Travelrific® Travel Journal

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Archive for November, 2011

Trad Festival Begins in Ennis

By Linda Tancs

The folks of Ennis, Ireland in County Clare haven’t lost the art of traditional Irish music.  After all, it’s celebrated each year at the Trad Festival, a gathering of traditional singers, dancers and musicians in a relaxed and informal setting.   Now through 14 November, this year’s event will include a masterclass for both flute and fiddle enthusiasts on Saturday.   Just 24 km from Shannon Airport, you can reach the festivities by train or bus as well from Dublin or Limerick.

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Trash Into Treasure

By Linda Tancs

As the saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.  That’s particularly true at Glass Beach, a beach in MacKerricher State Park near Fort Bragg, California that is abundant in sea glass created from years of dumping garbage over the cliffs into what became a public dump.  Over many decades the sea and surf has molded an array of household garbage (including obviously lots of glass) into curious colorful trinkets.  Tread carefully.

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America’s Luckiest City

By Linda Tancs

San Diego, California bills itself as “America’s Finest City.”  Turns out, it might also be the luckiest according to Men’s Health magazine.  The editors analyzed such data as debt levels, the most hole-in-ones on the golf course, the fewest lightning strikes, and the least deaths from falling objects.  Apparently, residents of the southern California city enjoy their sunny clime with low debt, little lightning and even fewer mulligans.  Where does your city fall on the list?

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Underground at the Hermitage

By Linda Tancs

To tens of thousands of travelers, Russia’s Hermitage is the cat’s meow, its 365 rooms in the Main Museum Complex located in the historic centre of St. Petersburg boasting nearly three million works of art by the likes of masters from Italy, Spain, Holland, Flanders, France, England, Germany, and other Western European countries.   What most visitors may not know is that its labyrinthine underground tunnels are home to nearly 100 cats, whose function is not to meow but to rid the massive complex of any mice or rats, a tradition begun centuries ago by Tsarina Elizabeth, daughter of Peter the First.  Sounds like a purr-fect solution to a vexing problem.

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A Cheese Cave in New Jersey

By Linda Tancs

At Valley Shepherd Creamery in Long Valley, New Jersey, would-be cheesemongers spend a day toiling over a tw0-pound wheel that will age in the farm’s cheese cave for 90 days.  Until mid-November, you can see the wide variety of cheeses available at the creamery aging to glorious perfection in the cave during the fall harvest tour.  Of course, as a working farm and educational center, there are activities available year-round.  During the spring lambing tour, for instance, you can watch the sheep being milked on the only rotating sheep parlor in the United States.  Or stop by for the shearing festival in May.  Whenever you visit, you’ll delight in the delectable array of farmstead cheeses available for sampling, including a few award winners.  The farm is located at Route 517 (Fairmount Road) in Long Valley.  Ewe will surely enjoy the visit.

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Art That Will Transport You

By Linda Tancs

Painters use a wide variety of media to showcase their craft: canvas, cloth, glass, metal, paper, wood, buildings–even the human body.  Now, add a ship’s hull to that list.  Popular artist Peter Max has been commissioned by Norwegian Cruise Lines to paint the hull of its newest megaship, Breakaway.  Scheduled to debut in May 2013, the ship will homeport in New York City and sail to Bermuda.  Bookings are now open to the general public.

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Fashion, Food and Frolic in Stratford

By Linda Tancs

UK shoppers are no strangers to the Westfield Group, one of the world’s largest shopping centre portfolios boasting approximately 25,000 retailers in more than 10.5 million square metres of retail space.  The new Westfield in East London’s Stratford is Europe’s largest urban shopping mall with 222 stores, a fresh food court and leisure and entertainment activities like a bowling alley, casino and cinema.   Sign up for sneak peeks and you could win 1000 GBP.

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