Travelrific® Travel Journal

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Archive for October, 2009

Exotic Adventures for Elders

By Linda Tancs

So you’re “older.”  That doesn’t mean you can’t travel like a millenial or one of those other younger generations whether it’s hiking, glacier hopping, kayaking, safari jeeping, or just hanging out with an ornately festooned camel in Rajasthan.  If you’d like to travel like a Generation X’er but not necessarily with one, consider an elder trek for travelers aged 50 and over. And remember, as economist Bernard Baruch said, age is only a number.

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1300 Years in Normandy

By Linda Tancs

The motto of WASPs (Women Air Force Service Pilots) was “We live in the wind and the sand, and our eyes are on the stars.” That could equally apply to France’s Mont Saint Michel (Saint Michael’s Mount), a hauntingly beautiful rocky expanse between Normandy and Brittany whose granite apex hosts the Benedictine abbey started there in the 10th century. The worship of Saint Michael there, however, dates back to the year 708, making this holy site more than 1300 years old. As if that weren’t enough to distinguish it, the Mount is also one of the first locales to obtain a UNESCO World Heritage listing. The village lying beneath the abbey, ringed by a fortress, is built on sand but can withstand the constant assault of the highest tides in Europe. Its ebb and flow, described by Victor Hugo as being “à la vitesse d’un cheval au galop” (“as swift as a galloping horse”) is striking and quite a tourist draw. Take it all in at the North Tower of these medieval ramparts.

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Meet and Greet

By Linda Tancs

Roman philosopher Seneca mused, “The whole world is my native land.” You, too, can have that familiar (or better yet, familial-type) feeling if you’re lucky enough to find a greeter at your next tourist destination. If the idea of finding a friendly native to take you around town for a few hours–for free–appeals to you, then you should see if the Global Greeter Network has a volunteer guide for you. A growing network, the group currently has ambassadors of all ages across the U.S. and in Europe. Why go it alone?

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Chocolate Lovers Unite in Stockholm

By Linda Tancs

Tomorrow through 11 October, chocolate lovers have a reason to smile in Stockholm. At the Nordiska Museum (National Museum of Cultural History), the Chocolate Festival will delight visitors with the best of the nation’s chocolatiers offering tastings, markets, demos and seminars. Would Atkins approve? The Swedes think not.

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Kanc Turns 50

By Linda Tancs

Frequent spring rains promise a spectacular fall foliage season in the U.S. this year. What better place to celebrate the impending color works than at the Kanc–that’s local speak for the Kancamagus Highway, over 30 miles of natural beauty ringed by the White Mountains between Lincoln and Conway in New Hampshire. Named for Kancamagus, an early Indian chief of the Penacook Confederacy, the byway naturally includes old Indian hunting trails. Romanticists are sure to love the covered bridge in Albany. You can learn more at the information center housed in The Russell-Colbath House, the only remaining 19th century homestead in the area.

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Rock of Ages

By Linda Tancs

In a country filled with ancient remains, a newly discovered fortress over 3000 years old might not seem like a big deal. But in the City of David, just outside Jerusalem’s Old City, a 26-foot-high wall predating Herod proves that Jerusalem’s Bronze Age is characterized by more than measly little weapons and implements of the period. Now open to the public, the digs are believed to be part of a protected passageway built by Canaanites, residents of the Holy Land prior to the Hebrew conquest. And you thought the early Romans had dibs on the phrase “master builder.”

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Seafest is a Family Fun Affair

By Linda Tancs

Kaikoura Seafest at the Esplanade in Kaikoura, New Zealand bills itself as a smorgasbord of food, wine, and entertainment for the whole family. This year’s event will be held on 3 October, but be advised: tickets to the big top bash on 2 October are already sold out! The food part is easy; the event celebrates the abundance and variety of cuisine offered in the area, including mussels, paua, salmon, prawns, whitebait, ostrich, emu, crayfish, and more. As for the wine, this year’s event is sponsored by the North Canterbury Food and Wine Trail–need I say more? On the entertainment end, kids are sure to love the clowns, face painting, balloons and magic. Musical acts include The New Entrants, Sneaky Feet, Double Talk and The Black Velvet Band. Best of all, the winter has seen plenty of action in the Kaikoura Canyon, where three of the winter resident sperm whales have been sighted in addition to some transients. Just one more reason to make the trip.

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