Travelrific® Travel Journal

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

The World’s Largest Fountain

By Linda Tancs

Dubai’s Palm Fountain was named the world’s largest fountain by Guinness World Records. Located at The Pointe on Palm Jumeirah, it comprises two giant floating platforms covering 14,000 square feet of sea water with water jets reaching 345 feet into the air. Open year round, it’s also adorned with 3,000 LED lights for daily evening performances accompanied by music from around the globe. The Pointe’s promenade is a great viewing area. Take the scenic monorail there, which connects key landmarks on Palm Jumeirah.

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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.

Under the Desert Moon

By Linda Tancs

Kings Canyon is part of Watarrka National Park in the southwestern corner of the Northern Territory in Australia. It’s prized for its towering sandstone walls and weathered rock domes known as “The Lost City.” You’ll also find “The Garden of Eden” there, a beautiful rockhole (an ancient rock pool) surrounded by rare plants. These and other iconic locales are found along the Rim Walk, a nearly 4-mile circuit stretching across the desert. The area has been home to the Luritja Aboriginal people for more than 20,000 years; consider a guided walk with an Aboriginal elder to learn more about the significance of the area. The park is about 280 miles from Alice Springs.

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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.

The Story of Fleming

By Linda Tancs

Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin at St. Mary’s Hospital in 1928, a breakthrough that earned him a Nobel Prize. It’s only fitting, then, that the London hospital is home to the Alexander Fleming Laboratory Museum. Declared an International Historic Chemical Landmark by the American Chemical Society and the Royal Society of Chemistry, you can see Fleming’s laboratory (restored to its 1928 condition) and explore the story of Fleming and his development of penicillin through displays and video.

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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.

The Sea of Stars

By Linda Tancs

If you find yourself on Vaadhoo Island in the Maldives from late summer to year’s end, you might think that the heavens dropped in on the earth. That’s what it looks like thanks to the phytoplankton in the ocean that have the ability to emit light like fireflies. Put billions of those little critters together and you get what’s affectionately known as the “sea of stars.” The micro-organisms bedazzle visitors with a radiant blue light, one of nature’s most extraordinary shows if you’re lucky enough to see it. Nature can be fickle, though; it’s best to check ahead for sightings.

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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.

An Odd Name for a Beach

By Linda Tancs

It’s anyone’s guess why one of Ireland’s most spectacular beaches, Boyeeghter Bay, would be christened with the moniker “Murder Hole Beach.” After all, there’s no backstory worthy of a crime novel to report. But there is a bit of mystery about the place, considering the trek it takes to get there. Located on the Rosguill Peninsula in County Donegal, it’s a hidden beach, revealed at low tide. That’s when you’ll find a golden beach with cliffs gnawed at by the roaring Atlantic Ocean, creating caves battered with holes. Maybe those are the “murder holes.” Nearby Downings is a good place to stay.

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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.

Passages in Arizona

By Linda Tancs

The Arizona Trail is an 800-mile scenic trail traversing the entire north-south length of the State of Arizona, connecting deserts, mountains, canyons and wilderness. Whether on foot, mountain bike or horseback, that’s a lot of ground to cover, so it’s a good thing the route is divided into passages to help you conquer it in pieces. There are 43 passages, categorized into southern, central and northern sections. You’ll even find volunteer trail stewards should you need assistance. You might be tempted to go during the summer months, but the desert heat is legendary. Likewise, winter months are fraught with heavy snow. The best times to visit are October/November and March/April. A good walk through the entire route will take six to eight weeks.

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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.

An Unusual Shrine in Hong Kong

By Linda Tancs

Legend has it that the cascade (known as “heung gong”) at Hong Kong’s Waterfall Bay Park on Hong Kong Island gave Hong Kong its name, but the park’s real claim to fame is its one-of-a-kind shrine in the nature of thousands of abandoned religious statues. You’ll find it by descending the stairs by a pathway at the park’s entrance. That leads to an orphanage of sorts for colorful deities adorning a hillside. Many faiths are represented there, the grounds tended to by a faithful local. In many cultures, it’s considered bad luck to throw away a religious figurine, so locals and visitors alike donate them to the site and sometimes pause for prayer. While you’re there, don’t forget to enjoy the scenic waterfall as well as the views from the park’s cliffs.

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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.

Perpetual Stew in Thailand

By Linda Tancs

A Bangkok bistro is giving new meaning to the term “slow cooking.” To wit: a pot of beef stew has been cooking for nearly half a century at Wattana Panich, a local institution in the Bangkok neighborhood of Ekkamai. The secret to its longevity is the retention of some of the broth for the next day’s brew. And on and on it goes, through three familial generations (so far). The secret to its success is the taste—an aromatic mix of a dozen Chinese herbs, plus garlic, cinnamon, black pepper and cilantro root added to beef that’s allowed to simmer for seven hours. This is one dish for the ages.

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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.

Underground Art in Copenhagen

By Linda Tancs

The Cisterns (Cisternerne) is a subterranean art museum in Copenhagen, Denmark. Once the city’s underground water reservoir, it now hosts contemporary art exhibitions that avail themselves of this dimly lit dripstone cave. Case in point: the current exhibition by the Argentinian-born artist Tomás Saraceno, which is experienced by boat and reveals artwork in and out of the environment’s darkness. The venue is located in Søndermarken across from the zoo and Frederiksberg Castle. Glass pyramids mark the entrance to your underground adventure.

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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.

The Foliage Train

By Linda Tancs

The Vigezzina-Centovalli Railway runs 32 miles between Domodossola, Italy, and Locarno, Switzerland, passing over 83 bridges and viaducts. Just the mention of a route like that evokes scenic wonders, so imagine how colorful it gets during autumn. That’s when “the foliage train” operates, promising enchanting views enhanced by autumn’s foliage. Each train is equipped with full-length windows, too, so it’s doubtful that the journey will disappoint. You can reach the International Rail Station of Domodossola with Eurocity, interregionali and regionali trains operated by Trenitalia. On the Swiss side, Locarno can be reached by using the international railway lines Basel-Milano or Zurich-Milano, and the route is fully covered by the Swiss Travel Pass (Flex) and GA travelcard.

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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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