Travelrific® Travel Journal

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Archive for September, 2012

The Remotest Part of Great Britain

By Linda Tancs

Forty-one miles west of Benbecula in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides is the archipelago of Saint Kilda, the remotest part of the British Isles.  Of its four islands, Hirta boasts the highest sea cliffs in the country.  Its natural beauty earned it a World Heritage Site designation, an appellation enjoyed these days by its permanent residents consisting of puffins, gannets and other seabirds and wildlife.  The human population long ago moved to the mainland to escape its isolation.  If its sounds difficult to visit this place, you’d be right–but perseverance is rewarded.  Try a cruise ship, charter or yacht, for starters.  You should know that the only accommodation on Saint Kilda for visitors is a small camp site, with room for a maximum of six people.  Visitors may stay for up to five nights.

The Kokoda Trail

By Linda Tancs

The formidable trek known as the Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea has a storied past, being the site of the battle between Japanese and Australian forces during World War II. The physically demanding journey takes you 60 miles overland through the Owen Stanley range, a slog through mud and hills that’s surely evocative of a war zone. The trail, popular with Australian tourists, is quite the mecca for any adventurous soul or military buff. In Sydney there’s a memorial walkway commemorating the Australian forces –a lot less arduous to navigate but very poignant.

World’s Largest Lagoon

By Linda Tancs

In the southwest Pacific and east of Australia lies New Caledonia, a country with French roots surrounded by the world’s largest lagoon.  Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the lagoons provide not only natural beauty but also a safe habitat for threatened marine species such as turtles, whales and dugongs.  The warm and sunny climate is perfect for activities like scuba diving, fishing, jet skiing, kite surfing, surfing, windsurfing, horseback riding and canyoning.  Catch a quick day trip from Sydney or a host of other locations, and expect the unforgettable.

A Sky Walk in New Zealand

By Linda Tancs

What’s taller than the Eiffel Tower, has three circular public observation levels and a view of 51 miles (give or take) on a clear day?  Why, it’s the Sky Tower in Auckland, New Zealand.  The twelfth tallest tower in the world, each of its observation decks offers 360-degree views of the city–and beyond.  If you’re not content to admire the surroundings from the inside, you can walk or jump as well.  The SkyJump lets you feel like Superman as you base jump 192 meters straight down.  If that’s not enough of a rush for you, then consider the SkyWalk, a jaunt aruond the edge of Sky Tower’s pergola in a full body harness and overhead safety lines.

Queen of the Arabian Sea

By Linda Tancs

Hailed as the Queen of the Arabian Sea, the Indian city of Kochi was a 14th century trading center for spices.  Over the centuries, it’s been occupied by the Portuguese, Arabs, British, Chinese and Dutch.  Those influences abound, like the Chinese fishing nets at Fort Kochi, Vasco House (the house where Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama lived), and the Dutch Palace of Mattancherry.  Flanked by the Arabian Sea to the west and Willingdon Island (a man-made island) and its environs to the east, Kochi is easily accessible by air and is a convenient gateway to Kerala, one of National Geographic Traveler’s “50 greatest places of a lifetime.”

Welcome Back, Cutty

By Linda Tancs

You might recall that Cutty Sark, the last surviving tea clipper, got clipped by a fire during restoration in May 2007 at her home in Greenwich.  Only eight miles by train from London Bridge, the grand dame of merchant service is restored and open to visitors once more.  Don’t miss your chance to experience a precious bit of maritime history.

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