Travelrific® Travel Journal

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Archive for September, 2012

Music and Memphis

By Linda Tancs

Memphis is synonymous with music.  Virtually every genre of music is associated with the city, particularly blues, rock and gospel.   Out of Memphis came the talent of such greats as Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison and B.B. King.  Take a spin around the city at Travelrific® Radio.

Railroading in Michigan

By Linda Tancs

Railroading has a venerable history in Michigan, beginning with the grant of a charter to the Erie and Kalamazoo Railroad Company in 1833 to build the first railroad in what was then the Michigan Territory.  When Michigan became a state in 1837, construction had already commenced on a branch line from Palmyra to Jacksonburgh, a line put into service during the Civil War.  Numerous industry consolidations and a reduction in passenger and freight traffic nearly obliterated the branch line, but the Southern Michigan Railroad Society purchased the remaining track and transformed it into an operating railroad museum.  The Society offers train tours over the remaining track of the early Palmyra and Jacksonburgh Railroad.  Easily accessible from Toledo and Detroit, the route takes a nostalgic turn between Clinton and Tecumseh.  Make your reservations now for the popular Fall Color Tours in October.

Natty Napier

By Linda Tancs

Napier, New Zealand is feted as the Art Deco capital of the world, a term derived from Exposition des Arts Modernes Decoratifs et Industriels, held in Paris in 1925.  The east coast city, dubbed the Nice of the Pacific, has the highest concentration of Art Deco buildings in a single area.  The best way to see it all is by a guided tour plus bus or vintage car excursion.  High season is the GEON Art Deco Weekend in February, including over 200 events, but this sun-kissed city welcomes you anytime.

A Gothic Revival in London

By Linda Tancs

Strawberry Hill is an 18th century masterpiece in southwest London, one of England’s finest examples of Georgian Gothic revival architecture. Created by Horace Walpole, an English writer and politician, the mansion is particularly striking for its collection of renaissance glass and a state apartment bursting with crimson and gold. The setting at twilight is especially dramatic. You can book a twilight tour during the public opening hours between 31 March and 31 October. Better hurry! You can take the train to Strawberry Hill station from Waterloo, walk there via the Thames Path or take the tube to Richmond and then the R68 bus towards Hampton Court to Michelham Gardens. It’s just a short walk from there.

Tallinn’s Concert of Light

By Linda Tancs

As summer draws to a close and Estonia’s days wind into longer nights, now is the time to celebrate the light.  Today’s “Light is Walking in Kadriorg” (7pm until 11pm) closes out Tallinn’s summer concert series with thousands of candles and torches around Kadriorg Park.   Within walking distance from the Old Town, the park is adorned with a grand Baroque palace befitting one of northern Europe’s oldest capital cities.

The Sound of Silence

By Linda Tancs

Silence is powerful, even spiritual.  That may be one reason why New Zealand’s Doubtful Sound is such a popular attraction.  Part of Fiordland National Park, it is the deepest of the fiords and blissfully serene, featuring a range of flora and fauna along its many islets.  Experience its serenity for yourself via kayak, cruise, day trip or overnighter.

Brisbane’s Storied Bridge

By Linda Tancs

Dozens of bridges worldwide have a storied past, an iconic status treasured by locals and tourists alike.  Indeed, every bridge tells a story, which is why it’s so fitting and natural that Brisbane should name its cantilever bridge–what else–Story Bridge.  Spanning the Brisbane River, Story Bridge is the largest steel bridge designed, fabricated and constructed in Australia by Australians, a product of the Great Depression providing years of much needed employment.  You can view the landscape like one of those bridge workers with a bridge climb.  Choose from a traditional bridge climb, an abseil climb or a photographic climb.  In any case, you’re sure to have a story to tell.

The Park of Kings

By Linda Tancs

Doñana National Park in Spain is a significant European nature reserve.  Easily accessible from Cádiz, the oldest city in western Europe, it has seen its share of kings over the centuries:  Philip IV, Philip V and Alfonso XIII hunted there.  These days a host of threatened bird species needn’t worry about the sport of kings.  The park’s lagoons, marshlands, dunes, scrub woodland and maquis provide restful cover for five threatened bird species as well as for one of the largest heronries in the Mediterranean region.

Mexico’s Independence

By Linda Tancs

You might think that Cinco de Mayo is Mexico’s Independence Day.  Actually, it isn’t.  That stellar occasion on the Mexican calendar comes on 16 September.  So what’s the distinction?  Cinco de Mayo represents the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla, whereas, 16 September marks the revolt against Spanish colonial government and the road to independence.  It’s a day for flags, balloons, sombreros, food and mariachi bands across the country.   Here’s a nice synopsis of Mexican Independence Day.

Lincoln’s Logs

By Linda Tancs

The 42nd Annual Abraham Lincoln National Railsplitting Festival will take place in Lincoln, Illionois from 14 to 16 September.  The event kicks off on Friday with a Civil War Ball from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Lincoln Park District Rec Center.  For those who want to see how logs are split into beautiful rails, don’t miss the fierce competition on Saturday and Sunday at the Logan County Fairgrounds.  Log splitting for rail fences was a way of life on the American frontier, and President Abraham Lincoln was a rail splitter in his youth.  That activity led to his nickname, Rail Splitter, coined by the Republican Party to enhance his candidacy for President in 1860.

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