Travelrific® Travel Journal

A blog for travel enthusiasts. Listen to our podcasts on the blogroll at Travelrific® Radio. Visit our Wanderful Places® Travel Shop for travel-inspired merchandise!

Archive for February, 2009

The Essence of Köln

By Linda Tancs

The air is light and easy around 4711 Glockengasse in the heart of Köln, Germany.  That’s where the oldest perfume factory in the world continues to manufacture the “Original Eau de Cologne” (Kölnisch Wasser)–No. 4711–for 300 years now.  And for 300 years the recipe for this precursor to modern colognes has remained unchanged.  The building housing this famous fragrance is renowned as much for its architecture as for its product.  Stunningly beautiful by day and by night, this Gothic house founded by Johann Maria Farina in 1709 offers daily tours and weekly fragrance seminars.   Do you know the full name of this famous address?  The answer will be posted in an upcoming post.

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

Rail Group Investigates Value for Money

By Linda Tancs

Anyone who has traveled by train in Britain (whether short- or long-haul) has experienced those heart-stopping fares. I’ve often wondered why rail travel is so darned expensive–or is it just my imagination, coupled perhaps with a bad exchange rate? Apparently, my thoughts are well justified. The watchdog group Passenger Focus has released a report this month analyzing such variables as local travel, long-distance travel, comparative rates in other countries and value for money perceptions. Among the many findings: Londoners have a low perception of value for money, soft factors such as cleanliness of trains and well-lit stations inform overall perceptions as well as pricing, and continental comparisons illustrate a general comity among frequency of service although journey speed is more highly rated in continental Europe. Generally speaking, Britain fares (no pun intended) better with pricing for advance bookings than with restricted or unrestricted day returns. Want to learn more? You can download the 38-page report.

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

Pancake Fests Mark Shrove Tuesday

By Linda Tancs

The day before Ash Wednesday is popularly known as Mardi Gras, French for Fat Tuesday. Shrove Tuesday is a more ancient term, referring to the confession of sins to be shriven, or absolved, from them. In England, Shrove Tuesday is celebrated as Pancake Day–a moniker having its origin in the days when sinfully rich supplies of fat, butter and eggs were used up in preparation for the fast and abstinence of Lent. Over time, this tradition has evolved to the running of pancake races, where women sporting aprons and wielding frying pans make a mad dash for the finish line while flipping those flapjacks in the air. The most popular race takes place in the U.K. in Olney, Buckinghamshire. More than 500 years old, the 400-yard competition takes place at 11:55 a.m. between the market square and the church. Best time? 63 seconds in 1967.

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

Winter Festivals

By Linda Tancs

Winter festivals are usually viewed as a celebration of the season and all its wintry accoutrements. But sometimes these events are more about ushering in spring–or just celebrating life. Tune in for a worldwide sampling at Travelrific® Radio.

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

The Mystique of Mustique

By Linda Tancs

Icelandair’s former CEO recently died at his home in Mustique. This got me thinking about the private island paradise, home of the rich and famous from rock to royalty. Owned and operated by The Mustique Company, this 1400-acre island in the southern Caribbean offers its villa occupants and residents a dreamy getaway in a plush environment in which development has been strictly controlled. Check out the photos, especially the villas. Want your own Bali Hai? It’s all yours, if the price is right.

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

An Airline with Heart

By Linda Tancs

Kudos to JetBlue. In the wake of these economic woes (surely affecting their business as well), the airline is pledging to refund certain eligible fares for those suffering an involuntary loss of employment. Find out more here.

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

Germany’s Switzerland

By Linda Tancs

A new season of the reality show The Amazing Race began on Sunday. First stop: Switzerland. The verdant hills and valleys, quaint churches and exquisite chalets had me channeling Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music. Then I got to wondering–where would the Swiss need to go to get away from it all when “all” is so idyllic and charming? The answer might be Germany’s northeastern state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. In the heart of this province hugging the Baltic coast lies a slice of unspoiled countryside that was once dubbed Mecklenburg’s Switzerland by Georg I in the 1800s. The name apparently caught on, as has Swiss tourism to the area–particularly its Baltic coast–thanks to the City Night Line train to Rügen. All aboard!

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

%d bloggers like this: