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Archive for July, 2009

Lisbon Airport Travel

By Linda Tancs

Airport transfers are one of the most vexing aspects of travel unless it’s been pre-arranged for you. Should you take a bus? A taxi? A private car? Rail? Here’s a primer on transfers out of Lisbon Airport in Portugal. Taxi transfers are not as costly as in other cities, such as London. The metered rate is also negotiable unless you buy a taxi voucher at the airport for a flat fee (currently 17 euros) and avoid the haggle. Alternatively, you can take the AeroBus for only 3 euros; just make sure your hotel is somewhere along the stops. Your bus ticket is good for the day; make the most of it by visiting all the sites you can along the bus and tram routes.

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Monkey Business in the Amazon

By Linda Tancs

New life reigns among the destruction in the Brazilian Amazon: a new species of saddleback tamarin was recently discovered, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society. Among many new monkey species discovered in the last few years, this brown and gray variety weighs less than a pound and sports a 13-inch-long tail. Yet another reason to mind your hats, bags and cameras should you find yourself in its remote domain.

The Shores of Wickaninnish

By Linda Tancs

Plenty of resorts boast ocean views and beach access. But do they provide private showers for pooches like at the Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino, Canada? That’s just one of many unique experiences promised at this rustic enclave in Vancouver Island. For petless visitors, consider the rainforest beach loop hike on Saturdays or the art tour on Sundays. Or test your mental mettle with a stave puzzle in the library overlooking Chesterman Beach. You can get there via ferry or air, but the road from Nanaimo offers unforgettable views of the old-growth forests of Cathedral Grove, Sutton Pass ecological reserve, and Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

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Tooling Around in Styrsö

By Linda Tancs

Within the Municipality of Gothenburg in Sweden (the seat of which is Gothenburg, Sweden’s second largest city) lies a tiny island called Styrsö. Connected to the big city by ferry, it’s a respite from the hustle and bustle of the concrete jungle. Less than a square mile in area, you can easily navigate with your three-wheeled moped, called a flakmoped. Use it to get to the quiet little beach on the southwestern side. After that, enjoy a sumptuous dinner at Pensionat Styrsö Skäret, a guest house with a family-friendly atmosphere and neighborly feel.

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Navigating the Cyclades

By Linda Tancs

As summer tourists push through the popular Greek isles of Rhodes, Santorini, and Mykonos, rest assured you won’t be one of them. Why? Because you have a better plan. For half the price of a stay on Santorini, you can enjoy the hinterlands of Paros, the heart of the Cyclades. Painting exhibitions, art, cinema–all the culture you’d expect from an ancient civilization awaits you there. Only 30 minutes by air from Athens, or take the hydrofoil from Santorini.

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Bethel Celebrates Anniversaries

By Linda Tancs

Hard to believe this year marks 40 years since Flower Power took to a rain-soaked field in Sullivan County, New York, site of a musical festival known as Woodstock. As if the enduring legacy of that seminal event in pop culture isn’t enough to commemorate, the pastoral town of Bethel has yet another milestone to celebrate this year: its 200th birthday. Bethel Woods Center for the Arts has lots of events on tap to celebrate the tiny town’s past, present and future. Visit the museum for a taste of their centuries-old history; this weekend, admission is free as part of Give Peace a Chance Family Day. And get your tickets now for Woodstock’s 40th Anniversary bash on August 15, starring Levon Helm Band, Jefferson Starship, Ten Years After, Canned Heat, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Mountain, Tom Constanten and Country Joe McDonald.

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Tree Tops

By Linda Tancs

Dunster is a tiny medieval village situated in England’s Exmoor National Park. What it lacks in size it makes up for in notoriety as the site of England’s tallest tree. Near Dunster Castle a Douglas fir measuring almost 200 feet stands sentinel on the Crown Estate. For comparative purposes, consider that the venerable California Redwood grows to at least 300 feet. Perhaps there’s something in the water around Somerset. The castle grounds also sport the oldest lemon tree.

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