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Archive for June, 2011

Czech, Mate

By Linda Tancs

Czech immigrants have settled in the tiny town of Tabor, South Dakota since 1869.  The founders of this town (population under 1000) are celebrated during the third weekend of each June at the Czech Days festival.  Fireworks are scheduled for 16 June.  See the Beseda Dancers, 238 colorful costumed dancers performing Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:30 pm in Sokol Park.  Other features include a heritage museum boasting a log school and log house, homemade noodles and Czech music.  Also, watch the screening of the film “Tabor: A Little Czech Town on the American Prairie.”  Bring your appetite.  Tiny Tabor is located on SD Highway 50, 100 miles southwest of Sioux Falls. 

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India’s Longest Urban Beach

By Linda Tancs

Bad news for swimmers:  India’s longest urban beach in Chennai–Marina Beach–is not a swimming beach due to strong undercurrents.  Good news for walkers:  the wide, 12 km long beach begs for long walks, particularly in the morning when crowds are thinnest.  A major tourist attraction, the beach is particularly noteworthy for its roadside statues celebrating local and national luminaries like Gandhi, Kannagi (a goddess) and Thiruvalluvar, a poet.   With three railway stations adorning the route–Chepauk, Thiruvallikeni and Light House–you have plenty of options to get there.

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The Seventh Sister of Connecticut

By Linda Tancs

At Connecticut’s southernmost of hills known as the Seven Sisters, actor/director/playwright William Hooker Gillette built a twenty-four-room mansion reminiscent of a medieval castle.  The fieldstone structure with a southern white oak woodwork interior is part of Gillette Castle State Park, an East Haddam treasure accessible from road or ferry.  In fact, from late April to late November take the Chester-Hadlyme ferry across the Connecticut River from Chester for majestic views of the clifftop castle.  The castle is open from Memorial Day to Columbus Day but the park is open year round.

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Sloth Central

By Linda Tancs

The sleepy surf of Costa Rica’s Caribbean side may seem like an unlikely place for a rescue center for the native sloth, but three miles north of Cahuita lies the world’s only sloth rescue center, Aviarios del Caribe.  The learning center and sanctuary is home to special adult resident sloths named Millie, Toyota, Spiderman, Einstein, Nala and TopoGigio.  The sanctuary offers visitors the opportunity to sleep with the sloths (well, kind of) via a small hotel on the premises.  Just one more way to get up close and personal with the natives.

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Maritime Amalfi

By Linda Tancs

The Amalfi coast, Italy’s Campania region, is a stretch of coastline on the southern side of Italy’s Sorrentine Peninsula, reaching from Positano in the west to Vietri in the east. Navigate the towns of this coastal region by boat, a popular and time honored tradition. Learn more at Travelrific® Travel Show.

Just Peachy

By Linda Tancs

Where else but in Peach County, Georgia would you expect to find Georgia’s Peach Festival.  Taking place in Byron and Fort Valley from 3 to 11 June, the highlight of the proceedings is the debut of the World’s Largest Peach Cobbler–11 by five feet and about eight inches deep –made from 90 pounds of butter, 150 pounds of sugar, 150 pounds of flour, 32 gallons of milk and 75 gallons of delectable Georgia peaches.  What’s your favorite peach recipe?  Post it here.

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The Giants of Montenegro

By Linda Tancs

Bordered by Serbia, Croatia, Albania, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro may be earning stripes for its sparkling yacht-infused harbor, but its inland majesty is equally compelling.  Just a few hours’ drive inland from the pomp of Porto Montenegro is Durmitor National Park, a UNESCO nature reserve in Žabljak featuring the massif Mount Durmitor.  A year-round attraction, the massif of 50 peaks and 18 glacial lakes is a mecca for mountain tourism, sporting a canyon second only to Arizona’s famed Grand Canyon.  You can get there via two international airports, Podgorica or Tivat–or by bus from Podgorica to Žabljak for less than 10 euros.  The clime (or climb, as the case may be) is typically alpine, so dress accordingly.

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The Longest Wooden Pier in Europe

By Linda Tancs

It isn’t uncommon for a seaside city to boast of rejuvenative effects.  In Sopot, Poland’s seaside city, they even say that the concentration of iodine in the air is heavier at seaside than on land.  Whatever the merits of the claim, what is undeniable is that this small seaside resort sports the longest wooden pier in Europe at about 1676 feet.  That’s quite a platform from which to view the town’s panorama of Art Nouveau townhouses, villas and historic parks.  Not surprisingly, most hotels are situated along the shoreline, like the stately Grand Sopot.  Spring and summer bring a slew of street and music festivals.  Better hurry.

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