Travelrific® Travel Journal

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

Archive for May, 2008

The Aqueous Paradise of Venice

By Linda Tancs

World famous for its canals and gondoliers, Venice is an aqueous paradise often emulated but never rivaled.  Find out what it is about this city that charms so many.  Visit Travelrific® Travel Show.

Moving at a Glacial Pace

By Linda Tancs

A glacial pace is taken to mean a slow, lumbering movement.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that– unless we’re talking glaciers.  Ice movements in New Zealand and Greenland are causing some consternation among naturalists and scientists alike, not to mention the uncertain effect on tourism.  Consider this:  New Zealand’s 2 million-year-old Tasman Glacier in Mount Cook National Park is losing 500 meters each year, an uncomfortable progression for a skiing destination touted as the ultimate New Zealand alpine adventure.  On the other side of the world, Greenland’s glaciers have been shrinking for 100 years, losing some 150,000 tons of ice each year.  That’s bad news for Disko Bay, where adventurists travel to marvel at a colossal collection of floe.  Better get there before the glaciers leave town.

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Hiawatha Lives in Ironwood

By Linda Tancs

 At the door on summer evenings
Sat the little Hiawatha;
Heard the whispering of the pine-trees,
Heard the lapping of the waters,
Sounds of music, words of wonder;
‘Minne-wawa!” said the Pine-trees,
Mudway-aushka!” said the water. – “Hiawatha.”  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Hiawatha still hears the lapping of the waters–from his bird’s-eye view of Lake Superior–in Ironwood, Michigan.  There, bearing an appellation that reads “World’s Tallest and Largest Indian,” stands an 18-meter high statue of Hiawatha, a chieftain credited with founding the Iroquois Confederacy.  Fans of roadside americana such as this can get directions here.

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Ivy League

By Linda Tancs

When author and former Princetonian F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote in This Side of Paradise that Princeton, New Jersey is good-looking, he must have been inspired by a stroll through its public parks and gardens. Boasting a range of heirloom plants, bulbs, wildflowers, mature trees, peeking peonies and exploding irises, the springtime blooms of the town’s greenways await you.  Start your tour at Morven, the official governor’s residence from 1945 to 1981.  As you walk the rolling back lawn of this estate named after a mythical Gaelic kingdom, you’ll spot towering trees that are at least as old as our country.  This Georgian-style mansion was, after all, the ancestral home of Richard Stockton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.  Step gingerly around the beds of heirloom annuals from the 18th and 19th centuries and onwards to a re-creation of a Colonial Revival-style garden of the early 20th century.

For a less antique perspective, roam through Princeton’s nature preserves, parks and refuges. In the northeastern section of town, you’ll find Herrontown Woods, a completely wooded park best noted for its color-coded, three-mile hiking trails ringed with oaks, red maples, flowering dogwoods and Japanese honeysuckle.  Claiming six of its 35-mile tract in Princeton in a north to south stretch, the Delaware & Raritan Canal evokes images of the Irish immigrants who forged the waterway with pickaxes and shovels to create a passageway for coal transport.  The tree canopies, some extending up to 50 feet in height, provide lush cover for several species of warblers that predominate in the spring from the Charles H. Rogers Wildlife Refuge nearby.  A noted ornithologist, Rogers played a key role in establishing the sanctuary, where springtime blooms amidst its 39 acres include trout lilies, violets and irises.  At the steepest southern ridge in town, Woodfield Reservation greets visitors with a full understory of wildflowers and a convergence of spring leaves in the park’s center that locals say is not to be missed. You’ll find convergence of another kind—wetlands and meadows—at Mountain Lakes Nature Preserve, a Y-shaped valley originally granted to colonist William Penn from England’s King James II.  Particularly stunning are the “seven sister” cluster of red oaks at the northern boundary, flowering daisies and buttercups in the meadows, and an array of spring beauties in the wetlands.  Finally, in the western area of town lies Marquand Park, host to an arboretum including eleven trees that are the largest of their kind in the state.  And that’s not the park’s only distinction.  It also sports two record-setting fir trees from North Syria and Greece.  Thankfully, most of the 200 species of trees found here are mapped and tagged.

Beauty may rest in the eye of the beholder, but Fitzgerald certainly was on to something.

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The Eagle Flies Again

By Linda Tancs

After two and half years of reconstruction amounting to nearly a million euros, Germany’s repro of its first steam train, Der Adler (the eagle), trod its original route between Nürnberg and Fürth recently.   The original Eagle, built in 1835, was Germany’s first locomotive.  The run last month of the toy-like green and yellow Choo Choo attracted a wide range of Germany’s elite, including Bavaria’s prime minister and titans of industry.  This trip down memory lane was likely a welcome respite from today’s very unromantic U-Bahn.

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Florence, a Renaissance City

By Linda Tancs

Florence is often referred to as the cradle of the Renaissance, a cultural jewel of 15th century art and architecture. And with a preeminent gallery like the Uffizi at its doorstep, who can argue?  Visit it at Travelrific® Travel Show .

Happy Anniversary, Travelrific®

By Linda Tancs

It was a year ago today that Travelrific® was born.  So we’re celebrating with a list of 10 great travel quotes.  Why not jump in and add your own!

1.  I travel not to go anywhere, but to go.  I travel for travel’s sake.  The great affair is to move.  (Robert Louis Stevenson)

2.  Like all great travellers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen.  (Benjamin Disraeli)

3.  The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page. (St. Augustine)

4.  The journey not the arrival matters.  (T.S. Eliot)

5.  Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe.
(Anatole France)

6.  All travel has its advantages. If the passenger visits better countries, he may learn to improve his own. And if fortune carries him to worse, he may learn to enjoy it.  (Samuel Johnson)

7.  Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.  (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

8.  I have wandered all my life, and I have also traveled; the difference between the two being this, that we wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment (Hilaire Belloc)

9. Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness. (Mark Twain)

10. One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things. (Henry Miller)

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