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Archive for May, 2008

Polo in Pakistan

By Linda Tancs

Amidst the political turmoil and violence of Pakistan, one might hardly expect to find the genteel sport of polo–the ancient pursuit of kings and noblemen.  Yet that is exactly what you will find at a polo club in Lahore, Pakistan’s second largest city.  Lahore Polo Club is one of the oldest clubs in the world, attracting foreign dignitaries from around the globe to watch or play.  Not surprisingly, the 1000-year-old practice there has produced some of the most internationally recognized players like the brothers Baig.  Even women are encouraged to play.  Sometimes a model for egalitarianism is found in the most unusual of places.

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Airline Combos Read Like a Script

By Linda Tancs

The spate of actual and intended airline combinations reads like a Peyton Place of the transportation industry. Continental breaks it off with United. United begins courting US Air. Continental flirts with OneWorld, perhaps feeling spurned by the impending nuptials of Northwest and Delta. The OneWorld dalliance could portend the greatest development yet in this story. Consider the prospect of a Continental/British Airways merger. Could it happen? Well, continuing open skies negotiations could pave the way for transatlantic marriage. The open skies treaty, after all, opened up markets between the US and EU–allowing, for example, British Airways to fly direct from Paris to New York in lieu of re-routing via the UK. If the well-documented costs of airline operation continue to rise, then suitors will be lining up to cross the borders. Stay tuned….

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Icecapade

By Linda Tancs

Most elementary school students probably learn that Greenland isn’t really green. In fact, the Greenland ice sheet covers nearly 82% of it. So except for seeing icebergs (or not seeing them, as the case may be), is there any reason to go there? Air Greenland would have you answer that question in the affirmative, and they’ve put together a site to make their case.  You’ll find out the best time for dog sledding and what to do during the spring, summer and winter tourist seasons.  Yes, there really are three seasons in this Arctic island, the world’s largest island by area.  And don’t forget about the northern lights (aurora borealis), a popular tourist attraction from November to February.

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Cleanse Your Palate

By Linda Tancs

They say good artists suffer for their art. And if the exhibition taking place at the Whitney biennial art celebration this year is any indication, they suffer for their ecosystem, too. At New York City’s Whitney Museum of American Art now through June 1, there’s an interesting fusion of environmental issues and contemporary art among the 80 or so exhibitors. You’ll find such eco-inspired displays as resin-encased compost droppings, a floral-infused recycled industrial trash heap, and sculptures modeled on bird droppings. Not to be outdone, Germany’s Biennial for Contemporary Art in Berlin offers the work of over 110 international artists until June 15. However, the difference between these biennials is like night and day. Literally. Berlin’s event is divided into two parts–Night and Day. At night, patrons can sample a mix of lectures, concerts, and even an out-of-body experimentation. During the day, the exhibition will have you walking the city at four distinct locations to take in sculpture, artwork and movable objects, some designed to evoke images of Berlin’s tortured past, like the Berlin Wall death strip.

Art with a conscience. That appears to be the promise of these events. Will you promise to go?

Whitney Museum of American Art
945 Madison Avenue at 75th Street
New York City
http://www.whitney.org
phone: 1-800-WHITNEY

Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art
Multiple locations
http://www.berlinbiennale.de
phone: +004903024345910

A Twist of Twain or a Dash of Dickens

By Linda Tancs

Book lovers, take note.  Do you long to experience the riverscape of Mark Twain’s Huck Finn or Tom Sawyer?  Are you interested in the historical underpinnings of chancery, “keeper of the King’s conscience,”  as young law clerk Charles Dickens would have seen it?  Then why not step into their shoes–and those of other literary greats–through a literary tour.  Is this a new trend?  Hardly.  Think “da Vinci code tour” and you’ll know what I mean.  Still, you can’t help but be inspired to write the next great novel of our time after walking in the path of the masters.  The thought of their dedication and effort gives more meaning to every edifice of brick, marble or stone lining the tourist trail of the places with which they’re associated.  Perhaps Oscar Wilde said it best: “Anybody can make history. Only a great man can write it.”

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Air Barista

By Linda Tancs

Okay, so there’s really not an airline by that name.  But Austrian Airlines Group is a strong contender for the title, billing itself as the first Viennese coffee house above the clouds. Business class passengers get to choose from 10 of the finest Austrian coffees such as Kaisermelange and Franziskaner.  Business class is also touted for its unparalleled sleep comfort.  Seems to me you have a choice: enjoy the fine coffee or get a good night’s rest for, as the saying goes, “Sleep is a symptom of caffeine deprivation.”

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Jewels of the Brandywine Valley

By Linda Tancs

Beginning today, the glorious mansion and grounds of the late industrialist Alfred duPont will re-open after an eye-popping $40 million renovation.  Named Nemours after the family homeplace in France, the estate is one of the highlights of the Brandywine Valley, located on Rockland Road in Wilmington, Delaware.  While you’re in the neighborhood, why not follow the Brandywine Valley wine trail in the Philadelphia countryside and enjoy the spoils of the six wineries competing for your nose and palate.  Poetry in a bottle?  Perhaps.  But a good vintage is better savored than spoken about.

If you enjoyed this post, please share it on sites such as StumbleUpon, vote for it on Digg, or bookmark it on del.icio.us.  Thanks for your support!  Travelrific® was featured as Blog of the Day on NJ.com!

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