Travelrific® Travel Journal

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

Art and Landscape at Glenstone

By Linda Tancs

Art and nature merge seamlessly at Glenstone, an indoor-outdoor museum in Potomac, Maryland. Its name is derived from Glen Road (where the property line begins) and a nod to stone indigenous to the area. A short drive from Washington, D.C., the facility showcases a vast and deep collection of modern and contemporary art owned by its founders, Mitch and Emily Rales. That array is complemented by lush grounds and an outdoor sculpture collection amidst nearly 300 acres. The landscape features trails, streams, meadows, forests and several distinct aquatic ecosystems. Admission is free.

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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.

Beneath the Waves in Italy

By Linda Tancs

Baia is a sunken resort town in the vicinity of Naples, Italy. In the ancient Roman world, it was the epitome of hedonism, a playground for the likes of Nero and Cicero. Now one of the world’s few underwater archaeological parks, licensed scuba divers can explore the site, accompanied by one of the registered local dive shops and guides. You can also explore its sunken ruins via a glass canoe excursion that runs from April to October.

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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.

Croatia’s Long Island

By Linda Tancs

Dugi Otok is, literally, Croatia’s long island. Long and stringy, it’s aptly named. A hotspot for scuba diving and instruction, the island is also known for its nature park in the southeastern part of the island. Telašćica Nature Park is a study in contrast: peaceful beaches on one side and imposing cliffs on the other. Its status as a protected park owes to some 400 plant species as well as numerous rare and endemic plants that have been recorded as well as an underwater world that is home to about 250 plants and 300 animal organisms. You might also spot one of the 14 island donkeys. The simplest route there is from Sali, the main town on the island.

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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 Tough Trek in Rio

By Linda Tancs

Pedra da Gávea is Rio de Janeiro’s most imposing monolith. The trek to the top is also the most arduous, commanding at least three hours. The hardest leg of the trail, known as Carrasqueira, is a steep climb leading to rewarding, bird’s-eye views of Sugarloaf, Corcovado, the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema and even the Serra dos Órgãos mountain range. Hire an experienced guide for the safest experience.

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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.

Japan’s Naked Festival

By Linda Tancs

Held on the third Saturday in February, Hadaka Matsuri (“naked festival”) isn’t quite as hedonistic as it may sound. Featuring over 10,000 men, the apparel of choice is a loincloth. They bathe in it at a pool at Saidaiji Kannon-in Temple to purify their souls. That might be one of the more serene aspects of this annual religious rite. Later at night, the party really gets going when the men pack themselves into the temple like sardines, vying for one of the twigs thrown into the crowd by a priest. A lucky catch means prosperity for the coming year. The temple is an easy walk from Saidaiji Station on the JR Okayama Station’s Ako line.

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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.

Batman Mountain

By Linda Tancs

Sometimes called “Batman Mountain,” Vestrahorn is one of Iceland’s most striking mountains. Located on the Stokksnes peninsula in the southeast near Höfn (a go-to destination for Northern Lights viewing), it peaks at 1,450 feet and meets a black sand beach below. It’s a prized locale for landscape photographers. The vistas demand a wide-angle lens; use a tripod to minimize shake from the often windy conditions.

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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.

Wisconsin’s Ice Age

By Linda Tancs

One of only a handful of National Scenic Trails, Wisconsin’s Ice Age Trail is a historical monument to a glacial retreat over 12,000 years ago. Located entirely within the state, the 1,200-mile route traverses private land, city parks, state parks, county forests and national forest. It supports hiking, backpacking, biking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, among other things. You’ll find a variety of accommodation to relax and recharge on or near the trail, like inns, cabins and cottages.

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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.

Australia’s Aurora

By Linda Tancs

So much attention is directed at the Northern Lights (aurora borealis) that it’s easy to forget about the Southern Lights, the Southern Hemisphere’s own light show. Known as aurora australis, this celestial ballet is best viewed from southernmost points like Tasmania. Unlike its northern counterpart, you can see it year round although the longer nights of winter present the best potential. A Tasmanian hotspot is Cape Bruny Lighthouse, the country’s second oldest and longest continually staffed extant lighthouse. Get ready for a colorful show of red, green, yellow, blue and purple.

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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 New Year in Vietnam

By Linda Tancs

The Vietnamese lunar New Year, also known as Tet Festival, is the most important festival of the year in Vietnam. Its name, Tet, is an abbreviation for Tet Nguyen Dan, and it commences tomorrow with the Year of the Cow. Although many tourist spots will be closed for the holiday, it’s still a good time to visit to soak in celebrations with parades, fireworks and dancing. The streets are vibrantly decorated, particularly with striking floral displays. February also offers great weather. You’ll find some of the biggest displays and store openings in cities like Hanoi, Hoi An and Ho Chi Minh City.

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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 Rear View in Samoa

By Linda Tancs

You’ve heard the expression “location, location, location.” Well, imagine a backyard view that includes a spectacular waterfall. That’s the prize for one lucky homeowner in Samoa who gets to boast of stunning views of Sopoaga Falls. As the lookout is on private property, there’s a small admission fee to view one of the island nation’s most prized natural resources. Along the way you’ll be enchanted by a lush garden landscape and a coconut husking demonstration.

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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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