You can discover some of Europe’s less explored destinations amongst the magnificent cities of Prague, Budapest, Venice and Istanbul on a Grand Rail Tour. Debuting this year is a Superior Deluxe cabin, with private en-suite facilities and the ultimate in comfort. Limited to just four cabins per departure, each cabin offers comfortable daytime seating with a full-length sofa, two additional chairs and two full-size picture windows. A king-size bedroom transformation awaits you at night. Sleep tight.

Big Red

By Linda Tancs

The most photographed lighthouse in Michigan is Holland Harbor Lighthouse, affectionately known as Big Red. The bright red structure seen today on the south side of the Holland Channel is a descendant of the first structure built on the site in 1872. For a great view of Big Red, visit Holland State Park and walk along the boardwalk to the north pier (wheelchair accessible). You can also view it from Mt. Pisgah, where the dune staircase takes you 157 feet above sea level. Otherwise, it is a quarter-mile walk to the lighthouse across sand and gravel from the park entrance, and visits are limited to one hour.

A Mecca for Music Lovers

By Linda Tancs

The National Music Museum in Vermillion, South Dakota, is a menagerie of melodious merriment. Carved crocodile zithers. Goldfish-shaped harmonicas. Strutting stringed peacocks. It’s all there, in addition to the oldest known harpsichord, rare Adolphe Sax-made saxophones, the rarest European pianos and other treasures. Lauded as one of the largest and most important collections of historical instruments in the world, the museum publicly displays 1,200 of its 15,000-strong collection, representing American, European and non-Western instruments from virtually all cultures and historical periods. Open year round, state residents enjoy free admission on federal holidays and summer Sundays.

Prehistoric Life in Pennsylvania

By Linda Tancs

Just minutes from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is a National Historic Landmark—the site of the oldest human habitation in North
America. Known today as Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village, artifacts unearthed there have confirmed a campsite for prehistoric hunters and gatherers that existed 16,000 years ago. Excavations have revealed 10,000 artifacts as well as more than 950,000 animal bones and more than 1.4 million plant remains. An enclosed observation area provides visitors with a unique, never-before-seen perspective into the oldest and deepest parts of this internationally-renowned archeological excavation. The site is open May through October.

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